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
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
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.
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
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.
Date of Birth: 06/03/1920
Bond Films: You Only Live
Twice, The Spy Who Loved
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
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.
Date of Birth: 11/03/1925
Bond Films: On Her Majesty’s
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.