10 Best Performances In Sean Connery’s James Bond Movies
With its iconic bend Dr. No, Sean Connery launched the James Bond franchise. In his first series of Bond films – Dr. No, From Russia with love, The golden finger, thunder ball, you only live twiceand Diamonds are forever – Connery was supported by such unforgettable co-stars as Gert Fröbe and Robert Shaw.
There were plenty of solid performances in the first series of Bond films, from Eunice Gayson as the on-and-off girlfriend of gentleman spy Sylvia Trench to Donald Pleasence as his nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld – not to mention the character turn. of Connery as 007 himself.
ten Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb
After eliminating the titular agent of SPECTER in Dr. NoBond is chased by the secret organization’s “number three” in From Russia with love. Rosa Klebb is a ruthless Soviet brute bent on assassinating 007.
She even goes so far as to dress up as a maid to surprise Bond. Lotte Lenya plays beautifully into the twirling villainy of the character’s mustache.
9 Desmond Llewelyn as Q
Desmond Llewelyn appeared as the lead of Q Branch in 17 Bond films from 1963 to 1999. He acted opposite a grand total of five James Bonds, starting with Connery and ending with Pierce Brosnan.
Q’s role in the Bond mythos is to supply 007 with his spy gadgets. From the start, Llewelyn put a delightfully wacky spin on this role.
8 Robert Shaw as Red Grant
Red Grant is the SPECTER assassin sent to kill Bond in From Russia with love in retaliation for the events of Dr. No. Played by Jaws‘ Robert Shaw, Grant is one of the most intimidating henchmen in the entire series.
His brutal confrontation with 007 aboard the Orient Express remains arguably the best fight scene in Bond film history. Audiences know Bond has plot armor, but Shaw plays Grant’s cruelty so genuinely that fans fear for the gentleman spy’s life anyway.
7 Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder
Honey Ryder, a shell diver Bond meets in Jamaica, was the first “Bond girl”. Ursula Andress defined the archetype in Dr. No and became one of the most renowned sex symbols of the 1960s.
But besides that, she also gave a great performance. Andress shared strong on-screen chemistry with Connery and was in on all the action, including the final showdown at Dr. No.
6 Joseph Wiseman as Dr. Julius No
The first Bond film villain, the eponymous villain of Dr. No, is still one of the most iconic. He’s a typical megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur who traps 007 in his secret lair before the grand finale.
Joseph Wiseman is a consistently chilling and fascinating on-screen presence throughout the film. His performance set the bar high for every subsequent Bond villain.
5 Bernard Lee As M
Bernard Lee has played Bond’s top M in 11 films, from Dr. No for moonraker. He survived Connery’s passing and appeared opposite Roger Moore’s 007 in four films (and George Lazenby in one). M is a purely explanatory role that exists primarily to explain Bond’s mission to him.
But Lee still made this exhibit compelling. Some great actors have since played Lee’s most memorable role, from Judi Dench to Ralph Fiennes, but he made the character iconic with his early performances in the films Connery, Lazenby and Moore.
4 Gert Fröbe as Auric Goldfinger
As Gert Fröbe spoke very little English when he filmed his title role for The golden finger, his voice was dubbed by television actor Michael Collins. But an acting performance is conveyed by more than just online deliveries.
With eccentric body language and a menacing on-screen presence, Fröbe made Goldfinger the ultimate Bond villain. His performance as a Bond villain has yet to be topped (although many screen legends have come close, like Sean Bean and Mads Mikkelsen).
3 Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench
Bond’s casual girlfriend Sylvia Trench was featured in Dr. No and became the first recurring “Bond girl” upon her return to From Russia with love. Eunice Gayson was so memorable in the first film that the producers couldn’t resist bringing her back for the second.
Gayson’s turn as Sylvia matches the coolness of 007. She’s equally adept at delivering snappy one-liners, which gives her dialogue scenes with Connery’s Bond a kind of Howard Hawks “face” quality.
2 Donald Pleasence as Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Bond’s nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the leader of SPECTRE, has been played by a few different actors throughout the franchise’s decades-long history. But Donald Pleasence was by far the best.
Blofeld has been teased throughout the early films before you only live twice has finally revealed the big villain of the Bond universe, in the style of Thanos. Sinister and theatrical turn of Pleasence as Blofeld has managed to live up to years of hype.
1 Sean Connery as James Bond
It goes without saying that the most iconic performance of Connery’s Bond films is Connery’s turn as Bond. The actor nailed the 007 characterization from the start. In Dr. Nohe created a cinematic icon in seconds with his understated but unforgettable delivery of the line, “Bond, James Bond.”
Connery defined Bond as a suave, ice-cool action hero who has grace under pressure but also a remorseless bloodlust. Suffice to say that he set the bar high for all his successors.
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