From 1962's Dr. No through last year's Skyfall, the cinematic adventures of British secret agent 007, otherwise known as James Bond, have entertained audiences for over 50 years with a trusty formulaic blend of megalomaniacal villains, seductive women, and audacious action. Though certain elements (homicidal henchmen, gadgets from Q branch, vodka martinis) remain intrinsic to the franchise, the finest Bond films manage to inventively expand the template. Witness the four films being screened in the Best of Bond series at Trylon Microcinema. Beginning at the peak of the Sean Connery years, Goldfinger (1964) sets the standard with a diabolical archenemy, a lethally tossed bowler hat, an Aston Martin customized with deadly devices, and a "Bond girl" whose very name exemplifies the franchise's penchant for delightfully juvenile double entendres. Thunderball (1965) sends Bond to the sun-soaked Bahamas to uncover a plot by SPECTRE, a terrorist organization threatening the world with nuclear annihilation. One-shot Bond George Lazenby stars in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), an underappreciated gem that combines breathtaking action with a dramatic gravitas that wouldn't be attempted again until the Daniel Craig period. And while the Roger Moore years are often dismissed as camp, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) continues to thrill audiences with an undersea lair, a metal mouthed assassin, and Barbara Bach as KGB Agent Triple X.
May 6-7, 7 & 9 p.m.; May 13-14, 7 & 9:30 p.m.; May 20-21, 7 & 9:45 p.m.; May 27-28, 7 & 9:15 p.m., 2013