Motifs in the James Bond film series

Motifs in the James Bond film series
For a topical guide to this subject, see Outline of James Bond.
The numbers 007, with a gunbarrel and trigger attached to the 7 to make it resemble a handgun.
The official film logo of James Bond (007), created by Joseph Caroff for the first production, Dr. No (1962).

The James Bond series of films contain within them a number of continuing motifs that are clear and identifiable. The James Bond series consists of 22 films produced by Eon Productions that started with Dr. No in 1962; the most recent Bond film by Eon was Quantum of Solace, released in 2008. Skyfall is scheduled for release in 2012. There have also been two independently made features, Casino Royale, released in 1967 and Never Say Never Again, released in 1983.

Whilst each individual element has not appeared in every Bond film, they are common threads that run through most of the films. These motifs can either be enhancements of the dramatic narrative, such as music, or part of the visual style, such as the title sequences. They can also be integral to the storyline, for example the pre-assignment briefing sessions or the attempts to kill Bond. These motifs may also serve to enhance excitement in the plot, through a chase sequence or for the climax of the film.[1] Some of the elements involved are a result of the production crew used in the earliest films in the series, with the work of production designer Ken Adam, title designer Maurice Binder and composer John Barry all continually updated and adapted as the series progressed.


Gun barrel sequence

The figure of silhouetted man points a gun straight at the camera.
Screencap of the gun barrel sequence that occurs at the start of most Eon productions.

All of the Eon Bond films feature the unique gun barrel sequence, created by graphic artist Maurice Binder, which became "the trademark motif of the series".[2] As Bond walks across the screen, he is viewed by the audience through the barrel of a gun trained on him by an unknown assailant. Bond wheels around and shoots directly at the gun/viewer, followed by the assassin's blood spilling down the barrel/screen.[3] This is accompanied by the opening bars of the "James Bond Theme", composed by Monty Norman, orchestrated by trumpeter and composer John Barry and Burt Rhodes.[4] After Maurice Binder's death in 1991, Daniel Kleinman was responsible for the gun barrel sequence up to and including Casino Royale.[5] Design house MK12 supervised the graphics for Quantum of Solace.[6]

The sequence varies in several details, such as Bond's attire and posture, the sound of the gunshot, the colour of the blood, and the speed at which the blood falls. The early sequences showed Bond in a suit and tie (with Bob Simmons, Connery, and Lazenby also wearing a hat), until Roger Moore re-filmed his sequence for a new aspect ratio with 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me, which from then on showed Bond wearing a dinner jacket and bow tie. However, the sequences for Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace feature Daniel Craig in an open-necked shirt and business suit respectively.

Starting with the Pierce Brosnan films, the gun barrel was rendered with CGI allowing the shadows inside it to move. The sequence was traditionally placed at the start of each film until Casino Royale (2006), where it appears after the cold open and is incorporated into the plot; in Quantum of Solace (2008), it occurs at the end of the film and incorporates the film's title in its design. Royale is a reboot of the franchise, establishing a new timeline and narrative framework; and many of the conventions of the series were either omitted or introduced in a new way.[7]

Pre-title sequence

In Dr. No, the gun-barrel sequence is followed by the main titles, but in all subsequent films the titles are preceded by a pre-title sequence or "teaser" that is loosely connected (The World Is Not Enough, Casino Royale), fully pertaining (You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Die Another Day) or not at all related (Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only) to the film's plot. From Thunderball through Die Another Day the gun barrel sequence segues into the pre-title sequence by having the opening shot be sighted through the barrel.[8] The pre-title sequences are mini-films that set the emotional mood and heighten the anticipation for the action to come. When they are not related to the main story, Bond is usually seen wrapping up a mission, or effecting an extraordinary escape. In three of the teasers, the films' villains are shown committing their evil acts with Bond absent (though Connery plays a Bond impersonator in the pre-title sequence of From Russia with Love). Beginning with The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977, the teasers emphasised not only action sequences but death-defying stunts, a practice that prevailed until Casino Royale.[9] The sequence for The World Is Not Enough is unusually long: at over 14 minutes it is two to three times the length of most others.[10] Likewise, the sequence for Quantum of Solace is the first in the franchise to pick up directly from the ending of the previous instalment, Casino Royale.

