James Bond's voice

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,546MI6 Agent
    That's a horrible thing to say about the dialect of your region :o :))
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 30,802Chief of Staff
    Being rather familiar with that, I have to say it's true. Also, I should point out that nobody in Scotland sounds like Connery- his voice is unique! Many sound like Billy Connolly, for example, but not Sir Sean.
  • Matt SMatt S Oh Cult Voodoo ShopPosts: 6,522MI6 Agent
    I thought he did a good job. He really suits a beard, looks very distinguished.
    Although the N.irish accent sounds horrible, it's designed for threatening and
    arguing not for romance.One comedian said it sounds like angry Scottish people
    who've not had enough to drink. :))

    On a serious note, is his Northern Irish accent believable in The Foreigner? Coming from Brosnan, I thought he sounded ridiculous, but I'm not used to hearing him with an accent other than the ones he usually speaks with.
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  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,696MI6 Agent
    I think in most films accents are very broad, I guessing to emphasise where a character is from ?
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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,546MI6 Agent
    Tragically there are very few examples of Norwegian accent done seriously in movies. Perhaps Liv Ullman (but she never played a Norwegian in American movies, I think) and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca are the best known cases. Is it revealing that I can't remember them having much of an accent? :))
  • hehadlotsofgutshehadlotsofguts Durham England Posts: 2,075MI6 Agent
    Matt S wrote:
    Pierce had to fight the Irish accent, and the result was sometimes strained.

    Pierce never had much of an Irish accent as an adult. He even said that as a kid he spoke with a London accent to fit in with others in South London. He had been living in the States for a while by the time he became Bond, so whatever accent he had before was softened. I see his accent as mid-Atlantic, without it being distinctly from any one place.

    His confrontation with M on the hosital ship in Die Another Day. He sounds really Irish, when M mentions the cyanide and he says "Threw it away years ago. What the hell is this all about."
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  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,696MI6 Agent
    I always love in LTK when Dalton says " Things were about to turn nasty " as the
    Nasty is pure North of England, Manchester :D
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • hehadlotsofgutshehadlotsofguts Durham England Posts: 2,075MI6 Agent
    I always love in LTK when Dalton says " Things were about to turn nasty " as the
    Nasty is pure North of England, Manchester :D

    Love that! He sounds full blown Welsh as well, during the conveyor belt scene.
    Have you ever heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?"

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  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 30,802Chief of Staff

    Fleming may never have describe Bond's voice within the text, but he did have a few preferred actors in mind for the movie adaptations did he not?

    David Niven was mentioned (already too old, by his own admission), as were Richard Burton, James Mason and Stewart Granger*.

    * this has led to some confusion. Stewart Granger's real name was James Stewart, which obviously he couldn't use since there was already a well-known actor of that name. He was informally known as "Jimmy", and Fleming referred to him as "Jimmy Stewart" which caused some to think he was advocating the star of "Vertigo" etc as Bond- no disrespect to that wonderful actor and star, of course!
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 3,850MI6 Agent
    My list is:

    1. Sean Connery. The original and best.

    2. George Lazenby. Poor old George gets a lot of stick but I think his performance was brilliant and i like the tone of his voice and strangely enough is the voice I imagine when reading Bond novels.

    3. Timothy Dalton. Overall very good.

    4. Roger Moore. Very suave and smooth but not really Bondian more suiting to Brett Sinclair.

    5. Daniel Craig. I like Craig in the role but find his voice is not cultured enough.

    6. Pierce Brosnan. Sounds like he is pretending to be James Bond and doesn't hit the mark most of the time but on occasion is very good as in "Saved by the bell".

    The others don't count they are Bond's of a different universe.
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  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 30,802Chief of Staff
    There are two missing from my original list:

    1) Michael Jayston - Not too bad at all. Might have made a decent film Bond in his day:

    AA_OLD_MAN_3.jpgaa_old_man_4.jpg

    2) Bob Holness. All kidding aside, none of us know what he sounded like at the time.

