With the James Bond 007 series being over 40 years old, consisting of 20 films and with five different actors in the leading role, the bar is raised high for each new Bond film release. This is even more so the case when that film is introducing a new actor in the role. The series has taken several different routes when it came to the decision of how to introduce the new James Bond. CBn takes a look at the introductions of all five actors in the role…
Dr. No to Diamonds Are Forever
Sean Connery is 007
In Dr. No, the first, official James Bond film, we first see Sean Connery in the role from behind, engaged in cards with Sylvia Trench at the Le Cercle casino, where many others have gathered around the table to view the game. Sylvia’s style of playing prompts the line from Bond, “I admire your courage, Miss…?” Sylvia then responds “Trench. Sylvia Trench,” and further prompts the most renowned James Bond film line: “Bond. James Bond.” At that, the camera immediately focuses on Connery’s face for the first time as he casually lights a cigarette. It became a truly memorable scene in the history of the series.
Sean Connery had another introduction in the James Bond series when he returned after George Lazenby’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. We see several unrevealing shots of the man we know as Bond in Japan and then later Cairo, brutally interrogating men for information to the whereabouts of Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Bond is directed to Marie from the man in Cairo, and we finally see a full shot of Connery as he walks up to Marie, introducing himself in that famous line: “Bond. James Bond.”
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
George Lazenby is 007
In 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, George Lazenby starred as the one-time only 007. We first see silhouettes of him, with the occasional glimpse at his hands while in his Aston Martin, driving along the road. It’s the peculiar speeding of a pretty girl in a passing car that sparks his interest. As she soars by, he speeds up, at which the James Bond Theme also picks up. He comes to an abrupt stop when he sees her car stopped alongside the beach, and runs out to rescue her when he spots in moving deeper into the ocean.
Saving her life, he carries her to the shore, all the while focusing on his body or legs. When she comes to, she looks upon him as he speaks: “Good morning. My name’s Bond, James Bond.” At which time, the camera focuses on his face.
Live and Let Die to A View To A Kill
Roger Moore is 007
1973’s Live and Let Die was the introductory film for long-time James Bond, Roger Moore. Perhaps to lessen the shock of a new James Bond after the ever popular Sean Connery’s departure, the producers went for a subdued and ‘quiet’ entrance for the new Bond.
Roger Moore is first seen after the pre-credits sequence, the only time this happens if one doesn’t count the pre-credits of sort in Dr. No, asleep with an Italian agent, Miss Caruso, in his flat, from a past mission. He is awakened by his boss M, and secretary, Miss Moneypenny, all the while hiding the fact of his guest staying with him at that moment.
The Living Daylights to Licence to Kill
Timothy Dalton is 007
In 1987’s The Living Daylights, we first see a briefing by M to three of his double-o agents on a practice assignment at Gibraltar. At this point, the audience is still not sure which of the three of the agents James Bond is. Eventually, the three land on the base at different locations. The first two are fellow agents, 002, who is quickly caught upon landing, and 004, who is brutally killed by a rogue enemy who has infiltrated the base. At the sound of 004’s scream as he falls to the death, the camera moves in a quick flash of Timothy Dalton as James Bond, witnessing the event.
He chases after the assassin in a dangerous chase, which ends with Bond landing safely aboard the yacht of a very bored Linda, who is hopeful to find a “real man”. He gives the customary introduction to her, and calls in headquarters with the phone she was using at the moment to say he’ll report in an hour. Upon her offering of a drink, he decides to “Better make that two.”
GoldenEye to Die Another Day
Pierce Brosnan is 007
After no new Bond film since Licence to Kill, 1995’s GoldenEye had very high expectations from the fans. In the pre-credits sequence, we see the figure of Pierce Brosnan as Bond from behind and above as he performs the spectacular bungee-jump.
As he breaks into the complex below, the camera focuses on his eyes in the darkness and then moves into a bathroom where one soldier has moved into one of the stalls, a newspaper in hand. Bond is above him, waiting silently to break in. After a few seconds, the man moves the paper aside to see an upside-down Bond hanging in front of him from the ceiling. “Beg your pardon, forgot to knock,” he says as he punches the man and commences with the break-in.