Title sequence

A woman's body with "Starring Sean Connery" projected on it; women alongside a cocktail glass with the Union Jack in it with "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" written underneath; a woman's open eyes and red smoke, with "Live and Let Die" written over the image; and a diamond necklace with "Diamonds Are Forever" written over it
James Bond title sequences feature striking images often of women in provocative situations.

The main title sequences incorporate visual elements reflecting each film's theme and often (but not always) silhouettes of nude or provocatively clad women set against swirling images that usually (but not always) reflect the general theme of the film; for example, Thunderball features deep-sea diving and this is reflected in the associated opening sequence; the opening sequence for Casino Royale (2006) featured, appropriately, a casino motif. Maurice Binder was the title designer for thirteen Bond films, from Dr. No to Licence to Kill, missing only From Russia with Love and Goldfinger which were done by artist Robert Brownjohn. After Binder's death in 1991, the opening credits were done by Daniel Kleinman, with the exception of Quantum of Solace, by the studio MK12.[11] A contemporary artist usually sings during this sequence (starting with Goldfinger, OHMSS as the only exception) and an instrumental version of the main track may also be featured as a leitmotif during the film, which repeats in various moods (tense, romantic, adventurous, etc.).[12]

The title song does not always match the name of the film. The Spy Who Loved Me featured Carly Simon singing "Nobody Does It Better" (which contained the film's title in one line); the songs for Octopussy ("All Time High" sung by Rita Coolidge), Casino Royale ("You Know My Name" sung by Chris Cornell) and Quantum of Solace ("Another Way to Die" sung by Jack White and Alicia Keys) do not reference the title at all. With regard to the latter Jack White was quoted as saying, "The title is quite hard to rhyme with!",[13] though there is a single use of the word "solace" during the second verse. On Her Majesty's Secret Service has an entirely instrumental credit sequence, though the film features an alternate theme, "We Have All The Time in The World", sung by Louis Armstrong. John Barry provided the title song music on ten of the eleven films for which he composed the musical score.[14]

Bond's personality

The core of the Bond films are the agent's personality, tastes, and skills, evolved and interpreted from the Fleming James Bond character by the various actors who have played the role. Terence Young, the director of Dr. No, set the image for Bond instructing Connery how to dress and walk during the first film's production. Much of the film's appeal is the captivating character of Bond. In personality, Bond is tough, ruthless, detached, and egotistical — a man of action given to few words. This is similar to the earlier Fleming novels, while in later novels Bond develops a more introspective side which is glimpsed only rarely in the films. Physically, Bond is athletic, graceful, and quick-acting. Aesthetically, he thoroughly enjoys good food, fine liquor, and beautiful women. In appearance, he is stylish and well-groomed.[15]

There are modest variations on a theme between actors, which is attributable to how the script-writers write for the actors. Moore's Bond is slightly softer and a bit more romantic than either his predecessors or successors. Craig's Bond is slightly more stoic and introverted, while Dalton's is particularly cynical and angry, while retaining Moore's romantic qualities. However, all Bonds commonly share witty one-liners in particular situations.

Bond's prowess as a lover is well-established in the films. There are numerous double-entendres in the series referring to the size and potency of Bond's penis, and his use of aphrodisiacs, especially when he is in the arms of a Bond girl. He is frequently "rising to the occasion".[16] His sexual skills turn enemies into allies, as is the case with Pussy Galore.[17] A few women manage to resist Bond's charms but overall over fifty women have had sex with Bond in the series so far, ranging from one girl (rarely) to four (A View to a Kill) per film.[18]

Flirting with Moneypenny

Sean Connery and Roger Moore alongside Lois Maxwell, Pierce Brosnan with Samantha Bond and Timothy Dalton with Caroline Bliss; an office filled with paintings is behind Connery, Moore and Brosnan, while a lab is behind Dalton
Lois Maxwell (shown twice), Samantha Bond, and Caroline Bliss as Miss Moneypenny, engaged in flirtatious banter with James Bond.

