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Terrible Movies James Bond Actors Want You To Forget About

Based on the spy novels by author Ian Fleming, the series of films centered on secret agent James Bond has become one of Hollywood's longest-running and most successful film franchises. Across more than five decades the role has been played by nearly a half dozen different actors in more than 22 big screen feature film adventures. The franchise has gone through ups and downs, including several iconic movies, but also less memorable ones too. 

Like the series itself, the actors involved in them have all had long and complex movie career journeys. From Hollywood legend Sean Connery to current screen action hero Daniel Craig, the filmographies of its many stars are dotted with classics. And, of course, there are the clunkers, the movies that, at best, have been totally forgotten. But thankfully, we're here to make sure nobody forgets the terrible movies that James Bond actors want you to forget about.

Sean Connery in The Avengers

The first and most famous actor in the role of James Bond, Sean Connery set the bar by which all others would be judged. Arguably the most iconic Bond, he starred in a total of seven films in the franchise, including "Never Say Never Again" after a 12-year absence from the role. Most Bond fans agree that Connery's flicks are among the very best, with "Goldfinger" being the gold standard, but Connery himself is not without a few duds on his résumé, with at least two towards the end of his time in Hollywood that seriously mar his filmography. While "League of Extraordinary Gentleman" was the reason Connery retired, it wasn't the worst.

In 1998, Connery starred as the villain in the big budget remake of the 1960s TV spy series "The Avengers," opposite Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman as intrepid secret agents John Steed and Emma Peel. Connery was the diabolical Sir August de Wynter, an evil genius who planned to use a weather control machine to take over the world. Unfortunately for Connery, the film was as comical and goofy as it sounds, and in the worst possible ways. Not only did the film flop at the box office, but it became a laughing stock in Hollywood.

A tonal mess with ill-conceived attempts at humor, the Bond alum is a joke as a cartoonish super-villain. What's more, poor FX and a downright boring script contribute to what would wind up being the worst movie of Connery's entire career

George Lazenby in Hell Hunters

Following "You Only Live Twice," a bitter pay dispute between Sean Connery and the studio led the star to walk away from the James Bond franchise. The torch was then passed to Australian actor George Lazenby. Starring in what many consider to be the most underrated Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," Lazenby quickly moved on from Bond after just the one appearance as the super-spy, citing disillusionment. But any regret he may have ever had over doing the film, it pales in comparison to how much he might wish to erase some other entries from his resume. 

Case in point: the 1987 horror thriller "Hell Hunters," a two-fer for this list that also features Maud Adams, better known to Bond fans as Octopussy, the scheming smuggler from the film of the same name. The film centers on a young woman named Ally who discovers that her uncle is a surviving member of the Third Reich, and is living in South America. There he plans to use an experimental serum to reanimate the dead and turn them into an army of sinister spider-Nazis. Lazenby stars as Heinrich, her uncle's ally in bringing insect SS officers back from the dead.

A bizarre premise filled with inexplicably behaved characters spouting cringey dialogue, it may qualify as a "so bad it's good" movie, but won't ever actually be any good. If Lazenby and Adams could erase this one, they surely would.

Roger Moore in Fire, Ice, and Dynamite

When Sean Connery walked away from Bond a second time in 1971, it was Roger Moore, star of the TV spy thriller "The Saint" who would ask for a martini shaken (not stirred) for more than another decade. Known more for his wit than Connery, his series of Bond films became famous — or infamous — for their increasingly goofy nature, highlighted by a buggy chase on the lunar surface in "Moonraker." But after starring in seven Bond films himself, there are many who prefer his brand of secret agent even to Connery's. 

Unfortunately after exiting the role, Moore struggled to find continued success, and wound up starring in at least one he would prefer we all forget: the 1990 action thriller "Fire, Ice, and Dynamite." Like many of his Bond films, this one was built around extensive stunt scenes, with Moore in the role of wealthy tycoon Sir George Windsor. After faking his own death, Windsor sets in motion a secret scheme for his estranged surviving family. To get their hands on his $135 million estate, they'll have to compete in a series of extreme sporting events that include skiing, paragliding, racing, and more. As his ungrateful, spoiled children fight for his money, Windsor watches with a final trick up his sleeve.

