This year makes the 60th anniversary of Bond, James Bond, and with all the films recently coming to Prime Video as part of Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM earlier this year, I thought it was about time I watched them all again in order and see how I feel about each film. Since June 2020, Graham Stark and Matt Wiggins from LoadingReadyRun have been producing a fascinating podcast called From Rewatch with Love which I have been listening to on a regular basis.

This post will include my opinions of each of the 25 moves of the James Bond film franchise from Dr. No to No Time To Die. I won’t be including the none-EON Productions films Casino Royale (1967) or Never Say Never Again (1983). I will be including the ratings given by Graham and Matt in From Rewatch with Love (which include Casino Royale 1967 and Never Say Never Again 1983) as well as my own.

The first film I remember watching of 007 is Goldfinger; it has been my favourite film of the franchise ever since. I have seen some of the films multiple times, some only parts of them, and some I’ve never got around to viewing at all. So as a massive Bond fan, I hope this will help me to watch the ones I’ve missed, rank the films more fairly, and maybe find a new favourite. I may even change my mind on some of the others that I currently don’t rate too highly… like No Time To Die.

QUICK LINKS


Dr. No (1962)

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Staring the late Sir Sean Connery as Bond, this is a film which I haven’t seen in full until now. Its budget was $1.1 million in 1962 ($10.9 million in 2022). Considering the budget, it holds up rather well by today’s standards. The rear projection car chase scenes and the rudimentary suites in the radiation area do age it somewhat. However, the story, acting, and locations are all on point. It also includes those things which make a Bond film, a Classic Bond film, including the gun barrel sequence, Money Penny scene, silhouettes in the opening, airport pick-up scene, the end boat scene, and the mention of Spectre will run through the franchise. The pacing of the film is a bit slow for my taste, we don’t get to Dr. No himself until three-quarters of the way into the film, but you can feel his presence in what’s going on much earlier. It also overuses the Bond theme a lot which takes away from the action somewhat, and the Q-ish scene with Major Boothroydis (played by Peter Burton) is a bit boring since he only hands Bond a gun and nothing more. The film does include one of my favourite characters Felix Leiter (played by Jack Lord) which was nice to see. All-in-all, Dr. No is a robust Bond film and one which I’d be happy to watch anytime, not my favourite but it’s up there for sure.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)13/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)09/27
My Rating (Watched on 18th Oct 2022)Not enough data yet/25

From Russia with Love (1963)

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Just over a year after Dr. No, Sir Sean Connery returns as 007 in a film I have never watched, From Russia With Love, with an increased budget of $2 million in 1963 ($19.4 million in 2022). The film opens with a training exercise for ‘James Bond Assasins’ the first pre-title sequence of the franchise and then moves into a classic silhouette and text over bodies opening titles. The theme song (composed by Lionel Bart and sung by Matt Monro) was a bit underwhelming with no lyrics, and we wouldn’t hear the one with vocals until the end of the film. According to From Rewatch with Love most of the story was put together in post-production as the script wasn’t finished before production started. However, the film flows very well even with that. The story is interesting, with the British and Russians both being played by Spectre and Blofeld. The rear projection is back and this time is used way more including most Turkey location backdrops with Bond and Tatiana Romanova (played by Daniela Bianchi), this is most noticeable when they are on the boat towards the latter half of the film. I do love a train car fight and this film doesn’t disappoint, it’s on par for me with the ones in Skyfall or Spectre and includes the use of the first real James Bond gadget, the suitcase with tear gas inside, a definite upgrade from the simple gun in Dr. No. Although this is a much more polished 007 film they are still overusing the Bond theme. For a film I’ve never watched, this is a solid movie and builds well on the foundations of Dr. No which adds a good well-executed storyline, more action, and the first real gadgets of the franchise – From Russia With Love is a solid Bond film, and one I’ll be watching more often.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)05/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)01/27
My Rating (Watched on 20th Oct 2022)Not enough data yet/25

Goldfinger (1964)

