Greatest Movie Series
Franchises of All Time
James Bond Films

Spectre (2015)

James Bond Films
Dr. No (1962) | From Russia With Love (1963) | Goldfinger (1964) | Thunderball (1965)
You Only Live Twice (1967) | On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) | Diamonds are Forever (1971)
Live and Let Die (1973) | The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) | The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Moonraker (1979) | For Your Eyes Only (1981) | Octopussy (1983) | A View to a Kill (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987) | Licence to Kill (1989) | GoldenEye (1995) | Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World is Not Enough (1999) | Die Another Day (2002) | Casino Royale (2006) | Quantum of Solace, 007 (2008)
Skyfall (2012) | Spectre (2015)
| No Time to Die (2021)

The James Bond Films (official)
See Bond Girls in Spectre (2015)
Spectre (2015)
d. Sam Mendes, 148 minutes

Opening Credits, Title Sequence

Film Plot Summary

Rogue agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) was found walking through the Day of the Dead carnivale-parade-festival in Mexico City, with Bond girl Estrella (Stephanie Sigman). (tryst # 1) After changing from his costume in a hotel room, he trailed after a number of suspicious men into an adjacent building. He shot three of them (# 1-3 deaths, # 1-3 Bond kills) through a window, after overhearing their plan to use a bomb in a briefcase to blow up a stadium that evening at 6 pm. He also overheard the white-suited man say he would next visit 'The Pale King' (to kill him!). When Bond blasted the case, the men who weren't shot already died when the entire building exploded and collapsed, but one of the men survived the blast with injuries.

The survivor was the white-suited, mysterious Italian mobster/assassin Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona), who fled to the square and boarded an escape helicopter. Bond followed, knocked out one thug who emerged from the chopper, and boarded the helicopter with Sciarra. After a vicious struggle above the crowded square in the twirling, out of control helicopter, Bond was able to throw the pilot and Sciarra from the chopper (# 4-5 deaths, # 4-5 Bond kills), just after retrieving Sciarra's ring from his finger (with the symbol of an octopus on it). [Note: Later in the film, Bond revealed why he had followed Sciarra - he played a videotape recording from the previous M (Judi Dench), who had given him unofficial orders: "Find a man called Marco Sciarra. Kill him. And don't miss the funeral."]

In London, Bond's supervisor M (Ralph Fiennes), the Head of the Secret Intelligence Service, reprimanded Bond and took him off duty for an indefinite period of time, for his destructive and unauthorized presence in Mexico City. In M's office, he met Max Denbigh (Bond code named him 'C'), head of a new Joint Security Service (that would merge MI divisions and close down '00'). Max's plan was to obtain approval for a "Nine Eyes" surveillance program (a "global intelligence operation" due to a cooperative agreement between nine countries to combine data streams to prevent terrorist attacks) that would eliminate Bond's division altogether.

Bond stole Q's well-equipped Aston-Martin DB10 vehicle, drove to Rome, and attended Sciarra's funeral, where he met the dead man's attractive widow Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci). That evening, Bond entered her villa, shot two of her bodyguards (who were about to assassinate her) (# 6-7 deaths, # 6-7 Bond kills), and then began to seduce her. As he kissed her and unzipped the back of her dress, he asked: "Did your husband ever mention 'The Pale King'?" She told him about her husband's criminal organization that was planning a rare meeting that evening (at midnight) at the Palazzo Cardenza to choose a replacement.

After a sexual encounter (off-screen) with Lucia (tryst # 2), Bond promised her that he would get her safely out of Rome. He infiltrated the secret meeting of sinister criminals (by showing Sciarra's 'octopus' ring), where he witnessed the seating of the head chairman, Franz Oberhauser (aka Ernst Stavro Blofeld) - seen only in silhouette. The global criminal organization was dealing in illegal drugs, sex trafficking, and worldwide terrorist attacks (to force opponents to join its intelligence network). Formidable, bearded assassin Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista, a former wrestler) was appointed to replace Marco Sciarra, after demonstrating his killing technique by squeezing the eyes out of seated challenger Señor Carlos Francisco Guerra (Benito Sagredo) and breaking his neck. (# 8 death). Hinx' mission was to assassinate 'the Pale King' - now that Sciarra was dead. Oberhauser mentioned Bond by name, who was watching from the balcony: "Welcome, James. It's been a long time, but finally, here we are. What took you so long?" The man turned and faced Bond: "Cuckoo." Recognized, Bond was forced to escape after tossing a Palazzo security guard off the balcony. (# 9 death, # 8 Bond kill).

