We all know Mr. Bond's proficiency in getting women shed their wardrobe in the name of Her Majesty's government. But we also expect our favorite super spy to be ready when the situation calls for fisticuffs. Hand to hand combat has been a staple of Bond movies since the beginning. Connery excelled at this, and his early films are some of the earliest examples of martial arts in cinema. George Lazenby, for all his faults as Bond, was also very good. Roger Moore... not so much. Dalton was serviceable. Brosnan was surprisingly good given his slight frame. And Daniel Craig is just fantastic. He has the benefit of working with a stable of expert fight choreographers in the era of Bourne movies, but the 007 that Craig has created is perhaps the most brutal, physically imposing Bond yet.
10. Room Service
Watching this scene from On Her Majesty's Secret Secret Service, you wouldn't think George Lazenby was the least convincing Bond. He performed action scenes as well as any other 007. The scenes would have been even better had the director and fight choreographers not included multiple haymaker uppercuts in every fight.
9. Be sure to tip the driver
Bond bites off more than he can chew in You Only Live Twice. Fortunately, he is an expert couch-fighter.
8. "Heavy, Mr. Bond?"
For a guy who was 53 when he made this movie, Sean Connery is still pretty impressive. In Never Say Never Again, Bond must fight the big bald German goliath that beat the crap out of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. This scene does a great job mixing humor with the action, especially with sight gag at the end.
7. No more foreplay
mix of fight and foreplay from Goldeneye may be the series most original physical confrontation. Pierce Brosnan tries to avoid getting crushed between the legs of the sadist Xenia Onnatop.
6. Jaws attack
Roger Moore's Bond was more inclined to use brains than brawn to defeat his enemies. Here, he's completely outmatched against the franchise's most famous henchman, Jaws, in the The Spy Who Loved Me. With nowhere to run, Bond has to get creative. Agent XXX isn't much help.
5. "You just killed James Bond!"
The tight confines of an elevator is a great setting for this well choreographed fight scene. One of the few bright spots in Diamonds Are Forever.
4. Don't bring a knife to a Bond fight
This fight from Quantum of Solace is so sudden, so fast and so brutal, I find myself holding my breath. Here, Daniel Craig shows why he's the Bond you least want to mess with.
3. 007 vs. 006
When two super agents fight, this must be what it looks like. Fantastically paced and choreographed, this fight pits Bond against his former friend, 006, in Goldeneye. The two are so evenly matched, neither can get the upper hand. With its mix of fighting techniques, physical fatigue, and their mutual animus toward the other, this pitched fight just feels authentic.
2. Machetes and stairwells don't mix
Maybe the most intense scene of any Bond film, this savage fight down the stairs against a machete wielding killer in Casino Royale just leaves you exhausted. This fight is so well conceived and frenetic, it really does feel like life and death. Unlike so many of the Bond films over the years where killing has become routine, this scene really conveys the awful brutality of killing someone with your bare hands, as well as the mental and emotional toll it exacts.
1. Fight on the Orient Express
Bond's showdown with SPECTRE assassin Red Grant in 1963's From Russia with Love is still the benchmark for all 007 fight scenes. Their desperate back and forth melee in the cramped space of a train cabin just crackles with energy and dramatic tension. Grant kills a host of people before posing as a MI-6 liason in order to get close to Bond, and thanks to Robert Shaw's physique and acting chops, the audience has no doubt he is more than a match for 007.