Fifty years ago today fictional spy James Bond first hit the big screen.
In that time, thanks to the original vision of producers Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli, the 007 franchise has grown to become worth an estimated £1bn.
To mark this amazing movie landmark, here we list 50 of our favourite Bond-related records.
1. Highest box office gross for a Bond
film (adjusted for inflation)
A phenomenal success even by the standards of a franchise whose films have always been smash hits, Thunderball (1965) grossed a total of $141,200,000 (£50,428,168) at the international box office, or $1,047,393,182 (£645,403,679) when adjusted for 2012 inflation based on ticket sales.
2. Most prolific James Bond author
Perhaps surprisingly, Ian Fleming, the original creator of Bond, was not the most prolific write of 007 novels. Between 1981 and 1996, John Gardner (UK) wrote 14 Bond novels and two screenplay adaptations, surpassing Fleming's output of 12 novels and two short-story collections.
3. Most appearances as
Sean Connery (UK) (b. 25 Aug 1930) and Roger Moore (UK) (b. 14 Oct 1927) have both starred as British secret agent '007' seven times. Connery appeared in the first Bond movie, Dr No (UK 1962) and Moore made his debut in Live and Let Die (UK 1973)
4. Most popular James Bond
Based on box-office figures adjusted for inflation, the most popular James Bond is Sean Connery (UK), grossing an average of $618.04 million per movie at current prices. This compares with the average of $559.87 million for Daniel Craig (UK), who occupies second place.
5. Most popular Bond film stunts
A 2008 poll carried out by the Radio Times magazine chartined the public's favourite stunts from the James Bond movies as follows: 1)Jumping from crane to crane Casino Royale, 2)Ski chase and parchute jump The Spy Who Loved Me,
3) The car barrel roll The Man With the Golden Gun, 4)Speedboat leap Live and Let Die, 5) Thames speedboat chase The World is Not Enough, 6) Aston Martin ejector seat Goldfinger, 7) Dive off the Verzasca Dam GoldenEye, 8) Ski chase On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 9) Jumping over crocodiles Live and Let Die, 10) Motorbike jump over a helicopter Tomorrow Never Dies
6. Largest breakaway glass structure smashed by a car
The largest breakaway glass structure smashed by a car measured 23.91 m² (257.36 ft²) and was achieved by British stuntman Rocky Taylor (UK) for Remember A Charity (UK) at the O2 Arena in London, UK, on 13 September 2011.
Rocky attempted the record as his "final stunt", aged 67 years old. He has been a stuntman for 51 years, appearing in James Bond films (doubling for Roger Moore and Sean Connery), Harry Potter films and Titanic. He drove the car at approximately 50 mph, before speeding up a pipe ramp and smashing through the glass structure. He then flipped the car and landed upside down on a pile of parked cars. The record attempt was staged for 'Remember A Charity', a charity which encourages people to leave a lasting legacy by leaving a donation to a charity in a will.
7. First submersible sports car (inspired by the Lotus in TSWLM)
The first fully-submersible sports car is the Rinspeed sQuba car, manufactured by Rinspeed (Switzerland) and due for official unveiling at the Geneva motorshow, Switzerland on 6 March 2008. The open-top car can be driven on land, it can float on the surface of water, but can also be steered to underwater depths of 10 m (33 ft) - by a driver wearing breathing aparatus. SQuba, which was inspired by the underwater car in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (UK,1977), is also environmentally-friendly, powered by rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries with a zero emissions.
8. Highest bungee jump from a structure in a movie
James Bond's bungee jump off a dam during the opening sequence of GoldenEye (UK/USA 1995), performed by Wayne Michaels (UK), was a drop of over 220 m (759 ft). The sequence, orchestrated by Michaels, Simon Crane and the Oxford Stunt Factory, took place at the Verzasca hydro-electric dam in Switzerland. Taking two weeks to prepare, Michaels jumped from a suspended platform to avoid banging into the steel-peg studded face of the dam. Six cameras filmed the stunt.
