For the past 50 years, James Bond has managed to get the girl, kill the bad guys, and save the world, time and time again. So, in honor of these 50 years of service, we are counting down the most mindblowing moments in Bond history. It was tough, but with the help of two Bond connoiseurs—documentary filmmaker John Cork and MI6 Confidential Magazine writer Ben Williams—we were able to narrow the long list down to ten.
10. Bond skis of a cliff in The Spy Who Loved Me
A Bond movie is incomplete without a long fall. This time, he’s being chased down by machine-gun wielding Soviet spies on skis, out-maneuvering them, but somehow doesn’t see the cliff straight ahead. We hold our breath as he plummets to his inevitable….nope. Bond is prepared, as usual, with a parachute. Classic.
9. Murder on the Orient Express in From Russia With Love
According to Williams, this scene set the bar for all fights that followed and is still considered the best fistfight scene in the film series. “Up until this film, fistfights in the Bond movies had been somewhat more theatrical,” he says. “But when Bond takes on Red Grant in a carriage of the Orient Express, we are offered a brutal, claustrophobic battle.”
8. The bobsled chase in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
According to Cork, this sequence inspired the mountaintop battle dream in Inception, only this scene also has helicopters, Bond and a bobsled chase. Sounds like more of a party!
7. Bond’s skydive…with no parachute…in Moonraker
“Sure, Felix Baumgartner fell 24 miles to Earth, but he was wearing a parachute!” Bond, the real daredevil according to Cork, doesn’t even break a sweat when he is pushed out of a private jet without a parachute. Instead, he gracefully defeats the baddie, and steals his parachute. You can breath now.
6. “Don’t you want to know why?” in Licence to Kill
The most intense fight scenes, says Williams, are the ones against the villiains that Bond has very personal investments in killing. For example, Bond spent an entire film hunting down drug lord Franz Sanchez because he killed two of Bond’s close friends, Felix and Della. As Bond is about to off Sanchez, he asks him, “Don’t you want to know why?” Then he presents a lighter that Felix and Della gave him, which he uses to send Sanchez to his fiery grave.
5. The car kick in For Your Eyes Only
That being said, “when it comes right down to it, Bond is an assasin,” Williams notes. And although we love him, his job requires him to be pretty cold-blooded and heartless sometimes. A perfect example of this is when Emile Leopold Locque’s car is balancing precariously on the edge of a cliff. Bond has the option to let him slide or, well…let him fall. Not only does Bond choose not to help, he gives the car the kick it needs to go over. Pretty badass.
4. Bond coolly shoots Professor Dent in Dr. No
One of Bond’s most cold-blooded killings can be seen when he offs Professor Dent. “He lets Dent think he has the upper hand, even allowing him to pick up his gun,” says Williams. How generous! Oh wait, then he shoots Dent…twice. As Williams puts it: cold as ice.
3. Bond Drives the Lotus Esprit into the Ocean in The Spy Who Loved Me
Of course, when we think of Bond, we think of cars. According to Williams, the most breathtaking of all the Bond vehicles in the Lotus Esprit, and we don’t disagree, considering the car doubles as a submarine. It’s a good thing too, since he drives it off the end of a jetty and into the ocean after being chased by a helicopter. Just another day in the life…
2. Tank Car Chase in Goldeneye
The Bond series is obviously littered with iconic chase scenes, but Williams suggests that the most memorable ones are when Bond has to be extremely resourceful. And he’s exactly that when chasing General Ourumov through the streets of St. Petersburg and he stumbles upon a Russian T-55 tank. Better to chase you with, my dear.
1. The Crane Fight in Casino Royale
The absolute best Bond moments are when he is found without his gadgets and has to use sheer strength and intelligence to defeat his enemies. Add in some serious heights, and you get our most mindblowing moment in the Bond franchise. Enjoy…and get ready for Skyfall to bring us loads more where this came from.