This unofficial 007 movie, released by Warner Bros. and helmed by Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back)  and penned by Lorenzo Semple Jr., (The Parallax View, Three Days of the Condor) is a remake of Thunderball because that’s the one James Bond movie to which Kevin McClory held the rights. But in the meantime, here’s a quick-ish rundown of the seven films featuring Sean Connery in the role that made him a pop culture icon. Combining two Ian Fleming short stories, the film focused on Bond’s attempt to find a missile command system while becoming entwined with the vengeance-minded daughter (Carole Bouquet) of two marine archeologists murdered by a Cuban hitman. Already past his prime in "Octopussy," Moore – who was 57 at the time of filming "A View to a Kill" – had visibly aged since the last time fans saw him as 007, something even Moore himself acknowledged after the fact. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. Nonetheless, even if it’s not my favorite 007 movie, it helped cement the series as a top-tier cinematic franchise and helped assure fans that, up to a point, each Bond movie would be different from the last in terms of plot, scale and scope. But the film itself is long and slow – really, did we need to see Moore’s entire flight to Scaramanga’s hideout? However, perhaps by default, it’s a more enjoyable action thriller than Diamonds Are Forever, its underwater action still impresses 18 years after Thunderball and makes you almost wish that McClory had gotten to make his second Thunderball remake (Warhead, allegedly starring Timothy Dalton). I can’t imagine the consecutive climaxes didn’t impress Spielberg and Lucas back in the day, and this film is the one that delivered on the initial “Hitchcock on steroids” pitch. Thunderball (1965) Sean Connery as James Bond. At a muscular 6'2", Connery was initially met with disapproval from Fleming, who believed he was an overgrown stuntman lacking the finesse and elegance to play James Bond; he envisaged a suave actor, such as David Niven, playing the role. The first 007 movie to be shot in widescreen (2.35:1) and featuring Oscar-winning underwater action (which still holds up today), this fast-paced and propulsive actioner features its hero confronting SPECTRE head-on in what would arguably be their first “take over the world”-style plot. However, the result was a campy and lackadaisical romp in Las Vegas, with a clearly disinterested Connery quite literally going through the motions. Sean Connery sets the standard as James Bond and GOLDFINGER is the best Bond film in the entire series. The first James Bond feature film, released in 1962 (though it didn't arrive in the United States until 1963), is one of the best James Bond movies, per critics. Yes, it’s a bit much when Bond yells like Tarzan while swinging on vines through the jungle or convincing an attacking tiger to sit, but "Octopussy" is a fun movie and is not as bad as some people say. are committed to making a quality espionage actioner. Nonetheless, Goldfinger is still pretty damn entertaining, and it kick-started any number of action movie tropes (Gert Fröbe’s larger-than-life villain, Harold Sakata’s colorful henchman, the ass-kicking female lead, the goofy but logical villain plot, etc.). While he was a star in England and America thanks to his six seasons on "The Saint," Moore was roundly criticized even before his first Bond film as being too much of a lightweight to play the role. TV Shows. Made on a production budget of $1.1 million, the film earned $59.5 million at the worldwide box office and made an international superstar of Connery, who went on to reprise his instantly … If Goldfinger is the movie that put Sean Connery’s James Bond series on the map as a blockbuster series, then Terence Young’s Thunderball is the one that positioned it as the biggest thing coming out of Hollywood. Source: IMDB. This one is easily the best of the arguably “fantasy Bond” movies, and the best of the biggies until The Spy Who Loved Me 12 years later. This time Bond battles madman billionaire, Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), who builds a fleet of space shuttles and plans to use them to release poison gas across the globe, killing Earth’s entire population, before repopulating the planet with genetically perfect humans. (Photo by Sunset ... [+] Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images), $160 million worldwide on a $36 million budget. 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While there was plenty of camp in the opening sequence, where Bond turns the tables on a wheelchair-bound Blofeld, "For Your Eyes Only" does manage to stay within the lines. Christopher Walken earned deserved kudos for playing psychopathic villain, Max Zorin, who plots to destroy Silicon Valley with an earthquake and gain a monopoly in the market. 3 (GoldenEye / Live and Let Die / For Your Eyes Only / From Russia With Love / … (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images), $124.9 million worldwide on a $3 million budget. Sure, the campy humor is still there, but it’s measured well against the great action sequences and undeniable chemistry between Moore and Bach. But it’s exactly because of those qualities many love this movie and rank it high on the list of all-time best Bond movies. You can trace the entire progression of the series, and over-the-top action movies in general, to screenwriter Roald Dahl (yes, that Roald Dahl) going off the reservation with nobody willing to reign him in. To MI6’s credit, everyone suspects a trap but go through with Romanova’s defection request in the hopes of seeing how far the rabbit hole goes. Yes, it’s excessive (it’s the first to run over two hours), but every indulgence is on the screen. Actor Sean Connery and actress Kim Basinger on the set of "Never Say Never Again". You may opt-out by, United Artists