James Bond

Based on best selling books by Ian Fleming 1908-1964, in British Naval Intelligence in WW2.

Regarding his somewhat untimely death, Fleming had been a heavy smoker and drinker throughout his adult life, and suffered from heart disease. In April 1961, aged 53, he suffered a heart attack and struggled to recuperate during a regular weekly meeting at The Sunday Times. It followed a temporary court injunction, imposed and lifted in March 1961, over his novelising a film script, Thunderball, co-written in the latter half of 1959. During the court case in November 1963, Fleming had another attack, and finally settled out of court. See further details below. In August 1964, Fleming suffered yet another attack, this time fatal.

Back in June 1961, US producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman purchased the filming rights to Fleming's novels. They founded Eon Productions, based in London, and with financial backing by United Artists budgeting the first one at $1 million, produced Dr No in 1962, directed by Terence Young and featuring Sean Connery as Bond.
But releasing that first James Bond movie was not simple ...

Following a $50,000 six-month option paid at the start of 1961 to Ian Fleming by Canadian film producer Harry Saltzman on all James Bond novels except Casino Royale (already sold), and Thunderball (under dispute), that was now about to expire, Saltzman linked up with New York producer Albert Broccoli. On June 28 1961 following a 45 minute meeting, Arthur Krim at United Artists in New York agreed to six James Bond pictures. In July 1961, Saltzman and Broccoli formed Eon Productions, based in London.

Following an audition in October, and an agreement to be available for the sequels, Sean Connery was cast 3 November 1961, and shooting in Jamaica commenced 16 January 1962, completing 30 March 1962.

Some further background. Solicitor Brian Lewis numbered among his clients Ian Fleming and a Canadian film producer named Harry Saltzman. It was Lewis who arranged for Fleming and Saltzman to meet in 1960. As a result of this meeting, Saltzman bought a six-month option on the Bond novels. But, with his six months option about to expire, Saltzman was still finding it difficult to raise capital when, in May 1961, screenwriter Wolf Mankowitz suggested that Saltzman should talk to another producer who was interested in Bond, New Yorker Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli. Following the deal with United Artists, the producers hired writer Richard Maibaum to work on a treatment based on Thunderball.

But that messy court case surrounding the novel was to rear its ugly head and frightened Saltzman and Broccoli away, though not before Maibaum had actually finished his first draft screenplay (on 18 August). So instead, they turned their attentions to Dr No which was now being prepared by Maibaum and Wolf Mankowitz.

By the end of 1961, Saltzman and Broccoli were just about ready to begin shooting. The script was still not ready [it wasn't helped much by the departure of Mankowitz after a series of disagreements with the producers]. In desperation, and with only a few days to go before shooting was due to begin, Broccoli took movie director Terence Young to the Dorchester and installed him in a suite with one of his assistants, Johanna Harwood, to work over the script. By the end of the first week in January they emerged with a workable screenplay and shooting finally began on Tuesday 16 January 1962 in Jamaica. Shooting in Jamaica ended 30 March 1962.

With the support of the British NFFC who assisted with an initial cost overrun, United Artists invested £321,227 (i.e. $US1 million) in that first movie, recouping $50 million at the box office when it was released in London on 5th October 1962 and in the US on 7th March 1963.

It was a financial success, and United Artists doubled the budget offered to Eon Productions to $2 million for the company's next film, From Russia with Love in 1963.

List of Movies on Wikipedia


  1. Richard Maibaum (1909-1991) subsequently adapted many of the James Bond novels into screenplays until his death in 1991, having started with Dr No. Other script writers were
  2. Roald Dahl, a close friemd of Fleming's for You only Live Twice in 1967
  3. US writer Tom Mankiewicz, who had "reworked" Diamonds are Forever in 1971, was sole writer on Live and Let Die in 1973, and wrote first draft of Man with a Golden Gun in 1974
  4. UK writer Christopher Wood for Moonraker in 1979, having also worked with Maibaum on Spy who Loved Me in 1977
  5. US writer Michael France for Goldeneye in 1995
  6. US writer Bruce Feirstein also worked on Goldeneye, on Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997, and World is not Enough in 1999
  7. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, UK writers who wrote the story for World is not Enough, then became co-writers for the next six Bond films up to No Time to Die in 2021

In 1981 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) acquired the United Artists studio for a reported $350 million.


