No one man is James Bond. In the official film series, which has now spanned 53 years and grossed about $6 billion globally, without adjusting for inflation, six actors have played the gentleman spy: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and, mostly recently, Daniel Craig. The latest film, released in the U.S. on Friday, could very well be Craig's last time out in the tux.
Who wore it best? It depends how you measure each Bond. Bloomberg Business identified eight traits that typify the immortal British spy and tracked them across all 3,053 minutes and 33 seconds of the 24 James Bond films. Here, the definitive James Bond by the numbers.
Of the 51 hours of Bond films, nearly 18 feature the main character in a suit or tuxedo. (For high-end clothiers like Brioni and Tom Ford, which provided suits for Brosnan and Craig, the films are an opportunity to showcase their brands.) No Bond spent more time dressed up than Connery, who originated the role in the series. He leads all Bonds in total time (5 hours, 16 minutes) and on a per-film basis (45 percent). Connery’s most dapper film is From Russia With Love, in which he spends 72 percent of the movie in a suit.
Bond is shirtless at some point in 21 of the 24 films. (Another film would make the cut if you include the stylized opening credits sequences, which we do not.) The leader in total shirtless time – and shirtlessness on a per-film basis – is Connery, who was an amateur bodybuilder. A shirtless Connery takes up more than 9 percent of Thunderball, which includes a lot of swimming and a massage.
Bond spends more than five percent of the franchise flirting, seducing, or being otherwise intimate. He often uses his charm to glean information; other times, he appears sincerely interested. Occasionally, it’s a little of both. George Lazenby, who appears in just one Bond film, spends more than 10 percent of it pursuing sex or romance.
Miss Moneypenny, an administrative assistant in Bond’s office, is regularly a target of casual flirting. Even though Moneypenny appears in only half of Craig’s films, his Bond spends the most time per movie dallying with her. One caveat: Craig's Moneypenny is played by an actor new to the series, and the audience doesn’t learn her identity until the end of her first film, long after a lot flirting and intimacy.
Bond’s gaze is often deadly. Over the course of the franchise, 22 women in whom the character shows some interest end up dead. Every Bond averages one such death per film, except Timothy Dalton, who records none.
Managing James Bond is not easy. He’s frequently rude, occasionally disobedient, and regularly caught with his pants down. His boss, M, is not shy about reprimanding him. No Bond is scolded more times by M than Craig.
Every Bond frustrates his quartermaster. Over the course of the series, Q has barked at Bond to pay attention nine times and asked him eight times not to damage equipment in the field. In The Living Daylights, Q pleads with Dalton’s Bond to be careful with his Aston Martin V8 Vantage. It explodes 13 1/2 minutes later.
Gadgets are a staple of the Bond films. A ski pole contains a hidden gun. A watch holds a laser, magnet, or Geiger counter. Cars carry small arsenals. Pierce Brosnan’s Bond uses more gadgets per film than any of his peers. In Die Another Day, he uses 16 unique gadgets in the field. Eight are related to his car, an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, including tire cleats, missiles, and an invisibility setting that can be activated remotely.
It’s no secret that Bond drinks heavily or that he prefers a vodka martini just so. Over the course of the series, Bond or another character orders a total of 16 martinis for him, including two in Spectre (although just one arrives). Only Brosnan’s Bond averages more than one martini order a movie. Craig’s Bond orders the highest total number of drinks per film.
Bond is also an avid gambler and particularly good at poker. The character plays at least one game of chance in nine of the 24 films. Lazenby’s Bond gambles in a casino in Portugal in his only film.
Bond often cracks wise, and his signature joke is a double entendre. Bloomberg identified 188 instances of such jokes throughout the series, including a few recycled ones. By our count, the biggest jokester is Brosnan’s Bond, who averages 15 double entendres per movie, including four about sex and one about death. Craig’s more serious Bond rarely uses wordplay.
