The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
This is one of my favorite Bond films, so it’s tough to pick the best moment. I wanted to choose the ski chase at the beginning that ends with Bond’s Union Jack parachute, but I feel there’s a better moment. If you read my Best Bond Gadgets article, then you know I have a soft spot in my heart for the Lotus Esprit and it’s reveal is my pick for the best Bond moment of this film. What’s so great about this sequence is the chase scene doesn’t even start out normal. We see Bond and Anya Amasova fleeing a helicopter in the Lotus Esprit. Seeing no other options, Bond throws the car into the water where it transforms into the Wet Nellie submarine. The helicopter stays about the water, presumably waiting on Bond to resurface, but what she gets instead is a torpedo to the face as Bond declares “Alone at last.”
While there are other good moments in this movie, there is one that I absolutely have to talk about and officially dub it the best Bond moment of this movie. Bond travels the Amazon river and makes it into Hugo Drax’s secret base. Inside, he’s surrounded by many beautiful women who all smile and wave at him. Bond is then thrown into a small pool in the room. As he tries to escape, a giant python pulls him back into the water and tries to kill him. The struggle lasts until Bond removes a pen knife from his pocket and kills the snake. I chose this moment because it is gleaming with subtext and every psychiatrist in America that has ever seen this film probably died from laughter. Think about it.
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Austin Powers really does owe a lot to James Bond. In addition to being a caricature of him there are many jokes from that series that mirror the Bond franchise, but none of them are more obvious than Dr. Evil, the parody of James Bond’s nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Blofeld is the leader of SPECTRE, the criminal syndicate that plagued James throughout five films. Their feud finally comes to a close in the opening sequence of For Your Eyes Only. Bond gets into a helicopter believing that MI6 has sent for him when it’s in fact being controlled remotely by Blofeld. After escaping the back of the copter and climbing into the cockpit, Bond regains control. From there he finds Blofeld (now confined to a wheelchair but with trusty cat in tow) and picks him up using the helicopter’s landing skid. After a bit of a flyover with Blofeld pleading for his life (and offering to buy Bond a delicatessen?) Bond throws Blofeld and his wheelchair down into a chimney, killing him.
Now the relationship between Bond and Blofeld is not done a lot of justice in this moment. It’s a very over the top and silly sequence, but given that it’s Roger Moore’s only interaction with the Blofeld character that is to be expected. I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the death of Bond’s archenemy off this list.