Directed by Lewis Gilbert — Screenplay by Roald Dahl.
After having released a Bond-film for every year from 1962 to 1965, Eon Productions and United Artists took a year-off before the next film in the franchise was released. Filmed mostly in Japan, You Only Live Twice was the second-to-last official Sean Connery Bond-film (and his last Bond-film before George Lazenby took over for one film). This fifth official Bond-film was the first Bond-picture to be directed by Lewis Gilbert who was hot off the heels after having won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival the year before for his film Alfie. Interestingly, 1967 also marked the first time that an unofficial/Non-Eon Bond-film, the David Niven-led Casino Royale, was released. Niven’s film was released a few months prior to the release of You Only Live Twice, and it may have had a negative impact on the box office potential of Connery’s fifth Bond-film.
Directed by Terence Young — Screenplay by Jack Whittingham, Richard Maibaum, and John Hopkins.
In this day and age, where we just had a six year wait between Sam Mendes’ SPECTRE and Cary Joji Fukunaga’s No Time To Die, it actually is a little bit tough to wrap you head around the fact that United Artists and Eon Productions released a Bond-film every year from 1962 to 1965. Add to that, the fact that Terence Young directed three of those films and it becomes even more astounding. However, this was actually Young’s final Bond-film, and that occasion was marked by the fact that the budget was much, much bigger than when Young introduced audiences to the character.
Directed by Guy Hamilton — Screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn.
Here we go. Goldfinger is the first major James Bond-film. This is arguably the most iconic film in the franchise. Following the commercial success of Terence Young’s Dr. No and From Russia With Love, the producers handed Guy Hamilton, who had turned down the directing duties on Dr. No, the reins to the film series and provided the production a sizable budget of $3 million (the previous two films’ budgets combined). This was the movie that changed everything for the franchise, and, looking at it today, it is easy to see why.
Directed by Terence Young — Screenplay by Richard Maibaum.
Dr. No was a huge financial success, so United Artists doubled the budget for its follow-up, From Russia With Love, which was allegedly the final film President John F. Kennedy screened at the White House. Though it is, naturally, a little bit dated, Terence Young’s From Russia With Love is a significant improvement on Dr. No. This feels much more ambitious and extravagant, even though it does suffer from some of the same issues that the first film did.
Directed by Terence Young — Screenplay by Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood, Berkely Mather.
Though it makes references to other Bond stories, Terence Young’s Dr. No was the very first James Bond film. With a small budget of just $1 million, Terence Young created many of the cinematic trademarks we know the franchise for. Like, the gun-barrel introduction, the iconic theme, the MI6 cast of characters, or SPECTRE. And, of course, it also features Sean Connery, one of the most iconic James Bond-actors. Looking at it today in 2021, Dr. No does seem a tad dated, and it definitely looks like a small-budget Bond film. However, it is a solid introduction to a now-iconic cinematic character.
Directed by Marc Forster — Screenplay by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade.
Although Quantum of Solace is often disregarded as nothing more than the nadir of Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond, which it is, I don’t think this film is as disastrous as others may. I have previously described this film as a misstep or a disappointment, but, in reality, Quantum of Solace feels like it is a film that was stuck in the mud already in pre-production due to the late 2000s WGA screenwriters’ strike. Quantum of Solace probably should have had its production delayed, but instead the producers opted to fast-track it, and, to me, that resulted in the follow-up to Casino Royale not being able to reach its potential. The most interesting thing about Quantum of Solace, though, is the fact that it brought the continuity and ongoing story arc, which would come to be indicative of Craig’s tenure, to the franchise.
Directed by Martin Campbell (GoldenEye) — Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis.
Now that Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond appears to have come to an end after the release of 2021’s No Time To Die, I thought it would be fitting to take another look back at his first Bond-film, Casino Royale. From GoldenEye-director Martin Campbell, 2006’s Casino Royale was meant to reinvigorate the franchise and bring it into a new era distinctly different from Pierce Brosnan’s tenure that ended in 2002. With this film, the series’ new leading man, Daniel Craig, who was, bafflingly, the subject of much online and press criticism due to his blonde hair and blue eyes, proved to the world that he had the potential to be arguably the best Bond on the big screen.
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga — Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
When I rewatched Sam Mendes’ SPECTRE the other day, I was reminded of the fact that the previous film in the Bond-franchise was released all the way back in 2015. A lot has happened since then, so much so that you may have even forgotten about all of the behind-the-scenes drama that transpired long before No Time To Die became the first major film to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After several rounds of rewrites, the shift in director, production, and the pandemic, the fifth and supposedly final film in the Daniel Craig-era of the James Bond-franchise has now finally been released. Thankfully, in spite of the real world drama that threatened to ruin it, this is actually a spy epic that is suitable as a true tribute to Daniel Craig’s bumpy but extraordinary time as the iconic agent. It isn’t the best film in the Craig-era, but it is a very memorable chapter in the franchise.
Directed by Sam Mendes — Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan.
This week, I will watch and review No Time To Die, which is supposedly the final film in the Daniel Craig-era of the Bond-franchise. So, in anticipation of the aforementioned 25th Eon Bond-film, I decided to take a brief look back at one of the most popular Bond films ever made; the wildly successful Skyfall. As this film was released several years ago, I have decided to discuss the film with some spoiler details in this review, so make sure that you have actually seen Skyfall before you go any further.
The following is an updated* review of Eon Productions’ SPECTRE, a Sam Mendes film.
James Bond – Agent 007 – is a legendary film character from a legendary film franchise. A franchise that, through the good and the bad, has been obligatory viewing for all film enthusiasts. Daniel Craig’s run of films has been rather memorable up to this point. The fantastic Casino Royale was a fresh modern update of the franchise, for various reasons Quantum of Solace was a disappointing follow-up, whereas the thrilling Skyfall brought the Craig-era back on track. Unfortunately, though decent, SPECTRE — the 4th Craig-era Bond-film — doesn’t stand out as one of the best in the franchise.