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).
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!
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.