  1. Sean Connery 1962-1971
    except On her Majesty's Secret Service 1969 (George Lazenby).
  2. then Roger Moore 1973-1985
    except Never Say Never Again 1983 (Sean Connery) — a remake of Thunderball.
    See all 14 movies below
  3. Timothy Dalton 1987-1989 just 2 movies
    1. Living Daylights (1987) takes place in Bratislava (modern day Slovakia), Vienna, Tangiers, and Afghanistan. It involved an apparent defection by KGB General Georgi Koskov who subsequently tells Mi6 that KGB's old policy of "Smiert Spionam", meaning "Death to Spies" had been revived under the new head Leonid Pushkin. It is a ruse however, an endeavour to have Pushkin assasinated by Mi6, as Koskov was due to be arrested for embezzling Soviet funds. His scheme was to use the funds to buy a massive shipment of opium from the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, intending to keep the profits made from selling the opium while supplying the Soviets with Western arms from his cohort Brad Whitaker in Tangiers.
    2. License to Kill (1989) Aiding Felix Leiter in his capture of drugs lord Franz Sanchez in Key West Florida, Sanchez instead escapes and badly maims Leiter while killing his new bride. In revenge, Bond resigns from Mi6 (this ends up being temporary) and having foiled a drug shipment and capturing $5 million, he is able to frame Sanchez's accomplice. At the same time Bond poses as an assassin for hire (offering his services to Sanchez) in the Republic of Isthmus (a mythic Caribbean island).
  4. Pierce Brosnan 1995-2002
    1. Goldeneye (1995) takes place in Russia and Cuba, ending in London. It involves the "GoldenEye" satellite weapon that uses an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) with Alec Trevelyan (006) a rogue British agent, originally from Russia, who plans to steal money from the Bank of England before erasing all of its financial records with the GoldenEye, concealing the theft and destroying Britain's economy.
    2. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) Media mogul Elliot Carver in Hamburg Germany, using a stolen GPS encoder (in his offices there) pushes a British warship off course and into Chinese waters. The ship is then sunk by his men using Chinese ammunition, a cruise missile is stolen, while simultaneously a Chinese fighter plane is shot down. Bond investigating learns that Carver had brokered a deal with a Chinese General Chang who plans on using Beijing's destruction with the stolen missile to overthrow the Chinese government, bring about peace, and give Carver exclusive broadcasting rights in China for the next century. As the British fleet sail towards China, Bond and female Chinese agent Wai Lin make their way on to Carver's stealth ship where the missile is located.
    3. World is Not Enough (1999) Bond's mission is to protect Elektra King in Azerbaijan overseeing an oil pipeline there. At the start her father was killed by explosives hidden in a case of money by a rogue KGB terrorist named Renard. That case of money had been used to pay a ransom for Elektra's kidnapping, then having been retrieved by a "00" agent, subsequently recovered by Bond in Spain under M's orders, everyone unaware of the boobytrap. Next Bond, while protecting Elektra, learns she had been turned against her father and M, seduced (Stockholm Syndrome) into feeling she had been used as "bait" to lead M's people to Renard. She became an accomplice of Renard who is stealing weapons grade plutonium from a Russian ICBM in Kazakhstan. At the close, his intention is to create a nuclear explosion in a submarine in Istanbul, thus sabotaging the Russians' oil pipeline, while Elektra's pipeline which is planned to go around it dramatically rises in value.
    4. Die Another Day (2002) Bond investigates North Korean Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, trading African conflict diamonds for weapons. Moon is apparently killed and Bond captured and tortured for 14 months, after which he is exchanged for Zao, Moon's assistant. Despite being suspended on his return, he tracks down Zao to a DNA restructuring clinic in Havana Cuba, where patients have their appearances altered. Zao escapes, but the trail leads to London and British billionaire Gustav Graves. In Iceland Graves unveils a mirror satellite "Icarus" which is able to focus solar energy on a small area and provide year-round sunshine for crop development. Bond discovers that Colonel Moon was not dead, he had undergone the gene therapy and assumed the identity of Graves. The real plan was to use the Icarus as a sun gun to cut a path through the Korean Demilitarized Zone with concentrated sunlight, allowing North Korean troops to invade South Korea and reunite the countries through force.
  5. Daniel Craig 2006+ the last five movies.


