(NEW YORK) -- Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. release of the first James Bond film, Dr. No. The movie, which opened on May 8, 1963 on these shores, actually opened in October of 1962 in the U.K.
The movie was the first big-screen bow of author Ian Fleming's suave secret agent. It launched the longest-running franchise in film history, and made a household name out of a Scottish actor named Sean Connery.
Dr. No had Bond jetting to Jamaica to investigate the murder of a fellow agent, and the film introduced many elements that became staples of the 007 series, including the "James Bond Theme," the movies' "gun barrel" opening visual, the spy ordering a "vodka martini: shaken, not stirred," and introducing himself as, "Bond, James Bond."
According to IMDb.com, Dr. No cost an estimated $1.1 million to make and grossed just over $16 million in the U.S. It grossed an estimated $59.6 million worldwide.
About the men who wore the tux:
- Skyfall represented Daniel Craig's third go 'round as 007, and the 23rd movie in the series. That film went on to earn an Oscar for Adele for the movie's title song, and made a billion bucks worldwide during its run -- a series first.
- Connery played the role in seven films -- though six officially, as 1983's Never Say Never Again is a remake of Thunderball and for legal reasons not part of the official Bond canon.
- Connery was succeeded in 1969 by George Lazenby for just one film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
- Roger Moore played Bond seven times, from 1973's Live and Let Die through 1985's A View to a Kill.
- Timothy Dalton played 007 twice, in 1987's The Living Daylights and 1989's Licence to Kill.
- Pierce Brosnan -- who was to take over the role in the early '80s, but was forbidden from doing so because of his Remington Steele contract -- reinvigorated the role in 1995 with GoldenEye, and played 007 four times, until 2002's Die Another Day.
- Craig, who is the first blond-haired actor to play the part, was chosen to reboot the franchise for 2006's Casino Royale.
- As the Bond films always say in the last frame, "James Bond will return." Within three years, Craig will be back in theaters as 007 once again.
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