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The Bond title sequences are an important tradition for the franchise. Join us as we count them down from worst to best.
The title sequence is a trademark of the Bond franchise. It sets the tone for the film while using artistry to bring important themes and ideas to audience’s periphery. It’s more than just guns and girls, it’s a calling card that gives the Bond films a sophistication and uniqueness that its competitors and impostors lack. Through the years, these sequences have become more complicated and sophisticated, but the goal is the same: wow the audience.
Below we've listed the title sequences of all of the Eon Productions/MGM Studios films from worst to best based on the following criteria:
Song Rating = How good/memorable is the song?
Creativity = Have we seen it before?
Wow-Factor = The impact on the viewer.
Execution = How well made is it »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
Chicago – James Bond is back in his latest adventure, “Spectre,” but what about his movie life before this film? Spike Walters of HollywoodChicago.com ranks the 24 official James Bond films from worst to first, an overview of 007’s movie and cultural presence from 1962 through today.
The legacy of James Bond began in 1953, with the release of the first in a series of novels detailing the spy’s escapades, written by Ian Fleming. The British agent with a “license to kill” designation (007) was featured in 12 novels and two short story collections. In 1962, the first of the 24 official films – “Dr. No” – was released, starring Sean Connery, and began a series that maintains its popularity to this day. Many fans of the series consider Connery the essential James Bond, but many other actors followed him as Bond in the official film canon – George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and the current 007, Daniel Craig. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published May 5, 2015.
Ian Fleming’s James Bond is one of the most recognizable and successful characters in modern popular culture. The novels have sold over 100 million copies, and the film franchise is the second most successful in history, having been recently displaced by the Harry Potter series. For most readers and viewers, 007 is merely a Western pop icon. However, there is much more at work in the novels and films than appears on the surface. In fact, there are deeper undercurrents, themes, symbols, and messages that operate as psychological warfare propaganda and an in-depth semiotic analysis of the novels and films yields an interpretation that confirms this thesis. Much has been written on the subject of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. From Umberto Eco’s older essay “Narrative Structures in Fleming” to Christoph Linders’ modern collections The James Bond Phenomenon and Revisioning 007: James Bond and Casino Royale, »
- Jay Dyer
Following James Bond’s out of this world experience in the financially successful (665 million, adjusted for inflation) if artistically vapid Moonraker, the series’ sole producer, Albert Broccoli, thought it best to venture in a different direction, one that would feel slightly more grounded, all the while still playing on the strengths of his star: cool wit, affable mannerism and charm. A new director in John Glenn was now on board, who would go on to direct every single entry from the 80s, including Timothy Dalton’s two adventures. A new production designer in Peter Lamont was also now in charge of sets. Both had worked their way up in the ‘Bond family business’ so to speak, and, along with the leftover story elements from the far grittier Ian Fleming novels, the 007 films of the early 80s would take on a different tone and feel from the voodoo, space travel and »
- Edgar Chaput
It is no secret that Roger Moore holds the record as the actor who played James Bond the most, his tally an impressing 7. There are a bevy of reasons why this was the case, the most obvious being that each one of his films were massive financial successes, the only bump in the road being his second outing, The Man With the Golden Gun, which itself speaks to the immense stature of the franchise when the film that earns 97 million dollars is the ‘bump in the road.’ There was a shift in tone that permeated in the Bond films once Roger Moore took over the mantle from Sean Connery. Whereas the latter brought toughness and grittiness to his interpretation of the famous super spy all the while proving to be as smooth as butter, the former injected some light comedic flair. It was definitely still James Bond on the screen, »
- Edgar Chaput
If there’s any truth to the old chestnut that great works of art teach you how to experience them, few films exemplify it quite so fully as Jacques Rivette‘s Out 1. Then again, when so few films akin to Out 1 in the first place, comparisons will only go so far before discourse hits a wall. Or so I, in the two weeks since seeing it, have been inclined to think of a conspiracy-filled, paranoia-fueled, melancholy-drenched 13-hour movie that’s no less indebted to Fritz Lang and classic melodrama than Aeschylus and Balzac. If this weren’t a particularly good film, its restoration and subsequent theatrical release, which begins at New York’s BAMcinématek this evening, would still be something to celebrate — mostly as a signal that people with a power to save rare films are placing their resources where it counts. But given what is, to my mind, the »
- Nick Newman
Directed by Lewis Gilbert
Screenplay by Christopher Wood
Moonraker has the unique distinction of being the most absurd and over-the-top Bond film produced in 50 years of the series. Spy films exist in a genre unto themselves, but the Bond films sometimes like to crossover into other popular genres as well. The first clear example of this was 1973’s Live and Let Die, which mimicked the then popular Blaxploitation genre. When Moonraker was released however, the Bond series took this genre crossover to its extreme, resulting in a Bond film as much a science fiction saga as it is screwball comedy. Certainly one of the strangest Bond films to date, Moonraker holds a unique admiration among Bond fans and remained the highest grossing of all the Bond films until the release of Goldeneye in 1995.
