Dr. No (1962, dir. Terence Young)

007 investigates a diplomat’s murder; the trail leads to a nuclear conspiracy. The first Bond adaptation gets a lot of things right, not least the lead performance. Of its time, certainly, but influential in all kinds of ways, and gorgeous to look at.

Casino Royale (2006, dir. Martin Campbell)

Bond battles a private banker for terrorists. Casino Royale does a lot of things well: a series reboot, an introduction to the Daniel Craig era, and a film that connects to its source novel. It goes on too long, with perhaps one ending too many, but this one of the strongest series entries.

Octopussy (1983, dir. John Glen)

Bond battles a rogue Soviet general intent on starting a nuclear war. Lacking the restraint of predecessor For Your Eyes Only, this is lesser Bond, with an eye as much on laughs as on thrills or plausibility. Louis Jourdan, though, makes for an elegant adversary.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977, dir. Lewis Gilbert)

James Bond teams up with a Soviet agent to track missing submarines. Swaggering, confident series entry which effectively (and not for the last time) remakes You Only Live Twice. Roger Moore on fine twinkly form.