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After nearly two years of delays due to the epidemic, No Time to Die is about to hit theatres. While Daniel
Craig's final Bond film still appears to be a mirage, all of the humming and hawing over its release has at least heightened the sense of anticipation. Or at the very least, it prompted us all to try to figure out the answers to a variety of Bond-related issues, such as who was the most refined 007, which of the films has stood the test of time, and which is head and shoulders above the rest.
While you wait for No Time to Die to come out, you may satiate your Bond needs by watching some of the older Bond films and reliving some iconic scenes, from Sean Connery's debut in Dr. No in 1962 to Craig's most recent appearance, Spectre. It's always amusing to look back and see how Eon Productions transformed the superspy into a symbol of the era, a style icon, and a man of many gadgets, with six different actors playing Bond.
To some, every James Bond film is the best James Bond film. However, this is a franchise that has consistently delivered the goods for nearly 60 years. Here we will take a look at some of our favorites, so let's see whether you agree or not.
From Russia with Love
Connery is at his grittiest, and the production is at its best. Robert Shaw, Pedro Armendarz, Lotte Lenya, and Daniela Bianchi form a fantastic quartet of co-stars. The entire train sequence is a simmering masterclass, assisted along by its Hitchcockian sense of entrapment. Bond reached his pinnacle only two films into the series, thanks to the formula's perfect alignment with Fleming. Terence Young kept a tight grip on a spy thriller that was so classically fitted to Connery's skills that it could have come straight from Savile Row.
This 1964 Sean Connery film is widely regarded as one of the best James Bond films. The megalomaniac villain with an absurd and violent scheme, the henchman with a peculiar style of killing (Oddjob with his hat), enormous set pieces with great action, and Bond in a dinner jacket were all present. The picture earned a then-record-breaking $124.9 million worldwide. In addition, it was nominated for the franchise's first Academy Award for sound effects.
You Only Live Twice
This fantastic action film resurrected Sean Connery's Bond. It introduced us to Donald Pleasence's Nehru-suit-wearing, cat-stroking master criminal Spectre chief, Blofeld. Following this, Connery announced his intention to retire. Maybe he realized it would never be this good again.
After the retirement of Pierce Brosnan and an over-reliance on weird effects and lousy humor, the Bond franchise needed a boost. So step up, Daniel Craig, star of flicks such as Layer Cake and Munich. GoldenEye filmmaker Martin Campbell returns to the director's chair. Based on Ian Fleming's 1953 novel of the same name, the script takes Bond right back to the beginning—when he first obtains his 007 license. This winner became an instant Bond classic because it was punchy, serious-faced, and laced with sad romanticism.
The Living Daylights
Timothy Dalton deserves more credit for restoring the franchise's rough, nervy edge. This film effortlessly transitions from frigid glamour to Moroccan swashbuckling. The stunning stunt sequence, with Necros, hanging from the back of the cargo plane gets full marks.
According to critics, this 2012 film is the best Daniel Craig 007 movie, and that's not all. It is the highest-grossing James Bond film to date, with a worldwide take of more than $1.1 billion, and that's not all. Since 1964's Goldfinger, the film won its first Academy Awards: one for sound editing and the other for Adele's theme song.
Sean Connery's first appearance as James Bond. It was responsible for the gun-barrel titles as well as the Monty Norman theme. Ursula Andress wore a bikini, and the exotic Johnny Foreigner villain had an extravagant island hideaway.
The Spy Who Loved Me
Roger Moore's smarmy Bond is frequently mocked these days, but if he ever had a high point, it's right here. Moore's white-funky superspy outwits pursuers in a Lotus that transforms into a submarine, goes to Egypt to fight with metal-toothed Jaws, and struggles with a nuke-crazy maniac who expects to survive the fallout underwater, all set to the disco-fied strains of a Marvin Hamlisch score. Most notably, there's money, a lot of it, spent on massive sets (a new soundstage was built specifically for this film) and an incredible spider-like lair that rises from the sea.
For Your Eyes Only
Carole Bouquet as spiteful, crossbow-wielding Melina Havelock is the most significant aspect here. Still, Topol as a pistachio-munching sidekick is also solid, low-key value. It returned to a more modest post-Cold War realism, with deft handling of romance and a moving climax at that mountainside monastery.