007 ~ SEAN CONNERY


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SEAN CONNERY is Ian Fleming’s 007

1962 – 1967, 1971 & 1983

#1

1962 – DR. NO

CANDLES 7

Directed by Terrence Young

The first of the big screen Bond film adaptations would spawn so many of the movie franchises tropes, not least the interpretation of Bond by relative newcomer Sean Connery, who whether he was helped along by director Terrance Young or not, have become the ubiquitous with James Bond for so many.

But whether Dr. No is the best outing or not, and the answer to that is not, there is no doubt that it is here were we are introduced to 007 and where this character’s charm, charisma and sense of levity in the face of danger all began.

#2

1963 – FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

CANDLES 8

Directed by Terrence Young

Following on from Dr. No, here Connery finds his stride and Bond is established as a screen hero who men want to be and women want to be with. Still very much in the 60’s spy genre vein but this simple yet intriguing adventure is held together by it performances and sense of fun.

That been said, this is a must stronger and self confident spy movie than Dr. No, with moment of Hitchcockian tension, especially on the train sequence.

#3

1964 – GOLDFINGER

CANDLES 8

Directed by Guy Hamilton

But it is here, with Goldfinger and the first Bond film so far to not to be directed by Terrence Young were Bond’s entertaining heart it exposed once and for all. The only 007 flick of the Connery era NOT to involve S.P.E.C.T.R.E. yet this is the most fun and in many ways, ludicrously entertaining entry to date and sets the tone for what will follow.

The Austin Martin DB-7 is finally introduced and will also play a part in the next movie but so is the notion of the bond facing off against the indestructible goon, in this case, Odd Job.

#4

1965 – THUNDERBALL

CANDLES 6 (Previously 4/10)

Directed by Terrence Young

Marred by copyright issues, this was intended to be the first film in the series but arrives in 1965 as the fourth entry, again being directed by Young and the first 2.35:1 widescreen Bond film, the previous being formatted in 1.66:1.

But S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is back, the villains are becoming more villainous and even though 007 films are accused of misogyny, at can also be argued that as this franchise goes on, women are becoming more robust, interesting, integral and powerful.

#5

1967 – YOU ONLY LOVE TWICE

CANDLES 6

Directed by Lewis Gilbert

Supposedly the LAST outing, the fifth film takes us to Japan and finally introduces us to Blofeld, S.P.E.C.T.R.E.’s Number 1, as well as his ostentatious Volcano lair. This is fun, daft and contrives a series of events which “Transform” Bond into a Japanese ninja, yeah, really, this is kind of what you think of when of think of a typical 007 adventure. It has it moments but it more about the entertainment than the logic.

And this is where Austin Powers draws most of its inspiration…

#7

1971 – DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

CANDLES 6

Directed by Guy Hamilton

Following the less that successful George Lazenby film, On Her Majesties Secret Service in 1969, Connery returns to the role for one last hurrah to restore the faith in the tarnished franchise, at least until Moore takes over…

Connery was clearly lured back by the cash for this one and it shows. The direction is more colourful, whimsical and beginning to get a bit silly at times, as the older Connery is clearly just here because he was the fan favorite and its smug attitude shines through. Not his best outing, though his last with EON, only returning 12 year later in…

1983 – NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (NOT EON)

CANDLES 6

Directed by Irvin Kershner

Whilst the tone is different, it feels more modern, at least in terms of the 1980’s. A fresher take on an old character, with his age being acknowledged whilst at the same time, maintaining the plot of the its origins, Thunderball.

Far from brilliant but at times, it felt fun and fresher than the Roger Moore Bond’s of the day. An interesting if not thrilling swansong for Connery’s Bond.

 

 

 

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