An exciting, nighttime car chase began through the streets of Rome, with Bond in his tricked-out Aston Martin, pursued by the newly-appointed assassin Mr. Hinx driving in a Jaguar C-X75. During the chase, Bond phoned Moneypenny about the organization's multiple plans of attack on Hamburg, Tunisia, and Mexico City. She informed him that "The Pale King" was his previous adversary in the Quantum organization (a subsidiary of SPECTRE), Mr. White, who was last seen four months earlier in Altaussee, Austria. The car chase ended when Bond 'air-lifted' or ejected himself out of his car as it plunged into the Tiber River, with Mr. Hinx watching it sink below the water. A further check by Moneypenny revealed that Franz Oberhauser (and his father Hannes, Bond's temporary foster father) reportedly died 20 years earlier in a snowy avalanche while skiing in the Kitzbuhel Alps.

Bond proceeded to Austria and entered a snowy mountain home, in order to see if he could establish contact with Mr. White (Jesper Christensen). He was found dying - succumbing to thalium radiation poisoning (planted in his cellphone by his enemies). Bond was able to discover that White was protecting his daughter Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) from the criminal organization. Bond urged: "I can keep her alive. You have my word....(Bond disarmed himself) That's my word." White offered: "L'Americain. You can save her, she can lead you to L'Americain. She knows L'Americain. Try the Hoffler Klinik. You're a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond." And then White shot himself under his chin with Bond's gun: "So long." (# 10 death)

In the next scene, Bond flew to the secluded, mountain-top Austrian Hoffler Clinic, where he spoke to White's bilingual daughter Dr. Madeleine Swann in her office, as he posed as a patient undergoing psychological and emotional tests. He informed her that her father had suicidally died two days earlier, that her life was in danger, and that he needed her help ("I made a deal with him to protect you"). She abruptly dismissed him. At the clinic's healthy drink bar, Q arrived to inform Bond that Franz Oberhauser was "dead and buried." Bond objected: "But I saw him!" Bond asked Q to investigate Sciarra's ring and handed it to him. As he looked over at Dr. Swann's office, he saw her being kidnapped by Mr. Hinx and driven away in a convoy of three black cars down the steep and snowy mountains to a hideout.

Meanwhile, Q used his laptop computer to scan Sciarra's ring, and discovered through autopsy-toxocology analysis that it was linked to villains in Bond's previous M16 missions. Bond gave chase to the three vehicles in a maneuverable single-engine plane, and forced one of the cars to crash and explode, with two dead (# 11-12 deaths, # 9-10 Bond kills). Using the plane as a snowmobile, he careened it into a second vehicle, killing its two occupants (# 13-14 deaths, # 11-12 Bond kills), and then did the same with the vehicle carrying Swann - the passenger Mr. Hinx was hurled through the windshield (thought to be dead but later revived), and Bond shot the driver (# 15 death, # 13 Bond kill). He escaped with the unhurt Swann, who was angry he had led the killers straight to her.

In Q's hotel room, Bond (and Swann) learned that Sciarra's ring revealed that all of Bond's previous villains (Silva, Sciarra, White, Patrick, Greene, and Le Chiffre) were all under one organization headed up by the very-much-alive Franz Oberhauser. Swann told them the organization's name: SPECTRE. On the news reports, an explosive attack on Cape Town, South Africa, had just occurred. Swann also told them that L'Americain was "a place."

Swann and Bond traveled to Tangier, Morocco (in N. Africa), where they booked L'Americain hotel suite where her father celebrated his wedding anniversary annually with his family. She was awakened from sleep when Bond busted through the hotel room's wall into a secretly built-in 'safe-house' area with photos, map coordinates, and videotapes. Bond deduced that White was looking for Oberhauser ("He was looking for him, and he sent me here to finish the job"), and the information would take them to the villain's isolated operations base at a massive crater in the Saharan Desert. Swann insisted on joining Bond on his dangerous journey ("I want to understand what happened to my father").

Meanwhile, back in London, C announced to M that within 72 hours, the "Nine Eyes" intelligence gathering project would go live, after being approved by all nations involved. C explained the ramifications and what the Home Secretary would be doing: "He's decided to close down the Double-O program with immediate effect." With a cocky attitude, he added: "It's the future...and you're not." For all intents and purposes regarding Bond, M resolutely stated to Q and Moneypenny: "He's on his own."

Dr. Swann and Bond traveled in separate train compartments in North Africa to their destination in the desert. While formally-dressed and sharing vodka martinis in the dining car, Mr. Hinx attacked (Bond saw his approaching reflection in his glass) and a vicious struggle ensued. Swann fired shots to help protect a weakened Bond, who was able to wrap a rope/chain around Hinx' neck - he was flung off the train when a series of heavy beer kegs attached to the rope (tossed off the train one by one) dragged Hinx from the open kitchen freight door. (# 16 death, # 14 Bond kill) - he spoke his only line of dialogue before his death: "S--t!"

