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Looking Back On The 007 Franchise In Honor Of Sean Connery

Like many of you, I’ve been thinking about Sean Connery’s run as James Bond this weekend. Of course, he did much more than play 007, but Connery will always be most known for playing Bond. With his passing yesterday, his iconic turns are in focus again. His films may be somewhat inconsistent, but his performances were largely terrific. Sure, Daniel Craig may be giving a fuller performance as the spy (as I’ve shown before in my rankings), but no one will match the iconic nature of Connery in his movies, especially the first three in Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and Goldfinger. Without anything new to really say, and with the mourning process still on, I’m re-sharing a recent Bond article from when Spectre was coming out. Below you’ll find my franchise ranking, so give that a look and remember Connery in your own way…

Here is some of what I wrote a few years ago when Spectre opened:

A new James Bond movie is always a bit of an event, especially if you grew up on the franchise like I did, so with Spectre hitting theaters tomorrow, I wanted to do something 007 centric. What though? Well, I opted to go ahead and both discuss the latest Daniel Craig led Bond flick as well as rank all of the films in the long running series so far. A bit of an ambitious undertaking, yes, but having seen all but the newest one multiple times, I felt that I was up to the challenge. Particularly when you see what the latest one is about, it does make sense…

As you’ll see below, I found this latest installment to be middle of the road Bond. For me, there’s about a half dozen or so indisputably great outings, with another five or so that are solidly good. After that, it moves to the majority of them being just decent, though easily entertaining. The franchise only has three or four “bad” installments to its name, but when it comes to 007, no two lists will ever look the same. Some overvalue the Sean Connery outings or undervalue the Roger Moore ones, while you rarely find anyone who ranks the Pierce Brosnan or Timothy Dalton flicks too highly. Personally though, I’ve liked all the Bond actors, including George Lazenby, as you can see now. There’s not one Bond movie that I wouldn’t watch again, though there’s only a few that I actively seek out for revisits. As a franchise, it’s somehow both consistent and uneven, more or less in equal measure.

Here now is how I would rank all of the 007 films to date, including Spectre:

24. Moonraker
23. A View to a Kill
22. Die Another Day
21. Quantum of Solace
20. Live and Let Die
19. The World is Not Enough
18. Octopussy
17. You Only Live Twice
16. For Your Eyes Only
15. Thunderball
14. License to Kill
13. Diamonds Are Forever
12. Spectre
11. Tomorrow Never Dies
10. The Living Daylights
9. The Spy who Loved Me
8. Goldeneye
7. The Man with the Golden Gun
6. Dr. No
5. From Russia with Love
4. Goldfinger
3. Casino Royale
2. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
1. Skyfall

As a bonus, here’s how I would rank the actors who have played the iconic spy:

1. Daniel Craig
2. Sean Connery
3. Pierce Brosnan
4. George Lazenby
5. Roger Moore
6. Timothy Dalton

Once again, Rest In Peace Sean Connery

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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