- Tony Nunes
Let’s face it. The songs are the best parts of the James Bond movies. Throughout 007’s five decades, the title tracks are each film’s one hope of rising above dubious casting choices, retreads of old villains, and grandiose plots for world domination that will inevitably be foiled. And like all that other stuff, we like the songs because they’re another expected element in a series that’s filled with them, a pop cultural barometer for measuring the secret agent’s standing in the zeitgeist.
Bond songs can be aged bygones of their time with poetically vague lyrics that don’t add up to much, but the best ones rise above their period trappings to comment and reflect on their respective films. With Spectre set to hit American theaters this week, let’s look back at each and every title song in Metro Golden Mayer’s canon:
24. Rita Coolidge »
- David Klein
Gun to your head - or, rather, powerful laser device pointed close to your groin - you could probably list all six actors who've played James Bond.
But Connery, Brosnan, Moore and so on are the just the tip of the (admittedly quite small) iceberg, as this list of the "other" Bonds proves...
1. Bob Holness
Best known for everyone's favourite pee-themed, letter-obsessed quiz show, Holness enjoyed a wide and varied career before he settled down behind the Blockbusters desk, once working as an airborne traffic reporter and briefly holding down a job in a South African printing press.
How he then ended up as secret agent James Bond 007 seems as great a mystery as "Who are the kind of parents that call their daughter Pussy Galore?" But he did, thanks to a 1956 BBC radio play based on Moonraker.
2. Barry Nelson
James Bond is finally back in Spectre and, like all Bond films, it boasts a high-profile theme tune from an artist-of-the-moment. But where does Sam Smith sit in the illustrious ranks of Shirley Bassey, Paul McCartney and Rita Coolidge (!)? We've gone back through every single 007 song to find out which ones are earworms and which need their 00 status revoked.
A quick point to note: we've discounted instrumentals so the opening credits pieces from Dr No and On Her Majesty's Secret Service are not on the list.
The first and only duet in the entire Bond theme back catalogue, on paper this sounded great but what emerged was a sludgy, lifeless and unremarkable track that went in one ear and out the other.
Compounding the horror of her on-screen cameo in this stinker of a »
Christopher Wood, a novelist who under the pen name Timothy Lea wrote the ribald Confessions series of novels and films and who, under his own name wrote the screenplay to the James Bond film Moonraker and cowrote The Spy Who Loved Me, died earlier this year at age 79. His death did not become widely known until this week, following former Bond star Sir Roger Moore paying tribute to him on Twitter October 17. How sad to hear Bond screenwriter Christopher Wood has died… »
The film: Brilliant first half, problematic second. But even the second half is still pretty good. Manages to celebrate the traditions/clichés of the franchise without ever descending into parody. Stunning set-pieces in Istanbul, Shanghai and Macau showcase the globetrotting and glamour that has served the franchise so well (naturally, we end in Scotland). The plot disappears halfway through and finale is again underwhelming, although less so than the previous Craigs. Ultimately Skyfall is a great Bond film on first watch, a very good one thereafter.
The Villain: A fine antagonist, although certainly not the best ever. The first camp baddie since Wint and Kidd in Diamonds Are Forever (and they were only henchmen). Silva is a heap of fun. His deep, sexy voice charms you, but those cold »
Wood's daughter Caroline Wood is only now confirming that Christopher passed away back in May at his apartment in France, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"[He] wouldn't necessarily have wanted an obituary. It was not his way," Caroline said.
"How sad to hear Bond screenwriter Christopher Wood has died. He wrote two of my best," Moore wrote.
How sad to hear Bond screenwriter Christopher Wood has died. He wrote two of my best.
— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) October 17, 2015
Wood wrote a number of novels in the historical fiction, comedy and action genres as well. »
By autumn 1977, author Clive Cussler was the toast of the publishing world. Following a decade of writing and two moderately successful novels, his third book, Raise The Titanic! was a runaway bestseller. Its popularity was a contrast to Cussler's earlier books, which had earned him a relatively meagre $5,000. But those earlier adventures - The Mediterranean Caper and Iceberg - helped establish the daring hero Dirk Pitt, a practical, earthy hero designed as a counterpoint to the suave, refined James Bond.
