James Bond (Sean Connery)

DR. NO (15)
D: Terence Young
United Artists/Eon (Harry Saltzman & Albert R. Broccoli)
UK 🇬🇧 1962
111 mins

Action/Thriller

W: Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood & Berkeley Mather [based on the novel by Ian Fleming]
DP: Ted Moore
Ed: Peter Hunt
Mus: John Barry & Monty Norman
PD: Ken Adam

Sean Connery (James Bond), Jack Lord (Felix Leiter), Joseph Wiseman (Dr. No), Ursula Andress (Honey Ryder), Zena Marshall (Miss Taro), Eunice Gayson (Sylvia), Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny), Bernard Lee ('M')

The first official venture of James Bond may lack the gadgetry, expensive stunts and over-the-top adventure which became prevalent in later films, but still serves as a great introduction for British spy 007 to make his big screen bow.
Sean Connery oozes charm & charisma and truly makes the role his own. 
The story isn't as memorable as his later missions, but the film features a few iconic scenes, most notably Bond's introduction around the casino tables and Ursula Andress' Honey Ryder emerging onto the beach in a skimpy bikini (often imitated, never bettered). Joseph Wiseman also provides a menacing portrayal as the eponymous villain.
As an introduction to the character, it serves its purpose well, but looking back on it after the action & adventure of modern films, it may feel a little underwhelming.
7/10

Sean Connery in Dr. No
Sean Connery in Dr. No
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (PG)
D: Terence Young
United Artists/Eon (Harry Saltzman & Albert R. Broccoli)
UK 🇬🇧 1963
110 mins

Action/Thriller

W: Richard Maibaum & Johanna Harwood [based on the novel by Ian Fleming]
DP: Ted Moore
Ed: Peter Hunt
Mus: John Barry
PD: Syd Cain
Cos: Jocelyn Rickards

Sean Connery (James Bond), Daniela Bianchi (Tatiana Romanova(, Pedro Armendariz (Ali Kerim Bey), Lotte Lenya (Rosa Klebb), Robert Shaw(Donald 'Red' Grant), Bernard Lee (M)

Bond's second outing has a bigger budget, bigger set pieces and a bigger villain (played memorably by Robert Shaw) who joins international crime organisation SPECTRE, hatching plans to both kill 007 and steal a top secret coding  machine.
While the franchise as a whole didn't really pick up momentum until Goldfinger was released a year later, From Russia With Love remains amongst the best of the lot, featuring climactic scenes including a speeding train & a helicopter.
For many, this is where Bond's adventures really begin following the rather low-key Dr. No.
7/10

Sean Connery in From Russia With Love
Sean Connery in From Russia With Love
GOLDFINGER (PG)
D: Guy Hamilton
United Artists/Eon (Harry Saltzman & Albert R. Broccoli)
UK 🇬🇧 1964
112 mins

Action/Thriller

W: Richard Maibaum & Paul Dehn [based on the novel by Ian Fleming]
DP: Ted Moore
Ed: Peter Hunt
Mus: John Barry
PD: Ken Adam

Sean Connery (James Bond), Gert Fröbe (Auric Goldfinger), Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore), Shirley Eaton (Jill Masterson), Tania Mallett (Tilly Masterson), Harold Sakata (Oddjob), Bernard Lee ('M')

Arguably the best and easily the most memorable James Bond film, pitting the British spy against not one, but two of the franchises most iconic villains, the razor-tipped-hat throwing Oddjob and gold smuggler Auric Goldfinger, whose plans to perform a heist at Fort Knox must be thwarted by 007.
Though this was preceded by Dr. No & From Russia With Love, this was the Bond film which set up the franchise as a genre unto itself, with fantastic set pieces, stunts and visual effects, as well as introducing the "Bond song" by a world-famous singer, this time Shirley Bassey warbling the notes of the iconic title song.
8/10

Goldfinger
Goldfinger
THUNDERBALL (PG)
D: Terence Young
United Artists/Eon (Kevin McClory)
UK 🇬🇧 1965
132 mins

Action/Adventure/Thriller

W: Richard Maibaum & John Hopkins [based on the novel by Ian Fleming]
DP: Ted Moore
Ed: Peter Hunt
Mus: John Barry

