Best James Bond Scenes: Sean Connery Era

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1: Dr No – Opening Title Sequence

The schizophrenic title sequence introduces John Barry’s famous James Bond theme, but instead of transitioning into the now traditional pop song (which uses the title as a lyric), random portions of two calypso songs were used instead. This was also of course the first of Maurice Binder’s many fantastic title sequences, and while some of the standard conventions are absent (such as the silhouetted nude bodies floating about), we still do get the lines of white dots sliding across the screen before transforming into a gun barrel, through which Bob Simmons fires his gun. From then it’s on to a procession of primary colours and shapes and an Atari-like animated sequence. All in all, this remains one of the most distinctive opening title sequences of the series.

(Watch the clip here)

2: Dr. No – Cold Blooded Murder

There’s little doubt that Dr. No’s strongest attribute remains Connery’s iconic performance. His act here comes off as a much more laid-back Bond than what we would later see. Despite his suave surface, his Bond is overconfident, impulsive and careless. Connery does a superb job of infusing the character with just the right blend of charisma and menace. Amongst the many cold-blooded murders, the standout sequence sees the hero himself take full advantage of his license to kill. The Bond of Dr. No is flippant and vicious and Connery gives him hints of chic ruffian; he is a man who takes pleasure in teasing another man right before discharging a dozen or so bullets in his direction.

(Watch the clip here)

3: Dr. No – Introduction of the first Bond Girl

When Bond arrives on Crab Key, the lovely Honey Ryder played by Swiss export Ursula Andress is introduced strolling out of the Caribbean in a white bikini, accessorized with a survivalist blade by her side. Her introduction remains one of the most famous scenes in cinema, marking the arrival of the first “Bond Girl”. Not even James Bond himself had such an iconic introduction (although he came close four decades later).

(Watch the clip here)

4: Dr. No  – Bond, James Bond

Sean Connery’s iconic delivery of the infamous, “Bond, James Bond” introduction is without a doubt, one of the most memorable scenes of the entire franchise. It’s a wonder why the writers didn’t have Connery deliver the line in the follow-up, From Russia With Love?

(Watch the clip here)

Memorable Quotes:

Dr. No: One million dollars, Mr. Bond. You were wondering what it cost.

James Bond: World domination. The same old dream. Our asylums are full of people who think they’re Napoleon. Or God.

James Bond: Both hands on the wheel, Mr. Jones, I’m a very nervous passenger.

James Bond: That’s a Smith & Wesson, and you’ve had your six.

James Bond: I would, you know. Only “M” would have me court-martialed for… illegal use of government property.

Dr. No: That’s a Dom Perignon ’55, it would be a pity to break it

Dr. No: SPECTRE. Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion. The four great cornerstones of power headed by the greatest brains in the world.

Major Boothroyd: [to Bond] Walther PPK, 7.65 millimeter, with a delivery like a brick through a plate-glass window. The American CIA swear by them.

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Sean Connery’s second outing as James Bond became his personal favourite, and with good reason. From Russia with Love proved bigger and better. There are four action set-pieces spanning several countries including London, Istanbul, Belgrade, Trieste, and Venice – and although they feel low-key compared to future entries, the action hasn’t aged too much. Among From Russia With Love’s many memorable moments are:

5: From Russia With Love – Strangers On A Train

Russia has several memorable moments including a 15-minute long sequence which sees Red Grant and James Bond mentally and physically match wits. Director Terrence Young expertly mounts the tension and suspense between the two foes, leading to a well-choreographed fight sequence in which both men go head to head in the confined space of two train compartments. Of all the Bond films, this was one of the most realistic scenes in which 007 faces off against a villain. Shaw is fantastic and his Grant is truly a worthy foe – determined, confident intelligent and cunning – much like Bond.

(Watch the clip here)

6: From Russia With Love – Bond takes on a helicopter and a boat

Shortly after the brutal train brawl, there is a death-defying chase between Bond and a helicopter (a scene that bears a slight resemblance to North by Northwest), followed by a speedboat chase which ends with an eruption of fire over water. The editing is truly magnificent and these scenes demonstrate the vastly increased budget from Dr. No.

