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James Bond: The Ultimate Film Guide

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Sean Connery as James Bond

For over 50 years and in 26 films loosely based on Ian Fleming's novels, James Bond, the best-known secret agent in the world, has attracted a huge, and constantly growing, audience to the cinema. Yet with 26 films to choose from, it is exceptionally easy to get confused between them. If only there was simple way to remember which Bond film had the theme tune sung by Shirley Bassey, starred Sean Connery as Bond and had Felix Leiter in? Well, now there is. Here's the ultimate James Bond film guide.

This is an easy-to-access list of all the James Bond films in order of their release. Also listed are the villains, henchmen, and Bond girls of each film, as well as the actor who plays them. Recurring characters, actors and directors have their names in bold. Each film's title track has the same name as the film, unless otherwise stated.

Sean Connery Era: 1962-1967

During the five films made in this era, Bernard Lee played M and Lois Maxwell played Miss Moneypenny in all the films. Desmond Llewelyn played Q in all except the first film, Dr. No, where his role is played by Peter Burton. Many of the films involved Bond battling SPECTRE, the SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terror, Revenge and Extortion. SPECTRE agents are frequently known by their number, for instance Blofeld is known as Number 1.

1. Dr. No (Sean Connery) - 1962

DirectorTerence Young
PlotSPECTRE operative Dr. No plots to disrupt an American missile programme.
SettingLondon, Jamaica and fictional Caribbean island Crab Key
VillainDr Julius No (Joseph Wiseman)
Bond GirlsHoney Ryder (Ursula Andress), Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson) Voices of both: Monica van der Syl1
HenchmenProfessor Dent (Anthony Dawson), Miss Taro (Zena Marshall)
AlliesFelix Leiter (Jack Lord), Quarrel (John Kitzmiller), Major Boothroyd (Peter Burton)
SourceThe film closely follows Ian Fleming's 6th Bond novel of the same name.
James Bond ThemeMonty Norman, arranged by John Barry.

Dr. No was released at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis on 5 October, 1962. This was the very same day that 'Love Me Do', the first single by The Beatles, was released.

Lois Maxwell was originally offered the role of Sylvia Trench, but chose the part of Moneypenny so she would not have to show her legs. Sylvia Trench returned in From Russia With Love but was written out of Goldfinger when Guy Hamilton replaced Young as the director of that film. Maxwell's Moneypenny appeared in Bond films for the following 23 years.

2. From Russia with Love (Sean Connery) - 1963

DirectorTerence Young
PlotSPECTRE want a Russian Lektor decoding device. They plot to trap James Bond with a beautiful Russian cypher clerk and then steal the Lektor from them both.
SettingLondon, Istanbul, the Orient Express, Venice
VillainRosa Klebb '#3' (Lotte Lenya), Ernst Stavro Blofeld '#1' (Body: Anthony Dawson, Voice: Eric Pohlmann)
Bond GirlsTatiana Romanova (Body: Daniela Bianchi, Voice: Barbara Jeffoed), Sylvia Trench, (Body: Eunice Gayson, Voice: Monica van der Syl)
HenchmenDonald 'Red' Grant (Robert Shaw), Kronsteen '#5' (Vladek Sheybal),
AlliesKerim Bey (Pedro Armendariz)
Song/SingerMatt Monro, but only over the end credits.
Source The film fairly closely follows Ian Fleming's 5th Bond novel, substituting SPECTRE for SMERSH.

In the novel the decoder was called the Spektor, but this is renamed Lektor to avoid confusion with SPECTRE. This is Desmond Llewelyn's first appearance as Major Boothroyd aka Q.

3. Goldfinger (Sean Connery) - 1964

DirectorGuy Hamilton
PlotBond investigates Auric Goldfinger, who is a suspected gold smuggler. Yet Goldfinger has greater plans, involving atomic devices and Fort Knox...
SettingMiami, England, Switzerland, Kentucky and Fort Knox.
VillainAuric Goldfinger (Body: Gert Frobe, Voice: Michael Collins)
Bond GirlsPussy Galore (Honor Blackman), Jill Masterson (Body: Shirley Eaton, Voice: Monica van der Syl), Tilly Masterson (Tania Mallet)
HenchmenOddjob (Harold Sakata)
AlliesFelix Leiter (Cec Linder)
Song/SingerShirley Bassey
SourceThe film fairly closely follows Ian Fleming's 7th Bond novel, although Goldfinger now plans to irradiate the gold in Fort Knox rather than steal it.

This film introduces the phenomenon of the James Bond car with the heavily-armed Aston Martin DB5. The revolving numberplate was inspired by director Guy Hamilton's continual stream of parking tickets.

Honor Blackman, the first Bond girl to use her own voice onscreen, had previously appeared in British television series The Avengers, playing Cathy Gale. In the following series of The Avengers, in the episode 'Too Many Christmas Trees', Steed receives a Christmas card from Cathy posted from Fort Knox, in a nod to this film's climax.

