Top Ten Weirdest Moments in James Bond Movies007 has had an incredible run at the movies. He's been played by six actors, in twenty-four films that have been made over a period of fifty years (not counting any films not made by EON Productions). Now, to say that the film franchise hasn't had it's share of bumps in the road over the years would be a blatant lie. There were more than a handful of times where things got unusual enough to make audiences' jaws drop, and it's those very moments that we're here to celebrate. This list compiles the ten weirdest moments in the James Bond film franchise. Please note that 1967's 'Casino Royale', should not be included in this list since it was made to be a humorous parody of the franchise and is overstuffed with "weird" moments. Also note that this list may contain spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen every James Bond film.
The Top Ten
Bond drives his remote-controlled gondola boat out of the canal and into a crowded city square in Venice during a chase scene and a lot of people stare in disbelief while a large flock of birds flies away. Only one pigeon is shown (through some cheesy film editing) doing a double-take. In a movie that is already stuffed with campy humour, they somehow managed to raise the bar on ridiculous sight gags with this little moment. I love 'Moonraker', I'll have you know, and I love it for its intentional silliness.
Yes, in 1967's 'You Only Live Twice', Bond undergoes some sort of cosmetic procedure (and gets "married") to help him go undercover as a Japanese fisherman so he can infiltrate SPECTRE's secret volcano base of operations. This procedure apparently works because Bond goes unnoticed while I'm sure nobody who's watching the film will buy that Sean Connery is Asian. Whatever they tried to do to his eyes just looks ridiculous. The whole idea further dates an already-culturally-insensitive film.
The 2006 reboot tried it's best to distance itself from the campy mess that was 2002's 'Die Another Day' and it succeeded. At no other point in 'Casino Royale' does the image of 007 surfing on a crappy CGI ice wave get as successfully snuffed out as when we see Daniel Craig get stripped naked, tied to a bottomless wicker chair, and have his manly parts "scratched" by Le Chiffre in some dirty basement. Need I say more?
There are a number of unusual moments in Roger Moore's inaugural outing as the gentleman spy. The blaxploitation-infused film features "pimp-mobiles" and uses the term "honky" a lot. Add a bunch of alligators, the tobacco-chewing Sheriff J. W. Pepper, and a whole lot of voodoo and you're sure to have a wild Bond film, indeed. Probably the weirdest moment in the film comes right at the climax as Bond and lead villain Kananga (played to perfection by Yaphet Kotto) are fighting underwater in a shark tank and Bond sticks a capsule filled with compressed gas into Kananga's mouth and swims to the surface. Of course, the capsule releases and starts to inflate immediately. Our final shot of the villain is of him floating towards the ceiling, looking like a human balloon, and exploding like one too (the shot is fuzzy and shows close to no blood or anything, keeping it from being one the most gruesome deaths ever shown on film).
'Die Another Day' is sort of one, big weird moment. There are so many kooky things happening in this film that it's hard to single out one moment for this list. I'm going to try, though. If the expression "jumped the shark" has any meaning to you then the phrase "surfed the CGI tidal wave in Iceland" could be the 007 equivalent. Pierce Brosnan deserved a much finer swan song of a James Bond film (he deserved better with both of the two previous films as well) than what he got in this CGI-riddled mess. So much of the film is empty calories that I've barely retained anything from the plot. All that comes to mind are the sight gags and gimmicks. I'm just thankful that the franchise rebooted after this because there's no coming back from watching Bond surf a giant, early-2000's CGI tidal wave of ice. YouTube it.
'Jaws', whose real name is never given, was a fan-favourite henchman in the 1977 Bond film, 'The Spy Who Loved Me', so he was brought back for the next film. No henchman had ever appeared in multiple Bond films before so fans were given a special treat when they got a second helping of Richard Kiel as 'Jaws'. Since the filmmakers wanted to give Jaws a more personal journey this time around, they gave him an equally-silent girlfriend. It's a character arc that sort of comes out of nowhere but does, thankfully, tie into the plot later on in the film so the idea isn't totally a waste of time. It's actually kind of cute.
This film could have been great. In this case the whole is truly NOT greater than the sum of its parts. You have Christopher Walken as the baddie, Grace Jones as his henchwoman, San Francisco as its setting, and a modernistic plot involving micro chips and Silicon Valley. Actually, that does sound like a weird movie ready to happen. So what can I single out in this film? Oh, I know! This one is pretty simple but an odd moment, nonetheless. As he's starting to charm Stacey (the film's lead Bond Girl) in her home after dealing with intruders, he decides to make her dinner and the choice he makes is quiche. Not a bad choice, mind you, but does quiche sound like something James Bond 007 would cook (or even just eat) in a movie? I feel like out of all the foods one could imagine 007 cooking or eating quiche would not be among them.
Okay, while he didn't technically "join" the Mujahedeen, he did fight alongside them in 'The Living Daylights'. Now, if you were to research this group you'd probably find a lot of things that would make you question why this idea was added in a James Bond movie script. It's a political nightmare, really. Think about what kind of conversations this would stir up if James Bond did this in a modern movie.
This was a timely joke back in 1963, but hearing James Bond make a jab towards 'The Beatles' (a.k.a. the greatest and most influential rock band of all-time) makes him sound like a stiff, old dinosaur when he's supposed to be the coolest man in the world (especially when he's being played by Sean Connery). The line I'm referring to is spoken early on in the film when James goes to get a fresh, cold bottle of champagne after the one he and Jill Masterson (the golden girl) looses "it's chill". When Jill asks "Who needs it? ", Bond replies, "My dear girl, there are some things that just aren't done, such as drinking Dom Perignon '53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That's just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs". Sure, in 1963 the thought of The Beatles may have triggered thoughts of the unrelenting screaming that followed them everywhere, but now it just makes an otherwise-timeless film look old and tired for a few beats.
I won't go into too much detail, since it doesn't really matter, but there's a scene where Bond spies on a scientist entering a secret laboratory and the number pad he uses to unlock and open the door emits a musical tone with each button pushed and the melody the password creates is the iconic five-note leitmotif from 1977's 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'. Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli gained special permission from Steven Spielberg to use the music as a winking reference to the then-recent sci-fi hit.
The director must have had a head cold or something on this day of shooting because he made a massive mistake when filming the film's biggest car stunt. Bond, in an attempt to escape the police, drives down a back alley in Las Vegas and finds himself driving towards a very narrow passage that, if driven through, would most definitely lose the cops on his tail. But how's he going to fit his 1971 Ford Mustang through a hole that would barely fit a motorcycle? Simple, he puts the car into a tilt by driving half over a ramp and squeezes through the passage on the two right wheels. Here's the problem. The car comes out of the narrow stretch on the LEFT TWO WHEELS. Huh? I know. I'm guessing the director only realized this mistake long after filming the stunt so he couldn't re-shoot it. Instead, the film wedges in (in-between the two exterior shots, an extra front view shot of Tiffany Case (the main Bond Girl) and Bond in the car where we see them shift from the right wheels to the left ...more