Perhaps the definitive cinematic franchise in the espionage genre, James Bond has been thrilling moviegoing audiences in more than two dozen films since 1962. Working for the British intelligence agency MI6, Bond has defended the world from all manner of rogue nations, megalomaniacal supervillains, and terrorist organizations on missions that take him all over the globe. In order to get the job done, Bond performs death-defying stunts, romances gorgeous women, and travels to some of the most breathtaking locales the world has to offer, captured in truly memorable scenes in this endlessly popular series.
Here are all the most-paused moments in the Bond film series, those brief sequences that practically demand closer scrutiny to appreciate what’s on the screen. While this includes moments of filmmaking triumph and jaw-dropping beauty, there are also bloopers retained in the final cut of several movies that can be more clearly witnessed thanks to the possibilities of home video, as fans revisit their favorite films in the franchise.
Jinx emerges from the ocean in Die Another Day
The Bond franchise has a history of pairing the secret agent with breathtakingly beautiful companions, and one of the most memorable is Academy Award winner Halle Berry. Playing NSA operative Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson in 2002’s "Die Another Day," Berry has one of the best entrances in the series. While scoping out an advanced clinic located on a remote island off the coast of Cuba, Bond (Pierce Brosnan) notices Jinx swimming up to a beachside bar through his binoculars, with the intelligence operative wearing a bright orange bikini.
Emerging from the water, Jinx’s full debut is slowed down to show off her form as she leaves the ocean to walk to the bar. Jinx’s introduction is a direct nod to that of Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), who similarly made a bikini-clad entrance in the very first 007 adventure, "Dr. No." More than just serving as an homage to the first film in the series, Berry’s swimsuit moment proves that one doesn’t have to change up the formula too much as long as it still works.
The errant street sweeper in Quantum of Solace
As celebrated as the Bond movies are, they are not without their fair share of bloopers and goofs that manage to make it into the final cut. This distinction continues into Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond, with one of the more notable visible instances in "Quantum of Solace." The 2008 film has Bond travel around the world after discovering the existence of a clandestine terrorist organization, with his search taking him to Haiti and crossing paths with … a street sweeper cleaning the air.
In the scene, Bond observes Bolivian intelligence operative Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko) meeting with the villainous Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) at a seaside warehouse. While Bond is seated on a motorcycle and checking his phone, a street sweeper is seen in the background pretending to vigorously brush the docks behind him. What makes this particular blooper all the more egregious is that the street sweeper is brushing approximately a foot above the ground, not even making the effort to actually sweep or at least make terrestrial contact.
Kananga’s explosive death in Live and Let Die
Roger Moore’s debut as James Bond in 1973’s "Live and Let Die" sees him tangle with a drug empire based out of the fictional Caribbean nation of San Monique, headed by the cunning mastermind Dr. Kananga (Yaphet Kotto). Bond and Kananga face off in the kingpin’s underground lair, tumbling together into a nearby shark tank as their fight escalates in the movie’s climax. How Bond dispatches Kananga is one of those movie moments that truly has to be seen to be believed in a blink-and-you-miss it finale.
Using his magnetic wristwatch, Bond is able to obtain a compressed-gas pellet used for shark guns from the other side of the room. As he and Kananga fight underwater, Bond shoves the pellet into his opponent’s mouth and forces him to swallow it, causing Kananga to swell up and pop like a balloon. Viewers quick enough to pause the death sequence can see the balloon facsimile of Kananga used in the film, exposing one of the more ludicrous and vaguely offensive visual effects moments in the franchise’s history.
A smoky hand in Licence to Kill’s fiery climax
The climactic action set piece in 1989’s "Licence to Kill" is a high-octane oil tanker chase through a winding, mountainous road in a fictional Latin American nation called the Republic of Isthmus. The sequence was filmed on the Mexican Federal Highway 2D in La Rumorosa, Mexico to accommodate the complex stunts required to complete the scene. Because of the perilous nature of the roadway, that particular stretch of the highway has gained a reputation as being haunted, with the crew experiencing their own odd incidents during production.
In his autobiography, "For My Eyes Only" (via Universal Exports), director John Glen reflects that there was something inherently unsettling about the highway filming location for "Licence to Kill." Glen argues that one can see a smoky hand rising from the sequence’s final explosion after Bond lights the villainous Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) on fire and he stumbles into a crashed tanker. As Bond scrambles to safety, an ominous shape can be seen in the flames when watching the scene one frame at a time, helping fuel rumors of paranormal activity on set.