9. Longest speedboat jump in a film
A stunt sequence by Jerry Comeaux (USA) in Live and Let Die (UK, 1973), in which James Bond is chased down Louisiana's bayou in a 1972 Glastron GT-150 speedboat and leaps over a road, set a world record distance of 36.5 m (120 ft).
10. Most cannon rolls in a car
The most cannon rolls in a car is seven and achieved by stuntman, Adam Kirley (UK), in an Aston Martin DBS, during filming for the 21st James Bond film, Casino Royale (2006) at Millbrook Proving Ground, Milton Keynes, UK in July 2006.
The car was fitted with a nitrogen cannon in order to assist the rolls
11. Most expensive Bond memorabilia
sold at auction
On Friday, 20 January 2006, a Swiss businessman paid $1.9 million (£1.1 million) for a silver 1965 Aston Martin DB5 coupe used to promote the 007 films Goldfinger and Thunderball.
12. Most expensive typewriter
Ian Fleming's gold plated typewriter, which was commissioned by the James Bond writer in 1952, was sold for £56,250 ($90,309) at Christie's, London, UK on 5 May 1995.
13. Fastest time to complete "Antenna Cradle" in Goldeneye 007
The fastest Time to Complete "Antenna Cradle", Goldeneye 007 (the Nintendo 64 video game which used to be the best-selling First-person-shooter g on a console) is 48 seconds, achieved by Michael Alexander Olson (Canada), in Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada, on 15 November 2011.
14. Shortest Bond film
At 106 minutes, Quantum of Solace (2008) is the shortest James Bond movie to date.
15. Longest Bond film
At 145 minutes, Casino Royale (2006) narrowly beats On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), which runs to 142 minutes.
16. Least successful Bond film
(adjusted for inflation)
Despite an all-star cast that included David Niven, Orson Welles and Woody Allen, Casino Royale (USA, 1967), producer Charles K. Feldman's surrealist spoof of the Bond series, grossed $41,744,718 (£15,115,762) worldwide, or $277,841,894 (£171,206,175) adjusted for 2012 inflation - the least successful Bond film of all time.
17. First "astro-spiral" on film
The 1974 Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun featured an "astro spiral" jump, in which an AMC Hornet X hatchback drives up a corkscrewed ramp and turns 360? along its long axis, connecting successfully with a landing ramp on the other side of a river near Bangkok, Thailand. The stunt was pulled off by Loren "Bumps" Willert (USA). The actual Hornet used in the movie is preserved at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, UK.
18. First Bond theme to be nominated for Best Original Song Oscar
Sir Paul McCartney and Wings - with the help of producer Sir George Martin (all UK) - created perhaps the best ever Bond theme song with "Live and Let Die", the first to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song (1973), It charted at no.2 in the USA and no.7 in the UK, and lost the Oscar to "The Way We Were" from the movie of the same name. To date, no Bond music has won an Oscar.
19. Most expensive Bond
With a budget of $225 million (£158 million) Quantum of Solace (USA/UK, 2008) is the most expensive Bond film to date.
20. Most prolific Bond
In total, eight composers have created soundtracks for the Bond movies, the most prolific being John Barry (UK), with 11 movies to his name (plus his arrangement of Monty Norman's classic opening theme for Dr. No). Renowned for his luscious string arrangements and brassy, jazz, arrangement, John Barry's music for Goldfinger is considered the ultimate Bond score.
21. Highest ski base jump on
For the pre-title sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me (UK 1977), Rick Sylvester (USA) donned skis in July 1976 to ski down a slope and jump off the edge of a 609.6 m (2,000 ft) cliff - Asgard Peak, Baffin Island, Canada - before opening his Union Jack round canopy.
22. Greatest product placement return for a film
Die Another Day (UK/USA 2002), with its world premiere on 18 November 2002 at the Royal Albert Hall, London, UK, set a new level of product placement endorsements for a film with MGM receiving £45 million ($71 million). In all 20 companies had their product featured in the film, including Ford, British Airways, Sony and Finlandia Vodka. Even location interviews with Pierce Brosnan were only granted if the Omega logo was in view.
