10 James Bond Movies With The Best Love Stories

Given the one-dimensional nature of the average “Bond girl” archetype, romantic subplots tend to rank among the weakest and most forgettable aspects of James Bond films. Audiences typically go to Bond films to enjoy the globe-trotting spy action. The romances tend to just add a dash of sauce to each movie without distracting from the bombastic, weaponized sets.

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But in a handful of Bond adventures, from Casino Royale for The Spy Who Loved Me for On Her Majesty’s Secret Servicethe love stories are truly captivating.

ten The Living Daylights (1987)

TImothy Dalton as James Bond and Maryam d'Abo as Kara Milovy on the Cello Case in Living Daylight

The first of two Bond films by Timothy Dalton, Living daylights, paired him with cellist Kara Milovy. Initially, she is the villainous General Koskov’s girlfriend, but she later becomes Bond’s love interest. The movie has a lot of fun with his career as a cellist. At one point, Bond and his latest girlfriend ride his cello case up the side of a mountain to escape some nefarious villains.

The two reunite in the final scene when Bond sneaks into a Vienna concert hall to see Kara perform as a solo cellist, then surprises her in her dressing room.

9 Specter (2015)

James Bond and Madeleine Swann - Specter

The second Bond of Sam Mendes, Spectrum, was nowhere near as critically acclaimed as his first. But one of the film’s few highlights, along with Dave Bautista’s sinister turn as Mr. Hinx’s henchman, is the stellar romantic chemistry shared by Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux.

Seydoux plays Dr. Madeleine Swann, Mr. White’s daughter who grew up to be a psychiatrist. After everything that happened between him and Mr. White, Bond feels guilty and therefore feels responsible for protecting Madeleine.


8 Golden Eye (1995)

There’s a genuine love interest in golden eye, but she’s overshadowed by Alec Trevelyan’s top henchman, Xenia Onatopp. Onatopp is a true femme fatale who crushes men to death with her thighs during sex.

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In addition to the utterly unique and hilariously pulpy character, Onatopp’s role in golden eye is greatly boosted by the searing on-screen chemistry between Pierce Brosnan and Famke Janssen.

7 For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Roger Moore in For Your Eyes Only

After moonraker was criticized for taking 007 into space, the producers returned to the franchise’s roots with a classic revenge story. In Just for your eyesBond teams up with Melina Havelock, who is on a narrow quest for revenge against the hitman who killed her parents in front of her on the family yacht.

Even Bond is disturbed by Havelock’s vengeful rage. This film – particularly in its romance arc – explores the concept of revenge in greater depth than Bond films usually do. 007 insists that revenge is fleeting and eye-for-an-eye punishment will provide no real closure.

6 No Time to Die (2021)

Daniel Craig Lea Seydoux James Bond Madeleine No Time To Die

Although a rarity for the Bond franchise, the most recent entry – no time to diethe bittersweet finale of the Craig era – follows on from Spectrum as 007’s romance with Dr. Madeleine Swann is stronger than ever. They take a romantic trip to Italy and apparently have a good time there, until Bond is tricked into believing that Madeleine betrayed him to Blofeld. After that, he outruns SPECTER’s assassins and abandons him on a train.

Heartbreakingly, Bond realizes five years later that not only is Madeleine innocent; he fathered a daughter, Mathilde, just before leaving her. It’s not just a romantic love story; it is also a father-daughter love story.

5 The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Elektra King - The World Is Not Enough

In Pierce Brosnan’s third Bond, The world is not enough007 is tasked with protecting oil heiress Elektra King when she is threatened by Renard, the world’s most wanted terrorist.

This movie is set up like a riff on The bodyguard: part romantic drama, part action thriller. The plot offers a hard-hitting twist as Bond is shocked to learn that King was in cahoots with Renard all along and never really cared about him.

4 Dr. No (1962)

The very first Bond movie, Dr. No, remains one of the best entries in the series. He introduced the “Bond girl” trope with one of the most famous examples: Honey Ryder, a shell diver Bond meets while on a mission in Jamaica.

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For most of the film, Bond and Ryder are both in the same boat: they investigate Dr. No together, get captured by his henchmen together, and end up imprisoned together in Dr. No’s secret lair. two team up in the finale, which established one of the best parts of the “Bond girl” archetype: the love interest gets in on the action.

3 The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Barbara Bach as Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me

Sure The Spy Who Loved Me spotlights Bond’s love life – the clue is in the title. The film deviates greatly from the plot of the novel, but retains its emphasis on romance. In the film, Roger Moore’s Bond teams up with a Soviet spy with a common goal: Anya Amasova, better known as Agent XXX.

Amasova is paired with Bond when the British and Russian governments are attacked by the same enemy. It turns out that Bond murdered the love of his life on a previous mission, which presents a huge emotional hurdle to overcome.

2 Casino Royale (2006)

casino royale james bond shower vesper lynd

In many ways, Daniel Craig’s first Bond film, Casino Royale, acts as an origin story for the character. The film shows how he earned his 00 status and license to kill, not to mention his recklessness, icy demeanor, and grace under fire. The tragic romance with Vesper Lynd explains how 007 ended up becoming such a cold-hearted lover.

Bond falls so madly in love with Vesper that he quits MI6 just to spend more time hanging out with her. He is heartbroken to find out that she betrayed him, but later learns that she only betrayed him to save his life.

1 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

The banter between Bond and his love interests usually brings to mind Howard Hawks’ goofy comedies, but George Lazenby’s one and only Bond movie – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – is the furthest thing from a goofy comedy. It’s a romantic tragedy that sets up a perfect couple for a happy life together, then tears them apart with bloody disaster.

In Lazenby’s unique outing on Bond, not only does 007 fall in love; he’s getting married. Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo becomes Tracy Bond – but, tragically, only briefly. Most Bond movies end with a sex scene and a crude double-meaning, but this one ends with a heartbroken 007 cradling his dying wife after a drive-by shooting.

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