The James Bond series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections. Since Fleming's death in 1964, seven other authors have written authorised Bond novels or novelizations: Kingsley Amis, Christopher Wood, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver and William Boyd, with a further instalment due in September 2015 by Anthony Horowitz. Additionally Charlie Higson wrote a series on a young James Bond, and Kate Westbrook wrote three novels based on the diaries of a recurring series character, Moneypenny.
The character has also been adapted for television, radio, comic strip, video games and film. The films are the longest continually running and the third-highest grossing film series to date, which started in 1962 with Dr. No, starring Sean Connery as Bond. As of 2015, there have been twenty-three films in the Eon Productions series. The most recent Bond film, Skyfall (2012), stars Daniel Craig in his third portrayal of Bond; he is the sixth actor to play Bond in the Eon series. There have also been two independent productions of Bond films: Casino Royale (a 1967 spoof) and Never Say Never Again (a 1983 remake of an earlier Eon-produced film, Thunderball).
The Bond films are renowned for a number of features, including the musical accompaniment, with the theme songs having received Academy Award nominations on several occasions, and one win. Other important elements which run through most of the films include Bond's cars, his guns, and the gadgets with which he is supplied by Q Branch. The films are also noted for Bond's relationships with various women, who are sometimes referred to as "Bond girls"
From Russia with Love is the second James Bond film made by Eon Productions and the second to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Released in 1963, the film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and directed by Terence Young. It is based on the 1957 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. In the film, James Bond is sent to assist in the defection of Soviet consulate clerk Tatiana Romanova in Turkey, where SPECTRE plans to avenge Bond's killing of Dr. No.
Following the success of Dr. No, United Artists approved a sequel and doubled the budget available for the producers. In addition to filming on location in Turkey, the action scenes were shot at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire and in Scotland. Production ran over budget and schedule, and had to rush to finish by its scheduled October 1963 release date. From Russia with Love was a critical and commercial success, taking over $78 million in worldwide box office receipts, more than its predecessor Dr. No.SPECTRE's expert planner Kronsteen 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. The Spectre Number 1 puts ex-SMERSH operative and Number 3 Rosa Klebb in charge of the mission. Klebb recruits Donald "Red" Grant as an assassin, and Tatiana Romanova, a cipher clerk at the Soviet consulate in Istanbul, as an unwitting pawn, as Romanova thinks Klebb is still working for SMERSH.
In London, M tells Bond that Romanova has contacted their "Station 'T'" in Turkey, offering to defect with a Lektor, which MI6 and the CIA have been after for years; however, Romanova has stated she will only defect to Bond, whose photo she has allegedly found in a Soviet intelligence file. Bond then flies to Istanbul, where he meets station head Ali Kerim Bey. Bond is followed from the airport by the Russians and by Red Grant. Grant kills the Russian driver and Kerim Bey's office is bombed with a limpet mine in retaliation. The next day, Bond and Kerim Bey spy on the Soviet consulate, where Kerim Bey sees rival agent Krilencu. At night, Kerim Bey and Bond go to a rural gypsy settlement, which suffers an attack by Krilencu's men, who wound Kerim Bey and nearly kill Bond, who is saved by a hidden Red Grant. On the following night, Kerim Bey kills Krilencu with Bond's sniper rifle. When Bond returns to his hotel suite, he finds Romanova in bed waiting for him, with both of them unaware that they are being filmed by SPECTRE.
The next day, Romanova heads off for a pre-arranged rendezvous at Hagia Sophia. The bespectacled man who followed Bond to the airport tries to intercept Romanova's floor plan of the Soviet consulate, but is killed by Grant. Upon finding the body, Bond takes the floor plan, and brings it to Kerim Bey to plan their theft. After stealing the Lektor, Bond, Romanova, and Kerim Bey escape with the device on the Orient Express. On the train, Kerim Bey and a Soviet security officer named Benz are killed by Grant, who makes it appear as if they killed each other. At Zagreb, Grant leaves the train, kills agent Nash from Station Y and boards it again to meet Bond, pretending to be Nash. He drugs Romanova at dinner, then overcomes Bond. Grant taunts him, boasting that SPECTRE has been pitting the Soviets and the British against each other, and claims that Romanova thinks that "she's doing it all for mother Russia". Grant also mentions the film of Bond and Romanova at the hotel suite, saying that after both are killed, Grant will plant it in her handbag along with a forged blackmail letter so it looks like it was a murder-suicide. Bond tricks Grant into opening Bond's attaché case in the manner that detonates its tear gas booby trap in his face, allowing Bond to attack him. In the ensuing struggle, Bond eventually manages to stab Grant with the knife hidden in the attaché case and strangles Grant to death with his own garrotte. At dawn, Bond and Romanova leave the train, hijack Grant's getaway truck, destroy an enemy helicopter, and drive to a dock, eventually boarding a powerboat.
Number 1 is displeased, and summons Kronsteen and Klebb. He reminds them that SPECTRE does not tolerate failure, and brings in agent Morzeny to then execute Kronsteen with a poisoned spike in the toe of his shoe. Number 1 tells a frightened Klebb that she now has total control of the mission and has one last chance. Klebb sends Morzeny after Bond with a squadron of SPECTRE's boats. Morzeny nearly catches Bond, but the agent sets his pursuers' boats on fire with a signal flare. Bond and Romanova reach Venice and check into a hotel. Klebb, disguised as a maid, attempts to steal the Lektor. She attempts to kill Bond with both a gun and her poisoned toe-spike, but ends up being shot by Romanova. Riding in a gondola, Bond throws the film of him and Romanova into the water as they are rowed away.
