50 Years of James Bond

Nov 14, 12 50 Years of James Bond

The latest James Bond movie, “Skyfall” (currently showing in cinemas) marks the 50th anniversary of the longest-running movie franchise in the entertainment industry. Yes, it’s been 50 long years since everyone’s favourite secret agent made his first appearance on the silver screen in 1962’s “Dr. No”, starring Sean Connery as the first Agent 007. This movie was also best remembered for the now-famous ‘coming out from the water’ scene by Bond girl Ursula Andress in her white bikini. This scene was later re-enacted by Halle Berry as the Bond girl in 2002’s “Die Another Day”.

With both Connery and Andress playing their roles to perfection in “Dr. No”, they have set the benchmark for all future James Bonds and Bond girls respectively. Fast forward 50 years and 23 Bond movies later, Agent 007 is showing no signs of slowing down. Its latest instalment, “Skyfall”, currently showing in cinemas and starring Daniel Craig in his 3rd outing as Agent 007, has been widely regarded as the one of the best Bond movies ever and depicts 007 in one of his most challenging missions so far, i.e. a battle against an ex-MI6 agent on a quest for revenge against his former employer.

“Skyfall” aside, how well do you remember the other 22 James Bond movies? Just to recap, below is the list of the entire 23 official Bond movies* (“official” as in produced by its main producer Metro-Goldwyn Mayer or MGM), together with its year of release and the actor who played James Bond in the movie:

Sean Connery

  1. Dr. No (1962)
  2. From Russia with Love (1963)
  3. Goldfinger (1964)
  4. Thunderball (1965)
  5. You Only Live Twice (1967)
  6. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

George Lazenby

  1. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Roger Moore

  1. Live and Let Die (1973)
  2. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
  3. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
  4. Moonraker (1979)
  5. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  6. Octopussy (1983)
  7. A View to a Kill (1985)

Timothy Dalton

  1. The Living Daylights (1987)
  2. Licence to Kill (1989)

Pierce Brosnan

  1. GoldenEye (1995)
  2. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
  3. The World Is Not Enough (1999)
  4. Die Another Day (2002)

Daniel Craig

  1. Casino Royale (2006)
  2. Quantum of Solace (2008)
  3. Skyfall (2012)

* Source: Wikipedia

With a total of 6 actors having played the suave secret agent, comparisons are bound to be made on who was the better James Bond. Therefore, my question for the day is: Who was your favourite James Bond? For me personally, I felt that Sean Connery exudes the persona and the suavity of a quintessential James Bond. This is despite his movies being screened years before I was even born. In fact, I have watched most of his as well as Roger Moore’s Bond movies, and I would say that the former did more justice to the James Bond character as compared to the latter.

One more thing to note is that ever since Daniel Craig’s introduction as the new James Bond in “Casino Royale”, I have observed a change of trends in the James Bond movies as compared to previous releases. The changes are summarised below:

  1. The Bond villains are no longer the madcap villains who are bent on dominating certain countries or even the world, but simply those who have their own personal agenda to carry out.
  2. James Bond’s cars, usually one of the highlights of its movies with all its gadgets and weaponry, are now reduced to just a cameo role. However, as with his previous movies, he still has a habit of getting beautiful cars smashed.
  3. Last but not least, James Bond is now no longer seen snuggling with the Bond girl at the end of the movie. Some of the Bond girls even die before the end of the movie. Despite that however, James Bond remains as womanising as ever.

Like him or loathe him, James Bond is here to stay. And with news of two more Bond movies in the pipeline (for release in 2014 and 2016 respectively), it looks like the long-running Bond franchise is set to continue in the years to come.

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