Though the stunts truly are impressive, the movie lacks anything else worth watching, Moore included. The story is nonsensical, the cast is limp and lifeless, and outside of those action sequences "Fire, Ice, and Dynamite" is just plain boring.

Timothy Dalton in Sextette

Taking over from the long-tenured Roger Moore, actor Timothy Dalton starred in two Bond films in the 1980s before turning in the tux: "License to Kill" and "The Living Daylights." Perhaps the most overlooked Bond era, the pair of films attempted to bring the franchise back to a more grounded tone than the ever more over-the-top entries during Moore's extended time in the role. Though never regarded as the franchise's best, Dalton remained a highlight of them as a dashing, take charge intelligence officer who may have played better today than he did then. But before he was Bond, Dalton had plenty of duds, with one of the strangest being the strange 1977 comedy "Sextette."

The film stars screen legend Mae West as aging former Hollywood sex symbol Marlo Manners, who's just married her sixth husband (Dalton). But when a political crisis erupts at the same hotel where she's on her honeymoon, Marlo is called into help, leading to all sorts of farcical hijinks and innuendo-laden madcap misadventures. Alas, there's little entertainment to be had. As Variety wrote at the time, "'Sextette' is a cruel, unnecessary and mostly unfunny musical comedy."

Look, "Sextette" is a disco musical comedy starring Ringo Starr, Dom DeLuise, and Tony Curtis, and those collection of words don't inspire the most confidence. It all adds up to a woefully unfunny picture punctuated by awkwardly produced song and dance numbers. A dreadful experience to slog through, there's almost nothing but Dalton's presence to keep you engaged. 

Pierce Brosnan in Entangled

Like Roger Moore before him, '90s Bond star Pierce Brosnan won the coveted role of 007 after starring in a long-running TV series centered on a similar secret agent. In Brosnan's case it was "Remington Steele." As People reported at the time, it was his commitment to the show that forced him to turn down the part in 1985 the first time it was offered to him. But after Timothy Dalton's stint came to an end, Brosnan dove headfirst into the famous Aston Martin for the 1995 hit "Goldeneye." Though subsequent installments couldn't match its success, Brosnan's time in the role helped reinvigorate the franchise.

But while Dalton was still in the role, Brosnan still needed to work, and so took on a handful of similarly toned action thrillers like "Death Train" and "Live Wire." None were very good, but it's the 1993 flick "Entangled" that he'd probably scrub from the books if it were possible. The film stars Judd Nelson as an spiring novelist whose lover Annabelle (Laurence Treil) – a superstar model — is killed in a devastating car crash, but awakens to find the enigmatic stranger Patrick (Brosnan) tormenting him. 

A psychological character drama that's overwrought and borders on soap opera quality, "Entangled" isn't hard to predict, yet is still somehow confusing and exhausting to sit through. Bits of unintentional comedy make it ineffective as a thriller, while flashbacks within flashbacks don't make the story any easier to untangle.

Daniel Craig in A Kid in King Arthur's Court

In 2006, Daniel Craig took over for Pierce Brosnan and took James Bond back to his roots in "Casino Royale," which depicted Bond as a gritty secret agent with savvy, skills, and guts. After four films, Craig capped off his tenure as 007 in "No Time to Die" in 2022, in one of the most shocking films in the series. But if you really want a stunner, check out "A Kid in King Arthur's Court."

While Craig is not the only global megastar to make an appearance in this dreadful kid's movie, as he is paired with none other than future "Titanic" standout and eventual Oscar winner Kate Winslet, he does have the honor of sporting the film's worst haircut. A loose adaptation of a Mark Twain classic, it sees average American preteen Calvin Fuller thrown back to the Middle Ages where, with the help of Merlin and a friendly knight, he must take on a dastardly villain.

One of the earliest movie roles for Daniel Craig, it can't be one that he (or Winslet) looks back upon fondly. While it mostly does its job as an inoffensive family film, it's barely entertaining enough for a Saturday afternoon TV movie. (And boy oh boy, that haircut.) The stream of scathing reviews can be summed by the Chicago Tribune's (via Complex) assessment of the flick: "Sitting through it, I found myself shuddering at what Disney may have in store for next summer."