Inflamed by the violence, Swann asked Bond: "What do we do now?" - and the two began stripping off their clothes - and had sex (off-screen) (tryst # 3).

The next morning, they arrived at a remote and abandoned train station, and were transported in a 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith to SPECTRE's solar-powered headquarters (surrounded by bodyguards) - built within a crater in the middle of the desert, with massive pieces of information-gathering equipment. After Bond was unarmed, the pair were shown to separate rooms and then escorted for drinks at 4 pm to the presence of a shadowy Franz Oberhauser, the son of Hannes Oberhauser. To impress them, they were shown an exhbit of the Kartenhoff ("a huge unstoppable force"), the oldest meteorite in human possession (the one that had created the crater). After a tour of the facility, and a demonstration of SPECTRE's intelligence gathering ability (they watched a live speech of M announcing his own demotion) - a plan for world domination.

Oberhauser admitted that C was part of the SPECTRE organization. He also bragged about being the mastermind behind the elimination of all of the women in Bond's world, including Vesper Lynd (in Casino Royale (2006)) and M (in Skyfall (2012)): "Me. It was all me, James. It's always been me. The author of all your pain." To antagonize Bond and scare Dr. Swann, he played a tape of her father's suicide.

Bond was knocked unconscious, and when he awoke in a white interrogation room, his head was bound by a head-strap while he sat immobile in a surgical chair. He was being tortured by Oberhauser (with Dr. Swann watching by his side) - a small mechanical drill was inserted to penetrate into Bond's head - to enter Bond's fusiform gyrus and deprive him of the sight ability (to recognize faces), his hearing, and then into his visual cortex to blind him completely.

During the torture, Oberhauser described how he and Bond had a shared history - they were foster-brothers. When orphaned, Bond was cared for by Hannes Oberhauser, Franz' biological father. He used an analogy to illustrate how Bond had supplanted his role as son: "You know what happens when a cuckoo hatches inside another bird's nest?" Swann answered: "Yes. It forces the other eggs out." Oberhauser continued: "Well, this cuckoo made me realize my father's life had to end. In a way, he's responsible for the path I took. (To Bond) So, thank you. Cuckoo!" He explained how he had murdered his father, then staged his own death years earlier, adopted the name Ernst Stavro Blofeld (taken from his mother's maiden name), and disappeared:

"Franz Oberhauser died twenty years ago, James. In an avalanche alongside his father. The man you are talking to now, the man inside your head, is Ernst Stavro Blofeld."

He then re-emerged as the leader of the shadowy terrorist organization known as SPECTRE.

Escape from the torture occurred when Dr. Swann kissed Bond (hoping he could still recognize her face), and he passed his detonated exploding wrist watch to her, warning her: "One minute." She tossed it toward Oberhauser - it exploded and disfigured him, while they fled. Outside, Bond first machine-gunned three body-guards, and then two more. (# 17-21 deaths, # 15-19 Bond kills) Then, he turned his weapon on the equipment in the facility, and the entire headquarters' base began to blow up (unknown number of deaths). Six more thugs were shot down as they approached the outer gates (# 22-27 deaths, # 20-25 Bond kills). Bond stated to Swann: "Let's go home. It's not over yet" as they boarded a helicopter to return to London.

In London at a safe-house, Bond reported to M (accompanied by Q and Moneypenny) that C was a traitor, who was determined to launch the "Nine Eyes" surveillance program as soon as possible - to activate it by midnight that evening ("If that happens, SPECTRE will have control of everything"). Q was assigned to stop its launch, while M and Bond would pursue and arrest C. Swann expressly told Bond that she didn't want to continue with him and his way of life, and she said goodbye: "James, I can't...No, I can't...I can't go back to this life. And I'm not going to ask you to change. This is who you are."

Enroute to stop C and the launch in two separate vehicles, Bond's lead vehicle was ambushed (T-boned by a black truck), and the unconscious Bond (with a black bag put on his head) was abducted (M successfully fled and was picked up by the second vehicle) and Bond was taken to the derelict ruins of the old M16 SIS building. As he was being dragged in, he dispatched with his two captors (# 28-29 deaths, # 26-27 Bond kills). Meanwhile, M and Q confronted C in his office, revealed that they were hacking into the "Nine Eyes" program to shut it down, and were there to arrest him. When C and M fought for control of a gun, C was killed when he lost his balance and fell backwards out of a bullet-shattered outside skyscraper window to his death. (# 30 death).

