What would a Bond film be without shaken martinis, Q’s gadgets, and death-defying stunts? 007 car chases are legendary but did you know some of the stunts have even broken world records? Here is our Top 10 countdown of the best and boldest.
No Time To Die
10. Bond’s spectacular 150-foot leap into the unknown was shot on a two-tier Roman bridge by a helicopter hovering above Puglia, Italy. While Daniel Craig likes to perform many of his own stunts, he left this leap to the professionals. It seems Craig had six stunt doubles - two stood in for Bond in car chase scenes, three more stepped in for the physical action, and stuntman Paul Edmondson performed the motorbike jump in Matera.
9. Bond’s death-defying 722-foot bungee jump off Switzerland’s Verzasca dam for the opening of Pierce Brosnan’s GoldenEye (1995) was captured in one take and set a world record. It was performed by legendary British stuntman Wayne Michaels who took two weeks to prepare for the six-camera jump. More than 25 years later, it still holds the Guinness World Record.
8. The Casino Royale (2006) crew are also record-breakers for filming the most cannon rolls in a car - seven - achieved by British stuntman Adam Kirby in an Aston Martin DBS. How difficult was the stunt? Well, the car had to be fitted with a nitrogen cannon to assist the rolls, so don’t try this at home!
7. The biggest explosion in cinematic history was captured in Spectre (2015) when 24 chargers sparked 8,140 liters of kerosine, blowing up Blofeld’s base in the Moroccan desert. The explosion had a total yield of 68,47 tonnes of TNT equivalent, earning the crew another brilliantly deserved record title.
The Man With the Golden Gun
6. The first astro-spiral on film happened during the 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun. An AMC Hornet X hatchback drove up a corkscrewed ramp and twisted 360 degrees along its long axis, connecting with a landing ramp on the other side of a river near Bangkok, Thailand. The spiral was pulled off by American stuntman Loren ‘Bumps’ Willert and the Hornet is so famous it has been displayed at Britain’s National Motor Museum.
Live and Let Die
5. Live and Let Die (1973) has two of the boldest stunt scenes in the Bond franchise. Ross Kananga’s insane crocodile walk took five terrifying takes before he finally landed safely on the dock - flinging a crocodile off of the toe of his shoe along the way.
Live and Let Die
4. When James Bond (Roger Moore) is chased down Louisiana's bayou in a 1972 Glastron GT-150 speedboat, he effortlessly plows through a wedding ceremony and leaps over a road in Live and Let Die (1973). The seemingly impossible stunt sequence by Jerry Comeaux set a world record distance of 36.5 m (120 ft). It’s not just the longest speedboat jump in a film ever, but it’s awesome!
3. James Bond’s Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5 has machine guns, a nail sprayer, and grenade storage but it’s the ejector seat that makes our eyes light up. It’s one of the most iconic moments in 007 history and one of the most famous DB5s Bond has ever driven, worthy of its own podcast. Sadly, the silver birch Aston Martin was stolen from a Florida airport in 1997 and hasn’t been seen since.
The Spy Who Loved Me
2. The jaw-dropping ski chase and cliff jump in The Spy Who Loved Me was filmed in one take on Canada’s ice-capped Baffin Mountains. The idea came from a print ad for whiskey that featured daredevil skier and stuntman Rick Sylvester. Bond producers tracked him down to recreate the magic on film and Sylvester had so much fun he returned to shoot the mountain fall in For Your Eyes Only (1981).
1. Daniel Craig’s crane chase in Casino Royale (2006) has been viewed 24m times on YouTube - and for good reason. Craig conquered his fear of heights for the spectacular opening sequence. Craig’s co-star is the incredible French freerunner Sébastien Foucan, who glides like a panther. Foucan started freerunning as a child, pretending he was a Ninja, and became more disciplined at his craft while working as a fireman in Paris. Foucan sees freerunning more as dancing than athletics, and after watching Foucan leap across our screens we’d have to agree.