MI6 takes a look back at the careers of the James Bond film directors, from 1962 to 1989...

James Bond Directors (1)
30th September 2005

Terence Young
Date of Birth: 20/06/1915
Bond Films: Dr No, From Russia with Love, Thunderball


Over the years Terence Young has been handed the credit for stylising Sean Connery as the ruthless yet sophisticated Agent 007. His three films defined the face and style of Bond.

Born in China on the 20th of June, 1915, he entered the film industry at the age of 21, as a screenwriter for Elstree Studios. In the 10 years before his first directorship, Young scripted a scattering of films, including “On the Night of the Fire” (1940) which starred Ralph Richardson.

His first film in the director’s chair was “Men of Arnhem” (1946), a World War II film, based around the Battle of Arnhem. (The movie was later remade as “A Bridge Too Far”). After a directors career of 18 films, Young came upon, undoubtedly, the highlight, “Dr No”.

In later interviews fellow cast and crew members said that Young was the perfect man for the job, putting a little of himself, and a lot of what he always wished to be, into Sean Connery’s character. Terence Young passed away in 1994, in the Côte d'Azur, France.

Guy Hamilton
Date of Birth: 16/09/1922
Bond Films: Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Live And Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun


After “From Russia With Love” Terence Young was unavailable to direct “Goldfinger”. Enter Guy Hamilton, with just 10 films under his belt. Hamilton nevertheless filled the spot and even to this day “Goldfinger” is still a favorite with the fans.

Born in 1922, in France, Guy Hamilton entered the film industry in 1939 working for a French film studio and after the second World War rose to the rank Assistant Director. Hamilton worked on such films as “The Fallen Idol” (1948) and “The Third Man” (1949) as Assistant Director.

In 1952 Guy Hamilton was handed the Director’s position. His first film was “The Ringer”, a mystery film, starring Herbert Lom.

After “Goldfinger”, Hamilton was invited back to the Bond “family” for 3 more outings, “Diamonds are Forever”, “Live and let Die” and “The Man with the Golden Gun”. None of these subsequent films compare to “Goldfinger”, what must now be his pride and joy.

Lewis Gilbert
Date of Birth: 06/03/1920
Bond Films: You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker


Lewis Gilbert picked up the direction of 007 with “You Only Live Twice” and went on to helm “The Spy Who Loved Me”, and the outlandish Moonraker.

Gilbert was born in London on the 6th of March 1920. His first taste of the “show biz” was as a child star of several silent films. His career moved behind the camera in 1944, when he was offered a job as assistant director.

Even during the Second World War, Lewis Gilbert continued his passion for film, producing several documentaries featuring life in the Royal Air force.

His first feature film – “The Little Ballerina” – came in 1947 and was the story of an ambitious dancer and how she joined the famous Sadlers Wells troupe.

Since then Gilbert has directed a wide range of genres, from comedies to thrillers. However, his main claim to fame (outside the Bond pictures) was 1966’s “Alfie” – bringing both himself and Michael Caine to stardom.

His ever-varying list of films goes on past his final Bond picture, Moonraker (1979) and right into the new millennium with his latest picture, “Before You Go”, released in 2002.

Peter Hunt
Date of Birth: 11/03/1925
Bond Films: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service


As well as OHMSS being Lazenby’s first and last, director Peter Hunt was also to depart from the Bond scene as soon as he begun. Peter Hunt had past Bond experience as an editor on “Dr. No” and Goldfinger.

He rose to the director’s chair for OHMSS – his first film in this position.

Another born and bread Englishman, Hunt was born in London, in the winter of 1925. As a young boy, Peter Hunt studied at the London School of Music as a promising violinist. He got a summer job as a “clapper-boy” at Denham Studios when he was 12 and his connections to filmmaking grew.

Peter Hunt worked his way through the ranks to become a top editor when Bond producer Harry Saltzman met him. For a while Saltzman tried to involve Hunt in one of his productions, but Peter was always signed to another production. Eventually Hunt was free and Harry Saltzman called him in to edit “Dr No”.

On board the 007 team, Hunt debuted an editing style he described as “crash cutting”. Instead of the classic style of editing, where every move was documented, Hunt prided himself on quick cutting technique, designed to increase the pace of the action.

After OHMSS Hunt directed a few other pictures. His most recent was a TV Drama, “Eyes of a Witness” in 1991. Peter Hunt died of heart failure in California, in 2002.

John Glen
Date of Birth: 15/05/1932
Bond Films: For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill, The Living Daylights, Licence To Kill


John Glen, long time Bond editor and 2nd unit director took over the director’s chair for the 12th Bond picture, “For Your Eyes Only”.

John Glen was born on May the 15th 1932, in London, England. Glen was brought up in Sunbury-on-Thames and schooled in Middlesex. It was here he first experienced the horrors of war. In 1944 Glen was a witness to the air-raid that hit Ashford, close to the school he attended.

His first introduction to films was through family film clubs. These film showings would include the adventures of Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers. In the 1960s Glen managed to get a job as a Nettlefold studio messenger boy. With this task John Glen could get a little insight to every area of filmmaking as he did his duties. He found his passion was for editing and began to earn to himself a prominent editors position with the studio.


His talent was first introduced to the Bond crew when he received a call from Peter Hunt, who was shooting OHMSS. Hunt offered John Glen the position of 2nd unit director Glen took it up. Four days later, Hunt was flown to Switzerland to shoot the OHMSS bobsled chase.

Glen continued with Bond as both a 2nd unit man and a editor after Peter Hunt departed from the Bond scene. However, it wasn’t until “For Your Eyes Only” that Glen was really given the opportunity show his potential, and take up the role of direcotor.

It’s the Bond movies that have been, without a doubt, the highlight of this director’s career, to date; many of his post-Bond pictures flopped or just didn’t make it to the cinema. His latest production was “The Point Men“ (2001), which starred Christopher Lambert and Kerry Fox.