With the exception of Daniel Craig's films, every Bond film has a sequence in which Bond interacts with Miss Moneypenny, the personal assistant to M, Bond's superior. Lois Maxwell portrayed Miss Moneypenny opposite Connery, Lazenby, and Moore. She was followed by Caroline Bliss and Samantha Bond, who played opposite Dalton and Brosnan respectively. The three have arguably divergent interpretations of Moneypenny's personality, as do the six actors who have played Bond.[19] A running joke throughout the film series is Moneypenny's unrequited love for Bond and his playful flirting with her. She flirts back, jokes and sometimes pouts, hoping to wrangle a proposal and a wedding ring out of him. A fantasy sequence in Die Another Day marks the only occasion in the Eon film series in which Moneypenny was actually shown in a romantic embrace with Bond.

The character was dropped from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.[20] However, oblique reference is paid to the character in Casino Royale during the scene where Bond meets Vesper Lynd (Vesper: "I'm the money"; Bond: "Every penny of it").

In many of the films, established in Dr. No, the tossing of Bond's hat onto a coat rack in M's office signals the start of another adventure. There have been several variations on this theme. As Bond leaves the office in Goldfinger, Miss Moneypenny takes the hat from him and tosses it herself, hoping to induce him to stay. In Thunderball, he is cut off in mid-toss when Moneypenny announces that he is late. In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, after Bond is married, he throws his hat, which is caught by a tearful Moneypenny. In A View to a Kill, Bond has a brand-new hat of Moneypenny and almost throws it but is quickly stopped. When Bond is in Venice in Moonraker, he tosses his gondolier's hat onto a vacant gondola. The traditional sequence was even exported to a wardroom hat rack on the bottom-sitting submarine in You Only Live Twice where M, Moneypenny and Bond are all in Naval Dress Uniforms.[19]

Receiving assignment from M

Bond is early on called in to see M, the head of the UK's Secret Intelligence Service (also known as MI6) in his or her office to receive his assignment.[21] In several films, Bond receives the assignment at a secret headquarters or out of the office. Bond enters, often finding M in a subdued state of agitation over a new threat to world peace. M typically shows confidence in his/her best agent but feels a need to rein Bond in for his risky methods and often chides him for his indiscretions.[22]

Universal Exports is used as a cover name for the British Secret Service in the films.[22] It has been featured repeatedly in the films in various ways such as a direction sign in Dr. No, the abbreviation "UnivEx" in From Russia with Love, a brass name plate in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond's helicopter in For Your Eyes Only, a building with a sign in The Living Daylights, an identity card in The World Is Not Enough, a folder in Casino Royale, and a business card in Quantum of Solace. Bond has also given his introductions as a Universal Exports employee in You Only Live Twice, Octopussy, Licence to Kill, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day.

The character of M does not appear in For Your Eyes Only, which was made shortly after the death of long-time M actor, Bernard Lee. Bond gets his briefing in this film from M's Chief of Staff, Bill Tanner, and the Minister of Defence, Frederick Gray. Beginning with the Brosnan series, M was a woman played by Judi Dench, a Shakespearean actress well-known for playing authority figures. Altogether, three actors have played M: Bernard Lee for Connery, Lazenby, and earlier Moore films; Robert Brown for the last two Moore films and the two Dalton films; Judi Dench for all the Brosnan and Craig films to date.

Technical briefing with Q

After getting his assignment, Bond is often sent to Q Branch for the technical briefing in which he receives special equipment to be used in his mission. Originally, in the novels, gadgets were relatively unimportant. This did not change in the first Bond film. However, they took on a higher profile in the film version of From Russia with Love (a key example where a gadget, the trick briefcase, is used in the original source novel), and their use has continued ever since, exceptions being On Her Majesty's Secret Service and For Your Eyes Only in which Bond was given few gadgets. In Dr. No, the head of Q Branch is the Armourer, Major Boothroyd (not yet called Q), who instructs Bond on a new firearm, the Walther PPK.[23] Beginning with From Russia with Love the briefings involve various gadgets and technology, and Boothroyd is referred to as Q starting in Goldfinger.[24] Each Bond film thereafter up until Die Another Day contains a technical briefing of some kind, usually given by Q, with the exception of Live and Let Die, in which Q does not appear and Bond himself describes his mission equipment to M and Moneypenny, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service in which Q does not brief 007 but is demonstrating to M.[25]

Q is sometimes shown joining Bond in the field, taking with him a portable workshop and his staff. These workshops are established in unusual locations, such as an Egyptian tomb in The Spy Who Loved Me and a South American monastery in Moonraker.[26][27] On two occasions, in Octopussy and Licence to Kill, Q takes active roles in Bond's missions. With the 2006 Casino Royale reboot and the subsequent instalment, Quantum of Solace, the character of Q was, like Moneypenny, dropped, and although Bond still receives a supply of mission equipment, no technical briefing is shown on screen.[20][28]

