Since 1962, the premiere name for spy action and adventure has always been Bond, James Bond. Though his face has changed, and the approach to the character along with it, the Bond series has always been known to excite audiences in a way that few long lasting franchises have been able to maintain. Across 24 movies, through six different actors, and in the span of 55 years, the legacy of Ian Fleming's literary agent of action and intrigue has had ups and downs, but still remains a vital part of modern Hollywood's franchise machine.
But say you're completely new to all of this. It's a pretty daunting history to try and attempt as a newbie to the series, so you're going to want to have options as to how you should bring yourself current. Well, that's why we've created this brand new guide to lay out the entire history of the James Bond franchise, starting with a rundown of each film's plot. After which, we'll give you some background into the different phases of the Bond series, courtesy of the various actors that have played the role, and then wrap up with what we think are the best in the series. Let's get started!
James Bond travels to Jamaica, in order to stop a deadly foe from foiling the Apollo space program. This is the film that started it all.
From Russia With Love
A top secret encryption device is being offered as bait to trap Bond and ensnare MI:6 in a blackmail plot. With SPECTRE sending their top agent, Red Grant, to try and stop him, it'll take all of 007's strength and wits to win the day.
Fort Knox is for the taking, at least it is if you ask Auric Goldfinger. His plot to irradiate the gold reserves of America is clever, but MI:6's top agent is going to give it his all to be a couple steps ahead of the competition.
A nuclear bomb is held hostage by SPECTRE, who is trying to blackmail the British government into paying for its safe return. And yet again, James Bond is on the case to put a thorn into the shadowy organization's side.
You Only Live Twice
At last! James Bond and the infamous Ernst "Number 1" Blofeld go head to head. The Cold War heats up, as these nemeses will be on either side of the space race, with a plot to disrupt tensions between American and Asian forces in play.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
There's only two reasons James Bond would quit MI:6 - love and vengeance. Both come into play as he'll face off against the man that will become his greatest nemesis: Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Diamonds Are Forever
Bond's on the hunt for Blofeld, and his trail takes him to Las Vegas in the 1970s. With a diamond smuggling plot, a weaponized laser in space, and some interesting shenanigans, 007 is about to tear up the strip with an adventure only he could undertake.
Live and Let Die
A Harlem kingpin with connections to a U.N. representative is trying to flood the streets with his own brand of heroin. With the help of a clairvoyant, James Bond is about to take these two head on, in a voodoo fueled mystery.
The Man with the Golden Gun
An assassin has his sights set on the most dangerous target of all: James Bond himself! With a golden weapon that allows for an instant kill, and some further eccentricities on his side, he just might get his man.
The Spy Who Loved Me
England and Russia are joining forces to stop an evil shipping magnate from bending the world to his will, thanks to an undersea colony of his own design. If Bond and his Russian cohort can trust each other, they just might save the world.
Space is the place for this Bond caper, as an industrialist is looking to remake the Earth in his own image. With the return of famed baddie Jaws, 007 is about to blast off into an adventure that's out of this world.
For Your Eyes Only
A weapons system goes missing in the Ionian Sea, and the race is on to take command of this weapon of war. Enter James Bond, who'll not only go head to head with a foreign agent trying to beat him to the punch, but will also assist a woman who seeks vengeance after her parents are killed by the very same man.
Nuclear weapons, Faberge eggs, and European disarmament talks are all part of this Soviet mystery, as 007 goes above and beyond to stop a Middle Eastern prince from wrecking international havoc. Also, see James Bond dressed as a clown.
A View to a Kill
Silicon Valley magnate Max Zorin may or may not be involved with a plot to disrupt the tech market, as well as global affairs. It's up to James Bond to save the day, as the clock is ticking, and California is in the crosshairs.
The Living Daylights
A defection attempt turns into a maze of mystery, as MI:6 not only has to investigate a recent mass assassination of its agents, but also that of the man they helped escape to the West. The key may be a beautiful would-be killer that Bond believes is innocent.
License To Kill
After the attempted assassination of a CIA agent and friend, James goes against orders to track down the Latin American drug lord behind the hit. If his cover isn't blown, he just might succeed.
Bond finally makes his way to the 90s, though while the Cold War may be over, the tensions still remain. So, naturally, the super spy faces his toughest opponent yet: an old friend, with taste for revenge.
Tomorrow Never Dies
World War III is just a headline away, as Commander Bond investigates a supposed act of war. Though all signs point to a media magnate with his finger on the pulse, and his eyes on the target.
The World Is Not Enough
What started as a simple retrieval of a businessman's money spins into a protection gig for Bond. But his charge has an adversary with a hidden agenda, and an inability to feel pain.
Die Another Day
After being released from capture by North Korea, James Bond engages in a game of personal stakes. Going rogue, he'll attempt to unmask an evil businessman for the true evil that he represents.
Casino Royale (2006)
A reboot of the Bond canon, we see James gaining 00-agent status. His first perilous mission on the job sees a green, but still lethal James try to make it out alive, with his heart in tact.
Quantum of Solace
Directly continuing from Casino Royale's conclusion, Quantum of Solace sees 007 unraveling a criminal organization with the power to undermine the world's governments. Vengeance is in the air, and danger is in the water.
A disavowed MI:6 agent is targeting M, and he's threatening to take the entire organization with him. The only trouble is, the one man that could stop him needs to be brought back from the figurative dead.
Dealing with the fallout of Skyfall, James Bond digs more into his own past. What he finds ties into the past of the franchise, both modern and classic.
Now that we've delved into the James Bond series' entire canon, let's take a look at the various ways you can enjoy the series, starting with each of the major actors who played the part.