Goldfinger (1964) is the third film in the James Bond series and the third to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film also stars Honor Blackman as Bond girl Pussy Galore and Gert Fröbe as the title character Auric Goldfinger, along with Shirley Eaton as the iconic Bond girl Jill Masterson. Goldfinger was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman and was the first of four Bond films directed by Guy Hamilton.
The film's plot has Bond investigating gold smuggling by gold magnate Auric Goldfinger and eventually uncovering Goldfinger's plans to attack the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. Goldfinger was the first Bond blockbuster, with a budget equal to that of the two preceding films combined. Principal photography took place from January to July 1964 in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the U.S. states of Kentucky and Florida.
The release of the film led to a number of promotional licensed tie-in items, including a toy Aston Martin DB5 car from Corgi Toys which became the biggest selling toy of 1964. The promotion also included an image of gold-painted Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson on the cover of Life.
Many of the elements introduced in the film appeared in many of the later James Bond films, such as the extensive use of technology and gadgets by Bond and an extensive pre-credits sequence that was not part of the main storyline. Goldfinger was the first Bond film to win an Academy Award and opened to largely favourable critical reception. The film was a financial success, recouping its budget in just two weeks and is hailed as the series' quintessential episode, still being acclaimed as one of the best
Bond is tasked with investigating a major diamond smuggling ring which begins in Africa and runs through Holland and the UK to the United States. Disguised as professional smuggler and murderer Peter Franks, Bond travels to Amsterdam to meet contact Tiffany Case: he is given the diamonds and travels on to the U.S., where he is met by Felix Leiter. Bond moves through the chain, which leads to the Whyte House, a casino-hotel owned by the reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte.
Bond follows the diamonds to a pick-up by Bert Saxby, Whyte's head of security, and then onto a research laboratory owned by Whyte, where he finds that a satellite is being built by a laser refraction specialist, Professor Dr. Metz. Suspecting Whyte, Bond tries to confront him, but instead meets Blofeld, who captures the agent and explains to him that the satellite can blow up nuclear missiles. Blofeld admits that he intends to auction it to the highest bidder. Bond escapes and frees the captive Whyte and they establish that Blofeld is using an offshore oil rig as his base. Bond attacks the rig, stopping Blofeld's operation and dispersing his organisation.
Bond investigates the sinking of a British warship in Chinese waters, the theft of one of the ship's cruise missiles—and the shooting down of a Chinese fighter plane. He uncovers a link to media mogul Elliot Carver which suggests that Carver had purchased a GPS encoder on the black market.
Bond encounters Chinese agent Wai Lin, who is also investigating the matter and the two agree to work together. They discover that Carver had used the GPS encoder to push the British ship off course and into Chinese waters in order to incite a war for ratings. With the British fleet on their way to China, Bond and Wai Lin find Carver's stealth ship, board it and prevent the firing of a British cruise missile at Beijing. They blow a hole in the ship, exposing it to radar, leading to its sinking averting war between Britain and China.
A reboot of the series, with Bond winning his 00 status in the pre-credits sequence. Bond is instructed to investigate the funding of terrorism. He tracks down and kills a bomb-maker and takes his mobile phone. Searching through the phone, Bond discovers a text message which he traces to Alex Dimitrios, and then on to financer Le Chiffre. Le Chiffre's investments involve short-selling stock in successful companies and then engineering terrorist attacks to sink their share prices. Bond foils Le Chiffre's plan to destroy the prototype Skyfleet airliner, which forces Le Chiffre to set up a high-stakes poker tournament at the Casino Royale to recoup his fortune. Bond is instructed to beat Le Chiffre and is aided by a member of HM Treasury, Vesper Lynd.
Bond beats Le Chiffre at the poker table, but Lynd is kidnapped by Le Chiffre after the game, as is Bond, who is captured whilst pursuing them; Lynd is ransomed for the money and Bond is tortured. Le Chiffre is subsequently killed by Mr. White, a liaison between Le Chiffre and a number of his clients. Bond learns that his poker winnings were never repaid to the Treasury, which Lynd was supposed to have done, and Bond establishes that she was a double agent. Bond pursues her and is attacked by members of White's organisation: he survives, but White takes the money and Lynd commits suicide. Bond subsequently finds and captures White.
Along with M, Bond interrogates Mr. White regarding his organisation, Quantum. M's bodyguard, Mitchell, a double agent, attacks M, enabling White to escape. Bond traces the organisation to Haiti and a connection to environmentalist Dominic Greene.
Bond uncovers a plot between Greene and an exiled Bolivian General, Medrano, to put Medrano in power in Bolivia while Quantum are given a monopoly to run the water supply to the country. Bond ascertains Quantum are damming Bolivia's supply of fresh water in order to force the price up. Bond attacks the hotel where Greene and Medrano are finalising their plans and leaves Greene stranded in the desert with only a tin of engine oil to drink. Bond then finds Vesper Lynd's former lover and member of Quantum, Yusef Kabira.
After an operation in Istanbul ends in disaster, Bond is missing and presumed to be dead. In the aftermath, questions are raised over M's ability to run the Secret Service, and she becomes the subject of a government review over her handling of the situation. The Service itself is attacked, prompting Bond's return to London. His presence assists MI6's investigation in uncovering a lead, and Bond is sent to Shanghai and Macau in pursuit of a mercenary named Patrice. There, he establishes a connection to Raoul Silva, a former MI6 agent who was captured and tortured by Chinese agents. Blaming M for his imprisonment, he sets in motion a plan to ruin her reputation before murdering her. Bond saves M and attempts to lure Silva into a trap, and while he is successful in repelling Silva's assault, M is mortally wounded. Bond returns to active duty under the command of the new M, Gareth Mallory.
James Bond Will Return