As fans wait patiently for COVID-delayed No Time to Die to arrive, YouTube is now offering the first 19 James Bond movies for free with ads.
The first 19 James Bond movies are now streaming for free on YouTube. Created by Ian Fleming in his 1953 novel Casino Royale, secret agent 007 went on to become an icon thanks to his portrayal by Sean Connery in a run of hugely successful films beginning with 1962’s Dr. No.
The recently-departed Connery indeed created the template not only for Bond but for a whole new kind of suave and flippant but deadly screen hero. After Connery decided he’d had enough of Bond, Australian model George Lazenby stepped into the role for 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, lasting only one movie before Connery returned one last time for 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. Then in 1973, Roger Moore stepped into the role of 007 for Live and Let Die, kicking off a run that would last until 1985’s A View to a Kill. More arch and comic bookish than Connery, Moore reinvented the character even as the movies arguably began losing steam creatively. In 1987, the more intense and grounded Timothy Dalton took over playing Bond for two movies, then giving way to Pierce Brosnan in 1995’s Goldeneye. Under Brosnan’s watch, Bond became even more grandly silly than before, leading to some of the more outrageous moments in the series’ history. Gritty Daniel Craig then took the role for 2006’s Casino Royale, as the Bond series again rebooted itself for its current incarnation.
As fans wait patiently for the COVID-delayed latest Bond movie No Time to Die to finally arrive in theaters (or at the very least on streaming), there’s a golden opportunity for them to revisit the entire pre-Craig era of the series as the first 19 Bond movies have popped up for free on YouTube. The films are available with ads on YouTube’s Movies & Shows channel, under their own special “James Bond” section.
This is of course is not the first time the early Bond films have been available to the public for free. The movies were previously featured on Pluto TV, though most may not have even realized there was a dedicated Bond channel on the somewhat obscure service. And obviously, people of a certain age remember the Connery and Moore Bonds being available on commercial television throughout the ‘80s. Those nostalgic enough to wish to recreate the experience of watching Bond movies with advertisements can now do so thanks to YouTube.
As to the question of why all 19 of the original Bonds (1984’s Never Say Never Again of course does not count, nor does the parody Casino Royale that came out in 1967) are suddenly available for free, it can’t be a coincidence that this embarrassment of 007 riches arrives even as fans are chewing their nails waiting for No Time to Die. The Bond movies certainly need no introduction at this point, but for those wishing to get caught up (minus the Craig-led films in the series), now is their chance to do so without having to spend a dime. And of course, those who’ve seen all the movies countless times can also head to YouTube and once again enjoy their favorites, and rekindle the age-old debate about which James Bond actor made the best 007.