James Bond (film)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A lengthy series of films based on Ian Fleming's literature about a British secret agent, code-named 007, which have also inspired many TV series. The 23 official movies thus far are:

That's an air pistol y'know...

Sean Connery: As the first cinematic Bond [1], Connery is perhaps the best known. When people think of Bond, they often think of his distinctive accent and his suave sophistication. In fact, it was due to Connery's portrayal that Bond was canonically established as half-Scottish. First to employ the Bond One-Liner, naturally.

George Lazenby: Lazenby was an obscure actor and an obscure Bond. He only appeared in one movie, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. However, it is well liked among hardcore Bond fans and casual viewers alike. The film is widely assumed to be bad, since if it had been good, Lazenby would have made more, right? Well, not really. Lazenby's problems were primarily behind the scenes, and the fact that he was replacing Connery made it a no-win situation with some critics, but most of that criticism has faded with time. The film is well regarded these days among those who have seen it. Lazenby says that he didn't return because he was given advice not to. Apparently his agent told him that the Bond franchise was on its way out, but boy was that wrong. Lazenby fired his agent soon afterwards.

Sean Connery Again: See above.

Sean Connery's Replacement Is About to Shoot You.

Roger Moore: Moore tended to play his Bond more for comedy, but he did do it pretty serious at times, as in For Your Eyes Only. He probably hung around too long, and was older than Connery when he took over the role, and is tied with Connery for the number of Bond movies made. He's perhaps the most polarizing actor on this list, since two of his movies--The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only--are among the most well-received Bond flicks, while The Man with the Golden Gun and A View to a Kill are considered among the worst.

  • Live and Let Die (1973) -- Includes the line, "take that honky out and waste him." Also prompted some controversy as to whether or not Bond's bedding of Jane Seymour was really consensual. Has a villain who may or may not be an actual Loa (voodoo god). Also has Paul McCartney singing the theme song, which is arguably the most popular in the series considering it still gets frequent airplay on classic rock radio stations.
  • The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) -- Christopher Lee tries to hold the world to ransom during the energy crisis. One of the greatest car stunts in Bond history is ruined by a sound effect.
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) -- Barbara Bach does a bad Russian accent. The film makes a bad nuclear error. And Jaws (as in Richard Kiel with metal teeth, not the shark, although he does bite a few) does a bad job of trying to kill 007.
    • And it's still one of the best Moore-era Bond flicks, and one of the best-loved Bond movies ever.
  • Moonraker (1979) -- Bond investigates the theft of a space shuttle, and ends up going into space to stop a genocidal madman's plot, then having sex in orbit with Lois Chiles. Basically the same film as the above, In Space!, except Jaws finds true love and executes a Heel Face Turn. Hurriedly greenlit after the success of Star Wars.
    • The scene in which Bond's Venice gondola turns first into a speedboat and then a hovercraft, whizzing across St. Mark's Square while a pigeon does a Double Take, is widely regarded as one of the low points of the entire series. It is widely thought that the producers watched it back, thought "My God, What Have I Done?" and commissioned...
  • For Your Eyes Only (1981) -- In which an Englishman, a Frenchwoman and an Israeli do Greek. In character, a Liverpudlian does Austrian. Roger Moore's love interests are now young enough to be his granddaughters. And 007 kicks a car off a cliff. All done with very little spectacle, no gadgets (the Cool Car is blown up early in a statement of intent) and little incidental music, making a very tense and effective Cold War thriller.
  • Octopussy (1983) -- Bond goes to India and imitates Tarzan. Maud Adams appears again as a different Bond girl. A mad Soviet general tries to destroy a US airbase. 007 dresses as a clown and makes it work.
  • A View to a Kill (1985) -- 007 snowboards with The Beach Boys. Duran Duran and the Eiffel Tower. Christopher Walken, Grace Jones and an exploding blimp above the Golden Gate Bridge. 007 has wrinkles. Oh, and San Francisco's City Hall ends up on fire.

Sean Connery's Replacement's Replacement Is About to Shoot You.

Timothy Dalton: Nothing will start an argument among Bond fans as quickly as praising Timothy Dalton, the Marmite of Bond actors. He began the trend of portraying Bond with a darker tone, and is still considered the darkest of all of them, which some felt was needed after the sometimes overly comedic Moore films. He was also a fan of the books and tried to create Ian Fleming's Bond on-screen twenty years before Daniel Craig and the Bond producers ever thought of doing so. At the same time, he has also been praised for having the most realistic love scenes. The producers actually considered him for On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but he felt he was too young at the time, and didn't want to be the one that replaced Connery.

Sean Connery's Replacement's ... Okay, we'll stop now.

Pierce Brosnan: Brosnan is the other person whom people think of when they imagine Bond these days, especially among viewers who came of age in The Nineties and GoldenEye was the first Bond flick they saw. He was supposed to appear in The Living Daylights, but the production staff of Remington Steele decided to pull a fast one on EON Productions. Brosnan was just what the franchise needed after the six-year hiatus due to legal issues. He rates second on the Bond poll. He also scores points for looking the most like Bond as Ian Fleming described him (Black hair that falls into a comma over the right eye, cold blue eyes).