There are several running jokes in the lab. Established in Goldfinger is Q's continuing disgust at how his equipment is often lost, damaged or destroyed by Bond during missions (though Q's expectations of the "pristine" return of his equipment are clearly unrealistic). Another is how easily distracted Bond is in the lab ("Now pay attention") as Q rattles off details about the use of the equipment which Bond needs to commit to memory.[29] Another running joke is Bond's amused reaction to the latest devices and the Quartermaster's indignant response ("I never joke about my work"). There are also sight gags showing prototype equipment. In the field, however, Bond always remembers the details and takes full advantage of the tools supplied.[30]

Desmond Llewelyn played Q in every pre-Craig film except for Dr. No (Q's first appearance, where he was played by Peter Burton), Live and Let Die (from which Q is absent) and Die Another Day (in which the character has been replaced, due to Llewelyn's death). Llewelyn was due to return with a cameo in Die Another Day, but due to his death this did not happen. Llewelyn is the only actor to have appeared opposite five actors playing James Bond. After appearing as Q's assistant R in The World Is Not Enough, John Cleese appears as Q in Die Another Day.[31]

Guns, cars and aircraft

The Walther PPK is the most famous of Bond's handguns

The first Bond film, Dr. No, saw M ordering Bond to leave his Beretta behind and take up the Walther PPK,[32] which the film Bond used in eighteen films.[33] Since Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond's main weapon has been the Walther P99 semi-automatic pistol.[33]


Bond has driven a number of cars, including the Aston Martin V8 Vantage[34], during the 1980s), the V12 Vanquish[34] and DBS[35] during the 2000s, as well as the Lotus Esprit;[36] the BMW Z3,[37] BMW 750iL[37] and the BMW Z8.[37] He has, however, also needed to drive a number of other vehicles, ranging from a Citroën 2CV to a Routemaster Bus, amongst others.[38]

Bond's most famous car is the silver grey Aston Martin DB5, first seen in Goldfinger;[39] it later featured in Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies and Casino Royale.[40] The films have used a number of different Aston Martins for filming and publicity, one of which was sold in January 2006 at an auction in the US for $2,090,000 to an unnamed European collector.[41]


Bond also shows his taste for aircraft: a gyrocopter features in You Only Live Twice, a Cessna 185 Skywagon in Licence to Kill, and an Acrostar Jet in Octopussy.

Meeting up with allies

Once in the field, Bond frequently meets up with a local ally upon arrival. These can be his foreign counterparts like Tiger Tanaka in Japan, Vijay in India, CIA operatives like Felix Leiter, or his own staff in a secret location. Such characters can also be female, some of whom succumb to Bond's charms.[42] Some allies recur through an era, such as the Western-friendly KGB chief, General Gogol, and Sir Frederick Gray, the Minister of Defence.

Felix Leiter

Just fewer than half the films prior to Pierce Brosnan have James Bond teaming up with Felix Leiter. Leiter also plays a smaller role in these films than he does in Fleming novels. Specifically, he appears in four out of the six Sean Connery films, only the first of seven Roger Moore films, both Timothy Dalton films, and none of the four Pierce Brosnan films (where Bond's CIA contact is Jack Wade), but returned for Daniel Craig. He is also not in Lazenby's sole Bond film. He appears both in Connery's non-Eon film, Never Say Never Again (1983), and in the early non-Eon television Casino Royale adaptation as Clarence Leiter. In the Eon series, there were no Leiter film appearances between 1973 and 1987 and no Leiter appearances between 1989 and 2006.

In the novels, Leiter gets bitten by a shark and loses his right arm and half his left leg quite early in the series. He has a wooden leg and a steel hook to replace his hand in most of the other novels in which he appears. After the shark incident he is pensioned out of the C.I.A. and works for the Pinkerton's Detective Agency until recalled to the C.I.A. as a reserve in the ninth book Thunderball. This incident was postponed in the films until Licence To Kill, after which Leiter was never seen again until the reboot of the franchise with Casino Royale.

