Are you scratching your head wondering what order to watch the James Bond movies in?

Don’t know your GoldenEye from your Goldenfinger? Not sure if Octopussy comes before Dr. No?

Well, if this is you then fear not, this post will help you work out the correct viewing order for all of the James Bond movies!

Below is a guide to all the different viewing orders for the James Bond movies. There are multiple guides as there are multiple paths you could take with this series, depending on what continuity you want to follow.

Viewing Order One – The original timeline

Image: ©MGM/Eon Productions

This first viewing order includes all of the films that are set within the continuity of the original Bond timeline. This continuity spans a 40 year time period, covers 20 films and runs from 1962’s Dr. No through to 2002’s Die Another Die.

The Bond actors featured in this timeline include Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Sir Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. To date, this is the longest run of continuity in the series.

The order is as follows:

  • Sean Connery as Bond – Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967).
  • George Lazenby as Bond – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
  • Sean Connery as Bond – Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
  • Sir Roger Moore as Bond – Live and Let Die (1973), The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View To A Kill (1985).
  • Timothy Dalton as Bond – The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989).
  • Pierce Brosnan as Bond – GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002).

While five different actors play James Bond in this viewing order, all of the actors are playing the SAME version of James Bond. The Bond who appears in Dr. No (Sean Connery) is the same Bond who appears in Die Another Day (Pierce Brosnan).

And now to answer a couple of common questions about this particular viewing order:

Why did Sean Connery appear in You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever, but not in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service?

After a run of five movies, Sean Connery quit the role of James Bond, paving the way for actor George Lazenby to take over from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service onward. However, Lazenby quit after just one movie and Connery was enticed back for one more production before moving over for Sir Roger Moore.

Why does the end credits of The Spy Who Loved Me include the disclaimer: “James Bond Will Return in For Your Eyes Only“, when the next movie in the series is Moonraker?

While For Your Eyes Only was originally intended to be the next Bond movie after The Spy Who Loved Me (as noted on screen), Eon Productions opted to produce Moonraker instead to cash-in on the interest in science fiction movies. Star Wars was extremely popular at the time, so it made more sense to produce a sci-fi Bond film while the sci-fi genre was experiencing a spike in popularity.


Viewing Order Two – The second timeline

Image: ©MGM/Eon Productions

Following the conclusion of Die Another Day (2002), the producers of the Bond series decided it was time to reboot the series, rather than continue with the existing continuity. This second viewing order covers all of the films under this second timeline, beginning with 2006’s Casino Royale.

This second viewing order includes all of the films that are set within the rebooted continuity.

The order is as follows:

  • Daniel Craig as James Bond – Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).

To date, there are only four Bond movies within this second timeline and all four feature Daniel Craig as James Bond 007. Craig is currently signed up to reprise the role for a fifth entry in the series.

And now to answer a couple of common questions about this particular viewing order:

Is Daniel Craig playing a different James Bond?

Yes. While Craig is playing Bond, his Bond is different to the James Bond that appears in Viewing Order One.

If Daniel Craig is playing a different James Bond in Casino Royale, why is Dame Judi Dench still playing the role of M – a character she first played in GoldenEye?

The producers/director liked Dench’s work in the previous Bond continuity and decided to retain her when they rebooted the series. The actress is still playing M, but it’s effectively a different M in this timeline.

Viewing Order Three – The anomalies

Image: ©MGM

In addition to the 24 official Bond films, there have been two unofficial productions – i.e. films NOT produced by Ion Productions.

These films are as follows: Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983).

  • David Niven as James Bond – Casino Royale (1967).

Casino Royale was produced by Famous Artists Productions and distributed by Columbia Pictures. The movie was envisioned as a spoof of the James Bond series, with multiple actors portraying Bond (David Niven, Peter Sellers etc).

MGM is now the owner of the movie but the studio does not class it as an official entry in any of the Bond timelines.

  • Sean Connery as James Bond – Never Say Never Again (1983).

Twelve years after walking away from the Bond series, Sean Connery returned to the role of 007 for one additional production – Never Say Never Again. The film – a remake of Thunderball – was produced by Taliafilm & Producers Sales Organization and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. 

As with Casino Royale, MGM is now the owner of the movie but does not class it as an official entry in any of the Bond timelines.

Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again are NOT connected to each other, so they can be viewed as separate entities, they can be viewed together (outside of the regular continuity) or they can simply be ignored. The choice is yours!

Viewing Order Four – Production order

Image: ©MGM/Eon

This final viewing order contains ALL 26 films, covering both official and unofficial James Bond pictures.

The benefit of choosing this order is that you get to watch all the movies that have been produced. The downside (as noted above) is that they don’t all follow on from each other, so things can get confusing if you’re not aware of the anomalies or the rebooted series.

The order is as follows:

  • Sean Connery as Bond – Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965).
  • David Niven as Bond – Casino Royale (1967).
  • Sean Connery as Bond – You Only Live Twice (1967).
  • George Lazenby as Bond – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
  • Sean Connery as Bond – Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
  • Sir Roger Moore as Bond – Live and Let Die (1973), The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981) and Octopussy (1983).
  • Sean Connery as Bond – Never Say Never Again (1983).
  • Sir Roger Moore as Bond – A View To A Kill (1985).
  • Timothy Dalton as Bond – The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989).
  • Pierce Brosnan as Bond – GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002).
  • Daniel Craig as James Bond – Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).

And now you know!

So, which order do you prefer?

Do you like to watch all the movies in production order, or do you pick one of the other options? Sound off in the comments section below and share your thoughts.