"Bond films are among the most vulgar, offensive, and gratuitously violent ever made. Their slick veneer and good-humored wit made them palatable to many, but I've always loved them for their crassness."
—Bruce Reid

"What the Beatles did for music, James Bond did for film."
—Peter Hunt, director


What follows is a compendium of backstage gossip, dirty anecdotes, and other nasty stuff that you won't read on other Bond web sites. Be warned - there is a lot of sex and a lot of bad language mixed in—if you are under 18 or easily offended, please move on...


Harry Saltzman, Ian Fleming, and Albert Broccoli.
"The two producers were historically very important to Bond—because one of them was only interested in tits, and the other one was only interested in gizmos, machinery and the like."
- Guy Hamilton, Bond film director

The majority of Bond films (as well as the best ones) were created by Danjaq, otherwise known as EON Productions. Originally Danjaq was headed by two men, Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman (it was named after their wives, Dana Broccoli and Jacqueline Saltzman). They were outgoing, colorful men (Saltzman grew up in a circus, Broccoli worked in the coffin business), and they crafted a film series called "Walt Disney for adults." Together they turned Fleming's James Bond into a phenomenon.

All of the Danjaq/EON films open the same way: Monty Norman's (actually John Barry's) famous "James Bond Theme" begins. Through a gun barrel we watch the actor starring as James Bond walk across the screen. He turns and fires at the camera, then a bloody wash drips down, enveloping the screen. There have been subtle variations on the sequence as performed by the various Bonds: Sean Connery (actually it's his stunt man, Bob Simmons, in the early films) wears a hat; George Lazenby kneels and fires; and less subtley, Roger Moore actually turned and dropped his trousers in one out-take.

Saltzman sold his share of Danjaq to United Artists (now MGM) after The Man With the Golden Gun. After that, the studio and Broccoli jointly turned out Bond films together for the next twenty years, from The Spy Who Loved Me to GoldenEye.

Then, with the passing of Albert Broccoli in 1996, the reigns of the Bond film franchise were turned over to his daughter, Barbara Broccoli, and stepson, Michael G. Wilson. Together they produced every movie from Tomorrow Never Dies to the present.

Their company holds the exclusive film rights to every Bond novel but one, Thunderball.

Kevin McClory at the premiere of Thunderball in Dublin, Ireland.
Thunderball is the film property of Kevin O'Donovan McClory (8 June 1926—20 November 2006), who produced the first film version of that novel with Broccoli and Saltzman in 1965.

McClory was a protégé of John Huston, working with the director on films including The African Queen and Moby Dick. He then worked as an associate producer and second unit director on Around the World in Eighty Days. He also worked on films such as Anna Karenina, The Third Man, Cry the Beloved Country, and Cockleshell Heroes, which ironically was produced by his (then) friend, Danjaq founder Albert Broccoli. In fact, Broccoli was godfather to McClory's youngest daughter.

In 1958, McClory was living in Belgrave Place with a pet monkey and a green macaw when he hooked up with John F.C. (Ivar) Bryce, a British financier and close friend of Ian Fleming's. Bryce agreed to bankroll a film by McClory called The Boy and the Bridge, and together they formed Xanadu Productions in 1958. McClory then met Fleming through Bryce, and they all teamed up with writer Jack Whittingham to write Longitude 78 West, the first James Bond film script. They substituted the fictional terrorist group SPECTRE for Bond's usual villains (SMERSH and the Mafia) to make the story more contemporary and less political, and then began shopping it around Hollywood.

Barbara Broccoli and Timothy Dalton. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Queen of the United Kingdom in the 2008 New Year Honours
Unfortunately, MCA passed on the film, and other rejections followed, so Fleming tried to salvage something from the whole experience by turning the story into a novel, which he titled Thunderball. The only problem was that he didn't tell McClory or Whittingham that he was doing it. When they saw their story in print, credited solely to Fleming, they sued. So, after a lengthy court battle, the film rights to the book (and unfortunately for EON, to SPECTRE) went to McClory.

McClory used the same material to produce Never Say Never Again, and continued to try to make other adaptations of Thunderball, including Warhead 2000 A.D., which was to be made by Sony. In 2004 Sony acquired 20% of MGM; however, the production and final say over everything involving the film version of James Bond is controlled by Eon Productions, Albert R. Broccoli's production company and its parent company Danjaq, LLC. Prior to Sony's settlement with MGM in 1999, they filed a lawsuit against MGM claiming McClory was the co-author of the cinematic 007 and was owed fees from Danjaq and MGM for all past films. This lawsuit was thrown out in 2000 on the ground that McClory had waited too long to bring his claims. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later affirmed this decision in 2001. He died on 20 November 2006, aged 80, four days after the British release of Casino Royale.

The film rights to Casino Royale, were sold to Gregory Ratoff for $1,000 in 1955. Ratoff died before he could complete a deal to make it at Fox. The film rights rights were eventually acquired by Charles Feldman, an agent who represented Ratoff's widow. He used the novel to create the worst Bond film of all time—a parody—starring Fleming's original choice to play Bond, David Niven. After that the ownership rites were tied up in legalities. But Quentin Tarantino tried to launch a new film version of book in the nineties, and MGM finally scooped up the rights, protecting the property for EON (which is considering the property for their next film, Bond 20).

