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Long before the MCU, Harry Potter, and the Star Wars franchises, there was Bond, James Bond. The one and only 007, licensed to kill. For almost 6 decades, the British super-spy James Bond has lit up the silver screen.
Six different actors have portrayed the cold-blooded killer willing do anything for Queen and Country: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have all put their own unique twist on the character over an incredible 24 (soon to be 25) films. This is the full list of James Bond movies in order with a little bit of information about the 25th due in 2020.
In the interest of full disclosure from the top, this is a complete list of all the official James Bond movies in order that have been produced by Eon Pictures starting in 1962. You won’t see David Niven or Barry Nelson on this list, nor does Never Say Never Again fit in anywhere. If you want to argue whether those should be included (they shouldn’t), feel free to do so in the comments. This also isn't a ranking, you can find that here.
The Sean Connery Era
Dr. No (1962)
Dr. No. The one that started it all. In it, James Bond, played by Sean Connery, is sent by MI6 to Jamaica to investigate the death of a station chief in Kingston. While in Jamaica, fans of the series are introduced to Felix Lieter, Bond’s counterpart in the CIA and a character that would recur in the series frequently. Bond also meets Honey Ryder, played by the incomparable Ursula Andrews, the first official “Bond Girl.”
After meeting, Bond and Honey are kidnapped and taken to a secret lair where the villain Dr. No meets with other SPECTRE members to discuss their latest plans to take over the world. Of course, 007 foils the plot and saves the day and gets the girl. As the series was based on the novels by Ian Fleming, many of the tropes that have become ingrained in the series are already a part of it in the very first film, like the girls, the booze and the arch villains.
From Russia With Love (1963)
The second film on the list of James Bond movies is From Russia With Love, also starring Sean Connery as James Bond. Released just one year after Dr. No, From Russia With Love continued to introduce fans to all the iconic pieces of the franchise. For the first time, fans met the head of Q branch, played by the legendary Desmond Llewelyn, a role he would play in an incredible 17 Bond films over the years.
The plot takes Bond from London to Istanbul to Belgrade to Venice as he fights the evil SPECTRE alongside Bond Girl Tatiana Romanova, played by Daniela Bianchi. From Russia With Love also introduces Ernst Blofeld as SPECTRE's “Number 1.” Blofeld would go on to be single most iconic Bond villain, appearing in five movies and played by five different actors.
Continuing the run of releasing a movie a year, 1964 brought Goldfinger. When ranked, this film probably comes out on top the James Bond movie list most often. That's saying a lot considering how long it's been since its release and all the content that's followed.
Featuring an iconic theme song sung by Shirley Bassey, an iconic villain in Auric Goldfinger, an iconic Bond Girl with the most famous of names, Pussy Galore, played by Honor Blackmon, and an iconic henchman in Oddjob, Goldfinger is, to say the least, iconic. James Bond travels from London to Miami to Kentucky chasing the supervillain Goldfinger and in the end, saves the day when he foils Goldfinger's plan to rob Fort Knox.
Released just 14 months after Goldfinger, Thunderball might have the campiest opening of any of the Connery James Bond movies, with Bond escaping while using a jet pack. It’s about as silly as Connery’s version would ever get, though it still falls well behind Moore’s general silliness.
Bond takes on the supervillain Emilio Largo as he attempts to steal nuclear bombs on behalf of SPECTRE with help from his mistress, Bond Girl Domino, played by Claudine Auger. Nearly two decades, Warner Bros delivered a second adaptation of the original Thunderball novel, with Sean Connery playing Bond once more. So Connery has the distinction of getting to perform in two different versions of one spy tale.
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Filmed mostly in Japan, You Only Live Twice was supposed Sean Connery’s final Bond movie, and it would be, at least for a little while. He resigned halfway through filming, announcing that he would not return in the next film.
This classic was somewhat controversial because children’s author Roald Dahl was chosen to be the screenwriter, as well as the decision to make Bond look and "talk" Japanese in a somewhat racist scene that has Sean Connery essentially in "yellow-face." It also features the... interestingly named Bond Girl “Kissy Suzuki” and once again, James Bond tangles with his old foe Ernst Blofeld, played this time by the great Donald Pleasence.