  1. Bernard Lee 1962-1979
  2. Robert Brown 1983-1989
  3. Judi Dench 1995-2015 (in 2015 pseudo-posthumously)
  4. Ralph Fiennes 2012+


  1. Desmond Llewellyn 1963-1999
  2. John Cleese 1999-2002
  3. Ben Whishaw 2012+


  1. Lois Maxwell 1962-1985
    except "Never Say Never Again" Pamela Salem 1983
  2. Caroline Bliss 1987-1989
  3. Samantha Bond 1995-2002
  4. Naomie Harris 2012+

Villains (well, some of them) , plus links to books

  1. 1962 Dr No plans to disrupt the Project Mercury space launch from Cape Canaveral with his atomic-powered radio beam in Crab Key, a (fictional) island near Jamaica. The film introduces him as an agent of SPECTRE (though of course not in the book) Book 6 1958
  2. 1963 From Russia with Love. SPECTRE's expert planner Kronsteen, known as "Number Five", devises a plot to steal a Lektor cryptographic device from the Soviets and sell it back to them while exacting revenge on Bond for killing their agent Dr No. Ex-SMERSH operative Rosa Klebb, SPECTRE's Number Three, is in charge of the mission. She recruits Donald "Red" Grant as an assassin and Tatiana Romanova, a cipher clerk at the Soviet consulate in Istanbul, as the unwitting bait. Much of the action takes place on a train travelling through Yugoslavia, with final scenes in Venice. Book 5 1957 with the main villain SMERSH (in Russian "Death to Spies") a counter-intelligence umbrella outfit formed in Russia during WW2.
  3. 1964 Goldfinger, a bullion dealer, plans to rob Fort Knox with a private army by using materials US gangsters have smuggled to him. Movie starts in Miami Beach Florida, then a golf match in Kent in England, some action in Switzerland, and an ending at Fort Knox in Kentucky. Book 7 1959 villain linked to SMERSH.
  4. 1965 Thunderball Emilio Largo, SPECTRE's Number Two, hijacks a US bomber loaded with two atomic bombs, transfers them to Nassau in the Bahamas and demands a ransom for their return. Book 9 1961 based on a movie script developed in the latter half of 1959 with Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham. Temporary sanction on publishing (both imposed and lifted in March 1961) then an out-of-court settlement (in November 1963) after Fleming suffered a heart attack during a three week court hearing. Together with a financial settlement from Fleming of £35,000 plus court costs of £52,000, McClory obtained the film rights to Thunderball. Interestingly, because the literary rights stayed with Fleming, it allowed continuation author John Gardner (1926-2007) to use SPECTRE in a number of his James Bond novels (published 1981-1996).
  5. 1967 You Only Live Twice. SPECTRE's Number One, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (actor Donald Pleasence), in conjunction with Osato, a Japanese industrialist, hijacks a Project Gemini spacecraft, called in the movie "Jupiter 16". On a Japanese island, Blofeld plans to fake in front of each superpower that the spacecraft, Bird One, is an enemy spacecraft. He has been hired by a great power (strongly implied to be the People's Republic of China) to start a Soviet-American war, in order for them to destroy each other so that the "great power" can replace them as the world's new superpower. Book 12 1964 with major differences with the movie plot (other than its involving Blofeld and being based in Japan). The book version was written as a sequel to "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", see next movie, with Blofeld having been responsible for the death of Bond's new wife. At the end of this book, Bond having been injured, subsequently developed amnesia in Japan, then travelled to Russia where he was brainwashed by the Russians to kill M, though he failed, see this book's sequel, Man with the Golden Gun which became a movie in 1974.
  6. 1969 On Her Majesty's Secret Service. James Bond's marriage in Portugal to Tracy di Vicenzo - Diana Rigg (at the end). Her father is Marc-Ange Draco, the head of the European crime syndicate, Unione Corse. Bond foils Blofeld (Telly Savalas)'s plan of brainwashing female patients who have come for allergy treatment to the Swiss Alps in order to distribute bacteriological warfare agents throughout various parts of the world. Book 11 1963
  7. 1971 Diamonds are Forever. Movie starts in South Africa briefly, then Amsterdam, then Los Angeles where Blofeld (Charles Gray) is having a satellite built by a laser refraction specialist, Professor Dr Metz, able to blow up nuclear missiles from outer space, which Blofeld plans to auction to the highest bidder. Book 4 1956 minimal similarities to the movie.
  8. 1973 Live and Let Die. Three MI6 agents investigating Dr Kananga, the corrupt Prime Minister of a small (fictional) Caribbean island, San Monique, have all been killed, one in New York, one in New Orleans, and one on the island. Through his alter ego, Mr Big, Kananga plans to distribute two tons of heroin from his poppy fields free of charge at his restaurants. Book 2 1954 with Kananga an agent of Smersh.