23.Smallest gun, non-live ammunition
In 1997, goldsmith Gunasingham Sarangan, from Jaffna, Sri Lanka (now resident in London, UK), fashioned a handgun from 22 carat gold measuring 2.8 mm (1.1 in) long and 2.3 cm(0.9 in) high. The gun can be loaded with bullets 0.4 cm(0.15 in) long and weighing 0.2 mg. The piece took a year to make.
The gun cannot fire a 'live' round as scale limitations restrict the amount of cordite that could propel a slug out of the chamber and along the barrel.
23. Most intelligent
The O'Dwyer Variable Lethality Law Enforcement (VLe) prototype pistol, made by Metal Storm Limited of Brisbane, Australia, has no moving parts, instead projectiles are fired electronically by a built-in computer processor. It can only be fired by someone wearing an authorised transponder ring, and is capable of firing up to three shots in extremely quick succession (within 1/500th of a sec.).
24. Shortest spy
The smallest recorded spy was the Frenchman, Richebourg (1768-1858), who measured 58 cm (1 ft 11 in) as an adult. Richebourg was employed by the aristocracy to act as a secret agent during the French Revolution (1789-1799), dispatching messages into and out of Paris, whilst disguised as an infant and carried by his 'nurse'.
25. First stealth
Clearly inspired by James Bond, the first game to utilise basic stealth game mechanics was 005 which was released by Sega in 1981. The game was an evolution of the ''avoid ''em up'' genre which was popular in arcades at the time and cast the player as a spy trying to deliver a briefcase to a helicopter while avoiding enemies
26. Oldest continuously serving intelligence organization
The British Secret Intelligence Service was founded in October 1909 and is the oldest continuously surviving intelligence collecting organisation in the world. It was only publicly acknowledged in 1994 and is still popularly referred to by one of its earlier titles, MI6 (Military Intelligence 6), a cover name used from early in the Second World War.
27. First actor to play James Bond
The first actor who played James Bond on screen was Barry Nelson (USA) in 1954. Nelson appeared in a one hour black and white TV special based on Casino Royale broadcast on CBS. The episode came a full eight years before Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman brought James Bond to the silver screen in Dr. No, starring Sean Connery.
28. Oldest Bond girl
Honor Blackman was 37 when she played Judo and aviation expert Pussy Galore in 'Goldfinger' .
29. Most Martinis served
Dry Martini in Barcelona, Spain, has logged every single martini cocktail ever sold in the bar, and their 1 millionth martini was sold on 30 June 2010. The cocktail bar, which was opened in 1978 by Javier de las Muelas (Spain), features a giant digital counter that keeps track of the drinks - which must be a classic gin or vodka martini to qualify. Customers who purchase a martini also receive a certificate documenting the number of their drink.
30. Highest ranked US officer charged
Retired Army Reserve Col. George Trofimoff (USA) became the US Army's highest ranking American in uniform to be charged with espionage. On 14 June 2001 he was found guilty of spying for the USSR and Russia, (including the sale of classified material to the Russians) whilst serving as the civilian chief of the US Army Element of the Nuremburg Joint Interrogation Center - an intelligence unit in Germany - between 1969 to 1994. Ironically, Trofimoff was born in Germany to Russian parents and became a naturalized US citizen in 1951; precisely 50 years before he was sentenced to life imprisonment on 28 September 2001.
31. Largest casino
Bond would surely like to put his pokerface to the test at the Venetian Macau, a casino-hotel resort owned by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation (USA). The world's largest casino, with a 51,100-m² (550,000-ft²) gambling area opened in Macau, China on 27 August 2007. Guests can play on 3,400 slot machines or at 870 gaming tables, whilst staying in one of 3,000 suites or shopping amongst 92,900 m² (1 million ft²) of retail space.
