My favourite Eon Bond film World Cup - 1960s

  • Dr No
  • From Russia with Love
  • Goldfinger
  • Thunderball
  • You Only Live Twice
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

0 voters

Give it a couple of weeks, say, and then the top two go through to a shoot-out with the top 2s of the other decades.

Goldfinger for me ofcourse!
Still one of the best and the prototype of the rest.
Almost every scene is a classic.

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If I hadn’t chosen Thunderball (the most quintessential 60s Bond film, I would have voted for OHMSS for everything that it was.

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Connery may have owned the era, but they saved the best film for last.

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FRWL, if only for the franchise’s all time best 2 scenes: The taught fish and red wine dinner, followed by the train compartment face off. The acting chops and stature of Bond and his adversary have never been better matched.

Oh, and Brothers Grimm inspired Rosa Klebb and her pointy shoe is the stuff of nightmares.

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Oof! Untill now nobody chose YOLT.

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Thunderball is Connery’s finest performance and Fiona Volpe is a class act, but OHMSS has ski chases and therefore wins.

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That perfect Bond film of the 60s: ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE - and strangely I find myself wondering why. It hasn’t got the hollow volcano, no trick car, no Connery, no ninjas or sharks. I’m not even sure about Rigg as Tracy since there’s nothing that makes me buy her suicidal tendencies.

And still to me it’s the perfect Bond film of the 60s, maybe of the entire series. The elements have that rare balance where I don’t even question the illogical parts and simply enjoy the spectacle. Perfect.

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No Dr. No fans?

Or YOLT.

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I think that’s because along with CR it’s the only honest bond movie in that it’s a tragedy. At a subconscious level their parting acts more truthfully answer the subtextual questions of the preceding acts in terms of this character’s existence.

Maybe I’ve had a few too many :grimacing:

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I would argue that it provides a unique pleasure in the way it thoroughly embodies the zeitgeist/ethos of the 1960s better than any other 1960s Bond film (much as DAF is a perfect embodiment of the zeitgeist/ethos of the 1970s).

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I think the problem there is that we don’t get all of the backstory of Tracy from the novel. In the film, we never really find out why she was suicidal. In the novel, we know and empathize with her.

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YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE is the series standard. It exemplifies what are for me the first 11 films most appealing qualities: cheery dominance, total confidence, cheeky audacity, and crazy-brilliant craftsmanship.

It’s what the words “a James Bond film” mean to me.

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DR. NO – Great introduction to James Bond 007. Amazing how many of the series’ staples were included in the very first Bond film. Many great standard setters from the gun barrel to the “Bond…James Bond” line and from a cultured and seemingly imperturbable villain in with a fantastic lair to witty one-liners, this film just about has it all except big scale action, which ultimately knocks it down a peg or two for me.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE – The series’ ultimate Cold War espionage thriller. A film Alfred Hitchcock could have done. The best Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a well-conceived plot, a suitably menacing and sadistic henchman, the best ally in the series, a beautiful Bond girl, and the terrific gypsy girl fight that culminates in the rousing introduction to the criminally underused 007 Theme. Great film and Sean Connery’s favorite.

GOLDFINGER – To many, the gold standard of the series–pun intended. Fantastic villain, fantastic henchman, terrific plot that improves on the novel, the awesome Aston Martin DB5, the first fully formed Q, the first use of a laser in a film and a memorable one at that and for all the right reasons, Connery in fine form, and Pussy Galore. Everything comes together in this one.

THUNDERBALL – All the key behind the scenes people of the 1960s Bond films that made the series what it is are all here for this one and only time: producers Harry Saltzman & Cubby Broccoli, director Terence Young, editor Peter Hunt, cinematographer Ted Moore, production designer Ken Adam, screenwriter Richard Maibaum, special effects supervisor John Stears, stunt coordinator Bob Simmons, composer John Barry, main titles designer Maurice Binder, and James Bond 007 himself Sean Connery. At the time it was the biggest Bond and it looked like it. Everything was larger and bolder and Thunderball was all the better for it. It might lag in some places, but it looks great. It has a fantastic femme fatale in Fiona Volpe, some cool gadgets (looking at you jetpack and rebreather), a terrific Bond girl, a great villain, and Connery at his absolute coolest. To paraphrase Bond: I think you get the point.

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE – The volcano lair is the best of the series, Little Nellie is a joy to behold, Tiger Tanaka is a great ally, and the stakes are huge. There’s a lot to like in this one, including the piranha pool, but something seems missing just a little bit in this one. That bit is likely Connery seemingly not trying in a few scenes which are noticeable in comparison to the rest of the series. YOLT is enjoyable, but it’s not at the top of the heap.

ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE – Another great villain’s lair, the best (visible) Blofeld, a terrific ally, a great job done in telling the story faithfully from the novel–including the downbeat ending, which George Lazenby absolutely nails. In fact, he does a good job overall, especially for a virtual first time actor–especially in such an iconic role. However, the producers’ decision to dub George Baker’s voice when Lazenby is acting as Sir Hilary Bray is both odd and distracting and disappointing. Bond is not a voice impersonator and I’d rather have heard Lazenby. Still, he gives a great physical performance as well. You really believe he can fight. The action scenes are also really well done–especially the skiing ones. Peter Hunt deserves a lot of credit for his direction. A well-made film that proved that more than one person could play Bond…James Bond.

So my rankings are:

  1. Goldfinger
  2. Thunderball
  3. From Russia With Love
  4. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  5. You Only Live Twice
  6. Dr. No
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Voted for Thunderball, but having seen the results, wish I’d supported Twice instead.

Dr No: primitive, hokey, Connery trying much too hard. Nice photography, three or four great sets, and Wiseman gives it an incredible jolt of energy when he appears. Still the worst of the decade.

Russia: many of the same issues as Dr No, but they’re all dampened. Looks and plays like an Elvis movie in places. Robert Shaw oustanding, but Lotte Lenya spends most of the movie looking nervous. Favourite of the unimaginative. Nowhere near Hitchcock.

Goldfinger: pop masterpiece. Watched back to back with Russia, it’s a light year jump in terms of slickness. The series owes everything to Hamilton. Connery truly majestic. Lacking only in exotic locations, makes up for that with sunny British quaintness.

Thunderball: lazy, leisurely, sweaty, virile, hairy chested crown jewel of the series. Nobody involved gives a crap, but here it’s in the movie’s favour. The Bond ethos at work - he never tries, but always wins. Sucks you into a comfortable onscreen holiday you never want to end.

Twice: another pop masterpiece, but adds eerie lyricism to the Goldfinger formula. Does subliminal things to the viewer that I can’t work out, but it has a deep hold and embeds itself in the memory. Another all timer.

Majesty’s: ticks every box, a top three entry for sure, but between the obscure plotting, the frantic dubbing and the (let’s face it) hopeless Lazenby, there’s an alienating quality at its core that means it doesn’t quite come out on top. A panicked “the 70s are coming and we’re terrified!” fever dream.

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I really hope they let you do the blurbs on the back the remaining UHDs when they’re released :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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