Daniel Craig: When Daniel Craig was cast as 007, he got a lot of flak from the press. He was blond. He was short [2]. He wore a life jacket on a speedboat ride to the announcement. A "Craig Not Bond" movement started up. Then Casino Royale came out. Now there seems to be a divide between fans who love Craig's Bond vs. fans who absolutely detest this version.

Due to the Comic Book Time employed by the rest of the movies, though the Craig films are often branded a reboot, they are actually a Retcon and are officially still considered part of the same series.

There are also at least three Bond films outside of the EON Productions canon:

  • Casino Royale (Climax!): The first screen adaptation of a Bond novel. A 1954 made-for-TV movie which recast Bond as an American. Named "Jimmy". It was performed live, which led to some unintentional hilarity such as Felix Leiter missing a cue and improvised dialogue when Jimmy couldn't undo his binds quickly enough.
  • Casino Royale (1967 film): spoof starring David Niven, Woody Allen (the second "Jimmy Bond"), and Peter Sellers, all as James Bond -- along with five other Bonds, after a key point, including Ursula Andress. Despite being widely panned, it had a number of interesting features, such as predicting the official franchise's habit of replacing its leading man, and being the only Bond movie in which Bond dies.
  • Never Say Never Again: 1983 remake of Thunderball, made by a different production company and returning Sean Connery to the role, albeit at an advanced age.
  • The Q scene, in which Bond gets his gadgets for the movie. Expect humorous other gadgets to be seen i.e. a decapitating tray (completely absent from Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Live And Let Die. While Q appears in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, he introduces only one rather disappointing gadget to M -- radioactive lint to plant on a suspect's clothes as a form of tracer device).
    • Also worth noting that many pre-Craig movies had a scene where Bond's watch has just the function needed when he's in a tight spot.
  • Bond and Moneypenny flirting. (She has makes no appearance in the first two Craig films, but Skyfall's Bond Girl Eve is revealed to be Moneypenny in the last minutes of that film.
  • The gun barrel sequence, which has started every movie (yet again, except for Casino Royale onwards, where it's moved to the end of the pre-titles sequence and incorporated into the sequence's plot).
  • The Bond Girls. Usually at least two of them in one movie. You could write a book on the different girls Bond has bedded over the years -- in fact, Maryam D'Abo and John Cork did. The former played Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights, so she knows what she's talking about. Although it goes back to Thunderball, the Bad Bond Girl has become something of a feature recently.
  • "Oooh, James!"
  • Lavish, surreal opening credit sequences, often featuring silhouettes of naked women and thematic to the movie, set to a Title Theme Tune. May also be a Villain Sucks Song (Most notably, Goldfinger) or Villain Song (as in Thunderball).
  • Every Bond film includes at least one of the following
    • Underwater action sequence
    • Skiing action sequence (in one case a memorable snowboard chase scene)
    • Aerial action sequence
    • Car chase (pretty much all of them!)
    • Speedboat chase
    • Sport vehicle chase: snowmobiles, motorcycles, jetskis...
    • An action scene with a helicopter (which might be any of the above)
  • Bond And A Babe In A Boat: On a documentary about the making of The World Is Not Enough, one scriptwriter commented that the ending had to follow the form "the villain's base explodes as Bond and the girl escape in a rubber dinghy". But, because it had become a cliche of the series, it couldn't actually be "the villain's base explodes, as Bond and the girl escape in a rubber dinghy".
  • Usually a title with one or more of the following:
    • "Gold" (such as "Goldfinger", "Man with the Golden Gun" and "GoldenEye")
    • "Day" or similar (such as "The Living Daylights" or "Tomorrow Never Dies")
    • "Die" ("Live And Let Die", "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "Die Another Day")
    • "Kill" ("A View to a Kill", "Licence to Kill")
    • "Love" ("From Russia with Love", "The Spy Who Loved Me")
    • "Never" ("Never Say Never Again", "Tomorrow Never Dies")
  • M tries to call Bond at the end of most films, but Bond ignores him/her.

The cultural impact of 007 is, in a word, immense. The tuxedo has become associated with James Bond. The series has spawned legions of imitators and is pretty much the definitive spy fiction. Legions of media have also tried to "de-glamorise" espionage, such as the works of Len Deighton (the Stale Beer Approach To Spy Fiction, although it in fact predates Bond). He is also the definitive Action Hero, and many elements of many an action film can be traced directly to Bond, or at least were popularised by him, such as the hero saying something cool before or after offing the villain.

Arguably the most iconic character in cinematic history. On a number of occasions, people declared that Bond is old hat and that some new spy has replaced him, most recently with Jason Bourne. The Bond films continue to be massively popular among cinema goers, hugely influential in popular culture, and the franchise is the highest grossing in history by a mile (accounting for inflation; at face value its second behind Harry Potter).

So let's see what he's responsible for:

James Bond (film) is the Trope Namer for:
Tropes used in James Bond (film) include:
Works it inspired/influenced:

The End... but James Bond will return...

  1. but not the first person to play him -- that title goes to Barry Nelson in the 1954 TV movie Casino Royale, while the first person to play a British Bond was Bob "I'll have a Q, Bob" Holness in a 1956 South African radio version of Moonraker
  2. Well, 5'10". The other Bonds were all over 6 feet