In 2007, Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli created the first great Bond film since the early sixties, using that very property and staying as close to the original novel as they could in a post-Cold War setting. The reviews, for the first time in years, were almost unanimously positive around the world, and James Bond had finally come full circle to the original character. Cubby, Harry and Ian would've been very proud. The next generation is contributing, as well: David G. Wilson, the son of Michael G. Wilson, is head of Creative & Business Affairs for Eon Screenwriters Workshop Ltd, as well as Vice-president of Global Business Strategy for Eon Productions. He has worked on five James Bond movies, including as script editor on Quantum of Solace and assistant producer on Casino Royale. He also served as Executive producer on the video games, GoldenEye 007 (GoldenEye Reloaded), James Bond 007: Blood Stone, and 007 Legends.

"Think about it, the first talking movie was in the late 1920s—it hasn't even been 100 years since then, and Bond has been around for 50 of them—that's more than half of the history of modern cinema. And, it's been run by one family," Timothy Dalton told Tim Lammers of in 2012 (007 Q&A: Timothy Dalton talks Bond at 50, makes prediction for 'Skyfall', NOVEMBER 4, 2012). "I am sure if it were left in the hands of business people who come and go, it certainly might not be here today."Instead, Skyfall became th first billion-dollar Bond film (unadjusted for inflation) in 2012, drawing record numbers of fans in countries all over the world, including Bond's old enemies Russia and China.

But before all of these people crafted their particular James Bonds, there was the long-since-forgotten TV producer Bretaigne Windust, with his creation: Bond—"Card Sense" Jimmy Bond—in Casino Royale...


The Fifties The Sixties The Seventies The Eighties The Nineties The 21st Century

Theatrical Gross for Each Bond Film:
Rank Title Studio Adjusted Gross (2013) Unadjusted Gross Worldwide Gross U.S. Release Rotten Tomatoes
1 Thunderball UA $602,140,000 $63,595,658 $141,200,000 12/21/65 85%
2 Goldfinger UA $533,715,000 $51,081,062 $124,900,000 12/22/64 96%
3 Skyfall Sony $304,360,277 $304,360,277 $1,108,348,855 11/9/12 92%
4 You Only Live Twice UA $289,027,100 $43,084,787 $111,600,000 6/13/67 71%
5 Moonraker MGM $225,490,100 $70,308,099 $210,300,000 6/29/79 62%
6 Die Another Day MGM $222,051,500 $160,942,139 $432,000,000 11/22/02 57%
7 Tomorrow Never Dies MGM $216,635,000 $125,304,276 $333,300,000 12/19/97 57%
8 From Russia With Love UA $214,638,700 $24,796,765 $78,900,000 4/8/64 96%
9 Diamonds Are Forever UA $213,786,300 $43,819,547 $116,000,000 12/17/71 65%
10 Casino Royale (2006) Sony $204,700,900 $167,445,960 $599,000,000 11/17/06 95%
11 The World is not Enough MGM $200,073,100 $126,943,684 $361,800,000 11/19/99 51%
12 GoldenEye MGM $196,451,700 $106,429,941 $352,200,000 11/17/95 82%
13 Quantum of Solace Sony $188,769,600 $168,368,427 $586,100,000 11/14/08 64%
14 Octopussy MGM $173,505,900 $67,893,619 $187,500,000 6/10/83 43%
15 The Spy Who Loved Me UA $169,081,300 $46,838,673 $185,400,000 7/13/77 78%
16 Live and Let Die UA $160,899,200 $35,377,836 $161,800,000 6/27/73 65%
17 For Your Eyes Only MGM $158,720,500 $54,812,802 $195,300,000 6/26/81 73%
18 Dr. No UA $152,164,300 $16,067,035 $59,567,035 5/8/63 98%
19 Never Say Never Again WB $141,661,700 $55,432,841 $160,000,000 10/7/83 59%
20 Casino Royale (1967) Columbia $130,000,000 $22,700,000 $41,700,000 4/13/67 27%
21 On Her Majesty's Secret Service UA $129,108,900 $22,774,493 $82,000,000 12/18/69 81%
22 A View To A Kill MGM $114,124,000 $50,327,960 $152,627,960 5/24/85 36%
23 The Living Daylights UA $105,382,700 $51,185,897 $191,200,000 7/31/87 75%
24 The Man with the Golden Gun UA $90,280,500 $20,972,000 $97,600,000 12/18/74 46%
25 Licence To Kill UA $70,294,600 $34,667,015 $156,200,000 7/14/89 74%
TOTAL: $5,206,997,900 $1,912,788,454 $4,180,600,000 -- --
AVERAGE: $211,541,600 $79,698,573 $459,900,000 - --

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Music: "Exercise at Gibraltar" from The Living Daylights (1986)