One more way to assess which Bond is most Bond-like is to simply listen for the number of times per movie the spy introduces himself. In total, the Bonds deliver that most recognizable line 26 times over the 24 films. Connery might have been the first to introduce himself last name first, but he was also the least likely to do it. Across six films he identified himself that way just three times. The second Bond, Lazenby, has two in his one and only movie.
Time in a suit or tuxedo is the cumulative length of all film time in which Bond is in the scene and wearing any of the following: a suit with matching jacket and pants, a tuxedo, a white dinner jacket or a particularly formal military uniform. Also included: Time spent in a suit or tuxedo without the jacket (often the morning after an adventurous night), and time wearing other outfits or articles of clothing over a suit or tux. Timing begins from the moment it is clear to the audience that the character is Bond and that he is wearing any of the outfits in the category. Times are expressed as the average percentage of the actor’s films that depict him in the outfits in the category. Note: This is not the average percentage of Bond’s screen time that he is in a suit or tux; it’s the average percentage of the entire movie.
Shirtless time is the cumulative length of all film time in which Bond is in the scene and not wearing a shirt. If Bond removes his shirt, timing begins the moment both sleeves are off. Times are expressed as the average percentage of the actor’s films that depict him shirtless.
Romantic time is cumulative length of all film time in which Bond is in the scene and flirting, seducing, or being otherwise intimate. Examples include, but are not limited to, making eyes, making out, and making love. Times are expressed as the average percentage of the actor’s films that depict him engaging in the activities in the category.
Time spent flirting with Moneypenny is the cumulative length of all film time in which Bond is in the scene and making casual, flirtatious banter with Miss Moneypenny and/or touching her or putting himself in her personal space. Times are expressed as the average percentage of the actor’s films that depict him engaging in the activities in the category.
The number of women who die after Bond has expressed some interest in them is self-explanatory. Interest is defined as any of the activities that constitute romantic time.
A scolding by M is a verbal reprimand or punishment for a particular transgression. Multiple reprimands for the same transgression are counted once.
A plea from Q to pay attention is self-explanatory.
A request from Q to treat equipment with care is an appeal to Bond to avoid damaging the item, not to handle it with safety.
Gadgets are pieces of equipment that incorporate some advanced technology (a jetpack, for example) and/or are fashioned within some disguise, like a gun hidden in a ski pole or a camera hidden inside a ring. Cars and most other vehicles are not gadgets, but they are often equipped with gadgets, such as missiles, an ejector seat, or a submarine setting. Weapons are not gadgets, unless they equip vehicles, are highly specialized, or are hidden within another device, like a bomb housed inside a watch. Only those gadgets that are used in the field and by Bond himself are counted here.
Martinis or other drinks ordered are verbal requests (or verbal acceptances) made by Bond or on his behalf for a martini or another drink. In some cases, the order is implied or explicitly referenced. A server bringing Bond a drink that he has not been seen ordering or does not remark upon when it arrives is not an ordered drink. A drink taken by or handed to Bond without prompting is not an ordered drink. A drink offered to Bond that he explicitly accepts is. Several martinis and many other drinks consumed by Bond are not represented here.
Gambling is defined as Bond’s participation in a game of chance, such as baccarat or poker.
A Bond double entendre is a wry statement containing language that can be interpreted in two ways. Most capitalize on the literalization of idioms (e.g. “I got into some deep water”). A few are more straightforward (e.g. “Shocking,” following a death by electrocution).
An introduction is an instance of Bond introducing himself with the words, “Bond, James Bond.”
Data for every film except Spectre were recorded by watching, pausing, and re-watching digital downloads. This method allows two coders to crosscheck each variable. It also makes it possible to assess with certainty whether Bond has fully exited a scene or is just temporarily out of frame. Data for Spectre were recorded live in a movie theater, without the benefit of a pause button. As a result, the margin for error for every variable is higher. In particular, the timed variables may include aberrant, brief pauses at moments when the coders were unsure whether a scene with a suit or romantic moment had fully ended. The resulting time lost is probably minimal.