James Bond is one of the most entertaining, dynamic and impactful characters in cinema. Created by novelist Ian Fleming in 1953 and adapted to film in 1962, the British spy has always had audiences wrapped around his finger, with his daredevil action sequences, ingenious weapons and charming ways. The Bond franchise has spanned across six decades and 24 films, with the latest thrilling addition being No Time To Die, which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video now.
No Time To Die finds Bond retired from active service, living his best life in Jamaica. His peace is disrupted as an old friend from the CIA turns up, asking for Bond’s help in rescuing a kidnapped scientist. No Time To Die is also the swan-song for Daniel Craig’s James Bond, the end to another chapter in the spy’s story.
With the addition of No Time To Die, Amazon Prime Video now houses the entire James Bond film collection. Here’s your guide to the James Bond films in chronological order, with behind-the-scenes anecdotes about what went into creating these legendary films.
1. Dr. No (1962)
Agent 007 goes up against an eccentric, megalomaniac scientist, Dr. No, who is determined to ruin the US space programme.
Trivia: Sean Connery almost didn’t get the role of Bond. On seeing his screen test, producer Albert Broccoli’s bosses in the US responded with a telegram that read, “NO. KEEP TRYING.” Broccoli finally put his foot down and insisted on Connery when time was running out.
2. From Russia With Love (1963)
James Bond is tasked with searching for a dangerous Lektor cryptographic device and stopping SPECTRE, a secret crime organisation, from acquiring it.
Trivia: Fleming initially disapproved of Connery’s portrayal of the spy but this is the film that won him over.
3. Goldfinger (1964)
While investigating a gold-smuggling ring run by businessman Auric Goldfinger, Bond uncovers a sinister plan to attack Fort Knox’s gold reserves.
Trivia: This was a film of many firsts. It was the first Bond film that began with a cold open (the spy goes on a mission unrelated to the plot to set the tone of the film), the first Bond film to feature an opening theme by an iconic vocalist and the first Bond film to build on the spy’s dynamic with his gadget master – Q.
4. Thunderball (1965)
Bond goes on a mission to recover two atomic bombs stolen by a SPECTRE agent.
Trivia: Thunderball won the Academy Award for Best Special Effects but it wasn’t easy. Special effects director James Stears had to swim in a tank with live sharks to film. He narrowly escaped a bloodbath, as did stunt man Bill Cummings and Sean Connery.
5. You Only Live Twice (1967)
An American space capsule is abducted by a Russian spaceship. However, as James Bond discovers that SPECTRE is responsible for it, he embarks on a mission to unearth the motive behind it.
Trivia: When Nancy Sinatra sang the theme song for this Bond film, she was so nervous and it took her 25 takes to finally get it right.
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
James Bond sets out on a mission to defeat Blofeld, who hypnotises beautiful women to fulfil his evil motives.
Trivia: This was George Lazenby’s first and only film as Bond. While auditioning, he arrived wearing a Saville Row suit (that Connery himself had ordered but not picked up), and a Rolex Submariner watch.
7. Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
James Bond masquerades as Peter Franks to uncover a diamond smuggling conspiracy. He must also stop an old rival from using the diamonds to create a deadly laser.
Trivia: Sean Connery returned to the franchise for this film, charging a whopping 1.2 million dollars. He also made the most of the shoot happening in Vegas, shooting during the day and partying it up at night.
8. Live and Let Die (1973)
James Bond is sent to New York to investigate the mysterious deaths of British agents and finds himself in a world of heroin, black magic and voodoo. This was Roger Moore’s first film as Bond.
Trivia: Live and Let Die unintentionally set a Guinness World record. In the speedboat jump scene over the bayou, filmed with the assistance of a specially-constructed ramp, the boat cleared a height of 110 feet.
9. The Man with the Golden Gun
James Bond tries to recover a device that can harness solar energy. At the same time he finds himself targeted by Francisco Scaramanga, the world’s most expensive contract killer.
Trivia: The eponymous golden gun was created from a number of tobacco and men’s accessories, including a cigarette case, fountain pen and cigarette lighter. It was tricky to operate, and many takes were lost because of the prop.
10. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
After the Royal Navy Polaris submarine carrying sixteen nuclear warheads mysteriously disappears, James Bond teams up with Major Anya Amasova to find them.
Trivia: During production, cinematographer Claude Renoir’s eyesight was slipping. The set for the supertanker scene was so huge that Renoir couldn’t see from one end to the other. He turned to friend and collaborator Stanley Kubrick, who did uncredited work on the scene’s lighting.
11. Moonraker (1979)
After a space shuttle loaned to the United Kingdom is hijacked, James Bond is asked to step in and get to the root of the problem.
Trivia: Director Lewis Gilbert was persuaded to make Jaws, an assassin we first see in The Spy Who Loved Me, an ally of Bond by the end of the film, after receiving lots of fan mail from children saying “Why can’t Jaws be a goodie not a baddie”.
12. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
After a British information-gathering vessel sinks into the sea, Agent 007 is given the responsibility of locating the lost encryption device and thwarting it from entering inimical hands.