4. Thunderball (Sean Connery) - 1965

DirectorTerence Young
PlotA bomber carrying two atomic bombs has been stolen by SPECTRE. Unless a ransom is paid, a major city will be destroyed...
SettingFrance, London and the Bahamas.
VillainEmilio Largo '#2' (Adolfo Celi) Ernst Stavro Blofeld '#1' (Body: Anthony Dawson Voice: Eric Pohlmann)
Bond GirlsDominique 'Domino' Derval (Body: Claudine Auger, Voice: Monica van der Syl)
HenchmenFiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi), Vargas (Philip Locke)
AlliesFelix Leiter (Rik Van Nutter), Paula Caplan (Martine Beswick)
Song/SingerSir Tom Jones. Two versions of an alternative song, 'Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang', were sung by Shirley Bassey and Dionne Warwick.
SourceThe film fairly closely follows the 8th Bond novel, based on an original story by Ian Fleming, Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham.

This is the first film in which Sean Connery plays James Bond in the opening sequence, in which he walks across the screen from the right, turns and shoots at an assailant who had him in his sights.

Raquel Welch was originally chosen for the role of Domino, but she was unable to accept as she was filming Fantastic Voyage. Faye Dunaway was considered, but former Miss France Claudine Auger was cast.

John Stears won the Best Visual Effects Oscar for his work on this film. Martine Beswick had previously appeared in From Russia with Love as Zora, one of the fighting gypsy girls.

5. You Only Live Twice (Sean Connery) - 1967

DirectorLewis Gilbert
PlotSPECTRE, hiding in Japan, wish to start a war between the USA and USSR, and only the UK's best agent can stop it.
SettingJapan
VillainErnst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasence)
Bond GirlsAki (Akiko Wakabayashi), Kissy Suzuki (Body: Mie Hama, Voice: Monica van der Syl)
HenchmenMr Osato (Teru Shimada), Helga Brandt (Karin Dor)
AlliesTiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tamba), Henderson (Charles Gray)
Song/SingerNancy Sinatra
SourceThe screenplay was by Roald Dahl, taking only the title, some characters and the Japanese setting from the 11th Bond novel.

This film is memorable for the first full appearance of Blofeld. The character of Dr Evil in the James Bond spoof Austin Powers trilogy is clearly modelled on Pleasence's definitive Blofeld. This is also the only film to date in which Bond does not drive a car. The car that appears, the Toyota 2000 GT convertible, was made as a convertible because Sean Connery was unable to fit into the hard-top model.

All Change: A Spoof, A New Bond and Sean Connery's Last Stand

These three films mark the first period of transition from the Bond films that came before to what came later. The first, a rival production of Casino Royale and not part of the official James Bond series, was intended as a spoof, but ended up a glorious mess.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the first official film without Connery that shows Bond in a more mature relationship than seen before or after. Diamonds Are Forever moves Bond in an Avengers-inspired comedy direction, complete with bizarre sequences involving slow-moving astronauts, moon buggies and a climax consisting of Blofeld being waved around an oil rig while being used as a demolition ball.

In both the official films Lois Maxwell continued to play Miss Moneypenny, Bernard Lee played M and Desmond Llewelyn played Q.

A. Casino Royale (David Niven) - 1967

DirectorsKen Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, Val Guest.
PlotLargely missing. Sir James Bond is called out of retirement as the world's agents are being killed. He goes to Scotland for a bit and orders that all secret agents, male or female, should be renamed 'James Bond 007' to confuse the enemy. The enemy, SMERSH, plan to release a poison that will make all women beautiful and kill off all tall men. Characters turn up and go away, and everyone dies at the end.
SettingEngland, Scotland, France, East Berlin, the Afterlife
VillainLe Chiffre (Orson Welles), Jimmy 'Dr Noah' Bond (Woody Allen)
Bond GirlsVesper Lynd 'James Bond 007' (Ursula Andress), Mata Bond (Joanna Pettet), The Detainer (Daliah Lavi)
HenchmenPolo (Ronnie Corbett), Agent Mimi (Deborah Kerr), Giovanna Goodthighs (Jacqueline Bisset),
Allies Evelyn Tremble 'James Bond 007' (Peter Sellers), Cooper 'James Bond 007' (Terence Cooper), Carlton Towers (Bernard Cribbins)
Song/Singer'The Look of Love' by Dusty Springfield
SourceMoments of the film are loosely inspired by Ian Fleming's first novel, the rest appears to be a mixture of numerous hallucinations.

After writing Casino Royale, Fleming sold the screen rights and in 1954 the story was used as the basis for a one-hour television drama. Some 13 years later it became a big-screen spoof. The actors, writers and directors involved in the film came and went, leaving no-one in a position to guide the film from start to finish.

