The James Bond Movies
DR. NO, 1962
- The first Bond film, starring Connery and directed by
Terence Young. This started off far less over-the-top
and more serious than later films. Bond discovers the secret
base of Dr. No on a Carribean island with the help of ...
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, 1963
- Connery and Young return for the second film. A Russian agent
seemingly falls in love with Bond from his dossier, but it is
really a plot to kill and discredit him.
- Connery is this time directed by Guy Hamilton (who would
also direct 7-9 of the series).
- Director Terence Young returns. Two nuclear bombs are
stolen and used to threaten the world's oil supply.
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, 1967
- Connery with writer Roald Dahl and director Lewis Gilbert (a
veteran war movie director). Bond goes to Japan to track down
a secret rocket base.
- * CASINO ROYALE (1967)
- An unofficial Bond film that is essentially parody, starring
ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, 1969
- Newcomer George Lazenby's sole film as Bond -- a more serious
film with less flashy hardware, directed by Peter R. Hunt
(the editor of three previous Bond films).
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, 1971
- Sean Connery returns in his penultimate Bond part, directed
again by Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger). Much more comical
with the homosexual killers Wynt and Kidd along with killer
babes Bambi and Thumper.
LIVE AND LET DIE, 1973
- Roger Moore's debut as Bond, again with director Guy Hamilton.
Bond faces the black heroin kingpin Mr. Big and his beautiful
psychic Solitaire in New York City, New Orleans, and the
Carribean. True to the book, this is also horribly racist.
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, 1974
- Again Roger Moore with Guy Hamilton, as Bond faces nemesis
assassin Scaramanga as both try to retrieve the Solex Agitator.
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, 1977
- Roger Moore this time with director Lewis Gilbert. This
features Bond's Soviet counterpart, Anya Amasova or Triple-X,
as they take on seagoing magnate Karl Stromberg.
- Lewis Gilbert again directs Moore, along with new writer
Michael G. Wilson who will have a hand in every future Bond
film. Bond tracks down a true destroy-the-world conspiracy
from someone who plans to wipe out the world's population
from his space station.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, 1981
- The first of director John Glen's five Bond films. Bond must
track down an encryption device lost with a ship sunk off the
coast of Albania. Strong female parts for revenge-drive
Melina Havelock and jealous ice skater Bibi -- ending in
a cliff-top monastery.
- A lost Faberge egg is the clue to a rogue Soviet general's
plan, which leads to beautiful circus owner Octopussy.
This was written by Flashman author George MacDonald Fraser
along with veteran writers Maibaum and Wilson.
NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, 1983
- Connery's return as Bond in a remake of Thunderball.
A VIEW TO A KILL, 1985
- The seventh and final Roger Moore Bond film, again with director
John Glen. This highly forgetable film is largely a string of
loosely reasoned action scenes with little dramatic punch. It
has the Siberian ski/snowboarding chase, Paris car-after-parachute
chase, horse-jumping sequence, SF bay snorkeling, and finally
the blimp caught on Golden Gate bridge.
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, 1987
- Timothy Dalton's debut as Bond, with director Glen.
Bond helps a Russian general to defect, but he eventually
discovers that it was a trick. He ends up in Afghanistan
and teams up with the mujaheddin to beat the rogue general.
LICENSE TO KILL, 1989
- The last Bond film for Timothy Dalton as well as for
director John Glen. Bond quits the service to take on
a drug lord who killed his friend Felix Leiter.
- Pierce Brosnan's debut as Bond with Martin Campbell as
director (mainly dramatic and TV work). Bond teams up
with a beautiful Russian programmer (?) to stop a plan
to use a deadly satellite.
TOMORROW NEVER DIES, 1997
- Roger Spottiswoode (Air America) takes over directing Brosnan
along with Michelle Yeoh. Bond teams up with Chinese agent
Wai Lin to face media giant Elliot Carver, who is set on
starting a war with China.
THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, 1999
- Dramatic director Michael Apted (Gorky Park, Nell) takes over.
Bond acts as bodyguard for orphaned heiress Elektra, while
tracking down pain-immune killer Renard. The scheme involves
nuclear bombs on oil pipelines, with the climax within a
Russian nuclear submarine.
DIE ANOTHER DAY, 2002
- Director Lee Tamahori takes over (Once Were Warriors,
Mulholland Falls). This starts with Bond's torture by
North Koreans, who turn out to be behind a killer-satellite
scheme to lead their invasion of the South.
*Source: "Bond Vs. Bond" by Denise Hamilton, feature article
in New Times, Volume 3 Number 45, November 5-11, 1998.
Ms. Hamilton's very informative article discusses the controversy
surrounding a legal battle between Sony and MGM over movie rights to
When United Artists and MGM enumerate 19 Bond films, they are talking
about the 19 official Bonds made by the producers who initiated the series
and developed the phenomenon that came to be envied and imitated by every
studio in the world.
The other films that have the character James Bond in them aren't really
part of the continuing series. They don't feature the official trappings
of the original bloodline: the gunbarrel graphic opening, John Barry's
jazzy theme music, and so forth.
The non-Bond Bonds are Casino Royale (1967) and
Never Say Never Again (1983).
It is generally known that the rights to the novel Casino Royale
were sold to a producer, Gregory Ratoff in the early fifties for $1,000.*
A television play was made from it, with Barry Nelson as Bond and Peter
Lorre as Le Chiffre. Hence this title stayed separate and free when the
rest of the Ian Fleming oeuvre was acquired for the movies. Much later
Casino Royale was made into a big-budget comedy spy caper to
'Get on the Bond-wagon', as they used to say. Its producer was Charles
K. Feldman, an agent who represented Ratoff's widow.
Never Say Never Again stems from a different situation. Also
generally known is that in the late fifties Ian Fleming took a break
from writing novels to develop a screenplay in conjunction with
potential producing partners, who included English producer/writer
Kevin McClory. That project, called 'Longitude 78 West', was never
filmed. Fleming converted ideas from it into his book, Thunderball,
and a court case followed, which in 1963 ended with film rights
to Thunderball being awarded to Sean McClory. When it came
time in the official series to film Thunderball, McClory
remained part of the package. Exercising his rights, he essentially
remade Thunderball in 1983 as Never Say Never Again.
His producing coup, of course, was to successfully cast Sean Connery,
which is why Never Say Never Again is often erroneously thought
to be part of the series.
John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Mon Jun 7 17:50:40 2004