Roger Moore’s smirk to the camera in For Your Eyes Only
Roger Moore definitely brought a more light-hearted, cavalier approach to the Bond franchise during his seven-film tenure in the role from 1973 to 1985. Relying on his charm and wit perhaps more often than his fists, Moore’s Bond was just as likely to disarm opponents with a quip as he was with a well-placed judo chop to the neck. Even stripped of his usual gadgets and caught in a winding car chase in "For Your Eyes Only," Bond finds a way to make light of his current predicament.
After narrowly escaping a crime syndicate from their remote villa in Spain, Bond’s high-tech Lotus self-destructs before he has a chance to make his getaway with the vengeful Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet). The duo are forced to drive away in Melina’s dingy and diminutive Citroen 2CV, putting their skill behind the wheel to the test as gunmen pursue them in cars of their own. In a perfectly meme-able moment, Bond reacts to a car full of enemies pulling up alongside him with an unfazed smirk directly at the camera, exuding his usual confident cool.
The camera crew in The Man with the Golden Gun
One of the biggest gaffes in Bond movie history takes place in Moore’s sophomore outing as the legendary secret agent in 1974’s "The Man with the Golden Gun." Believing he is being targeted by the $1-million-per-kill assassin Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), Bond travels to Beirut to learn more about the infamous contract killer. This results in a scuffle with two enemies in the dressing room of a belly dancer whom Bond is interrogating at the time.
While the fight itself isn’t particularly noteworthy in the enduring canon of the cinematic franchise, there is a quick blink-and-you-miss it moment that reveals a massive blooper. As the fight intensifies, a mirror in the dressing room is knocked askew, reflecting back on the camera crew, making them visible in the mirror. This blooper has been retained in subsequent home video releases of "The Man with the Golden Gun," instead of the film being digitally altered, allowing audiences to witness the goof for themselves decades later.
Anya Amasova’s submarine shower in The Spy Who Loved Me
Bond meets a rival intelligence operative who is more than his match in 1977’s "The Spy Who Loved Me," when he’s paired with Soviet secret agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach). Cunning, deadly, and beautiful, Amasova and Bond agree to work together to stop megalomaniacal shipping tycoon Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens) from triggering nuclear war between the United States and Soviet Union. While en route to Stromberg’s submersible headquarters in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Amasova decides to take a quick shower on board an American submarine.
Amasova’s shower serves as both a bit of eye candy and the quick punchline to a joke, with the Soviet agent using the private bathroom of submarine commander Carter (Shane Rimmer) to bathe. When a sailor on board the submarine delivers a message to his commander, he catches a small glimpse of the naked Amasova showering, resulting in a wry quip from Carter ("What’s the matter, sailor? You never seen a major taking a shower before?"). While quick and concealed by a tempered glass door, the scene does reveal a compromising side to Amasova ahead of the movie’s climax.
Moore’s unusual fight tactic in The Man with the Golden Gun
"The Man with the Golden Gun" is an unusual film, with Moore still trying to establish his own distinct voice in the role of Bond in the 1974 movie. Bond’s search for the legendary assassin Scaramanga takes him to Thailand where he encounters the wealthy Hai Fat (Richard Loo), a powerful businessman in league with the hitman. Determined to learn more about Fat’s connection to Scaramanga, Bond visits the millionaire’s estate only to learn he has walked directly into a trap.
Bond is confronted by a sumo wrestler who intends to crush the secret agent in a lethal bear hug, prompting Bond to think quickly on how best to counterattack. Amusingly, Bond’s first instinct has him firmly grab the attacking sumo by each of his butt cheeks, with the camera briefly zooming in on the awkward moment. Moore’s iteration of Bond was hardly a master hand-to-hand combatant, but his fighting technique in "The Man with the Golden Gun" definitely raises a few eyebrows.
Milton Krest’s death in Licence to Kill
"Licence to Kill" continues to hold its reputation as one of the toughest, meanest movies in the franchise, with a darker tone and more graphic violence than its predecessors. Among the more infamous deaths in the 1989 film is that of drug smuggler Milton Krest (Anthony Zerbe), who works with Sanchez to funnel drugs into the United States through his marine research company. Bond sets up Krest to appear as if he is skimming money from this partnership, resulting in Sanchez executing Krest in a particularly gruesome manner.
Trapping Krest in his own decompression chamber, Sanchez abruptly severs the chamber’s oxygen supply, causing Krest’s head to expand until it explodes in a bloody mess. Similar to Kananga’s death in "Live and Let Die," what makes this sequence subject to closer scrutiny are the visual effects involved in Krest’s demise. With the benefit of the pause feature, audiences can get a better look at the prop facsimile of Krest’s head moments before it bursts like a gore-filled balloon.
