Benjamin Svetkey
June 19, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

James Bond films that stood the test of time

Thirty years have given us a thick portfolio of Bonds — from Connery and Niven to Woody Allen and Timothy Dalton. But here are the five Bonds that endure:

DR. NO
The Ur-Bond, a film that, out of nowhere, sparked the superspy craze. Ursula Andress plays Honey Ryder, still the sexiest Bond bombshell, and Joseph Wiseman stars as the rocket-tumbling scientist with the Teflon talons. The only 007 movie in which 007 (Connery) sings (”Underneath the Mango Tree”). A

GOLDFINGER
A tubby tycoon (played by Gert Frobe) tries to nuke Fort Knox. Introduces the best Bond gadget — that Aston Martin with the nifty ejector seat. Some dated dialogue, though. Bond (Connery again) on drinking improperly chilled champagne: ”It’s like listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.” A-

THUNDERBALL
A chilling plot (SPECTRE steals two A-bombs), snazzy special effects (the undersea scenes won an Oscar), and Connery in his prime (age 35) make this the quintessential 007 film. Best Bond mot, delivered after skewering a bad guy with a dart gun: ”I think he got the point.” A

CASINO ROYALE
An over-the-top Bond spoof, with David Niven as an aging 007 and Woody Allen as his evil nephew, Jimmy Bond. Plus: that great swingin’ ’60s score by Burt Bacharach. B+

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
The best of Roger Moore’s comic-book Bond movies, with the most cartoony special effects (dig that crazy underwater city), campiest villains (introducing Richard Kiel’s metal-mouthed Jaws), and lamest double entendres (”Just keeping the British end up, sir!”). B-

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