As the producers of the James Bond franchise deliberate their approach to the next reboot, now is the perfect time for fans to step back and re-watch old classics. 007’s lead actor, Sean Connery, defined the character’s on-screen attitude and personality with his string of ground-breaking early outings in the early to late 1960s and early 1970s. of six films established all the tropes and trademarks that Bond fans have come to expect.
Connery’s Bond came out of the gate with three timeless masterpieces – Dr. No, From Russia with loveand The golden finger – which still hold today. Some of Connery’s Bond movies, like These Three and The Decisive Adventure of you only live twicecan withstand more repeat viewing than others, such as thunder ball and Diamonds are forever.
6 Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
After slipping away for On Her Majesty’s Secret Servicewhich ended up being hailed as one of the best Bond films, Connery briefly returned to the role of Diamonds are forever, which has come to be considered one of the worst Bond films. It actually received positive reviews at the time, but public opinion towards the film has soured over the years.
The plot is absurd, even for a Bond movie: Blofeld smuggles diamonds so he can use them to build a laser beam in space. There’s a fun segment in Amsterdam near the start, but the film goes downhill after Bond survives a Las Vegas cremation.
5 Thunderbolt (1965)
thunder ball is generally considered a low point in Connery’s tenure and one of the weakest Bond films overall. He had the heavy burden to follow The golden finger, a universally acclaimed masterpiece that laid the foundation for all the Bond films that followed. It’s nowhere near as great as Dr. No Where From Russia with lovebut it’s still an underrated gem.
The film has a delightfully quirky cold opening in which Bond consoles the widow of an old enemy, only to find that his enemy is alive and well, disguised in his own wife’s stockings and high heels. The main plot sends Bond on one of his sunniest adventures in the Bahamas. thunder ball is full of 007 one-liners as a joke, “I think he got it,” after killing a bad guy with a harpoon gun. It all culminates in a thrilling underwater battle sequence, meticulously choreographed by the stunt team.
4 You Only Live Twice (1967)
Bond’s long-awaited showdown with Blofeld has arrived in you only live twice. The film ends with an exhilarating finale that takes place in the head of SPECTER’s iconic headquarters set in a hollowed-out volcano. It has since become the defining image of an evil villain’s secret lair. But it takes time to get there. There wasn’t much to dig into the source material, since the original novel is practically a travelogue. Screenwriter Roald Dahl didn’t have much to work with. As a result, the film adaptation of you only live twice has a slow pace and a laborious narrative.
It starts with an exciting start with 007 faking his own death, but Bond meanders through Japan for a long time before finally discovering where Blofeld is hiding. Yet once he arrives at the volcano and confronts Blofeld and his henchmen, it becomes a high-octane actor.
3 From Russia with Love (1963)
The second Bond movie, From Russia with love, is one of the only true sequels in the series. It’s not a standalone adventure like most franchise entries; it follows directly from Dr. No, with SPECTER training assassins to kill 007 in retaliation for his murder of Dr. Julius No in that film. Bond spends much of the film traveling through Europe by train, and main villain Rosa Klebb doesn’t make much of an impact until the very end after 007 has already completed his mission.
But From Russia with love still deserves a handful of revisits, as it’s masterfully crafted by director Terence Young, and Robert Shaw gives a wonderfully sinister performance as the secondary villain, Red Grant. Grant’s brutal scuffle with 007 on the Orient Express is one of the greatest fight scenes in movie history.
2 Dr. No (1962)
The very first Bond film remains one of the most enjoyable entries in the series. Dr. No is a simple spy caper that injected a much-needed dose of fun into the spy genre, which had become stale and serious by the early 1960s. The first film has none of the superfluous plot threads that would drop some of the franchise’s later films; it’s just a stubborn pursuit of a typically megalomaniac villain.
Dr. No opens with the murder of an MI6 station chief, after which Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the murder. Before the climactic showdown with the titular villain, Bond encounters a car chase, a poisonous spider, a flamethrower tank, and a “Bond girl” who still ranks among the most memorable: Honey Ryder, played by the iconic Ursula Andress. .
1 Golden Finger (1964)
From the opening drug lab explosion to the climactic showdown at Fort Knox (carefully reconstructed by production designer Ken Adam), The golden finger is a quintessential spy adventure. It’s the ultimate Bond movie. Adhering to the “lucky third time” principle, the Bond trio have perfected the formula and still haven’t been outdone.
The golden finger introduces the globe-trotting nature of Bond’s exotic escapades and the franchise’s now familiar tongue-in-cheek comic sensibility. It has one of the greatest car chases ever filmed, it debuted the gadget-filled 007 Aston Martin DB5, and Gert Fröbe’s unforgettably eccentric portrayal of Auric Goldfinger never gets old.
NEXT: The Best One-Liner From Every Sean Connery James Bond Movie, Ranked