If it is one thing we’ve come to expect from the James Bond movie franchise over its fifty years of existence (yes, 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the film character created by novelist Ian Fleming), it is to expect quite a few dead bodies. The newest addition to the fold, “Skyfall,” is no exception. So which James Bond film scores the highest body count?
“Skyfall” premiered in the U. S. on Friday, Nov. 9, and topped the weekend box office, pulling in nearly $88 million, according to Box Office Mojo, making it the most lucrative of all the Bond films in its first three-day take. Starring Daniel Craig in his third installment of the Eon Productions series of Bond movies (there are 23 in all, with 3 additional non-Eon films), “Skyfall” has grossed over $428 million worldwide since its premiere on October 23 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
But besides putting up killer numbers in box office proceeds, Bond’s close relationship with the Grim Reaper is legendary. So in those fifty years of working for Her Majesty’s Secret Service, just how long is that trail of bodies?
Excluding “Skyfall” and the other non-Eon Productions releases, the body count for Britain’s top spy over the years is 1,299 when considering all causes of death. That averages out to 59 kills per movie. The Guardian did a rather in-depth treatment of Bond’s cinematic kill count in early October and found, using data collected from the All Outta Bubble Gum website, not only the total number killed in the Bond movies but which of the actors was the more deadly Mr. Bond and which movies were deadliest.
Movies were broken down into three deadly distinctions: Those killed by James Bond, those killed by other people and/or means, and total deaths in the movie.
The movie with the least amount of deaths was “The Man With The Golden Gun,” which also starred Sean Connery. There were only six people killed in the film overall, with Bond accounting for only one.
As it turns out, the deadliest movie in terms of overall deaths was “You Only Live Twice,” a movie starring the incomparable Sean Connery. There were 196 people killed in the film. Bond himself only killed 21 in that film.
The qualifier “only,” which appears awfully dismissive of the 00 assassin’s vocation, works in this regard simply due to the fact that Bond as the deliverer of death was more deadly in “Goldeneye,” where he accounted for 47 deaths. In fact, actor Pierce Brosnan (Bond, James Bond in the film) was the deadliest of all the Bondian actors, averaging 33.8 kills in four movies (135 kills in all).
Still, that record might fall to Daniel Craig if his kill count keeps rising. But he would have to be a veritable killing machine on par with the likes of a Terminator robot in “Skyfall” and the next Bond film (yes, there are plans for a next Bond movie already — actually two more) to boost his average to that of Pierce Brosnan’s. Craig has accounted for just 11 and 16 deaths in “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace,” respectively.
The Guardian also posted a neat infographic addendum to the body count story a couple days after running the original article. Designer Brendan Dawes constructed a visualization of the data using as a theme the now iconic title sequence of the movie “Dr. No,” the 1962 film that started it all.
For more information on all things Bond, go to, appropriately enough, 007.com, the official site of the franchise.