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Which '80s James Bond movie should have won Oscar's best picture?




There's been some talk out there that the new Bond flick Skyfall could finally score an Oscar nod. That's all find and good. But which James Bond 007 movie in the 1980s should have won an Oscar for best picture? Well, every movie critic in the English-speaking world would say, "None of them. Ever." But here at Stuck in the '80s, we set aside such ugly bias in favor of the facts. So, which movies do we have to choose from?

Here are the Bond flicks from the '80s in order of appearance:

  • For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  • Octopussy (1983)
  • A View to a Kill (1985)
  • The Living Daylights (1987)
  • License to Kill (1989)

All of them were directed by John Glen. The first three starred Roger Moore; the last two featured Timothy Dalton.

If you ranked them by box office, For Your Eyes Only is the winner, with $194.5 million. (A View to a Kill is last with $152 million.)

If you added up the reviews, as they do on, For Your Eyes Only scored the highest rating among the five '80s flicks, at 74 percent. (Dr. No had the highest rating, at 98 percent; A View to a Kill was lowest among the '80s flicks, at 39 percent.) did its own ranking, with For Your Eyes Only ranking highest at No. 9.

And Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert, who doesn't provide a review for each Bond movie in the '80s, did at least give For Your Eyes Only a decent, two-star rating, calling it "a competent James Bond thriller, well-crafted, a respectable product from the 007 production line. But it's no more than that. It doesn't have the special sly humor of the Sean Connery Bonds, of course, but also doesn't have the visual splendor of such Roger Moore Bonds as THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, or special effects to equal MOONRAKER. And in this era of jolting, inspired visual effects from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, it's just not quite in the same league. That will no doubt come as a shock to Producer Albert (Cubby) Broccoli, who has made the JAMES BOND series his life's work."

And the official Stuck in the '80s selection? I loved For Your Eyes Only, but I'm voting for ... The Living Daylights, with Timothy Dalton! I think it had the best plot, great twists, an impressive variety of locations, decent Bond girl (in a decade of not-so-great Bond girls), and it had an actor who played the part the way creator Ian Fleming would have appreciated. Read here why I think Dalton was the best Bond of the '80s as well.

[Last modified: Sunday, October 21, 2012 2:33pm]


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