release 'Goldfinger' in 1964 Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, movie Diamonds Are Forever, known in French as Les Diamants Sont Eternels, and based on the novel by Ian Fleming. The action sequences are fantastic – especially the ski chase on the bobsled track – but the in-between moments are dull, while real-life figure skater, Lynn-Holly Johnson, makes for one of the most annoying Bond Girls ever. With George Lazenby’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service having slightly underwhelmed and with Lazenby reluctant to commit to a second flick, Eon and United Artists enticed Sean Connery for one more rodeo, partially thanks to a then record-breaking $1.5 million paycheck (which Connery allegedly donated to charity). At the very least, the film may have might have avoided the almost willful indifference to itself. Though it took a couple of movies, Moore actually settled into the part rather well despite continued calls that he had traded Connery's suave super agent for a campier version who was quicker with a wink than with his Walther PPK. I have extensively written about all. 1964: Actor Sean Connery poses as James Bond next to his Aston Martin DB5 in a scene from the ... [+] United Artists release 'Goldfinger' in 1964 Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. Online shopping from a great selection at Movies & TV Store. To be fair, the film opens with Bond tracking down Blofeld and (so he thinks) avenging the murder of Tracy Bond. I have extensively written about all of said subjects for the last 11 years. and start a diet/exercise regimen. This was the last and definitely the worst Bond movie starring Roger Moore, which is saying something considering his first two efforts. (Photo by Sunset ... [+] Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images). From Russia with Love (1963) 3. Nonetheless, you can see the formula being created before your eyes, and it inspired a number of better movies both within (The Spy Who Loved Me, Tomorrow Never Dies, Moonraker) and outside of (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) of the franchise. LiveAbout uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. After the disappointment of his first two films, Moore finally hit his stride in "The Spy Who Loved Me," not only the best of the Roger Moore era, but one of the best movies in the entire series. $78.9 million worldwide on a $2 million budget. We can debate whether On Her Majesty’s Secret Service would have been better with Connery in the lead role, but Diamonds Are Forever would have been much superior had Lazenby returned to avenge his murdered wife. Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi in the James Bond film, From Russia, With Love. Connery is well known to audiences around the world for his role as James Bond. 1. In an effort to tone down the over-the-top action and campy humor, the filmmakers returned to Bond’s espionage roots with "For Your Eyes Only," a film that has divided critics and audiences since its 1981 release. No,' directed by Terence Young, 1962. Big (Yaphet Kotto), who plans on driving out the world’s drug cartels by flooding the streets with free heroin in order to gain a monopoly on the market. Release CalendarDVD & Blu-ray ReleasesTop Rated MoviesMost Popular MoviesBrowse Movies by GenreTop Box OfficeShowtimes & TicketsShowtimes & TicketsIn TheatersComing SoonComing SoonMovie NewsIndia Movie Spotlight. And yes, if you consider yourself a fan of Austin Powers, If Looks Could Kill, or Kingsman, you arguably have this film to thank. In 2020 Than In Every Other Year Combined, Matthew Sweet On Latest Album ‘Catspaw’ And ‘Girlfriend’ At 30, SZA Teases Fans With Potential Frank Ocean Collaboration, The Third Season Of ‘Cobra Kai’ Didn’t Do So Great On Netflix. Goldfinger (1964) 4. Sean Connery nails the casual cruelty and above-it-all professionalism right off the bat. That leads 007 to uncover a plot by Russian General Orlov (Steven Berkoff) and wealthy Afghan prince Kamal Kham (Louis Jordan) to detonate a nuclear weapon at a U.S. Army base in West Germany and force NATO to withdraw so the Soviet Union can invade. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images). No,' directed by Terence Young, 1962. Following Sean Connery's departure from the Bond franchise, producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman turned to British TV star, Roger Moore, to fill those rather large shoes. Said arrogance results in collateral damage and very nearly results in the murder of 60,000 people. James Bond movies from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig: Watching 007 in order. British actress Eunice Gayson sits with her back to the camera in a red, off the shoulder dress. Terence Young nailed the happy medium between real-world espionage and larger-than-life action on this second installment. CNET - Jon Skillings. Nonetheless, Terence Young’s lean, violent and occasionally ruthless action movie did its job, and then some, taking a somewhat conventional Hitchcock “wrong man on the run” plot and inserting a take-charge action hero into its midst. I also like that its female baddie (Luciana Paluzzi’s Fiona Volpe, arguably a cinematic ancestor to Famke Janssen’s Xenia Onatop) doesn’t get redeemed or seduced by Bond to defect to the side of righteousness (while, spoilers, the Bond Girl kills the bad guy). My outlets for film criticism, box office commentary, and film-skewing scholarship have included The Huffington Post, Salon, and Film Threat. There are almost no gadgets, there’s no Q (Desmond Llewelyn would debut in the next movie), and just a bit of the larger-than-life fantasy for which the series would eventually become best-known. Making matters worse was Bond girl Tanya Roberts, whose portrayal of Stacey Sutton was grating at best. 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