6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (George Lazenby) - 1969

DirectorPeter Hunt
PlotBond, obsessed with finding Blofeld, rescues a mysterious girl whose father is the head of a crime syndicate. Is there a connection between Blofeld and a medical institute investigating allergy cures?
SettingSouth of France, London, Geneva, the Alps.
VillainErnst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas)
Bond GirlsContessa Teresa 'Tracy' Di Vicenzo Bond (Dame Diana Rigg)
HenchmenIrma Bunt (Ilse Steppat)
AlliesMarc Ange Draco (Body: Gabriele Ferzetti, Voice: David de Keyser), Sir Hilary Bray (George Baker)
Song/Singer'We Have All The Time in the World', Louis Armstrong
SourceClosely based on Fleming's 10th novel.

This is only film in which George Lazenby plays Bond. George Baker, the actor who played Sir Hilary Bray, dubs the scenes in which Bond impersonates him. George Baker had been considered a potential actor to play Bond in Dr. No. Dame Diana Rigg had, of course, shot to fame playing Emma Peel in The Avengers.

7. Diamonds Are Forever (Sean Connery) - 1971

DirectorGuy Hamilton
PlotSmuggling diamonds is the first step in SPECTRE's creation of a superweapon.
SettingSouth Africa, Amsterdam, London and Las Vegas
VillainErnst Stavro Blofeld (Charles Gray)
Bond GirlsTiffany Case (Jill St. John), Plenty O'Toole (Lana Wood)
HenchmenMr Kidd (Putter Smith), Mr Wint (Bruce Glover)
AlliesFelix Leiter (Norman Burton), Willard Whyte (Jimmy Dean)
Song/SingerShirley Bassey
SourceA very loose adaptation of Fleming's 4th novel, using some character names.

Reclusive millionaire Howard Hughes inspired the character of Willard Whyte.

Back for Moore

The Roger Moore era has more recurring characters than before. M (Bernard Lee until Moonraker, Robert Brown after Octopussy), Q and Moneypenny are joined by a recurring Minister of Defence, Frederick Gray. They also have a regular competitor, occasional enemy and ally General Gogol, played by Walter Gotell, who had been Morzeny in From Russia with Love. Sadly, Q, though mentioned, does not appear in Live and Let Die.

The Roger Moore era would fluctuate between the camp and silly to a more 'back to basics' Bond. This era was punctuated by Sean Connery's brief return to playing James Bond in rival film Never Say Never Again.

8. Live and Let Die (Roger Moore) - 1973

DirectorGuy Hamilton
PlotBritish agents investigating Kananga, Prime Minister of San Monique, have been killed. Will Bond learn that Kananga is secretly a drug smuggler known as 'Mr Big'?
SettingNew York, New Orleans, London and the fictional Caribbean island San Monique
VillainKananga 'Mr Big' (Yaphet Kotto)
Bond GirlsSolitaire (Jane Seymour)
HenchmenTee Hee (Julius Harris), Baron Samedi (Geoffrey Holder)
AlliesFelix Leiter (David Hedison), Sheriff JW Pepper (Clifton James), Quarrel Junior (Roy Stewart)
Song/SingerPaul McCartney and Wings
SourceOnly the characters and the title survive from Ian Fleming's second novel.

The character of Quarrel Junior is the son of Quarrel, who appears in Dr. No. The original novel was set before Dr. No. The excellent theme tune was nominated for an Oscar. This was the first film in which Q does not appear.

9. The Man with the Golden Gun (Roger Moore) - 1974

DirectorGuy Hamilton
PlotAt the height of the fuel crisis, Bond receives a bullet from Scaramanga, an assassin known as 'The Man with the Golden Gun'. Will Bond be the mysterious murderer's next target?
SettingLondon, Beirut, Macao, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Scaramanga's island near China
VillainFrancisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee)
Bond GirlsMary Goodnight (Britt Ekland), Andrea Anders (Maud Adams)
HenchmenNick Nack (Herve Villechaize), Hai Fat (Richard Loo)
AlliesSheriff JW Pepper (Clifton James), Lieutenant Hip (Soon-Taik Oh)
Song/SingerLulu
SourceOnly the title and character names survive from Ian Fleming's 12th novel

Christopher Lee, who plays Scaramanga, was Ian Fleming's cousin.

Bond Girl Britt Ekland was married to Peter Sellers, who played Evelyn Tremble 'James Bond 007' in Casino Royale (1967).