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Goldfinger is the first Bond film I remember watching, and it has been my favourite ever since. It starts with an action-packed pre-title fight scene then moves into a classic Bond opening title and one of the most iconic 007 theme songs. At the start of the film, we meet Auric Goldfinger (played by Gert Fröbe) and Jill Masterson (played by Shirley Eaton) as Bond has a little fun with the card-cheating Goldfinger. It still has the quirks of the other two films. Although, the rear projection isn’t anywhere near as bad in this one. The film overall has a compelling storyline, a charming and infamous villain, and a villain sidekick Oddjob (played by Harold Sakata), who could easily have his own 007 movie. The film also has our first real Q scene of the franchise (played by Desmond Llewelyn) with brilliant gadgets, good pacing and chase scenes, striking visuals (Jill covered head to toe in gold paint, for example), and all for a budget of $3 million in 1964 (over $27 million in 2022). Pussy Galore (played by Honor Blackman) is again, like Oddjob, a very able villain in her own right with her own Flying Circus which is used later in the film to aid in the plot, and simultaneously used against it. Goldfinger brought in $125 million at the box office ($1.1 billion in 2022) beating box office figures for Dr. No and From Russia with Love combined. It will take an exceptional film to kick this movie off my top spot. I enjoy this movie as much today as I always have.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)06/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)15/27
My Rating (Watched on 1st Nov 2022)Not enough data yet/25

Thunderball (1965)

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Thumberball is one of those Bond films that I’ve seen only parts of in the past. This is the first Bond movie to be made in Panavision, and with that comes a new gun barrel sequence with Sean Connery, which uses a circular vignette as a transition. The main reason for not seeing Thumberball all the way through is that I have always got bored part way through. However, for this rewatch, I have watched through the whole thing, and sadly it just failed to grip me. I think there are just too many silent underwater scenes with slow pacing for my liking. It seemed like the first 30 minutes when we meet the NATO inspectors Spectre body double, the bombs are stolen, and then the meeting of all the double-Os. The last 30 minutes with Bond and Felix (Played by Rik Van Nutter) finding the boat, the (very long) underwater fight scene, the Disco Volante being attacked by the Navy and the bombs getting recovered had all the story in it. The rest of the film felt like filler and added very little to the overall mission and storylines. Having said all that there are things I did enjoy during the film, including the Jet Pack during the pre-title sequence, and the song is up there, just not quite as good as Goldfinger. I liked the visuals of the shark tank being connected to the swimming pool, although if that was my pool I’d be a little on edge when swimming in it. I think some future 007 movies will do a better job of utilizing sharks in the story. All-in-all Thumberball is okay. I certainly wouldn’t choose to watch this one over the proceeding three films. However, if it is on TV one evening then I’d probably give it a watch. It still did very well at the Box Office in its day on a budget of $9 million (over $84 million in 2022) and revenue of $141.2 million ($1.3 billion in 2022).

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)21/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)22/27
My Rating (Watched on 2nd Nov 2022)Not enough data yet/25

You Only Live Twice (1967)

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This film is one of my all-time favourite Bond movies – Along with Goldfinger and others yet to come. The storyline is a bit far-fetched, but not as much as Moonraker will be. It starts with a US Space Ship being ‘kidnapped’ in outer space. During a meeting, the US thinks it’s the USSR (Russia), and the UK representative (who seems a little bored) believes it could be Japan. It’s 007’s (played by Sean Connery) job to find out who is doing this before it turns into an all-out war. We find out that it’s Mr. Osato (played by Teru Shimada) a Japanese industrialist from OSATO Chemicals working with Blofeld (played by Donald Pleasence) from Spectre. Bond works with Tiger (played by Tetsurō Tamba), the Head of the Japanese secret service, as they believe a fishing island is being used for the launches after seeing a picture that Bond steals from the safe at OSATO. To get close to it, 007 must join his Ninja training school and take a wife to have good cover on the island. This is where some parts of this film are problematic, it makes clear that men are superior to women, and Bond marries Kissy Suzuki (played by Mie Hama) although he could have easily married Aki (played by Akiko Wakabayashi) an agent with the Japanese SIS. Their characters seem interchangeable throughout the film, the actresses were changed around before filming, according to From Rewatch with Love. One thing I am a sucker for is a Q (played by Desmond Llewelyn) scene. In this film, we only really get one gadget in this film (other than the safe cracking tool that Bond happens to have on him) but it’s a good one, meet Little Nellie, a gyroplane that’s a sort of flatpack plane built on location in Japan by Q and his team. Towards the end of the movie, we get inside the base where the kidnapping spaceships are launched from inside a volcano. It has a cool Monorail running around the outside and a metal roof to disguise it. The final few scenes where the ninjas infiltrate the base are epic. The fighting, explosions. and choreography is excellent, and Bond manages to blow up the CCCP-marked ship before it swallows the US Space Ship. This film rules and rockets (pun intended) to the top of my list, just below Goldfinger.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)14/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)14/27
My Rating (Watched on 10th Nov 2022)Not enough data yet/25

