Throughout almost 60 years of action and adventure, Ian Fleming’s 007 has introduced himself with one iconic phrase: “Bond, James Bond.” A calling card that has seen the super spy work his way into danger, pleasure and anything else on behalf of Her Majesty’s secret service, it’s often imitated, but rarely perfected. And depending on who you ask, nobody did it better than Sean Connery, who first uttered those words on this very date in 1962.
While we’re still waiting for No Time To Die to land in theaters, it’s good to take stock of the moments that have made James Bond’s cinematic legacy a memorable force of cinema. And I’m not the only one that feels that way, as the folks running the 007 Instagram account have been keen on pointing out key moments in Bond history as they’ve come up. Which leads to today’s red letter day, as it gave us the line that six actors have each made their own through the 24 James Bond movies that have been released so far, as you’ll see below:
James Bond fans can tell you that there are many hallmarks to what make the character so memorable, and certain dialogue flourishes are part of the formula that’s persisted through EON Productions’ clockwork catalog. Always sharply dressed, you can practically expect James Bond to order his martinis “shaken, not stirred,” and to use his name as the ultimate calling card. Though these traditions have still found a way to be reinvented throughout time.
In particular, when 2006’s Casino Royale played around with introducing 007, his drink order is thrown off in a crass moment where James Bond clashes with a bartender.
Rather than letting Daniel Craig’s still in-training agent introduce himself to just anyone with his signature line, we see the moment saved for the very end of director Martin Campbell’s film. Just as Bond is ready to bring the infamous Mr. White in for questioning in the name of getting to the root of the crime syndicate that authored all of his pain, Craig gets to drop the hammer and end Casino Royale in the best way possible. It’s a moment that still plays almost 15 years after first observing it:
Still, no matter who you think the best James Bond actor happens to be, Sean Connery’s initial performance as Ian Fleming’s masterpiece cannot be denied as a benchmark that the series, intentionally or not, would be measured up against. Whether your favorite 007 happens to be a swaggering humorist like Roger Moore, a deadly serious chap like George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig, or a mix of both worlds like Pierce Brosnan, they have all tipped their hats at one point or another to the Connery legacy. Let’s all raise our glasses, shaken, stirred, or just chilled, and toast James Bond’s legendary catchphrase; as this is one of those anniversaries 007 fans just have to celebrate.