    AA_OLD_MAN_6.jpg
  • CmdrAtticusCmdrAtticus United StatesPosts: 1,102MI6 Agent
    Given Bond's background according to Fleming, it's hard for me to image what he's supposed to sound like. He's born in the Scottish Highlands to a Scottish middle class father but has a Swiss mother - goes to Eton but ends up back in a Scots college and also is multi-lingual. Perhaps Tom Hiddleston might be close - he was born and raised in Wimbleton and Oxford and though not having the same parentage, he did go to Eton. I also have pictured a young Stewart Granger. Not only did he seem like could have played Bond or Fleming, but he was born in Kensington and his grandmother was Scots.
    this is a good angle ... how should Bond talk given what Fleming tells us about his background?
    Bond got kicked out of Eton, so maybe he wouldn't want to speak like someone who had the correct accent beaten into him. He may choose to retain the regional accent of his roots out of spite. But as you say he was already welltravelled as a child, his accent and vocabulary probably drift back and forth depending on who he's talking to, or even what he's talking about (I have friends who do this, switching languages within one sentence even, without being aware of it).
    But of course his job as a spy means he needs to speak however strangers expect him to speak, meaning he's capable of consciously and persuasively switching voice depending in the situation. Like looking like he belongs in all those upper crust casinos. So he should have a natural voice and a repertoire of put-on voices.

    Fleming may never have describe Bond's voice within the text, but he did have a few preferred actors in mind for the movie adaptations did he not?
    Lets just say I do not picture Bond talking like Cary Grant, as much fun as it is to try to talk like Cary Grant.

    Ironically, Grant IMO would have made a great Bond - it he had been born thirty years later. Unfortunately, he was the right age years before Fleming was even in Naval Intelligence - born four years before him. His accent never really bothered me - though iconic it was broad enough to work in most of the films he was in and would have been fine had he played the role.
  • zaphod99zaphod99 Posts: 1,405MI6 Agent
    Not sure if Grant could have carried the toughness required. Bond should appear and sound more or less like a gentleman but not quite (if that makes sense) Iron fist in a velvet glove comes close. Bond never quite fits in, he stands out, he's the classic outsider, more or less a British (not English) gentleman but with something askew, a dangerous quality with a veneer of sophistication., but scratch the surface and...
    Of that of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence- Ludwig Wittgenstein.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,696MI6 Agent
    Of the Old actors who could have played 007, I always plump for Stewart Granger.
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  • MrGoreMrGore Posts: 129MI6 Agent
    Voices for Bond?

    When the excellent David Rintoul read the audiobooks he gave Bond a distinctly Scottish accent. Being "Scotch" myself it was a bit odd at first, but I soon got used to listening to it. Also it tended towards a soft Glasgow accent, instead of an Edinburgh burr. If that makes sense.

    Oh and best reader for a Bond audiobook. Dan Stevens for his Casino Royale which is simply exquisite. Audio perfection of a near perfect book.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 30,802Chief of Staff
    Bond having a Scottish accent is obviously ok. Bond having an English accent is also ok, since he spent so much time there.
  • OrnithologistOrnithologist BerlinPosts: 486MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:
    Bond having a Scottish accent is obviously ok. Bond having an English accent is also ok, since he spent so much time there.

    And also because the character, as far as I know, was originally intended to be English. Only later, when Fleming had warmed to Connery's portrayal, was the Scottishness included (first in the YOLT novel, I think?).
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  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 30,802Chief of Staff
    Nope, it's first specifically mentioned in OHMSS. The film series doesn't confirm Bond's Scottish roots until SF, though.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,696MI6 Agent
    Also wasn't Fleming from a basically Anglo/Scottish family. With his Mother "M"
    spending most of her time in the Scottish home, and his father leading a Scottish
    regiment in WW1.
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 30,802Chief of Staff
    Yes, that's right. Bond himself doesn't usually mind being regarded as English, especially abroad, but perhaps "British" might be the best description.
    As a Scot who spends a lot of time in Germany, I find that it's a language thing: if you speak German you're from Germany (although it could easily be Austria or Switzerland), if you speak French you're from France (Hercule Poirot tells many people he's Belgian), if you speak English you're from England (not Ireland, Scotland or Wales). Sometimes it's easier just to go with the flow.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,696MI6 Agent
    A friend of Mine, on a visit to America was told ( when they discovered he was from Ireland )
    That his "English" was very good ! :))
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • osrisosris Posts: 558MI6 Agent
    Matt S wrote:
    I mostly agree with your ranking.

