The Best James Bond Title Sequences, Ranked

Every James Bond movie begins the same way. We get a little teaser, followed by the title song over some impressive visuals. These title sequences are so ingrained into what makes up a James Bond movie, that it’s almost impossible to imagine one without a visual feast of guns, girls, and other colorful images while the theme song plays. Let’s take a look at some of the best title sequences the franchise has produced.


7 You Only Live Twice (1967)

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This sequence is beautiful in its simplicity. Images of Japanese women are overlaid with constant shots of lava and volcanoes exploding as Japanese-style umbrellas open up and reveal the names of the cast and crew. That’s it for almost three minutes and every second of it is beautiful to watch. The reds and blacks of the lava look breathtakingly gorgeous. It’s very impressive how this sequence gets so much done by using so little.

 

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6 No Time To Die (2021)

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The most recent Bond film may have plenty of flaws, but its title sequence sure wasn’t one of them. It opens with statues freezing, then blood appearing on them, which forms the Union Jack on one of the statue’s shields. Clock hands shaped like the hearts suit in a playing card come to meet, with a woman in white reaching out to a man in black and just missing reaching out to him. It’s a great visual way to show how lasting love seems to be just out of 007’s reach. Following an hourglass sucking up the Aston Martin, guns go off, connecting into a double helix. It’s another great visual, making it feel like violence and death are just in Bond’s DNA. All this and we’re only at the halfway point in the sequence! There are more statues getting destroyed, bullets forming faces of Bond, and Madeline Swann, and Vesper Lynd. It’s a wonderful title sequence.


5 Goldeneye (1995)

Goldeneye came out in 1995. The Bond film immediately preceding it came out in 1989 and the world drastically changed in that six-year gap, something the title sequence for Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as 007 reflects perfectly by showing the fall of the Soviet Union. There’s still the usual girls and guns, but there’s also falling hammers and sickles, destroyed statues of Lenin and Stalin. The Soviet Union is a relic of the past and what threats the future brings is anyone’s guess. The final image, a literal golden eye, is just the cherry on top of a fantastic sequence.

4 Skyfall (2012)

Bond is accidentally shot by a fellow MI6 agent and falls into the water. A hand pops up and drags him deeper into the water… and his past. Graveyards dominate this title sequence and the underwater effects are brilliant. Target dummies of Bond, on fire, transition into Chinese dragons (part of the film does take place in Shanghai), which are followed by a Rorschach-like effect of women in black and white turning into knives and gravestones, all leading up to a skull, whose teeth form even more gravestones. Bond then shoots mirrors in a house; the bullet wound on him still visible. The title sequence essentially gives a summary of the movie, one of the best in the franchise. It’s a fantastic sequence, with all sorts of great visuals.

3 Die Another Day (2002)

The opening of the movie sees Bond sent to North Korea to assassinate Colonel Moon. He (seemingly) pulls off the task after Moon’s hovercraft goes over a cliff, but is captured by the North Koreans, and tortured for the next 14 months, which this fantastic title sequence shows. Bond is subject to waterboarding, scorpion stings, and getting the living tar beat out of him. During all of this, women made of fire, ice, and electricity dance around. One of his torturers is even a very attractive North Korean soldier. It’s honestly a fascinating look into Bond’s mental state. Is this how he copes with torture? Imaging beautiful women instead of whatever horrors are being inflicted on him? Visually, the whole thing is fantastic. There aren’t many aspects of Die Another Day that deserve appearances on any sort of “Top 10 James Bond” lists, but when it comes to ranking the title sequences, Die Another Day richly deserves a top five spot.

2 Casino Royale (2006)

This title sequence starts out brilliantly, with Bond picking up a gun, killing a man, and transitioning into that classic gun barrel sequence as the song begins to play. The entire title sequence uses the suits of playing cards quite creatively. A man Bond is fighting explodes into them after Bond wins; a gun fires clubs instead of bullets. Crosshairs turn into roulette wheels. More fights, with playing card suits dripping blood from fallen bad guys and forming the bullet holes in their bodies. To make things even better, a seven of hearts shows up, with two bullets shooting the double-0 into it. Then it transitions to “James Bond- 007 status confirmed” as Daniel Craig approaches the camera. It’s enough to make you want to jump up and cheer right then and there. We know his name, as Chris Cornell’s wonderful song tells us. Everything about this sequence is perfect. The movie’s barely started, and just from what we’ve seen up to this point, we know one thing for certain: The Daniel Craig era is off to a fantastic start.

1 The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

The title song is “Nobody Does It Better” and the visuals of this title sequence back that statement up. Only Casino Royale comes close to having as perfect a beginning as this one, with Bond’s Union Jack parachute being clasped by a woman’s hands, as Carly Simon’s incredible title song starts to play. Silhouetted women jump around on a beautiful blue background, then Roger Moore pops up and aims a gun at the camera. Immediately after this, a silhouetted man (clearly Moore) disarms a woman with a gun as the two embrace, with the Soviet and British flags in the background and the title onscreen. We get more silhouetted girls leaping in the air or doing acrobatics off of gun barrels, while a silhouetted Roger Moore continues to disarm silhouetted women with guns. At one point, a line of marching Soviet women soldiers approaches good old Roger, who puts away his gun, walks up to them, and gently knocks them all over. A perfect visual display of Bond’s charm.

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