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10 greatest James Bond title sequences: Casino Royale, GoldenEye, more

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Skyfall poster, Daniel Craig, James Bond
Bond. James Bond. The Aston Martin, the tuxedo, "Shaken, not stirred", the Walther PPK, "Pay attention, 007", the interchangeable girls, the interchangeable directors, actors who are stay around until they're just a little bit too old... if there's one thing the Bond series can't be accused of, it's messing with the formula.

While Daniel Craig's hard-nosed, Bourne-influenced Bond may be a world away from Roger Moore's campy pun-slinger, there's no mistaking a Bond film, thanks to the vast number of recurring elements that appear in every single one.

One of the greatest moments of any Bond film is the elaborate title sequence that accompanies the opening credits. Usually taking the form of psychedelic visuals, soundtracked by the movie's Bond theme, these scene-setters have become one of the most vital parts of the Bond experience.

To celebrate the imminent arrival of the 23rd Bond film Skyfall, here's a list of ten of the best title sequences in the series to date:

10) Dr No (1962)
The template was set here - while there's no sung Bond theme, there's the legendary Monty Norman music, and the first of many appearances by the silhouetted dancing girls, who turned out to be as big a part of the Bond family as Q, M or Moneypenny. Look out for the cameo towards the end from assassins the Three Blind Mice, the first ever Bond movie antagonists.



9) Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
While Pierce Brosnan's films proved divisive at the time and have aged very badly within just a few years (with the exception of GoldenEye), you can't argue with the quality of the title sequences, which were arguably consistently the best of all of the Bonds. Even Die Another Day isn't bad. This tech-heavy entry is typically good, with Sheryl Crow positively belting out one of the most underrated Bond themes ever.



8) You Only Live Twice (1967)
This title sequence for one of the most memorable Bonds (James goes to Japan) perfectly matches Nancy Sinatra's purring vocal with dreamy footage of crashing waves and reclining geishas. Lovely.



7) For Your Eyes Only (1981)
While there's been a veritable smorgasbord of talent responsible for Bond themes over the years, from Lulu to Madonna to Duran Duran to Adele, only one artist has made actually into the title sequence: Sheena Easton, who sings the titular ballad largely underwater (though not literally). She gets into the spirit of things by being naked the entire time - this is a Bond title sequence, after all.



6) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
The appeal of this intro is probably best summed up by Bond uber-fan Alan Partridge: "Glang…glang-a-lang-a-lang-a-lang-a-lang-a-lang….GLANG-A-LANG…" Nobody does it better than Marvin Hamlisch when it comes to theme songs, and his iconic track is ably accompanied by the usual array of scantily clad women, some whom are (bizarrely) swinging on giant Lugers. No wonder it's Alan's favourite.



5) The World Is Not Enough (1999)
The intro to the The World Is Not Enough is eye-scorchingly weird and psychedelic, memorably featuring women made, somewhat disturbingly, out of a melting, viscous black substance, which may have consciously or subconsciously influenced David Fincher when designing the similar, Bond-esque opening to his remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Shirley Manson from Garbage also provides arguably the last really decent Bond theme (over to you, Adele).



4) Goldfinger (1964)
All told, this is a fairly generic example of the Bond title sequence, complete with its wavy arms, back projection and naked shadow ladies. However, the iconic nature of the golden women, the film itself and, of course, that colossal theme song mean that no Bond list would be complete without it - simply put, when most people think of a Bond title sequence, this is the one they think of.



3) GoldenEye (1995)
There have been so many different combinations of girls and guns on Bond movies by the time GoldenEye arrived that it was only a matter of time before a gun actually popped out of a girl's mouth, and so it came to pass in Brosnan's first film and one of the most fondly-remembered Bonds ever. Coming after a six-year hiatus from the screen, the biggest the series has had to date, Goldeneye reinvented the now stale Bond title sequence into something even more opulent and psychedelic. Tina Turner was practically born to sing a Bond theme, making this a winner all round.



2) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
One of the more divisive Bond movies, regarded as having one of the most interesting stories in the series but probably the worst Bond. The title sequence is indisputably great though, featuring clips from other Bond movies up to that point filtered through an hourglass, while John Barry's never-bettered score booms excitably in the background.



1) Casino Royale (2006)
The Bond reboot promised a tougher, edgier Bond than the self-parody of the later Brosnan efforts, and so it proved here, with the naked silhouetted girls replaced with the faceless characters from the Mad Men title sequence punching each other so hard they explode into playing cards. Stunning CG animation, a great concept and Daniel Craig's ice-cool cameo at the end make this probably the best Bond title sequence of all - it's so good, you don't even mind that Chris Cornell bellows the theme song like a drunk uncle at a wedding. Perfection.



> Bond 50: Richard Kiel, Britt Ekland, Eunice Gayson interview
> Everything or Nothing review: James Bond celebrates 50 years on screen
> James Bond 50: 22-film Blu-ray collection review

Skyfall opens in UK cinemas on October 26 and November 9 in the US. The Bond 50 22-film Blu-ray collection is available to buy now.

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