I spent the weekend watching early 007 movies, as any loyal fan would do, and it brought me back.
When I was a little kid, my parents took me to see my first “grownup” film. It was “Goldfinger” and I was mesmerized from the opening credits ‘til the very end.
The star, of course, was a suave superspy—Sean Connery, the original “Bond, James Bond.”
While there were many good Bond spies to follow, including Malibu’s Pierce Brosnan, Connery set the tone for the franchise and made it his own.
With a “license to kill,” 007 preferred his martinis shaken not stirred, and his women stirred but not shaken. He made his way out of the most diabolical situations with the most diabolical bad guys.
Connery, who died peacefully at his home in the Bahamas at age 90, made seven Bond films in all.
They included “Dr. No,” (1962), “From Russia with Love” (1963), “Goldfinger” (1964), “Thunderball” (1965), “You Only Live Twice” (1967), “Diamonds are Forever” (1971) and “Never Say Never Again” (1983).
The fifth film in the series, “You Only Live Twice,” featured one of the greatest Bond Villians, Blofeld (played by Donald Pleasence). The character inspired Mike Myers’ “Dr. Evil” in the Bond spoof “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.”
The blockbuster success of the Bond films also made way for other superspy spinoffs: James Coburn’s “Our Man Flint,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” “The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.,” “Mission Impossible,” “I Spy” and the hilarious “Get Smart” created by Malibu’s Mel Brooks.
Then, along with the awesome superspy gadgets, flashy cars and sleek suits, there were the Bond girls. They included English actress Honor Blackman as “Goldfinger’s” Pussy Galore who became one of the most famous and celebrated femme fatales. There was sexy siren Daniela Bianchi as the cunning Tatiana Romanova in “From Russia with Love,” as well as the by-the-sea-scene stealing Ursula Andress. She was the first Bond girl—Honey Ryder in “Dr. No.”
In later Bond films, appearances were made by Malibu’s Halle Berry, Jane Seymour and high-minded Maud Adams.
They reveled with the new Bonds like Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Brosnan.
Even after he retired from his oh-so-cool superspy days, Connery continued to work on new projects. He received accolades and awards for films like “The Untouchables” the nail biting thrillers “The Hunt for Red October,” and played Indiana Jones’ father in one of the Raiders sequels.
Connery received the American Film Institute’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
It was a storied and legendary career, but it all started with the first Bond who touched off a worldwide phenom.
Thanks for the memories, 007—memories on celluloid which will live on forever. Remember, you only live twice. We look forward to seeing you for decades to come!