James Bond Films In Order – How to watch all the James Bond films in order From 6 actors and 26 Bond films, here’s how to watch the spy films in order.
Over the decades of films audiences have been blessed with a classic and oft-visited sub-genre, espionage. These days, many different characters come to mind, but there is no spy as iconic as Bond… James Bond. One of the most famous characters ever to grace the silver screen, James Bond has been a recurring character since his inception in 1962. He has been played by 6 different James Bond actors up to this, each film honoring the classic Bond tropes but in each its own James flavor. Do you like to shake it or stir it? As any Bond fan knows, there is only one right answer.
James Bond Films In Order
To celebrate 60 years of Bond, we’ve compiled a list of every film in order of the actor who played the role. Although a James Bond movie marathon may seem like a daunting task, any spy movie fan should consider every Bond movie worth watching at least once. With no definitive end to this timeless film series, it is very likely that a new Bond timeline will open in the near future. Because of this, it’s best to know exactly where to start your James Bond film education from the beginning to the present.
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With 6 different actors and 26 films in the series, watching all the James Bond films is quite a daunting task. If you’re hoping to watch the movies in chronological order, your best bet is to stick with the actors and work your way down the list. You can also watch the movies in their release order, but the timeline gets a little better because Sean Connery returns several times.
Starting our list with the first Bonds of 1962, Ian Fleming’s James Bond character gets off to a strong start with the help of Sean Connery: who many see as the best Bond ever. Starring in 7 Bond films, Connery is tied for most Bond films combined. Connery’s tenure as Bond is also unique in that all 7 were not chronological. He paved the way as Bond from 1962 to 1967 with his first 5 films, returned for another in 1971 and then another in 1983. This, among other things, is proof that people love Connery Bond.
In the very first installment of James Bond, Dr. No starts the saga strong with style and grace. Although this film was an iconic beginning, the Bond formula was only in its infancy. Despite this, the usual tropes were already starting to develop: clever humour, assassination attempts, fancy spy gadgets and most importantly: the Bond girl. Played by Ursula Andress, Honey Ryder began the tradition of the Bond girl playing alongside Bond in his exploits.
In the second Bond installment, From Russia with Love capitalizes on the success of Dr. No in a great way. In what some would consider a step up from the last film, this film jumps straight to the terrifying criminal organization known as SPECTRE, which reappears from time to time each other throughout Bond’s 60 years and already presented in Dr. No. Among other things, this is something that helps make this a strong film, as well as its references to the Cold War.
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Just when audiences thought it couldn’t get any better, Goldfinger hits the screen and blows them away. Standing out as the greatest Bond of all the Bond films, Goldfinger takes the blueprints of the Bond film formula and completely perfects it. Between the hideous villain who turns victims into gold and the likeable Oddjob who drops a hat of blades, this was the true beginning of the Bond film style that has become so frequent. This was also the first Bond film to introduce the ‘Bond Song’ (by Shirley Bassey) and the accompanying intro sequence as well as Desmond Llewelyn’s legendary performance as Q, who would continue in that role for decades.
Taking a slight dip in overall quality, Thunderball was not as well received by critics as the first three films. Despite this, this fourth Bond film in four years still works as a great addition to the saga. With its fun action sequences, different settings and the continuation of the battle between Bond and SPECTRE, this is a logical and enjoyable film that is a lot of fun.
In the fifth and apparently last Bond film, Connery reprises the role of Bond once again in You Only Live Twice. Although it doesn’t rank as his best Bond film, it still stands as an entertaining and worthy classic in the lineup. Set in Japan, we have some creative sets, costumes and themes that make this a rather unique Bond film.
Due to the initial bad taste Lazenby left on critics’ tongues with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the studio asked Connery to return. Desperate for the commercial success of the first 5 Bond films, Connery was offered a salary of $1.25 million to return as Bond alongside Goldfinger director Guy Hamilton.
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Although this film was carefully planned for commercial success – to recapture the promise that the series once held, Diamonds Are Forever is a rather unusual addition to the saga. While checking all the boxes to make this film everything a Bond film should be, it still does so with far less gusto than Connery’s previous films. This is not to say that the film is underrated as it is still a fun action film that is everything you would expect it to be.
To everyone’s surprise, Sean Connery returns again to play the skilled spy more than ten years later. Although Connery promised that he would never return as Bond again, the plot of Never Say Never Again is basically a reimagining of Thunderball but the version that Kevin McClory wanted to make. Fleming went on to modernize the alternate version of the plot we are most familiar with, sharing no writing credit with McClory or co-writer Jack Whittingham. McClory applied for a successful copyright claim and was only granted the right to act on his version after ten years. It was difficult to secure Connery for the role, but his $3 million contract certainly helped seal the deal.
Although most would consider this not even to qualify as a Bond film (first non-Eon production), Never Say Never Again has everything that needs to be considered a Bond film: a Bond song, Bond girls, spy gadgets, Q, M, a plot revolving around SPECTRE, and most importantly: Sean Connery. Taking the look and feel of a 1960’s Bond film, the results came out surprisingly well. This is also partly due to Kim Basinger’s supporting role as Domino Petachi: a Bond girl who still wouldn’t pass the Bechdel test, but is a big step up from the previous leading ladies.
The only actor to play Bond in just one film, George Lazenby had an incredibly short-lived career in the saga inspired by Ian Fleming. Commonly ridiculed by critics in his day, the Australian model was an odd choice for Bond as he had very little acting experience and his performance was rather stiff at times. As the second actor to portray Bond, expectations were very high for Lazenby. Because of this, it could be argued that George’s reviews are a little too harsh. After all this time, his presence in the Bond saga has been considered one of the staples.
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Lazenby’s take on the Bond epic On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is like we’ve jumped into another universe, one that rubbed many the wrong way. This film was special in the way it focused on Bond as a person, not just the gruff, charming spy. While the plot, action sequences, villains, Bond girls and Bond song are all pretty solid and enjoyable, poor George has been the target of criticism for this film. This film was considered the fourth worst Bond film in terms of commercial success.
One of the most skeptical Bond actors to be accepted by the public, Roger Moore makes his debut as a smart and fast-paced action hero. Using a slightly more comedic style, Moore consistently appeared as Bond with a stage presence that audiences would come to enjoy. Putting his stamp firmly on the saga, many agreed that his newer style and manner of speaking transformed Bond into a lighter, less rugged version of himself which was a welcome change of pace.
Starting from a decent place, Moore mostly landed on his feet in his new role that audiences had come to love so much. Although it was difficult to see anyone other than Connery in the role, critics and audiences alike agreed that it was at least better than Lazenby’s appearance – at least at first. Safely placed in Moore’s top three films, Live and Let Die was an ensemble piece
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