  9. 1974 The Man with the Golden Gun. Bond is looking for a British scientist, Gibson, who has invented the "Solex agitator", a device to harness solar power, but he has disappeared. Bond is threatened by a professional assassin, Francisco Scaramanga, who always uses golden bullets. Starting with a spent bullet in Beirut that leads him to Macau, Bond follows Scaramanga's mistress to Hong Kong, where he witnesses the murder of Gibson by Scaramanga and the theft of the Solex agitator which he plans to auction to the highest bidder. Action travels via Bangkok in Thailand, ending at Scaramanga's island in the Red Chinese waters. Book 13 unpolished posthumous 1965 sequel to "You Only Live Twice" with other than the villain's name, minimal similarities to the movie, nothing about Bond being brainwashed.
  10. 1977 The Spy who Loved Me. Movie starts in Austria where James Bond escapes an ambush by a squad of Soviet agents on a downhill ski chase. A British and a Soviet ballistic-missile submarine have disappeared. Plans for a highly advanced submarine tracking system were being offered in Egypt. There, Bond encounters Major Anya Amasova – KGB agent Triple X – as a rival for the microfilm plans. They travel across Egypt together, encountering Jaws – a tall assassin with razor-sharp steel teeth – along the way. Learning shipping tycoon Karl Stromberg had captured the submarines using these plans, they visit his base in Sardinia and discover that he had launched a mysterious new supertanker, the Liparus. They board an American submarine to examine the Liparus, but the submarine is captured by the tanker, which is revealed to be a floating submarine dock. Stromberg sets his plan in motion: the simultaneous launching of nuclear missiles from the captured British and Soviet submarines to obliterate Moscow and New York City. This would trigger a global nuclear war, which Stromberg would survive in his underwater base Atlantis, and subsequently a new civilization would be established. Book 10 1962 zero similarities to the movie.
  11. 1979 Moonraker. A Space Shuttle, Moonraker — on loan to the United Kingdom — is hijacked in midair while on a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. As the shuttle belonged to Hugo Drax, Bond visits his factory in California, then visits a Venice glass factory where he discovers a secret biological laboratory, with glass vials designed to hold a nerve gas (from the Amazon jungle) deadly to humans, but harmless to plants and animals. At Drax's Amazon Jungle base Drax explained that he stole back the loaned Shuttle because another in his fleet had developed a fault during assembly. His plan was to launch 50 globes that would disperse the nerve gas into Earth's atmosphere, after transporting several dozen genetically perfect young men and women of varying races to a space station in the shuttles. They would live there until Earth was safe again for human life. Bond and CIA astronaut agent Holly Goodhead pose as pilots on a shuttle. Book 3 1955 minimal similarities to the movie.
  12. 1981 For Your Eyes Only. The British information gathering vessel St Georges, which holds the Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator (ATAC), the system used by the Ministry of Defence to co-ordinate the Royal Navy's fleet of Polaris submarines, is sunk after accidentally trawling an old naval mine in the Ionian Sea. A marine archaeologist, Sir Timothy Havelock, is asked by the British to secretly locate the St Georges. However, he and his wife are murdered by a Cuban hitman, Hector Gonzales. His daughter, Melina Havelock, witnesses the murder and vows revenge. James Bond goes to Spain and finds the man who hired Gonzales was Emile Locque in Cortina in Italy. In Cortina Bond meets a contact, Luigi Ferrara, and a well-connected Greek businessman and intelligence informant, Aris Kristatos, who tells Bond that Locque is employed by Milos Columbo. Bond is captured by Columbo's men before Locque can kill him; Columbo then tells Bond that Locque was actually hired by Kristatos, who is working for the KGB to retrieve the ATAC. At Kristatos's opium-processing warehouses in Albania, Bond uncovers naval mines similar to the one that sank the St Georges, it was no accident. Bond then discovers the ATAC, but it is captured by Kristatos. Climax at an abandoned monastery nearby. Book 8 1960.
  13. 1983 Octopussy. Russian General Orlov has been exchanging fake jewellery for genuine jewellery at the Moscow Ministry of Antiquities, with an exiled Afghan prince Kamal Khan smuggling the priceless jewelry into the West via Octopussy's circus troupe. Half the movie takes place in India where both Khan and Octopussy reside. Travelling to East Germany near the end, Bond infiltrates the circus and discovers that Orlov has replaced the Soviet treasures with a nuclear warhead, primed to explode during the circus performance at a US Air Force base in West Germany. The explosion would force Europe into seeking unilateral disarmament in the belief that the bomb belonged to the US and was detonated at the airbase accidentally, leaving the unprotected borders open to a Soviet invasion.

