Ranking of each pre-title sequence of Sean Connery’s films

Pre-title footage has become a staple of the James Bond film franchise. No time to dieThe opening of ‘sa rewrites the rulebook with the longest cold opening in the series’ history, encompassing an disconnected prologue, a showdown with the SPECTER assassins, and a continuation of all the threads of the plot. Daniel Craig’s Bond films.

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Back in the days the franchise began with the late and great Sean Connery as 007, when the trope wasn’t fully established, the first batch of opening scenes were a mixed bag.

6 Diamonds are forever

Blofeld with his team of scientists in Diamonds Are Forever

Connery’s last official production of Eon as Bond (he returned to the role over a decade later for the unofficial role Never say never), Diamonds are forever, follows on from its predecessor You only live twice with Bond’s globetrotting pursuit of a still-alive Blofeld. There are a few unsettling moments in this footage that openly question Bond’s characterization as a hero, such as needlessly suffocating a woman with her own bikini top.

There are some puzzling cartoonish touches too, like Bond having a mousetrap in his pocket to grab a henchman who is looking for his gun and Blofeld falling into a vat of goo. Even Bond’s humorous line is lazy: “Welcome to hell, Blofeld!

5 Dr No

John Strangeways in Jamaica in Dr No

For the majority, Dr No gives the Bond franchise a great start. Ursula Andress remains one of Bond’s most iconic girls, Joseph Wiseman remains one of Bond’s most iconic villains, and Terence Young has characterized 007 perfectly since the shift. But the opening streak leaves a lot to be desired, as the tradition of opening with a high-level action setting had yet to be established.

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As a result, the opening doesn’t show Bond at all. Instead, he sets up Bond’s mission with the murders of MI6 station chief John Strangways and his secretary in Jamaica. It’s an action scene that kicks off the plot right away, but now that Bond has become a cultural icon, it seems disconcerting that his first big screen release is taking so long to present him.


4 You only live twice

James Bond fakes his death in You Only Live Twice

The opening scene of You only live twice apparently ends with Bond’s assassination. It takes a while to introduce 007, starting with the flight of a space capsule and cutting between various military figures trying to figure out what happened to him. When the movie finally gets to Bond, he’s in bed with a woman in Hong Kong before assassins storm in, shoot him, and his body is swallowed by the bed.

After the title streak, of course, it’s revealed that Bond’s death was just rigged to allow him to investigate Blofeld and take down SPECTER, but it’s a pretty exciting way to kick off the film – and perfectly sets up the moody and heartfelt theme of Nancy Sinatra song.

3 From Russia with love

James Bond in From Russia with Love opening scene

The opening scene of From Russia with love is deliciously subversive. The film begins with Bond being targeted by henchman Red Grant, played by Jaws‘Robert Shaw. Much to the public’s surprise, when Grant leaps up, he manages to kill Bond. For a second, it looks like Bond is dead and the movie will only last a few minutes – then it all turns out to be a training experience.

SPECTER trains his best assassins to face Bond in retaliation for the events of Dr No, and Grant’s abilities are unmatched. The ease with which Grant kills Decoy Bond in this training exercise sets up the brutal and genuinely lethal fight he’ll have with the real 007 on the Orient Express later in the movie.

2 Thunder clap

Jacques Bouvar disguised as a woman in Thunderball

Globally, Thunder clap is considered one of Connery’s weaker Bond films, but it ends strong with an astonishing underwater battle streak and it starts strong with a curvy opening action scene. Bond attends the funeral of an enemy agent, disappointed that he could not deliver the fatal blow, then goes to the widow’s house to pay homage to her.

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At first there doesn’t seem to be any action on the horizon, but the sequence takes a surprising turn when the Colonel’s widow turns out to be the Colonel himself in disguise – with high heels and stockings – ready to go. fight 007. This is one of the most intense and visceral fight scenes of the entire Connery era.

1 The golden finger

James Bond in Goldfinger opening scene

After Dr No and From Russia with love laid the groundwork, third Bond film – 1964 The golden finger – perfected the now familiar formula of the series. Like all other elements of The golden finger, the opening scene is the gold standard (pardon the pun) for the episodic 007 formula. Much like Gert Fröbe’s eponymous megalomaniac eccentric and the spectacular finale at Fort Knox, The golden fingerThe opening action scene set a high benchmark for what would ultimately become a well-worn franchise trope.

After the baffling revelation of Bond’s disguise (a faux duck strapped to the top of his jumpsuit), the spy gentleman climbs out of the water, plants explosive devices in a drug lab, then sneaks into a bar before blowing them up. . He takes off his jumpsuit to reveal a crisp white tuxedo underneath and coldly lights a cigarette as the lab explodes behind him. In the space of a few minutes, director Guy Hamilton perfectly reintroduces the character of Bond.

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