10. The Spy Who Loved Me (Roger Moore) - 1977

DirectorLewis Gilbert
PlotSomeone is able to track and capture nuclear submarines! Can Bond learn who, before nuclear Armageddon is unleashed in order to create a new world order beneath the sea?
SettingAustria, Egypt, Sardinia
VillainKarl Stromberg (Curd Jürgens)
Bond GirlsMajor Anya Amasova/Agent XXX (Barbara Bach)
HenchmenJaws (Richard Kiel), Naomi (Caroline Munro)
AlliesGeneral Anatol Gogol (Walter Gotell), Sir Frederick Gray (Geoffrey Keen), Admiral Hargreaves (Robert Brown)
Song/Singer'Nobody Does it Better' by Carly Simon
SourceOnly the title is used from Ian Fleming's 9th Bond novel.

The second most famous car in the James Bond series, the Lotus Esprit submarine car, appears in this film. The plot is very similar to Gilbert's previous Bond film You Only Live Twice, and it had originally been intended to include SPECTRE, however a lawsuit prevented them so the villain became Stromberg instead.

Barbara Bach, who plays Major Anya Amasova, is the wife of Beatle Ringo Starr.

11. Moonraker (Roger Moore) - 1979

DirectorLewis Gilbert
PlotA space shuttle is stolen! Yet the owner of the shuttle, Hugo Drax, is more interested in secretly making glass canisters...
SettingLondon, California, Venice, Rio de Janeiro, a satellite orbiting Earth
VillainHugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale)
Bond GirlsDr Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles), Corinne Dufour (Body: Corinne Cléry, Voice: Monica van der Syl), Manuela (Emily Bolton)
HenchmenJaws (Richard Kiel), Chang (Toshiro Suga)
AlliesSir Frederick Gray (Geoffrey Keen), General Anatol Gogol (Walter Gotell)
Song/SingerShirley Bassey
SourceOnly the title and Drax's name survive from the 3rd Bond novel.

This is the last film in which Bernard Lee appears as M, and was made as a co-production with French company Les Productions Artistes Associés. There are some outstanding moments in the film, however there are also several silly ones and the film was made as an attempt to jump on the Star Wars bandwagon.

12. For Your Eyes Only (Roger Moore) - 1981

DirectorJohn Glen
PlotA British spy ship carrying a top-secret device is sunk in the Ionian Sea! Bond must recover the device after the Havelocks, the people leading the previous recovery operation, are murdered. But Melina Havelock wants revenge and what else is happening in the Ionian Sea?
SettingThe Ionian Sea, Madrid, Cortina and Corfu
VillainAris Kristatos (Julian Glover), 'Wheelchair Villain' (John Hollis, obviously Blofeld)
Bond GirlsMelina Havelock (Carole Bouquet), Countess Lisl (Cassandra Harris)
HenchmenEmile Leopold Locque (Michael Gothard), Erich Kriegler (John Wyman)
AlliesMilos Columbo (Topol), Bibi Dahl (Lynn-Holly Johnson), Bill Tanner (James Villiers), Sir Frederick Gray (Geoffrey Keen), General Anatol Gogol (Walter Gotell), Margaret Thatcher (Janet Brown)
Song/SingerSheena Easton
SourceMelina Havelock comes from the short story 'For Your Eyes Only', the Colombo v Kristatos theme comes from short story 'Risico' and the section where Bond and Melina are dragged behind a boat was from the novel Live and Let Die.

Sadly, Bernard Lee passed away shortly before this film was made. In respect, he was not immediately recast and instead his role was split between Bill Tanner (M's chief of staff), Q and Sir Frederick Gray.

The Wheelchair Villain was intended to be Blofeld, but due to legal action was not able to be named as such. Cassandra Harris, who plays Countess Lisl, was the wife of future James Bond Pierce Brosnan.

13. Octopussy (Roger Moore) - 1983

DirectorJohn Glen
PlotWhat do fake Fabergé eggs have to do with the plot to destroy an American airbase in West Germany? Only Bond can find out.
SettingCuba, London, East and West Germany, India
VillainGeneral Orlov (Steven Berkoff), Kamal Khan (Louis Jourdan)
Bond GirlsOctopussy (Maud Adams) Magda (Kristina Wayborn)
HenchmenGobinda (Kabir Bedi), Mischka & Grischka (David & Tony Meyer)
AlliesVijay (Vijay Amritraj), General Anatol Gogol (Walter Gotell), Sir Frederick Gray (Geoffrey Keen), Penelope Smallbone (Michaela Clavell)
Song/Singer'All Time High' by Rita Coolidge
SourceThe events in short story 'Octopussy' relate to Octopussy's father, the auction comes from short story 'The Property of a Lady'

In Octopussy M is played by Robert Brown. He had previously played Admiral Hargreaves in The Spy who Loved Me, and it is unclear whether the character of Hargreaves has been promoted to be the new M, or whether Brown is playing the same character Bernard Lee had. Most assume that Hargreaves has been promoted to M. Maud Adams had previously appeared as Andrea Anders in The Man with the Golden Gun. The character of Penelope Smallbone was introduced as a potential replacement for Moneypenny, but never appeared again.