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

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OHMSS is our first and only Bond film with George Lazenby as 007, and it’s a very different film from the others. I’ve only seen bits of it in the past. Unfortunately, I paused it several times, and only finished it after three days, so not the best review already. The film starts with a woman (who we will find out is Tracy) walking into the sea to try and kill herself, and this never comes up again for some reason. Bond gets into a fight scene with some goons who we assume are after her. The fighting is jarringly edited, as most of the fight scenes in this film are. I’m not a fan, it takes away from the acting and is hard to watch. During a casino game, Tracy (played by Diana Rigg) loses and can’t pay, so Bond steps in to cover the bill. She invites him to her hotel room, where he is attacked once again. After returning to his room, he finds Tracy who says “Think of me as a woman you just bought” which is a bit problematic but we’ll see throughout this film that she is more than capable of looking after herself and it feels less sexist than some of the other Bond-girl scene in the other films but still not great. Later her father, Draco (played by Gabriele Ferzetti) wants 007 to marry his daughter for money and info on Blofeld. We see a long and dull romantic comedy-style montage of dates that Tracy and Bond go on, which feels really odd in a Bond film. Draco helps 007 to break into a safe at the Gebrüder Gumbold law office in Switzerland, he finds documents relating to Blofeld wanting to claim the title of Count Balthazar de Bleuchamp. Bond finds out he is in contact with genealogist Sir Hilary Bray (played by George Baker) at the London College of Arms. 007 works with the college to meet with Blofeld (played by Telly Savalas) by pretending to be Sir Hilary Bray. Later after being outed as James Bond, Blofeld reveals he has the scientific info to control and destroy the world economy. He is training his patients (who are there to be cured of allergies) to become his Angels of Death. Bond is put in the cable car engine room, he escapes and is chased down the ski slopes to the Christmas market in the village. Tracy helps him to escape by car where they end up at a barn as the weather gets too nasty to drive in. Early the next morning they end up in another skiing scene being pursued by Blofeld’s goons and trying to avoid getting killed in an avalanche, where Tracy is captured. Back in M’s office, 007 is informed that the UN will pay Blofeld off. Bond decides to take matters into his own hands, along with Draco they pose as Red Cross helicopters (which apparently would be a war crime). They land and start to shoot up the clinic, Tracy is rescued, and the institute is blown up. The final part is the wedding between Tracy and Bond, them driving off, and Blofeld doing a drive-by shooting where Tracy is killed. The romantic comedy sections of this film feel really off for a Bond movie (although I do enjoy romcoms), the pacing of the film is slow and it doesn’t really get going till about midway through. Plus, there’s no real Q-scene to speak of which is always bad in my book and the execution of the story is a bit meh. All of these contribute to dragging down my rating of OHMSS, although George Lazenby is good in the role, and it’s a shame he only did one film.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)04/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)03/27
My Rating (Watched on 11th Nov 2022)Not enough data yet/25

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

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Like most of the earlier films, I’ve only seen parts of it in the past, and the headline is I really enjoyed it. Sean Connery is back for his sixth and final Eon Productions Bond movie, he was paid $1.2 Million of the $7 Million budget to return. The opening seems to try and ignore that OHMSS and George Lazenby ever happened, we meet 007 on the trial of Blofeld (played by Charles Gray) and find his cloning operation to try and evade assassination, which he seemingly fails as Bond sends him into the hot mud bath. M (played by Bernard Lee), 007 and diamond expert Sir Donald Munger (played by Laurence Naismith) discuss the recent smuggling of Diamonds. During this scene, we see the path of smuggling and meet the excellent characters of Mr. Wint (played by Bruce Glover) and Mr. Kidd (played by Putter Smith) who are working for Blofeld to interpret the smuggled diamonds as they pick off each of the mules inturn. Later we find out Blofeld has kidnapped and is impersonating entrepreneur Willard Whyte (played by Jimmy Dean) to use his satellite and the stolen diamonds to take out the missiles in multiple countries. The end goal is to sell the capability of nuclear supremacy to the highest bidder. Some of the key moments that stand out in this movie are the straight way everyone plays the cremation scene even though they all know it’s all about the diamonds. The fight scene in a small moving elevator between 007 and Peter Franks (played by Joe Robinson). Plenty O’Toole (played by Lana Wood) being thrown from a hotel room window and lands in the pool. The car chase with the Las Vegas Police where Bond takes out half a dozen squad cars in the process of driving around a parking lot, even if the swapping of the side of the car the wheels are on when going through the tight alleyway is kinda silly. A couple of things that let this film down for me are the very small amount of Q (played by Desmond Llewelyn) in it. The fact that toward the end of the movie Bond only knows that the satellite is being controlled from an oil rig because it’s on a map of Willard Whyte’s company locations and he doesn’t recognise it. This means Blofeld has gone to the trouble of creating a model oil rig and has put it on the map for some reason, which I find hard to believe. Tiffany Case (played by Jill St. John) seems to be just along for the ride, she’s not given much to do bar sitting, laying down, being passed from Bond to Blofeld and “helping” with the satellite control tape towards the end, I feel like the character deserved to more integral to the plot seems kind of a waste. Finally, Bond driving the Moon Buggy out of the Moon Landing studio (which I don’t understand why there’s even there) and across the desert is also very silly. All things considered, this Bond film is one I’d be happy to sit down and watch on a Sunday afternoon, it’s a funny, interesting, and well-put-together film with an iconic title song by Shirley Bassey.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)22/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)23/27
My Rating (Watched on 17th Nov 2022)Not enough data yet/25