The George Lazenby Era
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
For the first time on the screen, Sean Connery was not the star of a James Bond movie. After Connery announced he was leaving, the producers went on a search for the next Bond. They landed on Australian George Lazenby, and they offered him a seven picture deal. Lazenby's agent famously told him that he thought the franchise wouldn’t last into the '70s and he didn’t want him to be tied to it for long, so he only made the deal for the one film, and that would come back to haunt both of them.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service tends to get a bad rap from some fans, but it’s actually a pretty great James Bond movie with everything a fan should want. Blofeld is back, this time played by the legendary Telly Savalas. The Bond Girl, Tracy, played by Diana Riggs, actually becomes Mrs. James Bond in the movie. George Lazenby has a little more of an edge to his version of Bond, and this one of the darker films in the series.
The Sean Connery Era 2.0
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Sean Connery is back! After George Lazenby’s one-film deal expired, Eon and United Artists went all out to get the beloved Connery back. Charles Gray, who played an ambassador to Japan and friend of Bond’s in You Only Live Twice, also returned to the series in Diamonds Are Forever, this time as the evil Ernst Blofeld.
There were not one, but two “Bond Girls,” both with classic names: Tiffany Case and Plenty O’Toole, played by Jill St. John and Lana Wood, respectively. Also, for the first and only time, gambling legend James Bond visits Las Vegas, where he dines at the… Circus Circus? Oh well.
The Roger Moore Era
Live And Let Die (1973)
For just the second time, Sean Connery wasn’t in the starring role in the newest James Bond movie. Roger Moore became Bond and he would go on to make the role truly his own, playing it much campier and looser (and less edgy) than both Connery and George Lazenby had before him. Live And Let Die marked a big change in the franchise as Moore was likely to be playing the role for a while. Not only did he play the role different but the tone of the movies changed to match it. The characters became a little more over the top, as did the stories.
Live And Let Die has one of the most bizarre stories as the producers attempted to cash in on the Blaxploitation genre that was popular at the time. Although Yaphet Kotto is excellent in the two roles he plays as the villains, the whole thing is rather bizarre. Jane Seymour is one of the best to every play a Bond Girl though, as Solitaire.
The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
James Bond returned the next year in The Man With The Golden Gun, starring Roger Moore once again. The titular character, named Francisco Scaramanga, is an assassin with James Bond’s name on one of his golden bullets (literally). He is played by the great Christopher Lee and his main henchman was the iconic Nick Nack, played by the legendary Herve Villechaize.
Maud Adams makes her first appearance in a James Bond movie as Andrea Anders, and once again, there is a classic Bond Girl character name – Britt Ekland plays Mary Goodnight. So yeah, there are definitely enough familiar elements in this movie.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
The Spy Who Loved Me is the tenth James Bond movie in just 15 years. This one has everything a Bond fan could want: a classic villain in Curd Jurgens as Stromberg, a stunning Bond Girl in Barbara Bach as Triple X (eat your heart out, Vin Diesel) and maybe the most infamous henchman of all time, Richard Kiel as Jaws.
It also happens to feature an amazing theme by Carly Simon. One fun fact about The Spy Who Loved Me is that Bond producer Albert “Cubbie” Broccoli first approached Steven Spielberg to direct it, but he turned them down as he was in post-production on Jaws (the movie, not the henchman).
Moonraker has the dubious distinction of consistently being at or near the bottom of the list when the James Bond movies are ranked. The truth behind it may explain some of the problems. The plot is ridiculous. It’s James Bond in space. And since it’s a Roger Moore film, it’s already pretty campy even before they even get to space. That was a terrible idea, but it was also a rushed one, which made it worse.
Originally the follow-up to The Spy Who Loved Me was supposed to For Your Eyes Only. Instead, the producers changed gears on the heels of the massive success of Star Wars in 1977 and put super-spy James Bond an astronaut in space. It wasn’t a good decision. It did mark the return of Richard Kiel as Jaws though, and Moonraker also features the most ridiculous Bond Girl name of the entire series – Dr. Holly Goodhead, played by Lois Chiles.
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
James Bond entered his third decade on the screen with For Your Eyes Only, and while it still was a trademark Roger Moore-era movie, with humor and over-the-top moments, it was a return to good ideas and good movie-making after the disaster that was Moonraker. It opens with James standing at his late wife Tracy’s grave. It’s the only time in the whole series she is referred to, outside of On Her Majesty’s Request.