Inside the M16 building, Bond came face to face with Oberhauser/Blofeld (shielded behind bullet-proof glass) - the right side of his face (including his right eye) was significantly disfigured from the explosion in the desert. Bond sarcastically quipped: "Ouch. I do hope that doesn't hurt too much." Blofeld responded that his scar would heal: "My wounds will heal. What about yours? Look around you, James. Look. This is what's left of your world. Everything you ever stood for, everything you believed in, a ruin!" - and then threatened that the building would explode in only three minutes. Bond had a choice: rescue the abducted Dr. Swann hidden within, or save himself: ("Die trying to save her or save yourself and live with the pain"). Afterwards, Blofeld fled in a helicopter that lingered to hover over the Thames River to watch Bond scramble to find her. Fortunately, Bond was able to locate Dr. Swann - he freed her with only 44 seconds remaining, and they both escaped by boat onto the river just as the building was destroyed. Bond was able to pursue and shoot down Blofeld's helicopter (that crashed onto a bridge and killed one occupant (# 31 death, # 28 Bond kill), but spared killing Blofeld who had survived and was begging: "Finish it." Bond allowed M to arrest Blofeld ("Under the Special Measures Act of 2001, I am detaining you on behalf of Her Majesty's Government"), and then approached and hugged Dr. Swann.

The next day, he drove off in his old Aston Martin DB5 with her, after telling Q: "There's just one thing I need" - the film's final line of dialogue.

Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)

This 24th Bond film was a direct sequel to the previous film Skyfall (2012), also directed by Sam Mendes. It reintroduced the character of Ernst Stavro Blofeld with ties to the SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) organization (last seen in Diamonds Are Forever (1971)), identified by an octopus logo.

This marked the second) time that an Academy Award-winning director would helm a James Bond film - Sam Mendes (American Beauty (1999)).

Spectre (2015) was awarded a Guinness World Record for the largest stunt explosion ever in cinematic history, lasting more than 7.5 seconds.

The film received only one Academy Award nomination and won the Oscar for Best Original Song (Jimmy Napes (Music & Lyrics), Sam Smith (Music & Lyrics) ("Writing's On The Wall")). Sam Smith performed the theme song: "Writing's on the Wall." He was the first British male solo artist to record a Bond theme since Tom Jones' Thunderball (1965).

To date, Spectre (2015) was the longest James Bond film ever, at 148 minutes.

The other Academy Award wins (4) for previous Bond films were Best Sound Effects Editing for Goldfinger (1964), Best Special Visual Effects for Thunderball (1965), and Best Original Song "Skyfall" and Best Sound Editing for Skyfall (2012).

With a production budget of $245 million (the most expensive Bond film ever made to date), and gross revenue of $200 million (domestic) and $880.6 billion (worldwide).

Set-pieces: the opening sequence in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead festival (finishing with a dramatic fight onboard a spinning helicopter above the crowd); a nighttime chase between Bond's (stolen) Aston Martin DB10 and villain Mr. Hinx' Jaguar C-X75 in Rome's streets; a snowy Austrian Alps chase between a convoy of three giant Jeeps and a prop plane (that functioned as a snowmobile); Bond's train fight against assassin Mr. Hinx; Bond's high-tech torture-drill scene, and the final attack-chase between Blofeld in a helicopter and Bond in a motorboat over London landmarks.

Bond Villains: Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona), SPECTRE assassin Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista), Franz Oberhauser/Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), and traitorous Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott) - a British gov't agent code-named C.

Bond Girls: Estrella (Stephanie Sigman), Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux).
[Note: At the age of 50, Monica Bellucci was the oldest actress cast as a Bond girl.]

Number of Love-Making Encounters: 3

Film Locales: Mexico City (Mexico), London (England), Rome (Italy), Austria, Morocco (Tangier), Saharan Desert.

Gadgets: Smart Blood (nanotechnology to track Bond's whereabouts), an explosive alarmed wristwatch, a tricked out DB10 Aston Martin, Hinx' double barreled Arsenal Firearms AF2011 Dueller Prismatic, Bond's SIG 226 revolver, a brain drill (for torture), and the "Nine Eyes" surveillance network (combined data streams of nine nations to prevent terrorist attacks)

Vehicles: Aston Martin DB10 (stolen), Jaguar C-X75, a plane flown like a snowmobile, 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, and Bond's older Aston Martin DB5

Number of Deaths (Bond Kills): 31 (28)

James Bond
(Daniel Craig)

Marco Sciarra
(Alessandro Cremona)

Symbol of SPECTRE
(Sciarra's Ring Band)

(Ralph Fiennes)

Max Denbigh, aka C
(Andrew Scott)

Miss Moneypenny
(Naomie Harris)

(Ben Whishaw)

Lucia Sciarra
(Monica Bellucci)

Franz Oberhauser/Ernst Stavro Blofeld (SPECTRE)

Mr. White
(Jesper Christensen)

Dr. Madeleine Swann
(Lea Sedoux)

Mr. Hinx
(Dave Bautista)

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