Desmond Llewelyn in Merlin

Actor Desmond Llewelyn holds the record for most appearances in the James Bond franchise, appearing as gadget-master Q in a whopping 17 films across four decades and five Bond actors. First popping up in 1963's "From Russia With Love" with Sean Connery, he continued in the role through every subsequent installment opposite the likes of George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan before his final appearance in "The World is Not Enough," released just a month before his death in 1999. Thankfully, because he's been so closely associated with the Bond franchise, many forget his appearance in the abominable 1993 film "October 32nd."

Sometimes titled simply "Merlin," the fantasy film tries to mix the high concept wizardry of the infamous sorcerer with modern day shenanigans, and falls flat on its face doing it. A reporter named Crystal Lake is sent to cover the goings-on in a small mining town. But she soon discovers that she's actually the daughter of the famed Lady of the Lake, and she, Merlin, and others from Arthurian legend have all been reincarnated there. Now she must help Merlin stop the wizard Pendragon from obtaining Excalibur on Halloween or risk the coming of October 32nd, a day that will end all of time.

Not only is it a confusing, haphazardly constructed film, but none of the characters seem to match their literary counterparts. Alas, it could never hope to do justice to its ambitious premise.

Sean Bean in Airborne

Today, actor Sean Bean is probably best known for his iconic roles in "The Lord of the Rings" and "Game of Thrones," but Bond fanatics will never forget him as Janus, AKA Alec Trevelyan, the villain in Pierce Brosnan's first outing, "Goldeneye." A former double-oh agent, Trevelyan betrayed MI6 and was thought dead until he turned up years later to exact a penance on his former friend James Bond. A sinister villain, Bean played him masterfully, in what is widely seen as the best Brosnan Bond film. But in the wake of the movie's success, Bean would star in another action thriller that would be much less remembered, and for good reason.

In the 1998 film "Airborne," Steve Guttenburg is inexplicably cast as an action hero. He stars as Bill McNeil (no, not that one), leader of a special ops commando team sent in to stop a gang of expert thieves who've made off with a deadly biological weapon. But after a mid-air assault on the villain's plane goes wrong, McNeil suspects that one of their own might be a double agent. 

A laughably bad action movie, it feels like the kind of flick you'd see on "Mystery Science Theatre 3000," with plenty of moments so groan-inducing they feel tailor-made for comedic commentary. Cliched and predictable, its biggest sin is simply thinking Guttenberg was a movie star that could carry an action movie.

Britt Eckland in Satan's Mistress/Demon Rage

The 1980 movie "Satan's Mistress" (often branded as "Demon Rage" or "Fury of the Succubus") was a horror movie of the lowest caliber, at least while still being a legitimate Hollywood production. The main selling point of the film of course was the appearance of not one, but two different Bond girls: Britt Eckland ("The Man with the Golden Gun") and Lana Wood ("Diamonds are Forever"), while also featuring an appearance from Bond henchman Kabir Bedi ("Octopussy"). 

While not every Bond girl has gone on to stardom the way Rosamund Pike, Kim Basinger, or Eva Green, the duo in "Satan's Mistress" could never recapture the fame they had will appearing in their respective 007 adventures. But out of their respective filmography's, this one is the definitely the one they regret, as a salacious and ridiculous forgotten horror disaster. The movie stars Wood as Lisa, a lonely and love-starved housewife who has been secretly having an affair with a ghostly apparition behind her husband's back. But her unfulfilled desires now very much met by a demon from the other side, Lisa abandons her family and heads down a path of madness and destruction.

Perphaps in better hands, with a better cast, the premise could have made for a compelling erotic horror movie. But with a cast of Bond girls not famed for their Oscar-worthy talents, and a director who's best-known work was a film called "Love and the Midnight Auto Supply," this d-grade shlocker was always destined for the dustbin.

Bernard Lee in It's Not The Size That Counts

James Bond has always been lucky to faithful friends and unwavering allies, and his best might be M, the head of the British intelligence service MI6 The single-lettered moniker has been held by several different characters but the first, across Bond's first 11 adventures, was played by Bernard Lee. Easily the actor's most famous role, he's appeared in a number of British films before and after his tenure in the Bond films. His worst, and most bizarre is the '70s farce "It's Not The Size That Counts."