B. Never Say Never Again (Sean Connery) - 1983

An unofficial, rival Bond film starring Sean Connery in his last outing in the role that made him famous.

DirectorIrvin Kershner
PlotA remake of Thunderball but with nuclear missiles rather than atomic bombs
SettingEngland, France and The Bahamas
VillainErnst Stavro Blofeld (Max Von Sydow), Maximilian Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer)
Bond GirlsDomino Petachi (Kim Basinger), Unnamed (Valerie Leon)
HenchmenFatima Blush (Barbara Carrera), Jack Petachi (Gavan O'Herlihy)
AlliesFelix Leiter (Bernie Casey) M (Edward Fox) Moneypenny (Pamela Salem), Q 'Algy' (Alec McCowen), Nigel Small-Fawcett (Rowan Atkinson)
Song/SingerLani Hall
SourceA remake of Thunderball

In 1959 Ian Fleming, Ernest Curero, Ivar Bryce, Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham developed a screenplay that was used as the basis of Ian Fleming's novel Thunderball. When Fleming published his novel, McClory sued and was awarded the rights to make a film of Thunderball. McClory co-operated with Eon, the company behind the official Bond films in the 1960s on condition that he not make another film based on the story for 10 years. A decade later McClory began plans to remake Thunderball, and after some legal delays, here it was.

Rowan Atkinson would later star in the Johnny English Bond-spoof films.

14. A View to a Kill (Roger Moore) - 1985

DirectorJohn Glen
PlotWhat does an ex-KGB agent who drugs his racing horses have to do with Silicon Valley? Only Bond can find the truth.
SettingSiberia, England, France and San Francisco
VillainMax Zorin (Christopher Walken)
Bond GirlsMay Day (Grace Jones), Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts), Pola Ivanova (Fiona Fullerton)
HenchmenDr Carl Mortner (Willoughby Gray), Jenny Flex (Alison Doody)
AlliesSir Godfrey Tibbett (Patrick Macnee), Sir Frederick Gray (Geoffrey Keen), General Anatol Gogol (Walter Gotell)
Song/SingerDuran Duran
SourceThe title is inspired by Fleming's short story 'From a View to a Kill', but no plot points from the story survive into the film.

This was both Roger Moore and Lois Maxwell's last Bond film. Patrick Macnee's most famous role was playing John Steed in The Avengers.

Dawn of Dalton's Days

In the Timothy Dalton era, Caroline Bliss takes over as Moneypenny, but is not given much to do in either film in which she appears, while Robert Brown continues as M and Desmond Llewelyn remains as Q. Dalton is driven, seeking violence, vengeance and vendetta, with a rage barely contained behind his smiles. Dalton portrays Bond as someone who will not compromise on seeing what he considers justice done, even if his superiors disagree. His films are more complex and grown-up than any Bonds since On Her Majesty's Secret Service, adult in theme. Gone are one-liners and pick-up lines, leaving raw, focused brutality barely hidden behind tuxedos and charm.

15. The Living Daylights - (Timothy Dalton) 1987

DirectorJohn Glen
PlotA defecting Russian general states that General Pushkin wishes to implement Smiert Spionem, a programme of killing all spies in the USSR that could lead to war. Yet what is the connection with an American arms dealer?
SettingGibraltar, Bratislava, London, Vienna, Tangiers, Afghanistan
VillainGeneral Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé), Brad Whitaker (Joe Don Baker)
Bond GirlsKara Milovy (Maryam d'Abo)
HenchmenNecros (Andreas Wisniewski)
AlliesGeneral Leonid Pushkin (John Rhys-Davies), Felix Leiter (John Terry), Kamran Shah (Art Malik), Saunders (Thomas Wheatley), Sir Frederick Gray (Geoffrey Keen), General Anatol Gogol (Walter Gotell)
Song/Singera-ha
SourceThe opening sequence is based on Ian Fleming's short story of the same name.

A strong start to Dalton's Bond, complete with a new gadget-laden Aston Martin. Originally the story would have revolved around General Gogol's intention to kill British spies, but as Walter Gotell was ill he only appears briefly, and John Rhys-Davies plays a replacement character. Felix Leiter finally returns to a Bond film for the first official time since 1973, but sadly in only a blink-and-you'll-miss-him role.

16. Licence to Kill - (Timothy Dalton) 1989

DirectorJohn Glen
PlotBond helps Felix Leiter arrest a drug lord, who escapes and feeds Leiter to a shark and kills Leiter's wife. Bond resigns from the Secret Service to seek revenge.
SettingFlorida Keys and Isthmus, a fictional Central American country.
VillainFranz Sanchez (Robert Davi)
Bond GirlsPam Bouvier (Carey Lowell), Lupe Lamora (Talisa Soto)
HenchmenMilton Krest (Anthony Zerbe), Dario (Benicio Del Toro), Professor Joe Butcher (Wayne Newton), Ed Killifer (Everett McGill)
AlliesFelix Leiter (David Hedison), Della Leiter (Priscilla Barnes), Sharkey (Frank McRae)
Song/SingerGladys Knight
SourceMilton Krest appeared in Fleming's short story 'The Hildebrand Rarity' and Felix being eaten by a shark came from the novel Live and Let Die.