Jack Lord played Leiter in the very first Bond film, Dr. No, but was unavailable for Goldfinger, in which Leiter was played by Cec Linder, an actor who appeared much older than Lord (though in reality Lord was older than Linder). Since then, Leiter has almost always been played by a different actor, being played by the same actor more than once only by David Hedison prior to Quantum of Solace. Hedison's two appearances as Leiter were years apart from each other; 1973's Live and Let Die and 1989's Licence to Kill. Leiter has been played by an African-American actor three times, for the first time in the non-Eon film Never Say Never Again by Bernie Casey, and in the Eon films Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace by Jeffrey Wright. Wright is the first actor to reprise the role in consecutive films.

Fleming wrote twelve novels, of which Leiter appears in six. Leiter also appears in six of the Eon films adapted from novels. However, in the films he was dropped from The Man with the Golden Gun and added to Dr. No. His appearance in the Timothy Dalton films brings Leiter's film appearances in the Eon series to eight prior to Quantum of Solace. Aside from the Dalton film The Living Daylights and Quantum of Solace, Leiter appears in no other films with Fleming short story titles (the last three Roger Moore films), and he never appears in any Fleming short stories.

International locations

World map, with countries visited by the James Bond film crew coloured both dark and light blue, countries in which the films are set but were not filmed actually there in purple, and other countries in grey
Countries James Bond has visited in the films.

Bond's adventures have taken him to over sixty countries (not including the UK), as well as outer space,[43] in locations mostly described as attractive and exotic.[44] These locations are primarily real places, though on occasion - such as San Monique (Live and Let Die) and Isthmus (Licence to Kill) - the destinations have been fictional. Bond has visited every continent, with the exceptions of Antarctica and Australia, and averages three foreign locations per film. Casino Royale features the most foreign locations, with eight, while You Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty's Secret Service feature just two foreign locales. Bond is given the freedom to travel as necessary in order to complete his assignment; for example, he is dispatched to Haiti in Quantum of Solace, but follows leads on to Austria and Bolivia.

Larger-than-life villains

In his twenty-two assignments to date, Bond has encountered a range of villains. These have included billionaire industrialists Auric Goldfinger, Hugo Drax and Max Zorin as well as former Double-Oh agent Alec Trevelyan, private banker Le Chiffre, drug baron Franz Sanchez and renegade Soviet general Orlov. Bond's best-known adversary is perhaps Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the leader of worldwide criminal alliance SPECTRE, the Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion. Blofeld has made six appearances in the series to date. The villains are frequently portrayed as being charismatic and intelligent, but over-confident to the point of arrogance.

Many of Bond's adversaries are characterised by an unusual physical deformity; for example, Renard, the Anarchist survived being shot in the head, which progressively killed off his senses and his ability to feel pain. Similarly, Le Chiffre suffered haemolacria, causing his tear ducts to weep blood. Not all of the villains have these physical traits; Mathieu Amalric's Dominic Greene was depicted without any noticeable physical characteristics, instead being inspired by Tony Blair and Nicolas Sarkozy.[45]

Each of these villains have their own idiosyncratic means of operating; some, such as Karl Stromberg and Elliot Carver use henchmen to carry out their machinations or to operate anonymously, while others - most notably Max Zorin - carry out their plans themselves. Some, such as Georgi Koskov, Elektra King and Aris Kristatos go so far as to manipulate MI6 and Bond himself as a means to an end. For example, Koskov alerted MI6 to a Soviet assassination program supposedly being organised by a senior KGB figure who was investigating Koskov at the time.

Many of the henchmen employed by the villains have unique and innocuous weapons; Oddjob, Auric Goldfinger's enforcer, carries a bowler hat with a razor-sharp blade concealed in the rim, while Xenia Onatopp is known to crush victims to death with her thighs during intercourse. In addition to these weapons, many of the henchmen are physically imposing and resistant to pain; Jaws, an assassin with steel teeth, was played by 2.18m (7'2") actor Richard Kiel.

In addition to this, many of Bond's adversaries meet with their deaths at the hands of Bond. They are rarely killed by conventional means such as a gun or a knife; Bond often uses his environment or equipment to kill his opponent. Mr. Big was killed when Bond force-fed him a pellet of compressed gas, causing him to inflate and explode; Elliot Carver was thrown into a drilling device the size of a jet engine; and Hugo Drax was ejected into outer space after being shot with a cyanide-tipped dart. Very few villains actually survive the course of the assignment, and their deaths often come in the final scenes of the film.