Though he only has a small role as a journalist, he probably regretted appearing at all, in a film that is so hideously awful even on paper. The film is actually a sequel to a modest comedy titled "Percy," about a man who has the first human transplant of his own manhood. In the follow-up, a chemical in the water supply turns the men of the world impotent, and the curiousness of Percy's former operation somehow makes him immune. "It's Not the Size That Counts" is soft and silly, full of stiff performances, limp laughs and childish humor that doesn't stand up.

As Victoria Price notes in her biography of her father, Vincent Price, "It's Not The Size That Counts" was a major bust when it was released in the UK — so much so, the studio waited a few years to take it across the pond. Evidently, that cooling off period didn't help.

Telly Savalas in Backfire!

Most renowned for his title role in "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," Telly Savalas joined in the James Bond universe in Lazenby's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." There he played took on the role of Ernst Blofeld, mastermind and leader of the criminal syndicate SPECTRE, taking over the role of Donald Pleasance who had inhabited the part in "You Only Live Twice." But outside of those two major roles, Savalas had a long and winding career. Towards the end of it however he had a couple of low points, and it was his final film that saw his lowest: the 1995 spoof "Backfire!"

The '90s were awash in similar parodies, with popular comedies like "Naked Gun," "Hot Shots," poking fun at action and police dramas. And then there's "Backfire!" a slapstick send-up of firefighting film "Backdraft." The film focuses on Jeremy, whose mother, a firewoman, died when he was little, inspiring him as an adult to break the gender barrier to become the first male firewoman himself. Yes, you read that correctly. Oh, and he has to deal with exploding toilets across New York City that are spewing fire. In their review, TV Guide declared, "The film contains nothing new, (in fact it steals some jokes directly from AIRPLANE!), and when desperate, becomes offensive."

Thankfully for Savalas, his part is a small one, turning up ever-so-briefly. Perhaps if he'd known what a disastrously unfunny comedy it was going to be, he'd have let this burn down on its own.

Judi Dench in Cats

When Pierce Brosnan took over the role of Bond in 1995, Dame Judi Dench joined in the role of M. Appearing in all four films, she was the only actor to stick around when incoming Bond Daniel Craig took up the mantle in 2006, particularly noteworthy as the soft reboot was darker and grittier than Brosnan's series. Appearing in four of Craig's films, M lost her life in the climax of "Skyfall," being succeeded in her position by Ralph Fiennes. But despite the many well-reviewed films in her catalog, "Skyfall" included, Dench — along with a dozen other well-respected Hollywood stars — still had the poor sense to be a part of the 2019 box office disaster that was "Cats."

Based on the Broadway play of the same name, it tells the story of a group of street cats called the Jellicle living in the bowels of New York City as they prepare for the annual Jellicle Ball. In the ritual ceremony the cats must compete to be the one feline who will be granted the chance to achieve the Heavenside Layer and go on to a new rebirth. Despite a cast that included Idris Elba, Ian McKellan, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Hudson, the film was an absolute top-to-bottom dud. 

The debacle wasn't just the fault of sloppy CGI that was straight out of the uncanny valley either, but the film's mess of a story that doesn't survive the translation from stage to screen. 

Lois Maxwell in The Eternal Evil

There are Bond girls, and then there's Miss Moneypenny, perhaps the most iconic woman in the franchise. M's faithful assistant at MI6, she's more than just a pretty face, but a fierce, no-nonsense woman who can give as good as she gets. Played by a number of actresses through the years, the most famous is Lois Maxwell, who appeared in the role in the first fourteen feature films. But outside of her part as Moneypenny, Maxwell appeared in a number of lesser movies, the worst of which is easily the 1985 supernatural horror film "Eternal Evil."

In the film we meet a TV commercial director named Paul whose life has grown tiresome despite having a happy family life. But it's turned upside down by a mysterious woman, a studier of the occult who teaches him how to astrally project himself into other realms. But as he learns to leave his body, he begins to use his newfound supernatural ability to kill. But when his own family starts to suspect what is happening, so too does a determined detective.

While Maxwell plays only a small role, she is given star billing thanks to her name recognition as Miss Moneypenny, but even that couldn't help sell the film. Utterly without shock value or terror as promised by the back of the box. Outside of an early slasher scene, the movie is a slow-moving slog with little to keep the interest of even the most patient horror fans.