How Many James Bond Movies Are There?
I was flipping channels the other night, and I could hardly believe my eyes: It was Dr. No, the original Bond film, and it was just starting.
There’s something beautifully Mad Men-ish about the early Bond films, including 1962’s Dr. No, which came out right about the time Season 3 of Mad Men was taking place. It’s Sean Connery and beautiful simplicity. Did the actors and director and producers know then that they were starting a film series that would extend well into the future?
But how many James Bond movies are there? That was my question as I sat there watching Ursula Andress emerge from the water on a tropical island, a net of oversized shells in her hand. “I can get $50 for this one in Miami,” she says cooly.
I love it.
But here’s the answer: There are 25 official James Bond movies, plus a 26th that’s unofficial and not part of the authentic Bond canon. More on that in a moment.
Here’s a rundown of the 25 films, the actors who played 007, as well as a note on my favorite Bond film. Question? Use the comments section below, or message me directly through our contact page.
1. Dr. No (1962)
2. From Russia With Love (1963)
3. Goldfinger (1964)
4. Thunderball (1965)
5. You Only Live Twice (1967)
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
7. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
8. Live and Let Die (1973)
9. The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
10. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
11. Moonraker (1979)
12. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
13. Octopussy (1983)
14. Never Say Never Again (1983)
15. A View to a Kill (1985)
16. The Living Daylights (1987)
17. License to Kill (1989)
18. GoldenEye (1995)
19. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
20. The World is Not Enough (1999)
21. Die Another Day (2002)
22. Casino Royale (2006)
23. Quantum of Solace (2008)
24. Skyfall (2012)
25. Spectre (2015)
The Next Bond Film?
The 26th Bond film has a release date in November 2019. More on this below, including who will play Bond. (Spoiler: Probably Daniel Craig again.)
Just know that the answer to the question — How many James Bond films are there? — is currently 25 officially and 26 unofficially. But that answer is likely to bump up to 26 officially and 27 unofficially in 2019.
The 26th and Unofficial Bond Film
There was a Casino Royale that appeared in theaters in 2006. It was the first Bond film starring Daniel Craig. But it wasn’t the first Casino Royale.
The first Casino Royale starred David Niven as James Bond. The film is satirical, and it largely poked fun at the existing Bond films, of which four had been made prior to Casino Royale’s appearance in theaters.
The film did well at the box office, but critics panned it. How did Casino Royale get made as a spoof in the first place? Producer Charles Feldman has purchased the rights in 1960, and he tried to get it made as part of Eon Productions’ Bond series — produced by the famous duo Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli, who produced the better known Bond films.
But Feldman and Eon couldn’t come to an agreement. Feldman didn’t think he could make a serious Bond film out of Casino Royale, not one that would match up with the others produced by Saltzman and Broccoli. So he decided to make a spoof instead.
The Bond Actors
Six actors have played James Bond in the 25 films that make up the accepted canon. Here’s a look at who they are and the films in which they acted.
Sean Connery played James Bond through the first five films before retiring. He was coaxed into returning twice in the future, first for 1971’s Diamonds are Forever and then again for 1983’s Never Say Never Again.
Films (7): Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds are Forever, Never Say Never Again.
Australian model George Lazenby got just one shot at playing 007. That shot came in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. His agent told him not to negotiate a multi-picture contract because he expected the Bond film’s popularity to wane. So, he played Bond once, and then was replaced — by Sean Connery, the man who previously played Bond.
Film (1): On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Roger Moore ushered in the cheeky Bond era, one that relied heavily on comedy and the punny one-liners that 007 would issue after a cartoonish enemy met his or her demise. Moore is a polarizing Bond. Some love the levity; others hate it. But he does tie Connery for the record of most times playing Bond with 7: Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Love Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and View to a Kill.
Films (7): Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, View to a Kill.
A cult favorite, Timothy Dalton is beloved by many true Bond fans. He played 007 only twice, once in The Living Daylights and once in License to Kill. Rumor has it that he would have played Bond again, but legal issues forced a significant break in the production of Bond films — no new movies between 1989 and 1995. And Dalton officially stepped back from the role in 1994.
Films (2): The Living Daylights, License to Kill.
Pierce Brosnan revived the Bond series after its long hiatus, first appearing in GoldenEye in 1995, then following up with appearances in Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day — the last of which featured a cameo by Madonna in addition to her voice over the film’s intro.
Films (4): GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day.
Daniel Craig brought a decidedly different perspective to the role of Bond. He played a young and more rebellious Bond, a Bond who even bled — unlike Moore’s Bond, who could fall from a plane, get in a fistfight and nearly drown only to have his tuxedo looking like it just came from the cleaners. Craig was rumored to be leaving the Bond franchise after the last film — Spectre — but he’s back in production to play 007 once again.
Films (4): Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre.
The Next Bond?
The next James Bond film has a release date of Nov. 8, 2019. Who will play the famous MI6 agent? It sure sounds like Daniel Craig is, which means he backed off the comment that he would rather “slash my wrists” than play 007 again. One can assume that the next Bond film will be Craig’s last, though. Let the speculation begin on who’s next.
My Favorite Bond Film
What is the best Bond film? I’m preferential to the Connery era, though I do love the modern Craig version. Looking at Connery’s 7 films, I can say that I love the first three: Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. But my favorite is the franchise’s fifth film: You Only Live Twice.
My favorite scene is one in which Connery builds a helicopter out of parts that show up in boxes. The chopper in a box is called “Little Nellie,” and it pretty much sums up 007’s gadgetry. Here’s Little Nellie in action:
What’s your favorite Bond film? There’s definitely no right or wrong answer. Let us know in the comments section below, or you can always send a message via our contact form.