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The Dawn of a New Hero

For 60 years and counting, James Bond has been providing moviegoers with classic moments, witty one-liners and action-packed thrills.

When James Bond made his silver screen debut in 1962, few could have predicted the success and longevity the character would have in the decades that followed. Now, 25 films later, 007 is one of the most famous characters in cinematic history, with an incredible fan base across the world.

Whilst Bond is a bona fide icon of the film industry today, it took almost an entire decade for the character to escape the pages of fiction and infiltrate the realm of cinema. Fortunately, for the filmmakers and the audience, Bond’s debut couldn’t have come at a better time.

Windrush

Throughout the 1950s, big Hollywood productions commonly revolved around a select few themes. As a result, Westerns, historical dramas, war movies and musicals, in addition to children’s animation, low-budget gothic horrors and science-fiction B-movies, dominated cinema.

Near the end of the 1950s the tide began to turn, and the success of gritty thrillers like Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest gently altered the course of mainstream cinema to a more contemporary direction. This was a comfortable fit for 1960s counterculture, whilst leniency on censorship restrictions provided the perfect cinematic platform for a new hero to emerge on the big screen.

By 1960, although Bond had appeared on television in the United States for a one-off special in 1954, the British secret agent had yet to make it to the big screen. That soon changed when film producer Harry Saltzman entered the fray and bought the rights to the James Bond back catalogue. In 1961, Saltzman collaborated with Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli to form EON Productions and Bond was all but set for his big-screen debut.

Finding the right man to don the tailor-made tuxedo of the sophisticated yet deadly protagonist was going to be a tough task. Fortunately, Broccoli soon found his leading man and his name was Connery, Sean Connery. A relatively unknown actor and former Mr Universe contestant, the Scot was the perfect fit for the role. Making his cinematic debut, Sean Connery brought James Bond to life with a bang in Dr. No and remained in the iconic role for most of the 1960s.

Bond’s success essentially created a completely new genre of movies, spawning countless imitators in the years that followed as movie producers scrambled to join the trend. Regardless of the growing opposition, there was no substitute, and 007 remained the undisputed king of the genre. As Bond, Sean Connery led the franchise throughout the 1960s. Creating a phenomenon as he went, Connery paved the way for Australian actor George Lazenby to take over in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Whilst the newcomer was solid in the role, Lazenby only lasted for one picture, leading many to still associate Bond, particularly 1960s Bond, with Sean Connery.

By the close of the decade, EON Productions had produced six Bond movies in just seven years, creating a laundry list of magical moments and some of cinema’s most iconic scenes, such as the unforgettable laser beam sequence in 1964’s Goldfinger. In addition to their classic moments, the Bond films of the era feature an incredible array of colourful characters, from Oddjob and his razor-brimmed hat to Blofeld and his ever-present white cat.

More than 60 years after he first uttered his famous introduction, the character of James Bond has lost none of its charm and it is hard to imagine cinema without Britain’s favourite secret agent. Starting with the 1960s, arguably the character’s most iconic era, the Six Decades of 007 collection aims to honour each distinctly different decade of the character’s evolution, from the original incarnation to the reinvention of the franchise in the 2000s.

A unique form of movie memorabilia that will last a lifetime, the Six Decades of 007 collection is a celebration of all things Bond and its coins make for the perfect keepsakes for any Bond fan. Be sure to secure your coins today.

Don’t Miss a Single 007 Coin

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