For Raise The Titanic!, Cussler dreamed up a scenario in which Pitt headed up a multi-billion-dollar operation to find and recover the doomed luxury liner, which sank in 1912. Their goal: to recover a mysterious, incredibly rare substance called byzantium from the ship's belly - a »
After his adventure into space, James Bond comes back to Earth in a much more grounded and closer to reality mission in For Your Eyes Only. This film takes Bond back to the basics as he fights without the assistance of over-the-top gadgets and a renewed focus on his deadly skills in the trade. His mission is to track down a sunken British ship before anyone gets a hold of its secret defense system, one which could potentially turn British ships against each other.
While not based on any of the original novels in particular, For Your Eyes Only is a combination of two of Ian Fleming’s short Bond stories ‘Risico’ and ‘For Your Eyes Only’. Combining the plots works very well in creating a Cold War espionage tale. Parts of the film are slow, »
- Ricky Church
Ricky Church continues his countdown to Spectre with a review of Moonraker…
In 1979 the Bond franchise took a turn to science fiction as Bond ventured into space for his adventure in Moonraker. Though he had previously investigated space programs or fought against space lasers, he had never before gone into outer space. Why did the franchise decide to veer in such a sci-fi direction? Well, it has a little something to do with a small 1977 film you may have heard of called Star Wars.
Due to Star Wars being a surprise financial and critical success, sci-fi reemerged as a popular film genre and made many studios eager to produce a sci-fi film. Rather than film For Your Eyes Only, announced at the end of Spy Who Loved Me, producer Albert Broccoli decided to do Moonraker instead to get in on the sci-fi bandwagon. What resulted was a disjointed film that, »
- Ricky Church
With the brand new 007 movie Spectre only a couple of weeks away from release, and Sam Smith’s new single Writing’s On The Wall riding high at the top of the UK charts, the British public have been out in force voting for their favourite Bond theme of all time.
perhaps unsurprisingly Adele’s Skyfall from the film of the same name topped the poll, which was conducted by Bingocams. The track, from the 2012 film of the same name, attracted a huge 366 votes out of the poll of 1700 people, nearly double that of its nearest rival, Paul McCartney and Wings’ superb Live and Let Die, which bagged 188 votes.
Shirley Bassey’s scored a double-whammy with third and fourth place with her themes from Diamonds Are Forever (160 votes) at the number three position, and Goldfinger with 147 votes in fourth. Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better from The Spy Who Loved Me »
- The Hollywood News
This one? Very nearly the best Bond of the lot. Building the entire film around one card game is a masterstroke: the simplicity of the premise allows room for the Bond legend to grow. Umpteen moments of inspiration clamour for attention; Bond inventing the Vesper Martini is a personal favourite. Meanwhile, makers of blue swimming trunks must bow down before the DVD every morning - the collective 'phwoar' as Daniel Craig emerges from the sea echoed around cinemas across the world. Someone doesn’t skip the gym.
The Girl: Okay, I’ll say it - Vesper’s the best Bond girl of all. Honey Rider is a bikini, Pussy Galore a silly name; Tracy and Anya are pretty great but Vesper takes the crown. She’s »
22 best and worst Bond theme songs ranked: Do you agree?
Ah, Mr Bond! We've been... inspecting you. Yes, ahead of Spectre's release on October 26, Digital Spy has attempted the impossible: ranking all 23 films of the 007 franchise. From 1962's Dr No all the way to 2012's Skyfall, we've graded which films were 00-heaven - and which were, well, something of an oddjob.
Ok, we've ignored unofficial outing Never Say Never Again and that weird original Casino Royale with Woody Allen. Plus the radio version of Moonraker, starring Blockbusters' Bob Holness. But otherwise, read on for your definitive guide through a minefield of gadgets, girls and shaken martinis, starting with the abject worst. Violently disagree? Be sure to let us know...
23. Die Another Day (2002)
Practically a curse for some this one, and now a contender for Worst Bond Ever. This is a bit harsh: Die Another Day doesn’t deserve the opprobrium heaped upon it. Not to say it’s good; just not utterly irredeemable. Perhaps its greatest problem is tonal. For a while it seems we might get the hard-hitting Bond that Pierce Brosnan so deserved; then suddenly we’re in an ice palace and Bond’s borrowed a car from Harry Potter. The second half of the film is utterly ludicrous but fun if you go along for the (invisible) ride; alas, the first half promised something far more intriguing. It wouldn’t be completely accurate to say it begins as Licence To Kill and ends as Moonraker; but nor is it totally unfair. »
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