It's not James Bond if it doesn't have that stunt. Over the course of nearly six decades, the franchise has provided action and Bond stunts galore - bigger, better, and best viewed on the largest screens available. Since seeing is way better than reading, watch our 10 favorite, most iconic Bond action sequences below, ranked in order of awesomeness. No CGI, wires or post-editing required (or at least with minimal effects). Who needs Tom Cruise when you've got 007.
10 / Live and Let Die – Bayou Chase and Jump
The Roger Moore era began in earnest with his first Bond movie. Central to the film was an extraordinary boat chase through the Louisiana bayou, highlighted by an absolutely amazing boat jump. The stunt would become indicative of the entire Moore run – more is more. More Bond stunts, more humor, more entertainment.
9 / GoldenEye – The Dam Bungee
How to introduce a new Bond? Make the stunt as death-defying and outrageous as possible. Pierce Brosnan arrives in spectacular fashion, taking a nosedive (or at least his brave stunt doubles) 700 feet high off the ground atop the Contra Dam in Switzerland. Captured on multiple cameras, it's a breathtaking practical stunt for the ages.
8 / Octopussy – Sky Ride
Say what you will about the silliness of the Roger Moore Bond movies…they did pack an even sillier larger-than-life appreciation for fun stunt sequences. A great one is this sky ride in "Octopussy," which finds our hero in full-on Cruise-and then-some mode riding a plane like it's the local bull ride.
7 / The Man with the Golden Gun – Corkscrew Car Jump
The thing is…"Fast & Furious" movies can employ all the CG effects on the planet…but there's nothing like a good old-fashioned, real-life car stunt. Exhibit A – a simple car jump in "The Man with the Golden Gun," with an actual corkscrew. Evel Kneivel, Dom Toretto, eat your heart out!
6 / The Living Daylights – Cargo Net Fight
From the Timothy Dalton period, no stunt's better than this fight between our hero and a henchman on a cargo net – dangling outside a plane at 6,500 feet. Kudos once more to the brave stuntmen who pulled this one off – and hopefully some good hazard pay.
5 / Tomorrow Never Dies – Motorcycle Race & Jump
We're partial to the joys of seeing Michelle Yeoh and Pierce Brosnan team up in "Tomorrow Never Dies." They're especially effective commandeering and racing a motorcycle together, culminating with a fantastic leap over a flying helicopter. Watch the full sequence above.
4 / The World Is Not Enough – Speedboat on the Thames
In retrospect, beyond Pierce Brosnan, who was always amazing as 007, the Bond stunts in his films were often a lot better than the movies in which they appeared. That's especially true of his last two Bond outings. Thankfully, "The World Enough" has an amazing pre-credits action sequence that stands tall amongst any in the series. It's the best thing about the film.
3 / Skyfall – Train Fight
Dirty, gritty, visceral. That's how we describe the Daniel Craig action era. It's the perfect description, too, of this incredible opening fight scene in "Skyfall." Craig's like a bull in a china shop. Throw anything, or anyone, at him, including trains and tough guys, and he'll run right through them – up until a mistimed shot from a friend. No matter. He'll be back another day.
2 / Casino Royale – Parkour & Crane Jump
In a way, Daniel Craig is a combination of the ruggedness of Connery, the over-the-top action sensibility of Moore, the pathos and darkness of Lazenby and Dalton, and the modern proficiency of Brosnan. On top of it, he brings that edginess, intensity, and human fallibility that's all him…and the distinct can-do confidence. It's all on display in this full sequence that finds Craig jumping, hurtling, and throwing himself all over the damn place. He'll stop at nothing to do his duty. It's why we love him.
1 / The Spy Who Loved Me – Ski Chase & Parachute
Through everything, Bond is always the MI6 agent who is loyal to mission and country. He's a noble, extraordinary gentleman, and does extraordinary things, all On His Majesty's Secret Service. Our number one Bond stunt pays tribute to the man, and what he's about. Here's to Bond, and what's next in "No Time to Die."
About the Author
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.