The last Bond film for six years, and the last for Dalton, Robert Brown and Caroline Bliss. This film remains the most adult in the series, and also has the best scenes featuring Q, who is finally allowed out and about on a mission. The climactic oil tanker chase is a highlight of the series.

Piercing: The Pierce Brosnan Era

A new Bond Era also marks a new M, Dame Judi Dench, and a new Moneypenny, played by the appropriately-named Samantha Bond. Finally Bond is seen working for an organisation that consists of more than an office, hat stand and a lab in which Q tinkers with watches. M, Q and Moneypenny are joined by recurring characters Bill Tanner and Robinson, while Q gains an assistant and later replacement, played by John Cleese.

17. GoldenEye (Pierce Brosnan) - 1995

DirectorMartin Campbell
PlotGoldenEye is a Cold War-era electromagnetic pulse weapon mounted in two satellites. With the Cold War over, a criminal with a connection to Bond's past plans to use this against London.
SettingRussia, French Riviera, London and Cuba
VillainAlec Trevelyan 006 (Sean Bean)
Bond GirlsNatalya Fyodorovna Simonova (Izabella Scorupco), Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen)
HenchmenGeneral Ourumov (Gottfried John), Boris Grishenko (Alan Cumming)
AlliesJack Wade (Joe Don Baker), Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane), Bill Tanner (Michael Kitchen)
Song/SingerTina Turner
SourceNot directly based on any work by Ian Fleming, although the idea of a villain attacking London with a nuclear device in revenge for the Second World War comes from Moonraker. The title was the name of Fleming's house.

The reason behind the gap between making Licence to Kill and GoldenEye was caused by legal wranglings over television distribution rights. MGM/UA were merging with Pathé and Danjaq, the company that actually made the Bond films, felt the television distribution deal was unfair.

Minnie Driver plays Irina, Zukovsky's tone-deaf Russian mistress and nightclub singer. This film also inspired the phenomenally successful GoldenEye 007 - video game.

18. Tomorrow Never Dies (Pierce Brosnan) - 1997

DirectorRoger Spottiswoode
PlotA media mogul manipulates Britain and China into declaring war in order to get good ratings.
SettingThe Khyber Pass, South China Sea, London, Oxford, Hamburg and Saigon
VillainElliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce)
Bond GirlsWai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), Paris Carver (Teri Hatcher)
HenchmenStamper (Götz Otto), Henry Gupta (Ricky Jay), Dr Kaufman (Vincent Schiavelli)
AlliesAdmiral Roebuck (Geoffrey Palmer), Charles Robinson (Colin Salmon), Jack Wade (Joe Don Baker)
Song/SingerSheryl Crow
SourceNot based on any Ian Fleming story.

19. The World is Not Enough (Pierce Brosnan) - 1999

DirectorMichael Apted
PlotTerrorist Renard threatens a billionaire oil baron's daughter.
SettingLondon (including outside MI6 Headquarters and the Millennium Dome), Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey
VillainElektra King (Sophie Marceau), Viktor 'Renard' Zokas (Robert Carlyle)
Bond GirlsDr Christmas Jones (Denise Richards), Dr Molly Warmflash (Serena Scott Thomas)
HenchmenBullion 'The Bull' (Goldie)
AlliesValentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane), Charles Robinson (Colin Salmon), Bill Tanner (Michael Kitchen)
Song/SingerGarbage
SourceThe title comes from the Bond family motto.

This is the first appearance of John Cleese as Q's assistant, whom Bond nicknames 'R'. It is also the last film in which Desmond Llewelyn appears.

20. Die Another Day (Pierce Brosnan) - 2002

DirectorLee Tamahori
PlotBond was betrayed in Korea! Freed, Bond investigates the connection between dodgy diamonds and tycoon Gustav Graves.
SettingNorth Korea, Hong Kong, England, Cuba, Iceland
VillainColonel Moon (Will Yun Lee), Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens)
Bond GirlsJacintha 'Jinx' Johnson (Halle Berry), Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike)
HenchmenZao (Rick Yune), Mr Kil (Lawrence Makoare)
AlliesGeneral Moon (Kenneth Tsang), Charles Robinson (Colin Salmon), Damian Falco (Michael Madsen)
Song/SingerMadonna
SourceA new story for the film.

John Cleese is now Q, full time; Desmond Llewelyn sadly passed away before this film, made to celebrate the Bond films' 40th anniversary.

