You hardly have to have seen a James Bond movie to know a little bit about 007. He’s one of the most famous fictional spies in the world, and his presence in global pop culture is overwhelming. The way he says, “Bond. James Bond.” The way he takes his martini. The way he rides off into the sunset, usually in a boat, with a different girl every adventure. These Bondian elements are stuck in our pop-culture brains.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s been around so long. Oct. 5, 2012, marks the 50th anniversary of Bond’s first onscreen appearance, at the London premiere of Dr. No. (The character had existed in Ian Fleming’s stories for almost a decade before that.) For five decades now, moviegoers have flocked to see the suave secret agent at the rate of one movie almost every other year; the 23rd official Bond movie, Skyfall, will be released in the U.S. on Nov. 9.
Despite all that fame, a good spy must have some secrets. Not every element of Bondian lore is general knowledge — so we’ve compiled 50 facts to get you ahead of the game.
If you want to learn more, here are the resources we used (along with newspapers, magazines and websites) to compile this list:
The Incredible World of 007 by Lee Pfeiffer and Philip Lisa
The Essential Bond by Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall
Bond on Bond by Roger Moore
The Secret World of 007 by Alastair Douglas
James Bond: The Legacy by John Cork and Bruce Scivally
The New Official James Bond Movie Book by Sally Hibbin
Licence to Thrill by James Chapman
The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin
The James Bond Encyclopedia by John Cork and Collin Stutz
The Bond 50 complete Blu-ray collection
James Bond Ultimate Edition DVD collection