    Octopussy's backstory with her father was based on a short story in Book 14 1966 published posthumously, with her father's pet octopus named Octopussy.
    There is general confusion expressed on web sites regarding the subplots at the start of this movie however, particularly the Fabergé egg subplot as well as Orlov, Kamal, and Octopussy's roles ...

    See movies.stackexchange.com
    and www.ajb007.co.uk

    In Octopussy, James accompanies Fanning to the auction where Fabergé egg, The Property of a Lady, is being auctioned. He had the fake one and then he switched it with the one being auctioned, which is supposed to be original.
    Later in the movie, Magda took it from James by seducing him and then he is kidnapped by Kamal. When Orlov, a Soviet general, arrives at Monsoon Palace, he says that it's a fake one and destroys it.
    So, where is the original one? Is it mentioned in the movie or the book it is based on?

    Best Answer
    It's been a while, but as far as I know, the chain of events is this one, quoted from an entire thread about this confusing matter in a James Bond forum and corroborated by IMDb:

    1. 009 (dressed in a clown suit) managed to steal a replica of the Fabergé egg and bring it to the British embassy (though he is stabbed by knife-throwing circus performers)
    2. Bond "borrows" the replica and takes it to the Christie's auction (where Kamal the seller is told by his assistant Magda, at the last minute, to buy it. Kamal Khan wasn't originally supposed to buy the egg, the real one. It was supposed to sell to some third party bidder. Kamal is told at the last moment that he must buy the egg, however much it costs, to replace the fake which 009 took, before an inventory of the art repository can take place, there being insufficient time to create another fake. The seller is Orlov, presumably through proxies, in league with Kamal. Kamal has been building these replica eggs for Orlov according to the specifications of Lenkin, the repository's curator.)
    3. Bond replaces the real Christie's egg with the replica
    4. Bond hands over the real Christie's egg to Mi6
    5. The real egg gets prepared by Q with the bug transmitter
    6. Bond takes the real but bugged egg to India and teases Kamal with it during the backgammon game
    7. Magda (Kamal's assistant) steals the real bugged egg and hands it over to Kamal who has now 2 eggs
    8. Kamal hands the egg over to Orlov who destroys it saying that this replica caused so much trouble. You can see that he's destroying the real egg because the transmitter falls off then, so he's not destroying the replica.

