James Bond: Top 20 Action Sequences

In anticipation of SPECTRE, FilmDungeon.com editor Jeppe Kleyngeld lists his favourite things about the James Bond series in 12 unique features. Enjoy!

20. Space Invaders
Space Invaders (Moonraker)
Clearly inspired by the massive box office hit STAR WARS that came out two years before MOONRAKER. Although nowhere near the amazing Death Star climax of A NEW HOPE, it is a spectacular space battle in which military style astronauts help Bond to take out the space station of uber villain Hugo Drax.

19. Slippery Slope
Slippery Slope (The Living Daylights)
Long and exciting chase sequence in which Bond and the attractive cellist Kara have to outrun the Russian army. They start out in a laser and rocket charged Aston Martin, and later switch to a cello case. According to IMDb, the cello was specially made of fibreglass, and fitted with control handles on the sides and skis underneath. During filming, the case would tend to topple over as Timothy Dalton was heavier than actress Maryam d’Abo who plays Kara.

18. Saigon Chase
Saigon Chase (Tomorrow Never Dies)
Crowded markets are always fun for fast pursuits. Bond takes fellow agent Lin on a motor bike and they drive through the streets of Saigon, while being chased by trucks and a helicopter. Very fast and furious.

17. Swiss Course
Swiss Course (For Your Eyes Only)
Bond goes skiing along the scenic Swiss route and takes some palls along with him. Eric Krieger is one of them, a German skiing champion who also happens to work for the KGB. James proves again to be the best skier around. During the pursuit, he navigates a bobsledding track and a massive ski jump.

16. Delhi Chase
Delhi Chase (Octopussy)
When filming a Bond-movie in India, a tuk-tuk pursuit through the crowded streets of New Delhi is a must. The result is an exciting and especially funny action scene filled with stunts (the tuk-tuk is a well-equipped company car). Features many bad guys with knives and throwing stars, and also camels, beggars and elephants. Lots of roepies save the day eventually.

15. Carmageddon
Carmageddon (Die Another Day)
Bond drives against the Korean terrorist Zao on the icy slopes of Iceland. Both their cars are equipped with more guns and explosive toys than even the most high-tech videogame can come up with, so that ensures entertaining combat. Ends with a spectacular chase through the ice palace. Bond eventually wins due to the adaptive camouflage feature of his Aston Martin.

14. Swamp Run
Swamp Run (Live and Let Die)
A long chase by speedboat through the New Orleans bayou is one hell of a chase. Bond steers his boat through land, roadblocks, water blocks and wedding buffets. The chase was originally written in the script as just ‘Scene 156 – The most terrific boat chase you’ve ever seen’. Bond’s speedboat jump made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for its distance of 110 feet, a record that stood for three years. Sheriff J.W. Pepper makes his debut as the purchaser (he returns in the following Bond-film THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN).

13. Downhill Racer
Downhill Racer (The World is Not Enough)
While skiing, Bond and oil magnate Elektra King are attacked by four parahawks. Armed with machine guns, grenades and rocket launchers, they make it pretty difficult for James. However, since he is the best skier in the world, he outsmarts them. But then they have to survive an avalanche…

12. Battle of Scotland
Battle of Scotland (Skyfall)
This climatic battle takes place at James’ parents old country house in Scotland, where Albert Finney helps Bond and M dispose of dozens of bad guys using old hunting rifles and explosives. One can’t help to think about HOME ALONE during this scene, but it’s an impressive work of destruction nonetheless with quite some humour adding to the enjoyment.

11. The Italian Game
The Italian Game (The Spy Who Loved Me)
After a visit to bad guy Stromberg in Sardinia, Bond and love interest Major Anya Amasova get chased by a collection of baddies; cars (with Jaws among the passengers), motorcycles and a helicopter. After getting rid of several of them, including pushing Jaws’ car down a cliff which he survives, Bond and Amasova take the car for a dive underwater. There they blow the chopper out of the sky and deal with several enemy underwater vehicles. The sequence ends with them going back ashore at a beach to the astonishment of the beach guests.

10. Showdown at Scaramanga’s Maze
Showdown at Scaramanga's Maze (The Man with the Golden Gun)
At the start of THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, villain Scaramanga demonstrated how well he knows his way around in his fun palace. And he can shoot too. Bond’s Walther PPK (6 shots) versus Scaramanga’s golden gun (1 bullet): an exciting duel. 007 is supposed to be Scaramanga’s masterpiece, but after a suspenseful cat and mouse game, Bond defeats him by pretending to be his own wax image.

9. Vertigo
Vertigo (A View to a Kill)
Spectacular climatic action scene of A VIEW TO A KILL. Bond fights psychopathic villain Max Zorin and a zeppelin on top of the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco. Lot’s of thrills and heart stopping moments in this one.

