The James Bond Movies

1. 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 ...
2. 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.
3. GOLDFINGER, 1964
Connery is this time directed by Guy Hamilton (who would also direct 7-9 of the series).
4. THUNDERBALL, 1965
Director Terence Young returns. Two nuclear bombs are stolen and used to threaten the world's oil supply.
5. 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 David Niven.
6. 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).
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. MOONRAKER, 1979
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.
12. 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.
13. OCTOPUSSY, 1983
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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. GOLDENEYE, 1995
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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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 James Bond.

         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