Blond Bond? The Daniel Craig Era

In the early 21st Century, Bond was played by an actor who, apparently controversially for some reason, didn't have naturally dark hair. His era loses the team ethos, returning to the angry, driven, solitary wolf approach of the Dalton days. The Craig era does at least finally feature Felix Leiter again, even if initially missing Moneypenny and Q. From Skyfall onwards these roles would appear in each subsequent film, played by Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw.

21. Casino Royale (Daniel Craig) - 2006

DirectorMartin Campbell
PlotA secret, powerful criminal organisation uses Le Chiffre as their banker, but Bond foils their attempts to destroy an aeroplane and Le Chiffre desperately needs money. If Bond can beat him at poker in the Casino Royale, Le Chiffre will have no choice but to ask for protection from his former terrorist allies in exchange for information. Or will he?
SettingPrague, Madagascar, The Bahamas, Miami, Montenegro, Venice
VillainLe Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen)
Bond GirlsVesper Lynd (Eva Green), Solange (Caterina Murino)
HenchmenMr White (Jesper Christensen), Alex Dimitrios (Simon Abkarian)
AlliesFelix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), René Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini)
Song/Singer'You Know My Name', Chris Cornell
SourceParts of the film are surprisingly faithful to the first Bond novel.

A strong start and finally an official version of Ian Fleming's first novel.

22. Quantum of Solace (Daniel Craig) - 2008

DirectorMarc Forster
PlotBond seeks revenge against the secret criminal organisation, which he learns is called 'Quantum', stumbling on a plan to own all the water in a desert.
SettingItaly, Austria, Haiti, Bolivia, Russia
VillainDominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric)
Bond GirlsCamille (Olga Kurylenko), Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton)
HenchmenMr White (Jesper Christensen), General Medrano (Joaquín Cosio)
AlliesFelix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), René Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini), Bill Tanner (Rory Kinnear), Foreign Secretary (Tim Pigott-Smith)
Song/Singer'Another Way to Die', Jack White and Alicia Keys
SourceThe title comes from the Ian Fleming short story

This film begins where the previous film ended, forming the second part of the same story, with Bond battling Quantum.

C. Happy and Glorious (Daniel Craig) - 2012

DirectorDanny Boyle
PlotJames Bond must escort the Queen to the opening of the 2012 London Olympic Games
SettingBuckingham Palace, Olympic Stadium
Bond GirlHer Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (Herself)

A short film that formed part of the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games. The Queen won an honorary BAFTA award for her role in playing herself. A stunt double, rather than the Queen herself, is believed to have done the actual parachute2 jump from a helicopter.

23. Skyfall (Daniel Craig) - 2012

DirectorSam Mendes
PlotA former agent seeks revenge against M. Only Bond can stop him.
SettingIstanbul, England, Shanghai, Macau, Scotland
VillainRaoul Silva (Javier Bardem)
Bond GirlsEve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), Séverine (Bérénice Marlohe)
HenchmenPatrice (Ola Rapace)
AlliesGareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), Kincade (Albert Finney), Bill Tanner (Rory Kinnear)
Song/SingerAdele
SourceNot based on any work by Ian Fleming

Finally for the Craig era we get a Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and a new Q, played by Ben Whishaw rather than a return to John Cleese. We also get a new M (Ralph Fiennes). All three would appear in the following film too.

24. Spectre (Daniel Craig) - 2015

DirectorSam Mendes
PlotBond discovers that every villain he has encountered to date worked for a mysterious organisation called Spectre, led by a man with whom he has a past.
SettingMexico, England, Italy, Austria and Morocco
VillainErnst Stavro Blofeld aka Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz), Max Denbigh aka 'C' (Andrew Scott)
Bond GirlsDr Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci)
HenchmenMr Hinx (Dave Bautista), Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona)
AlliesMr White (Jesper Christensen) , Bill Tanner (Rory Kinnear)
Song/Singer'Writing's on the Wall' by Sam Spade3
SourceNot based on any work by Ian Fleming but made to celebrate MGM gaining full rights to use Blofeld and organisation Spectre in 2013.

This film also features a cameo from former M actress Dame Judi Dench, who in the story leaves a video message for Bond.