Shortly after that, James finds himself on a helicopter be remotely controlled by none other than his old nemesis, Ernst Blofeld, who is in a wheelchair and whom Bond eventually deposits down a smokestack as the opening credits role. Classic. Also – keep a sharp eye out for Tywin Lannister himself, Charles Dance, from Game Of Thrones, who plays one of the baddies chasing Bond in Italy.
Yep, this one is usually most famous for its name. Somehow, it got past the censors and ended up with a PG rating. Octopussy was released the same year the rival James Bond movie Never Say Never Again, with Sean Connery returning the role, as mentioned earlier.
Octopussy won the box office race and Never Say Never Again was sort of ignored by most Bond fans other than as a curiosity. Octopussy is also the only Bond movie filmed in India, which makes it worth the watch alone. It saw James Bond being tasked with following a general who is stealing treasures from the Soviet Union, but it eventually turns into a race to stop the detonation of a nuclear weapon.
A View To A Kill (1985)
A View To A Kill was the 14th James Bond movie of the series as well as the seventh, and final, for Roger Moore’s career as 007. Moore is still the highest tally among all the actors that have played James Bond. The thing that stands out the most in this mid-'80s romp is, by far, Christopher Walken’s turn as the blonde-haired supervillain Max Zorin.
His goal is to cause an earthquake that wipes northern California off the map while he rides around on a blimp with his name on it. The one of a kind Grace Jones takes a turn as both a Bond Girl and a henchperson in this as the intense May Day. The plot and the movie are the epitome of over-the-top camp that defined the Roger Moore era.
The Timothy Dalton Era
The Living Daylights (1987)
When Roger Moore retired as 007, the odds on favorite to replace him was Remington Steele star Pierce Brosnan. Eventually though, Brosnan would be locked into his contract for the show and the producers went with Timothy Dalton as the star of The Living Daylights. The way Dalton played James Bond was a big departure from Moore. He played him with more an edge, a tougher, more realistic,\ and angrier Bond.
Over the years, Dalton’s Bond has gained more prominence among fans, but initially it was panned. Also of note, Joe Don Baker plays a villain in the movie, but he would return in the Brosnan era as a CIA agent named Jake Wade. It should also be noted that The Living Daylights marked the return of Bond's classic car, the Aston Martin, and would also be the last movie to use the title from an Ian Fleming story until 2006's Casino Royale.
Licence To Kill (1989)
The second and final James Bond movie for Timothy Dalton is one of the most under-appreciated films of the series, Licence to Kill (yes, we're going with the British spelling here). It continued exploring the darker and more violent side of 007, which really played to Dalton’s strengths.
One very notable thing about the cast, the henchman Dario is played by a very young Benicio del Toro in one of his very first roles. Carrie Lowell, later of Law & Order fame plays the Bond Girl. Felix Leiter also came back for another round of action, and he wouldn't be seen on the big screen again until Casino Royale.
The Pierce Brosnan Era
Due to financial and legal wrangling, Licence To Kill would be the last James Bond movie for six years, and in the intervening time, a lot of major changes happened Arguably the biggest was the producers (now including Barbara Broccoli, taking over for her father) landing the guy they wanted back in the '80s, Pierce Brosnan, to play the British secret agent.
His first movie, GoldenEye, was a huge hit as the public was excited about the first Bond movie in years AND that Bronsnan finally had the role many thought he should have had years before. Another major change was the role of M. For years, the role was played by Bernard Lee, then in the '80s, by Robert Brown. For GoldenEye, the producers would cast a woman in the role, Dame Judi Dench, who would go on to make the role all her own. The big villain in this is also a Game Of Thrones alum, Sean Bean.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Tomorrow Never Dies is most notable for its cast. The villain is played by yet another future Game Of Thrones star, Jonathan Pryce and Teri Hatcher plays the Bond Girl. The late magician and actor Ricky Jay plays one of Pryce’s henchman.
Eagle-eyes viewers can also pick up two future Downton Abbey collaborators, Hugh Bonneville and Julian Fellowes, in small roles as well as a young Gerald Butler in a small role as a British sailor. As for the story, it revolves around James Bond trying to prevent World War III from unfolding. So, you know, an average weekday for him.
