Sir Sean Connery, the original big screen James Bond, celebrates his 90th birthday today. Almost 60 years since he debuted in Dr No, the star’s turn as 007 remains as iconic today as it did when his 007 first hit cinemas. Now Express.co.uk has ranked all seven of Sir Sean’s Bond movies, but can you guess No 1?
7. Never Say Never Again (1983)
What else could be at the bottom but Connery’s lacklustre unofficial outing?
This Thunderball remake saw the original James Bond returning as 007 for the first (and final) time in 12 years, while Roger Moore was still officially playing the character.
Never Say Never Again saw an ageing Bond brought back by MI6 to investigate SPECTRE’s theft of two nuclear weapons.
An unnecessary return, but luckily the star is redeemed by some much better films below.
6. Thunderball (1965)
Connery’s fourth outing as James Bond has a very similar plot to Never Say Never Again as mentioned.
And while it’s an outing from Connery’s heyday, sadly it’s also pretty dull.
Those underwater sequences go on forever but, to be fair, there are some great action moments in Thunderball.
5. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
After George Lazenby quit as James Bond having only starred in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Connery was roped back in for one more official 007 movie.
A camp and humorous affair, mainly set in Las Vegas, Diamonds Are Forever is something of a guilty pleasure for 007 fans.
While Charles Gray’s take on the closest Blofeld’s actually ever been to Dr Evil is tremendous fun.
4. From Russia With Love (1963)
If anything it feels wrong that From Russia With Love is ranking this low, but only because what we’ve ranked above Connery’s excellent second outing are even better.
Having kicked off his 007 in Dr No, this is when the Bond tropes fans know and love really got going with SPECTRE and the gadgets.
Plus Rosa Klebb and assassin Red Grant are some of the best Bond villains to date.
That train fight is just something to behold and one that no doubt inspired the scrap in Daniel Craig’s last outing.
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3. Dr No (1962)
The one where it all began still really stands out.
A quieter affair that was still working out what James Bond on the big screen should look like, Dr No encompasses some of the best aspects of 007 just getting on with espionage. While Honey Ryder, Dr No and his lair are just as memorable and enjoyable to watch today as they were on release.
Something of an overlooked classic, Dr No gave the franchise the foundations its still building on and evolving from to this day.
2. Goldfinger (1964)
Without a doubt, Goldfinger is both Connery’s and the James Bond franchise’s most famous movie.
From the painted Bond girl and Pussy Galore, to the Aston Martin DB5’s gadgets and villains Oddjob and Goldfinger himself, this is 007 in his absolute prime.
However, slower moments just knock this classic off the top spot.
1. You Only Live Twice (1967)
Perhaps an unconventional No 1, but we really feel You Only Live Twice is Connery’s best Bond movie.
A climax to the SPECTRE narrative built up since Dr No, the Roald Dahl-penned script took 007 to Japan.
There, he meets Blofeld – played brilliantly by Donald Pleasence – face-to-face for the first time in his volcano lair.
A spectacular Bond movie that really should have been where Connery left it, after completing something of a five-film arc – a narrative device used in the Daniel Craig years that will conclude in No Time To Die (his fifth and final 007 movie) this November.
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