    Are you considering accents or more the tone of their voice? My problem with Connery is that his accent is inconsistent throughout the films. I think he sounds best in From Russia with Love and Goldfinger, where he has toned down his brogue the most and sounds more like someone who would have had Bond's education. He still sounds great in the other '60s films. He sounds off for Bond in Diamonds Are Forever, with more of the Scottish coming through. Then in Never Shay Never Again hish accent hash matured into what he ish known for. And that's Connery sounding like Connery, not Bond.

    I agree, Connery’s voice lost the effectiveness it had in FRWL and GF, becoming, as you say, more his natural Scottish brogue as time went by. I wonder if that was unconscious or not.
  • osrisosris Posts: 558MI6 Agent
    zaphod99 wrote:
    I think Craig has the best voice overall for Bond. Good tone, more or less accentless. Dalton sounds too regional to my ears, but otherwise good. Brosnan fine in GE but American sounding thereafter. Roger is pretty good but lacks gravitas. Shame about Georgy boy as I don't think he needed to be dubbed. Defo Craig comes out best to me.

    I agree about how Bond should be almost accentless. He can’t be too posh, like David Niven or most British privately educated young actors that appear in films today, like Benedict’s Cumberbatch etc., and who are often touted as potential new Bonds. I’d rather he have a mid trans-Atlantic accent or a Anglicised Australian accent like Lazenby’s than a posh one, which would make Bond sound like David Cameron.
  • Matt SMatt S Oh Cult Voodoo ShopPosts: 6,522MI6 Agent
    osris wrote:
    zaphod99 wrote:
    I think Craig has the best voice overall for Bond. Good tone, more or less accentless. Dalton sounds too regional to my ears, but otherwise good. Brosnan fine in GE but American sounding thereafter. Roger is pretty good but lacks gravitas. Shame about Georgy boy as I don't think he needed to be dubbed. Defo Craig comes out best to me.

    I agree about how Bond should be almost accentless. He can’t be too posh, like David Niven or most British privately educated young actors that appear in films today, like Benedict’s Cumberbatch etc., and who are often touted as potential new Bonds. I’d rather he have a mid trans-Atlantic accent or a Anglicised Australian accent like Lazenby’s than a posh one, which would make Bond sound like David Cameron.

    Sounds like Brosnan's accent. Born in Ireland, growing up in London and spending much of his adult life in the States really gives him a neutral mid-Atlantic sound.
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  • osrisosris Posts: 558MI6 Agent
    Another actor with a mid-Atlantic accent (when he puts it on) is Christopher Plummer. I wonder if he would have made a believable Bond.
  • zaphod99zaphod99 Posts: 1,405MI6 Agent
    osris wrote:
    Another actor with a mid-Atlantic accent (when he puts it on) is Christopher Plummer. I wonder if he would have made a believable Bond.

    I think he was a 'name' under consideration back in the day. He may have even tested. Others more knowledgeable may have the skinny.
    Of that of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence- Ludwig Wittgenstein.
  • ToTheRightToTheRight Posts: 313MI6 Agent
    osris wrote:
    Another actor with a mid-Atlantic accent (when he puts it on) is Christopher Plummer. I wonder if he would have made a believable Bond.

    The Terence Young movie Plummer did TRIPLE CROSS (1966) made me feel he could have made a decent Bond. He was quite dashing.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,546MI6 Agent
    I agree.
  • ToTheRightToTheRight Posts: 313MI6 Agent
    There was a couple of lines Christopher Plummer delivered in TRIPLE CROSS that had a Connery inflection as well. Perhaps due to Terence Young? A few lines spoken exactly the way Sean might have done.
  • osrisosris Posts: 558MI6 Agent
    He was also a Bond type in The Return of the Pink Panther—at least in some scenes.
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