What do you think?
Gary Thompson on the first 23 Bond films (click title for each movie's opening credits)
An obscure actor named Sean Connery, former body builder and soccer player, gets the lead in the first film adaptation of Ian Fleming’s spy novel series, made for less than $1 million. It grossed the then-considerable sum of $60 million and launched a franchise. It featured the famous gun-barrel opening shot, the twangy signature guitar riff, and Ursula Andress in a teeny weeny bikini.
Purists believe it to be the best. Because it is. Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) wants to turn Ft. Knox radioactive. Oddjob is the franchise’s best henchman, Honor Blackman has the quintessential bond babe name (“Pussy Galore”), Shirley Bassey sings the best Bond theme song. Frobe and Connery have the best Bond movie exchange. “Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”
Bond tries to retrieve sunken launch codes for British nuclear submarines (always with the nukes), assisted by Carole Bouquet. Some action at an Olympic training facility with a skater named Bibi Dahl. Bond beats up biathlete and hockey player assassins. Title song by Sheena Easton was written by “Rocky” composer Bill Conti.
Get another Bond. Diminishing returns catch up with Brosnan, and the series gives itself over to outlandish product placement. Brosnan gives up the ghost, and it’s a good move for him. He’s become a much more interesting actor since leaving the series. Halle Berry in an orange bikini is a highlight.