Romancing the Bond girl

At some point on the mission, Bond meets the principal Bond girl, a character portraying Bond's love interest or one of his main sex objects.[46] There is always one Bond girl central to the plot, and often one or two others who cross his path, helpful or not. They may be victims rescued by Bond, or else ally agents, villainesses, or henchwomen. Many partner with Bond on the assignment, while others such as Honey Ryder are solely passive participants in the mission. More generally, the degree to which Bond girls are pivotal to propelling the plot forward varies from one film to the next. Five of the Bond girls are "bad" girls (or at least working for the villain) who turn "good" (or switch sides) usually due to Bond's influence.[47] (Octopussy's motives for switching sides are, however, more complex). In some cases, Bond attempts to get a girl to switch to his side and fails. In The World is not Enough, the villain is a woman who fails to seduce Bond to her side.

Two of Fleming's Bond girls - Gala Brand and Vivienne Michel - appear only in the novels. They were replaced by different Bond girl characters in their respective films, along with most or all of the books' original plot.

Sylvia Trench is the only recurring Bond girl (unless Moneypenny is counted) as well as Bond's off-assignment girlfriend. Swedish actress Maud Adams has played two different Bond girls in two films, The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy.[48] She would later have a cameo role in A View to a Kill.[49] Bond has fallen in love with only Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, but both of them die at or near the end of the respective films.[50] He does, however, show regret at the deaths of several Bond girls, like Elektra King in The World is not Enough and Miranda Frost in Die Another Day, whilst remaining apathetic at the deaths of others, like Fiona Volpe in Thunderball, and Solange Dimitrios in Casino Royale, indicating he has more feelings for some girls than others.

Bond girls often have highly suggestive names of which the most notorious was Goldfinger's Pussy Galore. Others included Holly Goodhead from Moonraker, Mary Goodnight and Chew Mee from The Man with the Golden Gun, Honey Ryder from Dr. No, Plenty O'Toole from Diamonds Are Forever, Xenia Onatopp from GoldenEye, and Christmas Jones from The World Is Not Enough.

An entire book and subsequent hour-long documentary entitled Bond Girls Are Forever devoted just to the history of Bond girls were created by former Bond girl actress Maryam D'Abo in 2002, 15 years after her appearance in a Bond film.

Although Bond sleeps with fellow secret service operative Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace, it is the only Bond film in which he does not sleep with the female lead during the course of the film, and which closes neither with a female lead in his arms nor with her dead.

Chase scenes

Daniel Craig running a staircase upwards, Roger Moore on the staircase of Eiffel Tower, Sean Connery driving a car, and Timothy Dalton alongside Maryam D'Abo sliding down a snowy hill in a cello case
Whether on foot or by car or on cello case, Bond is generally involved in a chase scene in every adventure.

Keeping with the greater Hollywood tradition, every Bond film features chase scenes, usually more than one per film.[51] Bond and his allies prove their evading skills in a wide variety of vehicles, from custom aircraft and watercraft to buses, trucks, even tanks and moon-buggies. Although most chase sequences feature Bond getting chased by the villains, such as the Aston-Martin DB5 in Goldfinger and the ski sequence in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, some feature Bond chasing the villains, such as the tank pursuit in GoldenEye and all sequences in Casino Royale.[52] Among the more unusual chase sequences include the gondola sequence from Moonraker, which leaves the canals of Venice to continue on land, and the cello case chase in The Living Daylights.[53]

Protracted attempted killing of Bond

The main villain often attempts to kill Bond in some kind of slow and protracted way such as abandoning him to sharks or alligators, or having him strapped to a table with a laser beam or a buzz saw. This convention was parodied in a card game entitled "Before I Kill You, Mr. Bond" (later re-titled "Totally Renamed Spy Game" due to a cease and desist order from MGM) in which players had the choice to kill a spy quickly and easily or in a protracted way. The latter was less likely to succeed but got the player more points if it did. The same convention was parodied in a Saturday Night Live sketch, in which a talk show host asked three Bond villains what was the best way to kill James Bond. They all answered, "Just shoot him. Don't mess around with laser beams or sharks. He'll figure a way out of it. Just shoot him." This was further parodied in the most successful of the Bond spoofs, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, when Dr. Evil tells his son Scott that he is "going to place Austin Powers in an easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death" and then orders his henchmen to activate the "unnecessarily slowly moving dipping mechanism". Le Chiffre in the 2006 adaptation of Casino Royale also references this, stating he does not understand complex forms of torture, instead preferring a simple knotted rope to the groin.