Live and Let Die (1973)

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Live and Let Die is the first Roger Moore Bond film and has been one of my favourites for a long time. After this re-watch and listening to the episode of From Rewatch With Love on it, I can see the issues that it does have. We’ll look at the good things in this movie first. The opening titles set up the story that will run throughout this movie with three different agents being killed, one in New York City, New Orleans, and San Monique. We also see a range of places that we’ll come back to, including the Fillet of Soul restaurant where an agent was killed by a Jazz Funeral procession – which is a fun and interesting way for someone to die in a Bond film. We learn all of this is being operated by Kananga/Mr. Big (played by Yaphet Kotto), a corrupt Caribbean Prime Minister who doubles as a drug lord, with poppy fields in San Monique. I’m not going to go into too much detail on the overall story as there’s a lot to say about a few of the characters. David Hedison has to be one of my favourite actors so far to play CIA agent Felix Leiter, he’s a big part of the story in this film and is always cleaning up Bond’s mess. One of my favourites is when he’s talking to the owner of the Flight School which 007 has destroyed and scared his student half to death. Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi is amazing as well, however, the Voodoo in this film is a mismashed/a fictionalised representation of Voodoo drawing inspiration from two actual practices of Voodoo that are related but distinct although this doesn’t make a real difference to the film as it’s still interesting. Sheriff J.W. Pepper (played by Clifton James) is one of my favourite characters from the franchise. He is a racist hick certainly, but he has some of the best lines in this movie and gets his just deserts when his patrol car and the police car he commanders are destroyed during one of the most epic boat chases in the Bond franchise. Now for the problems, the fact Solitaire (played by Jane Seymour) believes her powers for reading tarot cards only exist as long as she’s a virgin, with both Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big and Bond (especially when he stacks the deck with ‘Lovers’ cards to sleep with her) using that against her is abhorrent. We also have Rosie Carver (played by Gloria Hendry), a junior CIA agent and Bond’s first black co-star, and the fact she is evil and secretly working for Kananga is not a good look for the film. If we look at the good points, the movie It’s well written, acted, edited, and paced, if we weigh them against the bad – which I’ve only very briefly outlined, there’s much more to say. Please listen to the From Rewatch With Love episode on it for a more in-depth analysis. This movie is still up there for me. I love Roger Moore as Bond, he’s kind of a jerk but more empathetic than Connery‘s Bond. This film is one of Moore’s best in my opinion, with a top-tier title song by Paul and Linda McCartney.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)02/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)06/27
My Rating (Watched on 21st Nov 2022)Not enough data yet/25

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)10/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)19/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)11/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)05/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

Moonraker (1979)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)18/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)10/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)07/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)07/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

Octopussy (1983)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)23/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)25/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

A View to a Kill (1985)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)09/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)13/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

The Living Daylights (1987)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)12/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)11/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

Licence to Kill (1989)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)17/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)12/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

GoldenEye (1995)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)01/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)04/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)16/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)16/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

The World Is Not Enough (1999)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)20/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)18/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

Die Another Day (2002)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)25/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)24/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

Casino Royale (2006)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)03/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)02/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

Quantum of Solace (2008)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)24/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)21/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

Skyfall (2012)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)08/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)08/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

Spectre (2015)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)19/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)20/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

No Time to Die (2021)

I haven’t re-watched it yet, Check back soon.

Graham Stark (From Rewatch with Love)15/27
Matt Wiggins (From Rewatch with Love)17/27
My Rating (Watched on)Not enough data yet/25

Conclusion

A conclusion will be provided after re-watching all the films including a PDF of my rankings and how they changed over my time watching each of the movies.

All inflation calculations used on this page are provided by in2013dollars.com