(Watch the clip here)

6: From Russia With Love – Klebb

Colonel Rosa Klebb (played by Lotte Lenya ) is asked to clean the big mess she’s made for SPECTRE. She attempts to assassinate 007 one final time and fails.

7: From Russia With Love – Opening Theme by Robert Brownjohn

One of few Bond title sequences not designed by Maurice Binder opens up From Russia With Love. This one comes to us courtesy of Robert Brownjohn and assisted by Trevor Bond with Lionel Bart’s composition mixed in between the 007 Theme. It’s a simple concept but effective no less. The titles sequence is also famous for one thing: the way it shows the female body being literally objectified in every way imaginable.

(Watch the clip here)

Memorable Quotes:

Blofeld: I warned you: We do NOT tolerate failure, Number Three. You know the penalty.

7: Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger”

The opening credit sequence for Goldfinger was designed by graphic artist Robert Brownjohn, featuring clips of previous Bond films, From Russia With Love and Dr. No projected on Margaret Nolan’s body. But what makes the sequence so memorable isn’t the visuals but rather the song, sung by Shirley Bassey (who would go on to sing the theme songs for two other Bond films). While everyone argues who the best girl, the best film, the best villain, and best James Bond are, everyone seems to agree that Bassey’s tune is by far the best opening theme song of the entire franchise. The song, composed by John Barry, with lyrics by Anthony Newley, ranked 8th in the Billboard Hot 100.

(Watch the clip here)

8: Goldfinger – Emasculating 007 (The Laser Sequence)

One of the most iconic figures in Bond’s rogues gallery is the sexually frustrated Goldfinger. The title character (played by Gert Frobe) isn’t the most menacing villain to stand in the way of 007, but Frobe’s performance is great. He walks a fine line between acting subtle and hamming it up while showing different aspects of Goldfinger’s insecurities and inner demons. Here he attempts to emasculate 007 by aiming a laser directly between Bond’s legs, in hopes of castrating him. This is just one of several scenes that hint at Goldfinger’s jealousy of Bond’s sexual prowess. We’ve seen Bond tied up in many deadly situations in which he must find a way to escape, but this is the first. And if that wasn’t enough, it also features the best line any Bond villain ever delivered:

Bond: “Do you expect me to talk?”

Goldfinger: “No, Mr Bond. I expect you to die!”

(Watch the clip here)

9: Goldfinger – Golden Girl

A $50,000 sting at Gin Rummy leads to a million dollar corpse. Bond’s discovery of poor Jill Masterson’s dead body in the infamous ‘Golden Girl’ scene, remains heartbreaking to this day. Shirley Eaton wasn’t given much screen time and even though her ruthless murder took place off camera, she will forever be remembered as cinema’s golden stiff.

(Watch the clip here)

10: Goldfinger – Now Pay Attention 007

Throughout the years, we’ve witnessed the genius of Q’s gadgets. And while Q has no qualms mixing comedy in the office, he’s still takes his job very seriously. In Goldfinger, Q explains to Bond how his Aston Martin’s artillery, tracker, and ejector seat work. When Bond turns to him in disbelief and asks if he’s joking, Q quickly responds, “I never joke about my work, 007.”

(Watch the clip here)

Memorable Quotes:

James Bond: Shocking! Positively shocking!

James Bond: Now, Pussy, you know a lot more about planes than guns. That’s a Smith and Wesson 45, and if you fire at me at this close range, the bullet will pass through me and the fuselage like a blowtorch through butter. The cabin will depressurize, and we’ll both be sucked into outer space together. If that’s how you want to enter the United States, you’re welcome. As for me, I prefer the easy way.

James Bond: Uh, just a drink. A martini, shaken, not stirred.

Pussy Galore: My name is Pussy Galore.
James Bond: I must be dreaming.

Auric Goldfinger: Choose your next witticism carefully Mr. Bond, it may be your last.

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