8. Liparus Shootout
Liparus Shootout (The Spy Who Loved Me)
Bond and several submarine crews are held prisoner on supertanker Liparus. Bond manages to break free the crew and a massive shootout erupts with villain Stromberg’s men. Director Lewis Gilbert likes to end Bond films in this fashion, since he did so in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, and would do so again in MOONRAKER (see 20). This one is the best though. It is a very exciting action scene with loads of explosions and bullet riddled baddies.

7. Flying High
Flying High (The Living Daylights)
While his girlfriend Kara is at the wheel of a transport plane, Bond is fighting baddie Necros while hanging out of the back of the plane. Oh, then there is also a bomb about to go off. Suspense filled flight that ends beautifully with Bond using the bomb to help out a group of Afghan freedom fighters.

6. Madagascar Foot Chase
Madagascar Foot Chase (Casino Royale)
This must be the best purchase on foot ever committed to celluloid. In Uganda, Bond chases a terrorist through jungle and a construction site. The suspect moves like a tiger, but Bond – on his first mission ever – earns his stripes here as a true action hero. The literal highlight is a showdown on a huge crane, in which Bond keeps his head way cooler than his audience.

5. Tank Escape
Tank Escape (GoldenEye)
To hell with subtlety. Bond steals a T-55 tank and chases down Russian baddie Ouromov through the streets of St. Petersburg. There is plenty of damage done. This sequence took around six weeks to film, partly on location in St. Petersburg and partly at Leavesden Studio in London. It is still regarded as one of the most iconic action scenes in the James Bond legacy.

4. Mountain Pursuit
Mountain Pursuit (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
The James Bond legacy brought us the finest skiing action in cinema history, period. The sequence in which 007 and his fiancée Tracy are chased by Blofeld and his Austrian thugs in ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE is a prime example. Two highlights: The first one happens when one of Blofeld’s men falls into a snow machine and he gets sprayed all over the slope. Bond remarks: ‘He had a lot of guts’. Classic Bond! The second highlight is Blofeld causing a massive avalanche that fails to kill Bond and Tracy, but does kill three of own men.

3. Train Fight
Train Fight (From Russia with Love)
007 takes on killer Donald Grant in a moving train. This is a very exciting struggle in the narrowest of settings. Filmed in 1963, but still looks quite realistic. As often, Bond wins due to a gadget from Q; a knife hidden in his suitcase. Grant makes a formidable enemy though.

2. Sky Battle
Sky Battle (You Only Live Twice)
Bond is flying his ‘Little Nellie’ over a volcanic area in rural Japan, looking for clues of a secret hidden base. Out of nowhere, four hostile helicopters appear. Bond has to use every available weapon on board to fight them off, including heat seeking missiles, aerial mines and flame guns. ‘Little Nellie got a hot reception’, Bond comments. ‘Four big-shots made improper advances, but she defended her honour with great success.’ Beautifully photographed action sequence that still stands tall decades after it was filmed.

1. Highway to Hell
Highway to Hell (Licence to Kill)
Now this is one chase you’ll never forget. 4 trucks filled with highly explosive kerosene, truckloads full of baddies, 4 stinger missiles and a small airplane. Those are the ingredients of this highly ambitious and explosive sequence. Bond performing a wheelie to avoid a missile is just one of the amazing stunts featured in this scene. Action cinema doesn’t get any better than this.

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James Bond: 10 Most Memorable Deaths (Caused by Bond’s Adversaries)

In anticipation of SPECTRE, FilmDungeon.com editor Jeppe Kleyngeld lists his favourite things about the James Bond series in 12 unique features. Enjoy!

10. Strawberry Fields
Killer: Quantum
Quote: ‘You might like to tell her your theory about there being no oil. Her lungs are full of it’ [M]
Strawberry Fields
Why Memorable? Another tragic death of one of Bond’s girlfriends. She is found drenched in oil in a hotel room, simply for being an employee of MI6. If Bond wasn’t yet driven by revenge for the death of his love Vesper, now he surely is.

9. Kronsteen
Killer: Morzeny (Blofeld’s man)
Quote: ‘12 seconds. One day we must invent a faster working venom’ [Blofeld]
Why Memorable? Chess player Kronsteen was a secret operative for SPECTRE (Number 5). He was in charge with cooking up strategies for committing thefts and other wicked crimes. But in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, his plan to steal a cipher machine from the Russians failed thanks to James Bond. And failure at SPECTRE is not tolerated! Blofeld therefore has Kronsteen killed with a special pointy shoe. Autch!!

