James Bond movies have charmed and thrilled multiple generations of audiences in all corners of the world and have grossed more than $5 billion worldwide.
So now, with Eon's 23rd Bond film soon to be released, might be as good a time as any, to look back at James Bond films and the part they played in movie history.
It was finally in 1961, eight years after the publication of the first Bond-novel, that American film producer Albert R. Broccoli partnered with Harry Saltzman, who had purchased the rights to all 007 books, except “Casino Royale”. The producers were offered $1 million from United Artists to adapt either “Thunderball” or “Dr. No”.
Directed by Terence Young, who would go on to direct two further Bond films, the film garnered mostly negative reviews upon release, but earned enough to justify starting production on a sequel. Ian Fleming, who initially disliked Sean Connery's performance as Bond, eventually warmed to the actor, who went on to star in six official Bond film and one independent production.
Contrary to it's predecessor, “From Russia With Love” was an instant critical and commercial hit.
Goldfinger, the first Bond film to win an Oscar (Best Sound Effects), shattered box-office records in 1964 and established Bond as a franchise to be reckoned with. The film was the first Bond film to feature the iconic Aston Martin DB5 and starred Gert Fröbe as Goldfinger and Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore.
In 1965, Broccoli finally got to adapt the novel which had attracted him to Bond in the first place, I an Fleming's best-selling Bond novel Thunderball. The film went on to become the most successful Bond film to date. However, lead-actor Connery, although satisfied with his performance in the film, was beginning to talk about leaving the film series and focusing on more serious parts.
He ultimately announced his retirement from the Bond series after the release of You Only Live Twice in 1967.
Sean Connery, replacing potential new Bond John Gavin, and director Guy Hamilton returned for once more for 1971's Diamonds Are Forever. This would be Connery's last Eon-produced Bond film, although making the independently produced “Never Say Never Again” in 1983.
After the relative financial disappointment of 1974's The Man with the Golden Gun, co-producer Harry Saltzman sold his stake in the Eon production company.
The Spy Who Loved Me, released in 1977, not only represents the first Broccoli-only produced Bond film, but also stands as the first wholly original film in the franchise. Fleming had granted the producers the rights to use the name of his novel, but not the plot.
Moore also starred in 1979's Moonraker, 1981's For Your Eyes Only, 1983's Octopussy and 1985's A View To A Kill.
A legal dispute Eon and United Artists postponed the production of Dalton's third Bond film, until the actor finally resigned in 1994.
Brosnan also starred in 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies, 1999's The World Is Not Enough and 2002's Die Another Day. He was released from his contract as MGM wanted to reboot the franchise with a new actor portraying 007.
The follow-up, 2008's Quantum of Solace failed to impress critics and is widely regarded as a failure. Production on the 23rd Bond film was delayed after the onset of MGM's financial troubles.
Now however, Skyfall is set to be released on the 26th of October. The film is directed by Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes and will revolve around Bond's relationship with M.
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