25. No Time to Die (Daniel Craig) - 2021

DirectorCary Joji Fukunaga
PlotAs a child, Madeleine Swann's father worked for SPECTRE and murdered the family of Lyutsifer Safin, who sought revenge and murdered her mother. Years later, Bond and Swann break-up after SPECTRE led Bond to believe that she had betrayed him, leading to Bond's retirement. When he is asked by his friend Felix Leiter to help find a kidnapped scientist, Bond does so, encountering his successor as 007 and learns that Safin plots to create and unleash a bioweapon. Only Swann can help Bond stop a poisonous plague being unleashed.
SettingNorway, Italy, England, Jamaica, Cuba, Japan
VillainLyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), Ernst Stavro Blofeld aka Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz),
Bond GirlsDr Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), Paloma (Ana de Armas)
HenchmenLogan Ash (Billy Magnussen), Valdo Obruchev (David Dencik), Primo (Dali Benssalah)
AlliesNomi 007 (Lashana Lynch),Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), Bill Tanner (Rory Kinnear), Mathilde Swann (Lisa-Dorah Sonnet)
Song/Singer'No Time to Die' by Billie Ellish, written with Finneas O'Connell4
'We Have All the Time in the World', sung by Louis Armstrong
SourceInspired by unused plot elements from Fleming's novel You Only Live Twice. Executive producer Barbara Broccoli said the title came from her father's film No Time To Die.

The film's release was delayed from November 2019 to October 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Recurring Characters

One extra piece of trivia is that Desmond Llewelyn has appeared in more James Bond films than any other actor, playing the role of Q.

YearFilmJames BondMQMoneypennyFelix Leiter
1962Dr. NoSean ConneryBernard LeePeter BurtonLois MaxwellJack Lord
1963From Russia with LoveDesmond Llewelyn
-
1964GoldfingerCec Linder
1965ThunderballRik Van Nutter
1967You Only Live Twice
-
1969On Her Majesty's Secret ServiceGeorge Lazenby
-
1971Diamonds Are ForeverSean ConneryNorman Burton
1973Live and Let DieRoger Moore
-
David Hedison
1974The Man with the Golden GunDesmond Llewelyn
-
1977The Spy Who Loved Me
-
1979Moonraker
-
1981For Your Eyes Only
-
-
1983OctopussyRobert Brown
-
1985A View to a Kill
-
1987The Living DaylightsTimothy DaltonCaroline BlissJohn Terry
1989Licence to KillDavid Hedison
1995GoldenEyePierce BrosnanJudi DenchSamantha Bond
-
1997Tomorrow Never Dies
-
1999The World Is Not EnoughJohn Cleese5
-
2002Die Another Day
-
2006Casino RoyaleDaniel Craig
-
-
Jeffrey Wright
2008Quantum of Solace
-
-
2012SkyfallRalph Fiennes6Ben WhishawNaomie Harris
-
2015Spectre
-
2021No Time To Die
Jeffrey Wright
Unofficial Bond Films
1967Casino RoyaleDavid Niven et alJohn HustonGeoffrey BayldonBarbara Bouchet
-
1983Never Say Never AgainSean ConneryEdward FoxAlec McCowenPamela SalemBernie Casey

Recurring Actors in the Same Role

ActorCharacterNumber of FilmsYears
Joe Don Baker7Jack Wade21995-1997
John CleeseQ (and Q's Assistant)21999-2002
Robbie ColtraneValentin Zukovsky21995-1999
Timothy DaltonJames Bond21987-1989
Giancarlo GianniniRené Mathis22006-2008
Eunice Gayson (& Monica van der Syl)Sylvia Trench21962-1963
David HedisonFelix Leiter21973-1989
Clifton JamesSheriff JW Pepper21973-1974
Richard KielJaws21977-1979
Michael KitchenBill Tanner21995-1999
Jesper ChristensenMr White32006-2015
Ralph FiennesM32012-2021
Naomie HarrisEve Moneypenny32012-2021
Colin SalmonCharles Robinson31997-2002
Léa Seydoux Dr Madeleine Swann22015-2021
Christoph Waltz Ernst Stavro Blofeld22015-2021
Ben WhishawQ32012-2021
Jeffrey WrightFelix Leiter32006-2021
Samantha BondMiss Moneypenny41995-2002
Pierce BrosnanJames Bond41995-2002
Rory KinnearBill Tanner42008-2021
Robert BrownM (and Admiral Hargreaves)51977-1989
Daniel CraigJames Bond52006-2021
Sir Sean ConneryJames Bond61962-19718
Walter GotellGeneral Anatol Gogol61977-1987
Geoffrey KeenSir Frederick Gray61977-1987
Sir Roger MooreJames Bond71973-1985
Dame Judi DenchM81995-2015
Bernard LeeM111962-1979
Lois MaxwellMiss Moneypenny141962-1985
Desmond LlewelynQ171963-1999
1Also known as Nikki van der Zyl.2The parachute is, naturally, decorated with the Union Flag, as seen in The Spy Who Loved Me and Die Another Day.3The first Bond song to be a UK number one and the second to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song4This is the first song to win the Grammy Award for Best Song to be released before the film.5Desmond Llewelyn hands over the role of 'Q' in The World is Not Enough.6Judi Dench hands over the role of M in Skyfall and makes a pre-recorded appearance in Spectre.7He had previously played Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights.8Also unofficially in 1983 in Never Say Never Again.

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