32. Oldest person to enter the UK
Singles chart (female)
Arguably best known for singing the Bond themes for Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and Moonraker (1979), Shirley Bassey holds the record for being the oldest person to enter the UK Singles chart (female). The Welsh vocalist ( born 8 January 1937) reached the Top 10 on 7 July 2007 with 'Get The Party Started' aged 70 years 180 days. Her first hit came in February 1957, with her 50-year chart span a record for a female performer.
33. First female to have biggest-selling album and single in US and UK in same year
UK singer Adele has recorded the theme for the latest Bond movie Skyfall. The London-born vocalist's hugely successful album 21 has racked up an incredible 27 records. Arguably the most impressive is that she is the first female to have biggest-selling album and single in US and UK in same year. Born Adele Adkins, in 2011 she crowned 12 months of record-breaking feats by becoming the first act since The Beatles in 1964 to achieve the 'transatlantic quadruple' - the top-selling album and single in the US and the UK in the same year. In the US, the album 21 and lead single "Rolling in the Deep" amassed sales of 5.82 million and 5.81 million, respectively. In Adele's homeland, 21 and "Someone Like You" shifted 3.77 million and 1.24 million copies, respectively.
34. Most lethal lipstick gun
The "Kiss of Death" lipstick pistol, designed for use by Soviet KGB agents in the Cold War, could fire a single - fatal - 4.5-mm shot.
It could easily be hidden in a purse or handbag. It was reportedly discovered during at a border crossing into the West.
35. Smallest helicopter
In terms of rotor length, the smallest helicopter is the GEN H-4 made by Gen Corporation (Japan) with a rotor length of only 4 m (13 ft), a weight of only 70 kg (154.32 lbs), and consisting of one seat, one landing gear and one power unit. Unlike more traditional helicopters, it has two sets of coaxial contra-rotating rotors which eliminate the need for a tail rotor for balancing.Largest collection of espionage-related items
36. First Oscar-winning actor to star in a videogame
The first Oscar-winning actor to appear in a videogame is Christopher Walken (USA), who also played Bond villain Max Zorin in 1985's A view To A Kill.
Walken featured in the game Ripper (Take2, 1996) alongside Paul Giamatti and John Rhys Davis.
37. Most Laurence Olivier awards won by an individual
Judie Dench, who has played M, the head of Mi6 since 1995's Goldeneye, has won a record seven Olivier Awards during her career. She shares the the record with designer William Dudley.
38. Most connected actor living
The University of Virginia's (USA) 'Oracle of Bacon' is software ¬ named after the actor Kevin Bacon (USA) ¬ that maps the working relationship between 1,250,000 actors and actresses in the Internet Movie Database. According to the Oracle, the most connected living movie star ¬ that is, the living person at the 'Centre of the Hollywood Universe' ¬ is Christopher Lee (UK), who played iconic Bond villain Scaramanga in the Man With The Golden Gun.
39. Most films with a swordfight
by an actor
According to movie stuntman and historian Derek Ware (UK), Lee also holds the record for the most screen swordfights, having duelled in 17 films with foils, swords, lightsabres and billiard cues!
40. Most consecutive BAFTAs won
Robbie Coltrane (UK), who played Dmitrovich Zukovsky in Goldeneye and The World is Not Enough, shares the record for three consecutive BAFTA television awards for Best Actor wins with Sir Michael Gambon (UK). Coltrane won three consecutive BAFTA Best Television Actor awards in 1994,1995 and 1996 for his role as forensic psychiatrist Gerry "Fitz" Fitzgerald in Granada Television's award-winning series Cracker (1993).
41. Steepest runway at an international airport
Courchevel International Airport, which is located in the French Alps and featured in the opening sequence of Tomorrow Never Dies, possesses the world's steepest runway.
The landing strip, which is a mere 1,722 feet long, is angled at 18.5º and so is definitely not for the faint hearted.
Because of the shortness of the runway, aircraft take off downhill and land uphill. The dangers associated with operating out of Courchevel are such that pilots are required to obtain certification before attempting a landing.