Trivia: Roger Moore was a pacifist in real life, so he took issue with one of Bond’s ruthless moments in the film. He hated killing Locque, the henchman, saying that it was ‘Bond-like, but not Roger Moore Bond-like’.
13. A View to a Kill (1985)
Max Zorin, a menacing microchip manufacturer, harbours a plan to destroy all of his Silicon Valley competitors. Now, it is up to James Bond, agent 007, to put an end to the maniac’s lethal intentions.
Trivia: Duran Duran recorded the hit theme song, earning a Golden Globe nomination. They got the gig when bassist John Taylor, an avid Bond fan, encountered producer Albert Broccoli and drunkenly asked him, ‘When are you going to have a decent theme song again?’
14. The Living Daylights (1987)
James Bond must cross several continents to confront and defeat an arms dealer who is conspiring with a Soviet general to start another world war for profit. This was the first of the two films that starred Timothy Dalton as Bond.
Trivia: At one point, this film was intended to be a prequel and end with Bond being given his mission for Dr. No (1962).
15. Licence To Kill (1989)
After his friend Felix Leiter gets maimed by a drug lord, James Bond seeks revenge. With the MI6 refusing to back him, Bond takes matters into his own hands.
Trivia: The film was originally titled Licence Revoked, but was changed later after American audiences in test screenings said it reminded them too much of driving violations.
16. Goldeneye (1995)
Agent 007, along with Natalia Simonav, travels to Russia to locate the satellite nuclear weapon stolen by Alec, a former agent, who Bond believed was dead. With this film, Pierce Brosnan took over from Timothy Dalton as Bond, and actress Judi Dench was cast as Secret Intelligence Service head, M.
Trivia: Judi Dench was the first female actor to portray M, and her character drew inspiration from Agent Stella Rimington, who was the real-life head of MI6 between 1992 and 1996.
17. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
James Bond sets out to prevent a media baron, Elliot Carver, from waging a war between China and the United Kingdom after he gets summoned by the Secret Intelligence Service.
Trivia: None of the Bond stunt men wanted to do the bicycle shop fight scene with Michelle Yeoh, due to her full contact stunt fighting style, perfected in Hong Kong action films. The producers finally had to call in Jackie Chan’s stunt team.
18. The World is Not Enough (1999)
James Bond is entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the daughter of an oil tycoon. While on his mission, he learns about an even more dangerous plot that would put the world’s oil supply at risk.
Trivia: This was Desmond Llwelyn’s last time playing the iconic gadget master Q, a much loved character in the franchise. He played the character in all the Bond films, but one, from 1963 to 1999. The character did not appear again until 2012, played by Ben Winshaw in Skyfall.
19. Die Another Day (2002)
James Bond is assigned with the mission to enquire about the connection between a Korean terrorist and a diamond baron. However, upon being betrayed, he gets captured by the enemy.
Trivia: The movie was originally inspired by Ian Fleming’s novel Moonraker, making Die Another Day the first Bond movie since Licence to Kill (1989) to take direct inspiration from a Fleming novel.
20. Casino Royale (2006)
Shortly after earning his license to kill, agent James Bond suits up to take down an infamous financier of global terrorism — at the poker table.
Trivia: The opening parkour chase, one of Casino Royale’s most spectacular set pieces, took a whopping six weeks to shoot. It also involved one of the inventors of Le Parkour, Sebastian Foucan, who Bond is chasing.
21. Quantum of Solace (2008)
An investigation leads James Bond on the trail of Dominic Greene, a renowned developer of green technology. When Dominic assists a coup in Bolivia to fulfil his intentions, Bond must save the day.
Trivia: Daniel Craig, in his second film as Bond, was injured at least three times during the making of this movie. The most prominent ones included an injury to his face, another to his shoulder, which required six surgical screws to be inserted in an operation, and then his hand was injured when one of his fingertips was sliced off.
21. Skyfall (2012)
An ex-MI6 agent steals a hard drive with top-secret information to carry out a vendetta on Bond’s overseer, M. Bond must face his past in a bid to try and save M.
Trivia: The opening action sequence only takes up about 12 minutes of screen time, but it took 4 months to prep, 3 months to rehearse, and 2 months to shoot. 200 crew members were brought over from England and an additional 200 local crew members were recruited in Turkey.
23. Spectre (2015)
Bond receives an obscure message from M about a sinister organisation. With the help of Madeleine (Bond’s lover and daughter of his old rival, Mr.White), he uncovers the conspiracy, only to face an ugly truth.
Trivia: This movie marked the first appearance of Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann. She is the only Bond girl to star in more than one film, as she continues to be part of Bond’s story in No Time To Die.
24. No Time to Die (2021)
Retired from active service and enjoying some quiet in Jamaica, Bond is unexpectedly thrown back into action when his close friend asks for his help in the rescue of a kidnapped scientist.
Trivia: Rami Malek, the Oscar winning actor who plays the villain, forgot his lines the first time he did a take with Daniel Craig. The actor told British talk show host Graham Norton, “I was looking straight at James Bond. I couldn’t handle it.”
Recommendation in collaboration with Amazon Prime Video