The James Bond franchise is renowned for its fight scenes. Sean Connery and Roger Moore's Bonds both had plenty of iconic fights.
As much as fans love the megalomaniacal villains and quippy one-liners, the main draw of the James Bond franchise is its action. Audiences go to these movies to see a secret agent traveling all over the world, finding himself in dangerous situations and using his skills to get out of them.
RELATED: The 5 Best Action Sequences From Sean Connery's Bond Movies (& 5 From Roger Moore's Movies)
The Bond movies have all kinds of action: car chases, explosions, ski jumps, and plenty of fight scenes. Sean Connery and Roger Moore’s Bonds had very different fighting styles, but they both had a bunch of memorable fight scenes.
One of Connery’s best fight scenes in the role of Bond was in the series’ very first movie, Dr. No, with the titular villain during the climactic action sequence.
After Bond foils his plan, a furious Dr. No lunges at the gentleman spy with his mechanical prosthetic hands. As their scuffle takes them into a vat, Dr. No tragically finds that he’s unable to climb out of his own diabolical contraption due to his metal hands.
There’s a ton of memorable moments in Bond’s infiltration of Blofeld’s iconic volcano lair in You Only Live Twice – not the least of which is his confrontation with Blofeld himself. But before he reaches Blofeld, Bond has to face his henchman Hans.
When Bond makes a run for it up a hidden staircase, he finds himself in Blofeld’s private quarters, face-to-face with Hans. A crackling fireplace makes a sumptuous backdrop for their fight.
The pre-title sequence of Thunderball takes a surprising turn. Bond attends the funeral of Colonel Jacques Bouvar, an agent of SPECTRE responsible for several of his colleagues’ deaths. 007 heads to the colonel’s estate to offer condolences to his wife.
RELATED: 10 Ways Sean Connery's Bond Movies Still Hold Up Today
When Bond realizes the colonel’s wife is actually the colonel himself wearing his wife’s clothes (down to the stockings and high heels), he’s launched into one of the roughest, grittiest fights in the whole franchise.
One of the most iconic Bond henchmen of all time is Oddjob, played unforgettably by Olympic weightlifter and professional wrestler Harold Sakata in Goldfinger. Oddjob is most famous for his razor-sharp bowler hat, but he’s just as adept at using his fists.
Bond and Oddjob engage in a rough scuffle in Fort Knox during the movie’s big finale. Oddjob effortlessly tosses 007 around the vault while Bond desperately throws gold bars at his strapping opponent.
The most intimidating opponent faced by Connery’s 007 is Red Grant, a henchman of SPECTRE played by Jaws’ Robert Shaw in From Russia with Love, the second ever Bond movie.
Grant is a rare case of a Bond movie henchman being more memorable than the main villain. His intense fisticuffs with 007 on the Orient Express might be the most brutal fight scene in the whole Bond series. Bond is protected by plot armor, but audiences fear for his life anyway.
Moore’s final film in the role of Bond, A View to a Kill, is a pretty lackluster movie. Christopher Walken’s turn as the villainous Max Zorin is a tad too hammy and his plan to destroy Silicon Valley to monopolize the microchip industry doesn’t make any sense.
But the movie builds to an impressive finale as Bond fights Zorin on top of the Golden Gate Bridge. Zorin gets a haunting death scene in which he smiles right before falling from the bridge.
During his pursuit of the Scaramanga – the titular assassin in The Man with the Golden Gun, characterized as an anti-Bond – 007 is entered into a martial arts tournament with a champion fighter named Chula.
In keeping with the Moore era’s tendency to follow ‘70s genre trends, The Man with the Golden Gun is framed as an homage to then-popular martial arts movies like Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon.
After Bond has defeated the main villain, Mr. Big, in Live and Let Die, he’s attacked on his train journey back to New York by Tee Hee, a strapping enforcer with mechanical arms and a towering physique.
RELATED: 9 Ways Roger Moore's Bond Movies Still Hold Up Today
Bond has to fight him in a bathrobe and their scuffle smashes up the whole carriage before Bond hooks one of Tee Hee’s arms to the window and kicks him off the speeding train. This sequence gives Moore’s first Bond movie a thrilling final scene.
The Bond producers made Moonraker in response to the success of Star Wars. Since it culminates in a laser battle in space, it’s rightly remembered as a silly movie. But there are some impressive Earthbound action scenes before 007 goes to space.
He has an intense fight scene with an assassin named Chang. Chang jumps out from behind a pillar with a battle cry, wielding a samurai sword. Bond arms himself with an antique rapier and the two face off in a glass-cased museum.
Bond is physically outmatched (and then some) by Karl Stromberg’s hulking henchman Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me. Defined by his metal teeth, Jaws was played brilliantly by Richard Kiel. Bond finally faces him in hand-to-hand combat during the climactic sequence in which he infiltrates Stromberg’s lair to kill him.
007 wins the fight by lowering Jaws into a water tank containing Stromberg’s hungry great white. Hilariously, Jaws ends up taking a bite out of the shark, not the other way around.
NEXT: 10 Ways The Spy Who Loved Me Is Roger Moore's Best Bond Movie
Ben Sherlock is a writer, comedian, and independent filmmaker. He writes lists for Screen Rant and features and reviews for Game Rant, covering Mando, Melville, Mad Max, and more. He's currently in pre-production on his first feature, and has been for a while because filmmaking is expensive. In the meantime, he's sitting on a mountain of unproduced screenplays. Previously, he wrote for Taste of Cinema, Comic Book Resources, and BabbleTop. You can catch him performing standup at odd pubs around the UK that will give him stage time.