42. First spy satellites using
Project CORONA, established in 1959, was the first known use of 'reconnaissance' or 'spy' satellites to gather intelligence. The US project, funded by the CIA and the US Air Force, was established to provide photographic surveillance of Russia and China. The satellites would eject sealed canisters (or 'buckets') of exposed film, which would parachute down for mid-air collection by specially adapted aircraft.
43. Highest grossing Bond movie
Casino Royale (UK, 2006), has grossed a worldwide total of $594,239,066 (£367,179,735). The movie saw Daniel Craig (UK) make his debut in the lead role, and despite the choice being widely criticized by diehard Bond fans, the decision was clearly vindicated by the global success of the film and a Best Actor BAFTA nomination for the 'Blond Bond' - a first for this role.
44. Most powerful laser weapon
Goldfinger's laser was powerful enough to put a laser dot on the moon. In the real world however, the most powerful laser weapon is the Airborne Laser (ABL), developed by Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gruman. It is designed to fit inside a modified Boeing 747 and will ultimately be used to track and destroy ballistic missiles. Although still in development, its power measures approximately one megawatt.
45. Most expensive pizza sold at auction
The "Pizza Royale 2007", created by Domenico Crolla (UK/Italy) for the premier of Casino Royale (2007), was auctioned off for charity on eBay to an Italian lawyer for a record ?2,150 (US$3,321. The toppings, inspired by Ian Fleming's sophisticated tastes, include: Lobster marinated in Louis VIII cognac (worth £1,395 (US$2,154) a bottle!), Beluga caviar scented with Bollinger Champagne, fillet steak marinated in Scotch Whisky, smoked salmon infused with vodka martini, edible gold leaf and white Italian truffles. The pizza normally retails for ?750 (US$1,158)at Bella Napoli/Italmania in Glasgow, UK.
46. First confirmed use of secret code in online pictures
On 28 June 2010, the US Justice Department announced charges against 11 people accused of working for the SVR - the Russian successor to the Soviet KGB. Among the charges was the accusation that they had slipped encoded messages into otherwise harmless looking images on the internet, the first confirmed use of this high-tech approach to the concealment of data. The technique involves making changes to the three numeric values that a computer assigns to an on-screen image - these correspond to the amount of red, green or blue that each pixel in the image displays. By making slight changes to these values - which are undetectable to the naked eye - the spies were able to conceal the necessary '0's and '1's of the binary code they were using.
46. First murder by radiation
On 23 November 2006, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Litvinenko, a retired member of the Russian security services (FSB), died from radiation poisoning in London, UK, becoming the first known victim of lethal Polonium 210-induced acute radiation syndrome. Despite investigations the murder case remains unresolved.
47. Largest reusable
In 1979's Moonraker, Bond investigates the theft of a space shuttle. NASA's Space shuttle, which made its first operational flights in 1982, remains the largest reusable spacecraft.
48. Greatest robbery of jewels
In 1971's Diamonds Are Forever, Bond impersonates a diamond thief to infiltrate a smuggling ring, and soon uncovers a plot by his old nemesis Blofeld to use the diamonds and build a giant laser. The largest ever gem theft occurred at the Antwerp Diamond Centre, Belgium when 123 of the 160 vaults were emptied in a weekend raid between 15-16 February 2003, resulting in an estimated loss of $100 million (£62 million).
49. Largest gold reserves
Goldfinger has Bond investigating gold smuggling by gold magnate Auric Goldfinger and eventually uncovering his plans to attack the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox.
The United States Treasury had approximately 262 million fine ounces of gold during 1996, equivalent to $100 billion (£65 billion) at the June 1996 price of $382 (£249) per fine oz.
The United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, 48 km (30 miles) south-west of Louisville, Kentucky, USA, has been the principal federal depository of US gold since December 1936, where 147 million fine oz are currently stored. Golds peak price was $850 on January 21, 1980.
50. First James Bond theme to reach
number 1 on Billboard Hot 100
Duran Duran's theme to 1985's View To A Kill remains the only James Bond theme to reach number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was the last track that the original five members of the group recorded together until their reunion sixteen years later, in 2001.