8. Japanese Businessman
Killer: May Day
Quote: ‘This way…’ [May Day]
Japanese Businessman
Why Memorable? This hapless business guy is released from baddie Max Zorin’s blimp into the San Francisco Bay for refusing to cooperate with Zorin’s evil plans for Silicon Valley. It is freaky that the airship has a door and staircase made specifically for this purpose. It would then be almost a shame not to use it, which is no problem in Max Zorin’s case. He seems to enjoy killing more than anything else in the world. ‘So, anyone else want to drop out?’ Zorin asks the other business men. No response.

7. Stromberg’s Secretary
Killer: Stromberg
Quote: ‘It was you who betrayed me. You had access to all the information. And now you will pay the penalty’ [Karl Stromberg]
Stromberg's Secretary
Why Memorable? ‘Someone has attempted to sell the plans of our tracking project to competing world powers.’ When you hear a villain utter these words, you know someone is about to seriously get it. The beauty about this scene is that you think that Professor Markovitz and Dr. Bechmann are screwed until Stromberg pushes a button dropping his secretary through the elevator floor into a shark basin. Markovitz and Bechmann gaze in horror as the shark starts eating her. Then they have to take the elevator themselves . . .

6. M
Killer: Silva
Quote: ‘Free both of us with the same bullet’ [Silva]
Why Memorable? M is surely the greatest regular character besides Bond since Judi Dench took the role in GOLDENEYE, so her death seven movies later feels like a major blow. She dies right in James’ arms, but not after telling him; ‘I did get one thing right.’ Get out the handkerchiefs now. Even Bond sheds a tear…

5. Milton Krest
Killer: Franz Sanchez
Quote: ‘You’re right it’s not your money. It’s mine…’ [Franz Sanchez]
Milton Krest
Why Memorable? Milton Krest becomes a victim in 007’s quest to exact vengeance on drug dealer Sanchez for torturing his friend Felix and murdering his wife Della. Thanks to insinuations from Bond, Sanchez suspects that Krest tried to have him assassinated. Then his goons find his own stolen money in Krest his decompression chamber (planted there by Bond). A furious Sanchez kicks Krest inside the decompression chamber and gradually turns the pressure valve to an extreme level, before hacking the vent with an axe. The rapid decompression causes Krest his head to expand and then violently explode, splattering the porthole window with blood. Gruesome, but also funny for those with a stomach for this kind of violence.

4. Admiral Chuch Farrel
Killer: Xenia Onatopp
Quote: Lyubeemyets’ [Xenia Onatopp]
Admiral Chuck Farrel
Why Memorable? What the admiral though was just wild sex, turned out a little too wild. He is killed by suffocation by Xenia Onatopp’s thighs. A very impressive performance by Xenia, who even casually steals an access pass out of his jacket while doing the strangling.

3. Vesper Lynd
Killer: Quantum
Quote: ‘I’m sorry James’ [Vesper Lynd]
Vesper Lynd
Why Memorable? It appears though as Bond’s true love Vesper betrayed him by stealing a large sum of money, but she actually helped him. The organisation behind the whole plot in CASINO ROYALE blackmailed her to deliver the money in exchange for saving Bond’s life. Bond kills the men and tries to rescue Vesper, but she locks herself in an iron-frame lift and allows herself to drown as the building sinks. A very sad ending for this lovely girl, which reminds us of the death of Bond’s new wife Tracy in ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE. Speaking of which…

2. Tracy
Killer: Irma Bunt
Quote: ‘We have all the time in the world’ [James Bond]
Why Memorable? Perhaps the most tragic death in the entire series. After finally finding stability and a future with James, Tracy gets shot in her car right after their wedding. When a policeman stops over to check it out, Bond tells him: ‘It’s all right. She’s having a rest. We’ll be going on soon. There’s no hurry you see? We have all the time in the world.’ By now, half the audience is crying like Miss Moneypenny was at the wedding.

1. Jill Masterson
Killer: Oddjob
Quote: ‘Felix, get over here right away. The girl is dead. No, Jill Masterson. She’s covered in paint. Gold paint’ [James Bond]
Jill Masterson
Why Memorable? Jill Masterson sure messed with the wrong guy. No not Bond, well also. But Auric Goldfinger, the man with the Midas touch, is a whole different story. Jill failed to help him win a rigged game of poker due to interference from Bond. His revenge makes for one of the most memorable scenes in the entire James Bond series. After making love, James is knocked out by Goldfinger’s henchman Oddjob. When he comes to, he finds Jill covered in gold paint!

Top Secret

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James Bond: 10 Best Pre-Credit Scenes

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James Bond: 10 Best Pre-Credit Scenes

In anticipation of SPECTRE, FilmDungeon.com editor Jeppe Kleyngeld lists his favourite things about the James Bond series in 12 unique features. Enjoy!