Sean Connery (James Bond), Adolfo Celi (Emilio Largo), Claudine Auger (Dominique Derval), Luciana Paluzzi (Fiona Volpe), Rik Van Nutter (Felix Leiter), Bernard Lee (M), Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny)

After getting back in shape at a health spa, Agent 007 is sent to The Bahamas to locate a stolen NATO bomber with a nuclear payload hidden somewhere underwater.
This fourth James Bond spy adventure is amongst the most memorable, but not necessarily amongst the best, as it trades story and structure in favour of gimmicks and gadgets, though it does have plenty of action scenes, stunts and Oscar-winning visual effects. Tom Jones warbles the rather forgettable theme song, which is probably the weakest element of the film.
6/10

Thunderball
Thunderball
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (PG)
D: Lewis Gilbert
United Artists/Eon (Harry Saltzman & Albert R. Broccoli)
UK 🇬🇧 1967
117 mins

Action/Adventure/Thriller

W: Roald Dahl [based on the novel by Ian Fleming]
DP: Freddie Young & Bob Huke
Ed: Peter Hunt
Mus: John Barry
PD: Ken Adam

Sean Connery (James Bond), Tetsuro Tamba (Tiger Tanaka), Akiko Wakabayashi (Aki), Mie Hama (Kissy Suzuki), Karin Dor (Helga Brandt), Donald Pleasance (Ernst Stavro Blofeld)

James Bond is sent on a mission to Japan in a rather profligate 007 movie, probably best known for featuring Donald Pleasance as Ernst Blofeld, one of the most iconic Bond villains.  It was also (somewhat surprisingly) scripted by children's author Roald Dahl, who kept only the title, main characters and key locations from Fleming's original novel and pretty much had carte blanche with it.
Following this, Sean Connery handed the title character role over to George Lazenby before reprising the role in Diamonds Are Forever.
If this had been his final outing as 007, it wouldn't have been a bad note to finish on at all.
7/10

Donald Pleasance in You Only Live Twice
Donald Pleasance in You Only Live Twice
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (PG)
D: Guy Hamilton
United Artists/EON/Danjaq (Harry Saltzman & Albert R. Broccoli)
UK 🇬🇧 1971
118 mins

Action/Thriller

W: Richard Maibaum & Tom Mankiewicz [based on the novel by Ian Fleming]
DP: Ted Moore
Ed: Bert Bates
Mus: John Barry
PD: Ken Adam

Sean Connery (James Bond), Jill St. John (Tiffany Case), Charles Gray (Blofeld), Lana Wood (Plenty O'Toole), Jimmy Dean (Willard Whyte), Bruce Cabot (Saxby), Bruce Glover (Wint), Putter Smith (Kidd), Norman Burton (Felix Leiter)

James Bond follows an international diamond smuggler across the world, climaxing in a secret lair in the Nevada desert.
Sean Connery's last official outing as 007, reclaiming the reins from George Lazenby in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
The story isn't as memorable as other James Bond movies, requiring more glitzy locations, stunts and special effects to mask the scripts shortcomings. 
Connery returned as Bond one final time in Never Say Never Again. However, it's not considered an official 007 movie, as it's practically a remake of Thunderball.
6/10
  
Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever
Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever
NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (PG)
D: Irvin Kershner
Warner Bros./Woodcote/Taliafilm (Jack Schwartzman)
UK 🇬🇧 1983
134 mins
 
Action/Adventure
 
W: Lorenzo Semple, Jr. [based on characters created by Ian Fleming]
DP: Douglas Slocombe
Ed: Ian Crafford 
Mus: Michel Legrand
 
Sean Connery (James Bond), Klaus Maria Brandauer (Maximilian Largo), Max Von Sydow (Ernst Stavro Blofeld), Barbara Carrera (Fatima Blush), Kim Basinger (Domino Petachi), Edward Fox (M)
 
To say that this is Sean Connery's return to playing James Bond is a bit of a cheat, it's not an official Bond movie, produced by Warner Bros rather than MGM and Eon, as well as practically being a remake of Thunderball (qv).
Arguably, Connery will always be the best Bond, but he's far too old for the role here, explained by the in-jokey opening act. Distinctly average, but still better than a couple of the official entries to the James Bond collection.
4/10
 
Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again
Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again