October 5th is being declared world James Bond Day in honour of the 50th anniversary of the secret agent’s screen adventures. And to mark the milestone, the Shropshire Star is seeking to find the county’s favourite 007 movie.
Daniel Craig’s third crack at the role, Skyfall, opens at local cinemas at the end of October. Does his debut, Casino Royale, or follow-up Quantum of Solace make it onto your list?
Or are you a fan of the earlier Sean Connery era, when classics like Goldfinger, Dr No and From Russia With Love made Bond a worldwide phenomenon.
Six actors have played Bond in the official series – fans of the lighter touch may vouch for one of Roger Moore’s seven Bond films, or Pierce Brosnan’s four adventures.
Then there’s dark, brooding Timothy Dalton’s double bill, including the uncompromising Licence To Kill which became the first to earn a 15 certificate.
And let us not forget the series’ favourite trivia question – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, remembered as the only film to star George Lazenby, and the one which sees Bond fall in love, and get married, after escaping from a Swiss mountain lair.
Shropshire Star film critic Carl Jones, a self-confessed Bond fanatic who writes for several fan publications, has his own favourite.
“Many people may be surprised, but On Her Majesty’s Secret Service gets my vote. It’s hugely under-rated, packs a genuinely emotional punch, and has the best John Barry music soundtrack ever written. If it had starred Sean Connery instead of the much maligned Lazenby, I reckon it would be many more people's top choice.
“Having said that, the early Connery films are iconic. Were it not for Goldfinger, and its amazing Aston Martin, the series as we know it would probably never have developed. The Spy Who Loved Me was Roger Moore at his best in my opinion, and large parts of Brosnan’s Tomorrow Never Dies are terrific.
“Picking your favourite Bond film is often narrowed down by a favouritism towards the person you saw playing Bond first.”
So, which film gets your vote? Here’s a rundown of 007’s 50-year cinema career, and a few handy facts to help jog your memories;
DOCTOR NO (1962): The original, with Sean Connery's Bond captivated by Ursula Andress as she steps out of the Caribbean
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963): Connery tackles Robert Shaw's tough guy Grant, and Rosa Klebb's poison-tipped shoe
GOLDFINGER (1964): "Do you expect me to talk?" Connery asks. "No Mr Bond, I expect you to die..." replies Goldfinger
THUNDERBALL (1965): Connery heads to the Bahamas to hunt down stolen atomic bombs and a man with an eye patch
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1967): Donald Pleasence is Blofeld, hiding in a hollowed out volcano and kidnapping spaceships
CASINO ROYALE (1967): The comedy version, starring David Niven as Sir James Bond, plus Peter Sellers and Woody Allen
ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE (1969): George Lazenby's Bond takes on Telly Savalas as Blofeld, and falls for Diana Rigg
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971): Connery returns, heading to Las Vegas on the trail of diamond smugglers
LIVE AND LET DIE (1973): Roger Moore's debut is a tale of voodoo, Harlem crime joints and fortune-telling Solitaire
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974): Christopher Lee is Moore's nemesis during a shoot-out at his remote island fun palace
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977): Moore takes on steel toothed Jaws with the help of his white underwater Lotus Esprit
MOONRAKER (1979): Hugo Drax is building a city in space and planning to destroy earth. Bond hops on board a spaceship
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981): Moore's mode of transport here is a battered yellow Citroen 2CV as he heads to Greece
OCTOPUSSY (1983): Maud Adams' temptress hooks up with Louis Jourdan's slipper schemer, and Moore dresses as a clown
NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1983): Connery returns in this unofficial Bond film, a remake of Thunderball, with Kim Basinger
A VIEW TO A KILL (1985): Moore's swansong sees him hunting Christopher Walken's madman . . . and even crazier Grace Jones
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (1987): Timothy Dalton uncovers a Russian spy-killing plot, and meets a Czech cellist.
LICENCE TO KILL (1989): Dalton's Bond on a revenge mission in Mexico after the maiming of his pal Felix Leiter
GOLDENEYE (1995): Pierce Brosnan reboots the series to bring down Sean Bean's rogue MI6 agent in St Petersburg
TOMORROW NEVER DIES (1997): Jonathan Pryce is a mad media mogul trying to start a war to boost ratings
THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999): Brosnan tails bullet-ridden baddie Robert Carlyle after great boat chase on the Thames
DIE ANOTHER DAY (2002): The one with the invisible car, dodgy computer effects, Halle Berry and Madonna
CASINO ROYALE (2006): Daniel Craig gets his heart broken in a tough version of Ian Fleming's first 007 book
QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008): Craig's out for revenge in Panama and Bolivia, after Gemma Arterton meets an oily demise