The 10 Best Pre-Credit Scenes 

10. Die Another Day
Die Another Day 1
Multi-dollar action sequence in North Korea, featuring terrific hovercrafts and high-tech weaponry. In his last performance as Bond, Brosnan comes surfing in on this high stakes assassination mission. The images have a very bleak colour, fitting and stylish for the North Korean setting. Most of the action consists of a hovercraft chase through a damp North Korean forest.

9. Licence to Kill
License to Kill
Felix Leiter’s wedding is rudely interrupted by the DEA. They are after a South American drug lord who is currently on the Bahamas’ and they enlist CIA-agent Leiter to catch him. Bond goes along for the ride, but ‘strictly as an observer’. Yeah right. It is too much to explain all that happens next, but it’s very good stuff. It ends in a brilliant stunt, namely a DEA helicopter that plucks Sanchez’s plane straight out of the sky. Leiter and Bond still make it to the wedding in time by parachute.

8. Octopussy
Octopussy 1
Octopussy 2
007 becomes a one man army in this adrenaline fuelled start of OCTOPUSSY. He pretends to be Colonel Luis Toro in order to enter a heavily armed enemy base in Cuba to place a bomb. But he is caught, so he has to go with Plan B. That involves attacking the base with a micro airplane, being chased by a heat seeking missile and using that to blow up the main hangar (where the enemy’s secret weapons are stored). Off course he also snugs a girl during all of this. That is how you fulfil your objectives in style.

7. Thunderball
Thunderball 3
James attends the funeral of Colonel Jacques Bouvar, an operative from SPECTRE (Number 6). On his coffin are the initials JB and Bond remarks that he would have liked killing Bouvar himself for murdering two of his colleagues. Later, Bond goes to the château of Bouvar where he identifies his foe disguised as his own widow. A spectacular fight ensues in which no piece of furniture is left unused. After Bond killed Bouvar with a fire poke, he makes a spectacular escape using a jetpack and his Aston Martin DB5. Very cool sequence that sucks you right into the movie.

6. For Your Eyes Only
For Your Eyes Only
It took a while, but James finally gets his revenge on his arch enemy Ernst Stravro Blofeld for murdering his wife Teresa in ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE. This credit sequence has no direct link with the story in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, but does fit the central ‘revenge’ theme. Bond is called away while visiting his deceased wife’s grave. As he approaches Blofeld’s hide-out, the controls of his chopper are taken over by the old SPECTRE leader. After Blofeld has toyed with him for a while, Bond manages to take back control of the chopper again, scoops up Blofeld and drops him in a factory chimney. ‘Mr. Bond’, he pleads, ‘We can do a deal. I’ll buy you a delicatessen. In stainless steal.’

5. Casino Royale
Casino Royale 1
This back-to-the-beginning entry in the series opens with a grainy black and white sequence in which Bond earns his Double 0-status. We learn it takes two kills to become a Double 0. The first one is a real die hard kill in a men’s room. But the second one is considerably easier. Nice to meet you, Mr. Bond.

4. Skyfall
Skyfall 1
SKYFALL opens with a massive pursuit through Turkey. Bond needs to get his hands on a stolen list with identities of secret agents. He chases the bad guy on foot, by car, by bike and by train. With trademark humour (‘just changing carriages’) and plenty of demolition. The perfect opening for Bond’s 50th anniversary movie.

3. You Only Live Twice
You Only Live Twice 1
It begins with the brutal space jacking of Jupiter 16, an American spacecraft. With the cold war going on, the Americans are quick to accuse the Russians, but her Majesty’s government does not agree. Their sources say the enemy’s spacecraft has landed in Japan, so all secret intelligence should look in that direction. ‘Our man in Hong Kong is on it right now’, says a British official. Cut to James Bond making love to a Chinese girl. Soon after, Bond is executed off screen and the police finds his dead body. Surely, James can not be dead? Very suspenseful opening of the fifth official Bond movie.

2. The Spy Who Loved Me
The Spy Who Loved Me
A submarine hijacking, a terrific skiing purchase, the classic British flag escape… This is how you start a Bond movie. The action is also a set-up for the plot, unlike the usual standalone pre-credit scenes. Bond kills a Russian agent who happens to be the lover of a female Russian spy (the gorgeous Triple X) who James will very soon meet…

1. GoldenEye
GoldenEye 2
It is a breath-taking moment, when James bungee jumps of a massive dam in Russia. After that comes the toilet joke (‘beg your pardon, forgot to knock’), the first we see of Pierce Brosnan’s humorous take on 007. After that it is action time with Bond and colleague 006, who are assigned to destroy a chemical weapons factory. After 006 gets killed by General Ouromov, Bond makes a very narrow escape by pulling an unbelievable airplane stunt. Spectacular opening in every way.


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10 Best Bond Girls
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10 Greatest Henchmen
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Top 20 Action Sequences
James Bond: Top 20 Action Sequences