The 10 Best James Bond Opening Scenes

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Skyfall is so close Americans! Based on the international box office results it seems everyone else on the planet has seen it twice already. But after a decently long hiatus after 2008’s dud Quantum of Solace, MGM got their affairs in order and now Bond 23 is here, and every critic seems to agree that it ranks among the best of the series. They are also talking about a killer of an opening scene. In honor of that, and just to celebrate the return of James Bond to everyone’s lives, here are our ten favorite opening scenes in all of the first 22 films.



Photo Credit: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)-

Pierce Brosnan has a lot of the best opening scenes just from an action standpoint. This cool opening to his second film actually has incredibly high stakes. Naturally, Bond is MI6’s man on the ground and he gets the job done in exciting fashion. Bond has to stop a missile from blowing up nuclear weapons, then escape via jet plane. But as if his escape wasn’t enough, he still has to dogfight with another jet and another passenger. It is an awesome opening that features some of the best ’90s action of any Bond film.


Photo Credit: Moonraker (1979)-

007’s answer to Star Wars is not remembered too well and hasn’t aged well, but the opening scene is still pretty awesome. Bond gets pushed out of a plane by none other than Jaws. The two then duel in mid air in a sky diving action spectacular! The return of Jaws so quickly into this film was a great way to kick things off. Too bad the rest doesn’t really hold up.



Photo Credit: From Russia with Love (1963)-

Since Dr. No just went straight to the opening credits, From Russia with Love has the first Bond opening scene, along with a lot of other traditions the series would uphold for 50 years. It is funny though that the opening scene actually doesn’t feature James Bond. Technically it’s a guy in a mask. But who is practicing to kill Bond? Who is capable of such a thing? This opening scene sets that all up perfectly.



Photo Credit: Die Another Day (2002)-

This movie gets a bad wrap. Sure, it’s totally ridiculous but its a great deal of fun and Halle Berry is a great Bond girl. Plus, the opening scene is pretty fantastic as Bond engages on a hovercraft chase that also involves flamethrowers and mines. Brosnan still has it during his last entry in the series and pulls off some major stunts in this opening sequence alone. But the true surprise comes at the end when Bond actually gets caught. Shocking. Positively shocking.


Photo Credit: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)-

Audiences didn’t warm up to George Lazenby as much as they would for Roger Moore two movies later, but the guy pulls off a great opening scene in this standout Bond flick. First off, Bond kicks some serious butt in this scene as he tries to stop a woman from committing suicide in the ocean. Once the sequence concludes, Lazenby quips into the camera “That never happened to the other fella'”. With that, James Bond became a character who would outlive Sean Connery.


Photo Credit: For Your Eyes Only (1981)-

Easily the darkest entry that Roger Moore played Bond in, this film opens with the final showdown between James Bond and Ernst Blofeld. Some could argue that this is deserving of a full movie, but with the Cold War winding down, Blofeld needed to be dealt with. So when he takes control of bond’s helicopter things get messy. But then, Bond turns the tables on him and drops him down a smoke stack.



Photo Credit: GoldenEye (1995)-

Pierce Brosnan began his Bond career with one of the coolest stunts in the series as the spy bungee jumps down a dam and sneaks into a base. But perhaps the coolest thing about this opening scene is that we get Sean Bean’s 006 working with 007 side by side before the twists later in the film. The tension in the scene after he is “killed” is crazy too. Bond’s escape is pretty awesome too. It all makes for a lengthy action sequence that brings Bond back from his longest time off screen ever.


Photo Credit: Casino Royale (2006)-

After 20 films, the producers decided it was time for a reboot. The opening scene of Casino Royale shows how Bond got his double-0 status in gritty, grainy black and white. It is one of the most exciting and suspenseful opening scenes in the series. Holding off on the gun barrel for a few minutes allowing him to become 007 was genius. It’s a new beginning for the series, and Daniel Craig is the perfect man to lead the charge.


Photo Credit: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)-

Skiing is to James Bond as shagging is to Austin Powers, and that is largely due to the opening of this film. Ski chase scenes are somehow more exciting than just about any other kind of chase scene, besides maybe, you know, cars. Towards the end Bond flies off a cliff seemingly in falling to his death. But then he pulls his parachute, featuring a bright, colorful British flag. It is an iconic Bond moment that every fan remembers.


Photo Credit: Goldfinger (1964)-

It makes sense that the best Bond movie has the best opening action sequence. Sean Connery oozes all kind of cool as he wreaks havoc on the area around him before having to fend off a henchman. Every moment is classic, especially the electrifying kill that finishes out the scene. It shows why Connery is the best James Bond as he uses sarcasm and whit to his advantage with every facial expression and line of dialogue.



Did we skip any of your favorite scenes? Do you think Skyfall will have a great opening scene like these ones? Sound off below!

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