Take a look back at 23 James Bond movies from the last five decades!
For 62 years, action has had a name. “Bond, James Bond.”
Ian Fleming’s suave superspy made his debut in 1953’s Casino Royale, and he went on to star in 11 additional novels before Fleming passed away in 1964. But two years before Fleming’s death, James Bond came to the big screen with the first of the James Bond movies, Doctor No, starring Sean Connery as Bond.
Over half a century later, the twenty four James Bond movies are collectively among the most successful movie series of all time. Through six different actors across five decades, Bond has rarely missed a step. The current Bond actor, Daniel Craig, will return later this year with SPECTRE, a film that updates the villainous organization from the early James Bond movies. And while it’s unclear if SPECTRE will be Craig’s final appearance as Bond, it will undoubtedly be one of the biggest hits of the year.
Before SPECTRE opens in America on November 6, ComingSoon.net as assembled a brief overview of the James Bond movies that came before it. Please note, this list does not include either the 1967 Casino Royale or the 1983 quasi-remake of Thunderball, Never Say Never Again, limiting the selection to only the “official” EON Productions releases. As the song goes, to paraphrase a famous Bond theme, Nobody does it better!
You can also check out poster artwork for all the James Bond movies in the gallery at the bottom of this page.
James Bond Movies: Sean Connery
Doctor No (1962)
Sean Connery’s first adventure as Bond pit him against supervillain Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman), a SPECTRE member who threatened America’s space plans with a radio beam weapon. Everything you love about Bond started here.
From Russia With Love (1963)
Bond attempts to help Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) defect from the Soviet Union as SPECTRE attempts to get its revenge on Bond. This film had the first hints at SPECTRE’s leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
The very first James Bond blockbuster is famous for Shirley Bassey’s theme song, Honor Blackman’s iconic Bond girl Pussy Galore, and the memorably shocking fate of Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton), who was killed and covered in gold paint by Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), a madman who planned to contaminate the gold at Fort Knox.
Originally intended to be the first James Bond film, Thunderball was delayed because of legal battles. When it finally came to theaters, Bond once again took on SPECTRE as the organization attempted to hold the world ransom with a new super weapon. Thunderball was remade in 1983 as Never Say Never Again with Connery back as Bond one last time, but it wasn’t a part of the official Bond films.
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Finally, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasence) made his epic debut as the leader of SPECTRE with a plan to start a nuclear war. And supervillain hideouts don’t get any cooler than Blofeld’s volcano headquarters!
James Bond Movies: George Lazenby
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
George Lazenby’s only appearance as James Bond is also one of the best in the series, as he falls in love with Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) before Blofeld (Telly Savalas) gets his ultimate revenge on Bond.
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Sean Connery returned for his final adventure as Bond in the official film series in Diamonds Are Forever, as Bond confronted Blofeld (Charles Gray) for the last time.
James Bond Movies: Roger Moore
Live and Let Die (1973)
Roger Moore made his debut as Bond in Live and Let Die, one of the few Bond films in which the theme song (by Paul McCartney and his band Wings) is arguably more popular than the movie! Gloria Hendry’s Rosie Carver was also the first African-American Bond Girl to romance the superspy.
The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
The great Christopher Lee portrayed Francisco Scaramanga, the “Man with the Golden Gun” who could more than hold his own with James Bond himself! But The Man With The Golden Gun movie is less fondly remembered because of its more comedic tone compared to the previous films.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
After a three year hiatus, Bond teamed up with the Soviet Union’s Agent Triple X a.k.a. Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) to prevent Karl Stromberg (Curd Jürgens) from triggering World War III and starting his own civilization… under the sea! While few remember Stromberg, everyone knows Jaws, Richard Kiel’s iconic henchman with the metal teeth.
One of the weirdest films in the Bond series, Moonraker attempted to cash in on the Star Wars phenomena by embracing sci-fi and sending Bond into space to confront Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), another madman who wanted to destroy human civilization and repopulate it in his own image. But at least Richard Kiel made a comeback as Jaws!
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Bringing Bond back to basics, For Your Eyes Only finds Moore’s secret agent on a mission to recover technology that could seize control of Britain’s military submarines.
The Bond movie with an unintentionally hilarious title actually features a character who calls herself Octopussy (Maud Adams) as Bond’s minor investigation into the theft of Soviet assets leads him to a plot to demilitarize Europe under threat of a nuclear attack.
A View to a Kill (1985)
Moore had noticeably aged out of the role by the time his final appearance as Bond came in A View to a Kill. But Christopher Walken chewed a lot of great scenes as Max Zorin, a supervillain who intended to destroy California’s Silicon Valley. And love her or hate her, Grace Jones is absolutely one of the most memorable Bond Girls as May Day.
James Bond Movies: Timothy Dalton
Living Daylights (1987)
Timothy Dalton made his debut as James Bond in this Cold War era story as Bond attempts to help a defecting Russian general before teaming up with the Afghan Mujahideen against renegade Soviet forces.
Licence to Kill (1989)
Dalton’s brief tenure as Bond ends as the superspy turns his back on MI6 to avenge the death of his friend’s wife by infiltrating a drug lord’s empire as an assassin for hire. License to Kill is widely seen as a misfire for the franchise, and there were no more Bond films until 1995.
James Bond Movies: Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan narrowly missed being cast as James Bond in the ‘80s before NBC forced him to do another season of “Remington Steele.” Brosnan finally got his chance in GoldenEye, the first Post-Cold War Bond movie which also featured Judi Dench as the new M and Sean Bean as the villainous 006!
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Imagine if Ted Turner tried to start a world war to boost ratings in the height of his media empire in the ‘90s. That’s pretty much the premise of Tomorrow Never Dies, which paired Brosnan’s Bond with Teri Hatcher and Michelle Yeoh’s Bond Girls. Although a relative success, Tomorrow Never Dies had the misfortune of opening the same day as James Cameron’s Titanic.
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
This film is infamous for having for having the worst Bond Girl with Denise Richards‘ Dr. Christmas Jones. Prepare for the inevitable Christmas jokes as Bond pursues Renard (Robert Carlyle), a former KGB agent who feels no physical pain thanks to a botched assassination attempt.
Die Another Day (2002)
The last of Brosnan’s James Bond movies had Bond recovering from a lengthy stint as a prisoner in North Korea before teaming him up with Halle Berry’s CIA agent Jinx, who almost got her own spinoff film. Die Another Day also went wildly over-the-top with Bond’s gadgets and technology, which may have led to the more down-to-Earth reboot.
James Bond Movies: Daniel Craig
Casino Royale (2006)
The entire James Bond movies series rebooted with Casino Royale, as Daniel Craig stepped in as the new Bond. Only Judy Dench remained as M as the younger and less-experienced Bond fell for Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), the only woman to ever break his heart.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Quantum of Solace was a direct sequel to Casino Royale, as Bond teamed up with Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), a woman whose grudge against the organization known as Quantum was even greater than his! And in the end, Bond catches up with his target, but some threads remain for SPECTRE to explore.
The most successful of the James Bond movies to date, Skyfall put Bond and M at the center of a story about rogue MI6 operative Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) and the very personal showdown that takes place at the ancestral home of Bond’s family. This was also the last Bond movie for Dench, as Ralph Fiennes’ character became the new M and Naomie Harris made her first appearance as the new Eve Moneypenny.