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
One of the most universally panned James Bond movie, The World Is Not Enough suffers from a weak plot (the story sees James Bond protecting the daughter of a recently-assassinated billionaire) and a weak acting performance from Bond Girl Denise Richards, despite her excellently silly Bond Girl name, Dr. Christmas Jones.
Robert Carlyle is excellent as the villain and this film also marks the first appearance of John Cleese as “R.” Sadly, it would be the last James Bond movie for Desmond Llewelyn as Q. Llewelyn was killed in a traffic accident shortly after the movie was released.
Die Another Day (2002)
Die Another Day marked the final James Bond movie with Pierce Brosnan as 007. It is probably most famous for Halle Barry’s appearance as the Bond Girl Jinx Johnson and her scene that recreated Honey Ryder’s famous scene in Dr. No when she walks out of the ocean in a bikini. That scene served as a tribute to the entire series, which was celebrating its 40th anniversary.
It also marked the first time the series starred John Cleese as Q, the first time the role was played by someone other than Desmond Llewelyn. Madonna also plays a small role in the film, in addition to providing the theme song.
The Daniel Craig Era
Casino Royale (2006)
2006’s Casino Royale was the first major reboot of the James Bond film series. It restarted the timeline and it starts with new Bond star, Daniel Craig, as a newbie “Double O” which M, still played by Judi Dench, is hesitant that the correct decision was made by promoting him and granting him a license to kill.
The reboot, by almost any measure, was a huge success as critics and fans praised Craig for the gritty realism with which he played the role. Casino Royale also introduces the wonderful Jeffery Wright as old Bond’s old CIA buddy, Felix Leiter.
Quantum Of Solace (2008)
Quantum Of Solace, the second Daniel Craig film, was a bit of a disappointment on the heels of Casino Royale. It features a rather forgettable villain, played by Mathieu Amalric and a rather forgettable Bond Girl, played by Olga Kurylenko.
But, there is another Bond Girl in the film with another classically silly name – Strawberry Fields, portrayed by actress Gemma Arterton. Judi Dench and Jeffery Wright reprised their usual roles as well. Something to look out for – directors Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón both make cameos in the film.
After more behind-the-scenes financial issues, mostly having to do with money problems for MGM, which owned the rights to the James Bond films, it took four years to get Skyfall made. But the wait was worth it, as it was one of the very best in the whole series. Just for starters, the theme song by Adele is fantastic, and it deservedly won an Oscar for Best Song.
Javier Bardem plays the villain and the film introduced a new, younger Q in keeping with the rebooted series, played by Ben Whishaw. Ralph Fiennes as makes his first appearance in a Bond movie as Gareth Mallory, a member of Parliament that oversees MI6. In one of the most emotional moments in the entire series, Judi Dench, as M, dies in the arms of James Bond.
What’s a good reboot without the re-introduction of a classic villain? In the James Bond world, that can only mean one person and one organization, Ernst Blofeld and SPECTRE.
For the first time since the 1970s, The Joker to James Bond’s Batman was back in this Sam Mendes-directed film. In this take, Christoph Waltz puts his spin on the character as the 5th actor to play the role. While the Spectre is not perfect, the opening sequence alone, shot in Mexico City, is worth the price of admission. Also, it marks Ralph Fiennes' Gareth Mallory making his first full appearance as M, as his career transition happened at the end of Skyfall.
Bond 25 (2020)
Production has just begun for the 25th installment of this unstoppable series. In all likelihood it will mark the end of the Daniel Craig era as he has said it will be his last. Not much else is known about it, except that Rami Malek will star as the villain; other newcomers include Ana de Armas, David Dencik and Lashana Lynch; and the familiar faces returning include Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Rory Kinnear, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw and Jeffrey Wright.
We can’t wait to see what is in store for the cinema’s greatest secret agent. Let's just hope that Daniel Craig's recent injury isn't very serious and the film stays on its timeline.
So there it is. The entire list of (soon to be) James Bond movies in order. 25 films in a remarkable franchise that continues to find audiences, both new and old after an amazing 57 years. What will the future hold? No one knows for sure, but it’s a safe bet that James Bond isn’t close to retirement, at least not on screen.