The climax of most Bond films is the final confrontation with the villain and his henchmen, sometimes an entire army of cohorts, often in his hard-to-reach lair. While the novels typically climax with a terrible ordeal for Bond — usually a heinous torture, which he survives to then confront the villain for the last time — the films have tended to tone down the violence/sadism of the last act, preserving the inventively gruesome fate for the villain and leaving Bond conspicuously intact. The villain's retreat can be a private island (Dr. No, The Man with the Golden Gun and, effectively, Live and Let Die and The Spy Who Loved Me), mountaintop retreat (On Her Majesty's Secret Service and For Your Eyes Only) or underground base (You Only Live Twice, Live and Let Die, Licence to Kill), a ship (Thunderball and Tomorrow Never Dies) an oil rig (Diamonds Are Forever) or even a space station (Moonraker) — among other variations. Bond usually sabotages the lair and, with time ticking down, dispatches the supervillain, rescues the principal Bond girl and they escape as the place blows up.[54] In some cases, the villain or his primary henchman escapes to launch a final attack on Bond and his lover in the final scene;[55] along with this, some villains return for later films, such as Blofeld, Jaws, and Mr. White.


So far only two Bond films, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Casino Royale, have ended with the central Bond girl deceased. In all other films, except Quantum of Solace, Bond is kissing her, making love, or implying that he will do so.[55] Sometimes an embarrassed M catches Bond during his embraces. Most endings feature a double entendre, and in many of the films, the Bond girl purrs, "Oh, James."[56] Every film except Dr. No (1962) and Thunderball (1965) has either the line "James Bond will return..." or "James Bond will be back" at the end of the closing credits. Until Octopussy (1983), the title of the next film to be produced was also named, although these were sometimes incorrect. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) promised James Bond would return in For Your Eyes Only. But after the success of Star Wars, producers decided to make Ian Fleming's Moonraker (1979) instead. For Your Eyes Only followed in 1981.[57]


A seminal moment in cinema. Sean Connery introduces James Bond to the cinematic world with his trademark statement, "Bond, James Bond."

The famous introduction, "Bond, James Bond", became a catchphrase. It was Sean Connery's second line in his first film, Dr. No.[58] The line was next used in the third film Goldfinger, the first Bond film to be a box-office hit. Bond also introduces himself this way to the American CIA agent Felix Leiter in the first Bond novel Casino Royale.

On 21 June 2005, the line was honoured as the 22nd historically greatest cinema quotation by the American Film Institute, in its 100 Years Series.[59] To date, From Russia with Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Quantum of Solace are the only films in which Bond does not give his trademark introduction — although in Thunderball, the villainous character Fiona Volpe mocks him by saying it to him (as does Valentin Dmitrovitch Zukovsky in The World Is Not Enough). Similar in-jokes see Bond's introduction being rudely interrupted (in Goldfinger) or greeted with disdain (The Spy Who Loved Me) or even lethal disinterest (in Live and Let Die, when Mr. Big shoots back: "Names is for tombstones baby… waste him!"). In the 2006 film Casino Royale that reboots the franchise, Bond's utterance of the catchphrase is the last line of the film.[60]

In the 1990 television film The Secret Life of Ian Fleming, allegedly based on Fleming's own World War II spy experiences, Fleming (played by Sean Connery's son, Jason Connery) says his name is "Fleming, Ian Fleming".