    So in the end, the fake egg, believed to be the real one, is heading back to Moscow while the real egg is destroyed, like so many other priceless artifacts foolishly handed over to 007 along the years. 😉

    Octopussy character in movie
    See jamesbond.fandom.com

    Octopussy is a jewel smuggler based in India, who lives a life of luxury and works alongside and with exiled Afghan prince, Kamal Khan and corrupt Soviet military officer, General Orlov. Octopussy's father, Dexter Smythe studied octopi, thus; the nickname "Octopussy". Her favourite octopus is the Blue Ringed Octopus which she keeps as a pet and which has enough venom to kill up to 50 people. Octopussy owns her island, the "floating palace" in which she lives with many beautiful women, including her second-in command, Magda, who are members of her Octopus Cult. She is also an extremely successful businesswoman who owns many legitimate enterprises in shipping, hotels, carnivals and circuses. Together with Magda and Kamal she tries to get a fake Fabergé egg for General Orlov, and participate in what she thinks is a jewelry contraband, switching the real items for fakes and moving them through her circus.

    Octopussy is first seen when Khan shows her the egg. Her face is not seen as Khan tells her about Bond. He insists on killing Bond but Octopussy says not to. The back of her head is also seen briefly when she is seen skinny dipping and exiting the pool when Bond infiltrates her floating palace using the crocodile disguise and he sees her whilst hiding.

    When Octopussy meets Bond, she reveals that she feels indebted to him; her British father was a traitor that Bond exposed; she wished to meet Bond to thank him for delaying the arrest of her father; long enough for him to save face by committing suicide before he could be arrested and convicted. Octopussy declares Bond her ally in front of Khan and after unsuccessfully trying to bribe him, the two make love in the evening. The following night, they defend her palace against assailants. During the fight Bond fakes his death and leaves for Karl-Marx-Stadt (a city in East Germany now called Chemnitz), having discovered that Octopussy's circus will perform there, and learning the mercenaries who attacked the palace to be Khan's men.

    Octopussy, along with Orlov and Kamal Khan, schemes to smuggle the originals of the faked jewelry from East Germany to Switzerland using her circus. Orlov and Khan, however, would use the contraband as a disguise for detonating a nuclear bomb inside a US airbase on their route through West Germany, provoking a mass disarmament of the United Nations. Bond follows her to the circus and tries desperately to stop the bomb which Octopussy is unaware of. When he tells Magda and Octopussy who he is (disguised in a clown suit), and that they had been betrayed by Orlov and Khan, Octopussy grabs a gun and shoots off the lock on the case holding the bomb. With seconds to spare Bond disarms the bomb.

    Back in India, Octopussy's group raids Khan's palace to get revenge for Khan's betrayal, but she is kidnapped and knocked unconscious by Gobinda. She wakes up in Khan's private plane and as she sees Gobinda go out to kill Bond she slaps him but gets knocked back into her seat. After Khan loses control of the plane, Bond saves Octopussy and jumps out leaving Khan to crash. Octopussy nearly falls off the cliff, but she is saved again by Bond.

  14. 1985 A View to a Kill. Max Zorin, trained and financed by the KGB, has gone rogue. The product of a Nazi genetic experiment, his part is played by actor Christopher Walken. He unveils to a group of investors his plan to destroy Silicon Valley, which will give him and the potential investors a monopoly over microchip manufacture. The plan is to detonate explosives beneath the lakes along the Hayward and San Andreas faults, which will cause them to flood and submerge Silicon Valley forever.
    The title was a short story in "For Your Eyes Only" but has zero similarities to the movie.

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