Brief History: The James Bond Movies (1962-now)

All Bond

James Bond: From Connery to Craig

YAHOO NEWS – The 23rd “James Bond” movie is officially in production and slated for release on November 2012, just in time for the first film’s 50th anniversary.

The “James Bond” canon features a continuously evolving modern-day action hero. Through the years, it has capitalized on a story about the world’s most famous secret agent. This list provides a summary about each film, the year each movie was released, the actor who played as Agent 007 for each project, and each one’s worldwide gross sales as of January 2011.

* “Dr. No” (1962, Sean Connery, $59.6 million) launched Sean Connery into international stardom. This pioneer “James Bond” film was a low-key detective motion picture project with a simple story and an elaborate plotting.

* “From Russia With Love” (1963, Sean Connery, $78.9 million) featured the first meeting with the secret society called SPECTRE, which would later hunt down Bond — including the many subsequent “Bond” movies to follow.

* “Goldfinger” (1964, Sean Connery, $124.9 million) introduced the Aston Martin DB5, the golden physique of “Bond” girl Jill Masterson, the provocative name Pussy Galore, and Goldfinger’s golden pistol and giant laser.

* “Thunderball” (1965, Sean Connery, $141.2 million) emphasized gadgetry and exotic locations, along with breathtaking underwater scenes that were considered a pioneer achievement during those times.

* “You Only Live Twice” (1967, Sean Connery, $111.6 million) disguised 007 as a Japanese after faking his own death. Amid the many explosive action scenes and sets, the most notable one features the 45-meter high volcano set worth $1 million.

* “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969, George Lazenby, $82 million) had the biggest controversy of the franchise during that time after the studio replaced Connery with George Lazenby.

* “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971, Sean Connery, $116 million) marked the return of Connery in his final, official role as 007. Apart from the lackluster feel of his comeback, it is known as the movie that introduced the trademark campiness and skimpy storytelling to the next movies to come.

* “Live and Let Die” (1973, Roger Moore, $161.8 million) introduced Roger Moore as the new Bond, the titular theme song from Paul McCartney and Wings, and the supernatural story that featured the clairvoyant “Bond” babe Solitaire.

* “The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974, Roger Moore, $97.6 million) went into the sloppier route amid the promising concept and cool car stunts it showcased.

* “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977, Roger Moore, $185.4 million) was Roger Moore’s legacy “Bond” film as it offered enough spectacles from the electrifying opening sequence to the movie’s ultimate battle end.

* “Moonraker” (1979, Roger Moore, $210.3 million) was a direct reaction to the “Star Wars” phenomenon as it featured an outlandish story set in space.

* “For Your Eyes Only” (1981, Roger Moore, $195.3 million) went into a “save the world” mode, while keeping things quite low-key again. It showed a more serious side of Bond with more realism compared to “Moonraker’s” comical space escapades.

* “Octopussy” (1983, Roger Moore, $187.5 million) required 007 to wear a full clown makeup, which is relatively ironic compared with his wearing of his usual “Bond” suit. It also competed with the unofficial “Bond” movie entitled “Never Say Never Again,” which brought Connery back on the role, for the very last time.

* “A View to a Kill” (1985, Roger Moore, $152.6 million) featured Moore’s last appearance as 007. The franchise losing steam became more apparent with the movie’s quality.

* “The Living Daylights” (1987, Timothy Dalton, $191.2 million) was a reboot featuring the dark, brooding, and introspective Timothy Dalton as the new 007. This down-to-earth thriller marked the end of an era as composer John Barry rendered his last work with “Bond.”

* “Licence to Kill” (1989, Timothy Dalton, $156.2 million) was Dalton’s second and last appearance as 007. It wasn’t a very happy good-bye as many criticized the movie as too serious, too violent, and straying too far away from the “Bond” formula.

* “GoldenEye” (1995, Pierce Brosnan, $356.4 million) relaunched the franchise with a 90s flavor and a new Bond with Pierce Brosnan. It is known as the first film not to directly acquire story elements from Ian Fleming’s works.

* “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997, Pierce Brosnan, $339.5 million) centered on the story of 007 stopping a media mogul from starting World War III. Using the same title, the movie was soon adapted into a third-person shooter game for PlayStation.

* “The World is Not Enough” (1999, Pierce Brosnan, $361.7 million) featured a 14-minute pre-title sequence known so far as the longest one in the ‘Bond’ series. It also partnered with MTV to tap the younger market who assumed that ‘Bond’ was all about an old-fashioned secret agent.

* “Die Another Day” (2002, Pierce Brosnan, $431.9 million) was Brosnan’s fourth and last “Bond” movie. It also marked the franchise’s 40th anniversary.

* “Casino Royale” (2006, Daniel Craig, $596.4 million) was a hard reboot with another controversial casting for the new Bond Daniel Craig. Humanizing Bond during the process proved effective for the new era’s audience. Overall, it also satisfied the longtime fans, amid the fact that the movie rendered a certain tragic end, which is rare in the franc.

* “Quantum of Solace” (2008, Daniel Craig, $576.4 million) was produced without any book adaptation to base the story from, like in “Casino Royale.” It told a timely plot about a businessman posing as an environmentalist. 007 must stop the businessman’s hidden agenda to stage a coup d’etat in Bolivia to seize control of the country’s water supply.

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