Bond usually evinces a preference for vodka martinis, and his instruction on how it must be prepared, "Shaken, not stirred", quickly became another catchphrase. This line was honoured by the AFI as the 90th most-memorable cinema quotation. The description is first said by Doctor No in the 1962 film (demonstrating to Bond that he is familiar with his tastes). Bond himself first uses the line in 1964's Goldfinger. In You Only Live Twice, when Bond is offered a martini "stirred, not shaken" and asked if that is right, he politely says, "Perfect. Cheers." In GoldenEye, Zukovsky mockingly describes Bond as being "shaken, but not stirred" by his recent abduction. In Die Another Day, when handed a Vodka Martini on a turbulent airplane, he says, "Lucky I asked for it shaken." In Casino Royale, the in-joke is a furious Bond's reply — "Do I look like I give a damn?" — to a bartender's innocent query of "Shaken or stirred?". As originally devised by Fleming in his novel Casino Royale, Bond's martini of choice originally had a more complex recipe; this recipe was recited on screen for the first time in the 2006 adaptation of the novel, and repeated in Quantum of Solace. Prior to this the closest thing to a "recipe" given on screen is in Dr. No when the eponymous villain mentions Bond's martini as having a slice of lemon peel.

See also


  1. ^ Jütting 2007, p. 26-28.
  2. ^ Chapman 2009, p. 63.
  3. ^ Jütting 2007, p. 26.
  4. ^ Barnes & Hearn 2001, p. 17.
  5. ^ Cork & Stutz 2007, p. 307.
  6. ^ Desowitz, Bill (16 January 2009). "MK12 Has a Blast with Quantum Main Titles". Animation World Network. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Interview: Campbell on Casino Royale". IGN » Movies. IGN Entertainment, Inc. 19 October 2005. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 318.
  9. ^ Chapman 2009, p. 250.
  10. ^ Chapman 2009, p. 152.
  11. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 32.
  12. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 28.
  13. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 194.
  14. ^ Barber & Barber 1999, p. 240-242.
  15. ^ Barber & Barber 1999, p. 42.
  16. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 79-80.
  17. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 38.
  18. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 40.
  19. ^ a b Lindner 2009, p. 202-214.
  20. ^ a b Danny Graydon (9 June 2007). "Daniel Craig boosts Bond franchise. Actor invigorates long-running action film series". Variety. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  21. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 262.
  22. ^ a b Lipp 2006, p. 263.
  23. ^ Smith & Lavington 2002, p. 11.
  24. ^ Smith & Lavington 2002, p. 15.
  25. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 186.
  26. ^ Smith & Lavington 2002, p. 145.
  27. ^ Smith & Lavington 2002, p. 157.
  28. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 453.
  29. ^ Pfeiffer & Worrall 1998, p. 169.
  30. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 151.
  31. ^ Simpson 2002, p. 21.
  32. ^ Black 2005, p. 94.
  33. ^ a b Cork & Stutz 2007, p. 265.
  34. ^ a b Cork & Stutz 2007, p. 183.
  35. ^ Cork & Stutz 2007, p. 182.
  36. ^ Cork & Stutz 2007, p. 202.
  37. ^ a b c Cork & Stutz 2007, p. 186.
  38. ^ Cork & Stutz 2007, p. 175.
  39. ^ Cork & Stutz 2007, p. 180.
  40. ^ Cork & Stutz 2007, p. 180-181.
  41. ^ "James Bond car sold for over £1m". BBC News. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  42. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 37.
  43. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 298-99.
  44. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 297.
  45. ^ "Production Diary (8)". 30 January 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008. 
  46. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 34.
  47. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 39.
  48. ^ Smith & Lavington 2002, p. 185.
  49. ^ "James Bond Mystery SOLVED: Maud Adams Found in 'A View To A Kill'". Retrieved 22 June 2009. 
  50. ^ Smith & Lavington 2002, p. 192-193.
  51. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 167.
  52. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 167-168.
  53. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 168.
  54. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 183.
  55. ^ a b Lipp 2006, p. 282.
  56. ^ Lipp 2006, p. 283.
  57. ^ (DVD) For Your Eyes Only Special Edition, Region 2. MGM. 1981. 
  58. ^ It is a common misconception that this is Bond's introductory line, when in fact he has the following exchange with Sylvia Trench over a game of Chemin de Fer: James Bond: I admire your courage, Miss...? Sylvia Trench: Trench. Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck, Mr...? James Bond: Bond. James Bond.
  59. ^ ""Bond. James Bond" 22nd greatest line in cinema history". AFI's 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes. Archived from the original on 30 June 2005. Retrieved 13 July 2005. 
  60. ^ Nicholas Barber, Andrew Johnson (21 September 2008). "We've been expecting you, Mr... er...? New Bond blockbuster drops the catchphrases". The Independent (London). Retrieved 22 September 2008. 


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