Daniel Craig gives audiences an eyeful in Casino Royale
By the time Daniel Craig took on the role of Bond with 2006’s "Casino Royale," the franchise began to move away from the male gaze that had helped define it for its first several decades. Craig’s Bond was more self-aware in his presentation while Craig himself pushed himself to be at his physical peak in order to play the character. This superior shape was evident in one of the most memorable scenes of Craig’s tenure, as the character has his own swimsuit moment.
In "Casino Royale," Bond tracks down a terrorist to his seaside villa in the Bahamas and decides to scope out the house for himself by casually swimming up to it. Bond rises from the water wearing only a short pair of blue swim trunks, walking up to the beach as he is quietly admired by the femme fatale Solange (Caterina Murino). Craig quickly cemented himself as one of the most celebrated actors to hold the role of Bond, and his swimsuit sequence stands out as his most iconic.
Honey Ryder’s revealing shower in Dr. No
1962’s "Dr. No" kicked off the Bond film series in style, making Sean Connery an international superstar as he introduced the legendary secret agent to cinemas worldwide. As Bond investigates the eponymous crime lord’s activities in Jamaica, he meets a local diver named Honey Ryder who helps him dismantle Dr. No’s illicit empire. However, before emerging triumphant, Bond and Honey are captured by the doctor’s private army and unceremoniously decontaminated after wandering through a radioactive area of his hideout.
Both Bond and Honey are stripped down, with their contaminated clothes incinerated, while they undergo a thorough shower to ensure that they no longer contain traces of radioactivity. As Honey steps out of the shower, viewers have pondered if Ursula Andress was actually naked while filming this sequence. Thanks to high definition video displays and a well-timed pause, Andress is shown wearing a swimsuit matching her skin color, further confirmed by behind-the-scenes photographs from the production.
The confusing car chase in Diamonds Are Forever
After leaving the Bond franchise following 1967’s "You Only Live Twice," Connery returned to the role for 1971’s "Diamonds Are Forever," pitting Bond against the villainous Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Charles Gray) once again. Bond tracks down Blofeld to a penthouse suite in Las Vegas, where he’s posing as kidnapped tycoon Willard White (Jimmy Dean) and using White’s influence to command the local police force. This leads the police to chase Bond around Sin City in a car chase that features a brief gaffe, which the filmmakers attempted to fix in post-production with some quick trickery.
While driving diamond smuggler Tiffany Case’s (Jill St. John) Ford Mustang Mach I, Bond enters a narrow alley that forces him to tilt his car up on two wheels. When the Mustang emerges from the other side of the alley, eagle-eyed viewers have noticed that it’s riding on its opposite side. The film attempts to fix this oversight by having a closeup shot of Bond tilting the car to its other side during the sequence, which makes no sense and does little to mitigate this blooper.
The corkscrew jump in The Man with the Golden Gun
The Bond film series features some of the greatest practical stunts to ever make it to the big screen, with one of the greatest car stunts of all time in "The Man with the Golden Gun." After Scaramanga escapes with both an experimental device to draw solar power and a hostage in Bond’s MI-6 colleague Mary Goodnight (Britt Ekland), Bond pursues the assassin in an AMC Hornet. This results in Bond and Scaramanga’s cars being located on opposite sides of a canal that is separated by a twisted, broken bridge.
In order to maintain the pursuit, Bond manages to launch his car in a perfectly executed corkscrew jump, landing on the bent end of the opposite bridge and continuing the chase with a truly jaw-dropping stunt. Prior to filming, the stunt was tested to see if it was possible through a computer simulation – the first of its kind — run by the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory. Another perk of watching this impressive stunt in slow motion or frame-by-frame is that it eliminates the nonsensical slide whistle sound effect that completely undercuts the moment.
Honey Ryder makes her iconic entrance in Dr. No
If there was anyone who set the bar for Bond’s love interests, it was Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder in "Dr. No," with one of the most memorable entrances in the franchise. After sneaking onto Dr. No’s secluded island in Jamaica, Bond awakens the following morning to the sound of Honey singing a popular local song as she emerges from the Caribbean wearing a white bikini. While Bond has encountered many stunning women throughout his adventures, Honey’s introduction is one of the series’ most iconic moments.
Honey’s swimsuit-clad entrance has been referenced and paid tribute to by the franchise and its contemporaries, though never quite at the same level of impact as Andress’ on-screen introduction. Andress was catapulted into international stardom, while the scene helped launch the Bond franchise as one of the coolest and sexiest of its time. Frequently emulated and parodied, Honey’s big screen debut is one of the most enduring shots in the series — accept no substitutes.