Month of Bond: Ranking the Connery movies

Sean Connery will always be one of the most iconic Bonds. It is a toss-up between him and Moore because of the amount of films they both managed to complete. It also makes it very easy to then place those Bond films in order, looking at which of Connery’s films were true Bond classics and which can go the way of the Lazenby. (Incidentally, I’m not counting the “unofficial Bond film” Never say Never Again).

6. THUNDERBALL

I don’t like the Bond films that others regard as classics. Thunderball is one such example. I hate the underwater fight scenes and because it is mainly composed of these, I actually found myself bored in this film! The Bond Girl feels pointless and there isn’t even a proper villain!

5. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

This movie doesn’t feel like a “proper” Bond film. It is a chase movie, with Bond protecting Bond Girl Tatiana for most of the film. It lacks any real action or cool moments and disregards the Bond tropes that had been introduced in the first film. No actual villain either and the threat of Robert Shaw’s Grant is dissipated too quickly. A knife in a shoe doesn’t make for a great threat either.

4. YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

There is a lot I like about You Only Live Twice. I think it has the best finale of Connery’s Bond films, offering up the classic volcano lair. It has some very good action sequences and Donald Pleasance is a brilliant, and the best, Blofeld. Unfortunately, Ninjas, a mico-copter which makes Connery look ridiculous and “turning Japanese” damage this film a fair bit.

3. DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

If you can look past the fact that Connery looks slightly too old to be playing Bond, this movie has a lot of great elements. The story is a good one, Blofeld makes for a good villain but is actually surpassed by Mr Kidd and Mr Wint. There is a good finale but also some silly moments, like a weird space buggie an aging Connery squeezes into and some poor choices from our villain (Just shoot Bond for God’s sake!)

2. DR. NO

The film that started it all. A fantastic introduction for the iconic character, summed-up perfectly in that now famous opening line. Add to that a great Bond Girl, a very creep villain and a Bond movie that is more investigation that outright action and you have a great opening mission for the franchise.

1. GOLDFINGER

Everything that makes Bond the super-spy he is now started here. The villain is evil, with a ridiculous scheme to match. He has one of the most recognisable and threatening henchmen and there is a Bond Girl who can actually match 007. The theme song, the laser-trap and that gold-painted woman make for not just the best Connery but a contender for the best Bond film!

Overall, Sean Connery’s Bond films had it all. The silly, camp style that Moore made so traditionally Bond, the girls, the catchphrases and some of the best villains. He had some bad Bond films and some of the best. It will take some beating to outdo a list this impressive.

The ultimate Bond?

 

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13 comments

  1. Diamonds are forever has great elements?? Hardly. Kidd and Wint are the two worst and most awkward characters I’ve seen in the franchise yet (followed closely by bambi and thumper who, oh thats right, are also in this same movie).

    • I thought those two characters were great! Really decent villains who added a little bit of peril and creepiness. Bambi and Thumper were just added ass-kicking for Bond before the finale.

  2. Totally agree on Connery being a great bond and on your I’d have Goldfinger at #1 and Thunderball last as well, I love the style of Goldfinger, great theme, great villain and fun story.

  3. Like the order they are in. DaF would be my 6th choice though and Goldfinger, Dr No and FRWL would be my top 3. No love for Never Say Never Again? (JK, I know it isnt part of the legal line of Bond flicks. I still have a soft spot for it) Good job! This was s fun post.

    • If I’m going to be honest, I haven’t actually seen it yet. I’m watching it in the order they’re made and I thought I could get away with not including it as it’s the “unofficial one.” Saying that, it is a “remake” of Thunderball and I hate that film!

      • If you hate Thunderball then you may like NSNA, it’s closer to the original treatment and eventual screenplay that was changed around before shooting on Thunderball began. Unless, of course, you hate the plot itself lol. I dont think I hate any Connery 007 films, just like some to lesser degrees than others.

      • I just hated the underwater fights and the slower elements. Compared to Goldfinger and Live and Let Die, it seems to different and poor.

      • I must admit, though, I agree to an extent. The pace is lethargic at times and it doesn’t have the charm and imagination that Goldfinger and even YOLT had. Good observation. I do, though, love the underwater stuff. I don’t mind it. I loved when they brought back some underwater conflict into LTK and TSWLM 🙂

  4. From Russia with Love is very faithful to the source material (as are Dr No and, to some extent, Goldfinger). I feel like From Russia is a bridge from Dr. No to Goldfinger, putting some of the elements into place. It’s Bond without the over-reliance on gadgets and I like that. It may be my favorite Connery Bond. And

    • I’m not necessarily a fan of the source material. I tried reading Casino Royale and it didn’t interest me as much as the movies have. I’m judging the films without knowing the novels because they don’t really appeal to me.

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