Movies

Top ten movie spies

With super spy Jason Bourne returning to the big screen for this summer's action-packed espionage thriller The Bourne Supremacy, what better opportunity to present our Top ten movie spies of all time...

James Bond

James Bond

James Bond series
Little or no introduction is needed for this man - super spy James Bond, brought to life by actors as diverse as Sean Connery (who got the part after a casting director reportedly remarked that you could hear his "balls ringing from here to Wales"), Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan - and, rather more forgettably, Bob Holness, George Lazenby and David Niven. Smoother than a cashmere codpiece, irresistible to women, an ingenious assassin and bestowed with the finest ability to crack out a cheesy pun that the world has ever seen, Bond is as pivotal to the spy movie genre as Santa is to Christmas, and brings as much fun and humour as the portly present-giver does. A titan amongst spies.

James Bond series

Simon Templar

Simon Templar

The Saint
Roger Moore brought his (rather questionable) ability to the screen in the form of Simon Templar, master of disguise and star of The Saint. Ian Ogilvy also filled the role on TV. Prior to this, George Sanders played Templar in the 1940s movie adaptations of Leslie Charteris's pulp novels, and the more recent movie saw Val Kilmer reprising the role as a master thief. Although not a spy in the strictest sense of the word, Templar is a shadowy figure, living under assumed names and with little known about his history - his services can be bought and sold, he is against violence, and he can assume just about any identity. Look at him as the man James Bond would be if he forgot about MI6 and became a shady loose cannon.

The Saint

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
A secret agent, and one of the undercover duo portrayed in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Played by Robert Vaughn on TV and in the movies, Solo is a debonair charmer and a true adventurer. He always has time for a quiet word with the ladies, and his dapper and immaculately-dressed exterior covers a real sense of adventure and tenacity. One half of the most thrilling and campy TV pairings to come out of the States in the 20th century.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Illya Kuryakin

Illya Kuryakin

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
The brains of the operation, compared to Napoleon Solo's louche charmer - Kuryakin was originally conceived as a bit-part in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. but, following protests from the show's female audience, was given a major role. The brave and level-headed Russian, played by David McCallum, was seen as the character who sorted out the problems and kept a cool exterior at all times - one of the things which made the show so fantastic was the witty banter between McCallum and Vaughn.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Austin Powers

Austin Powers

Austin Powers series
International Man of Mystery, the greatest lover that the world has ever seen, and originator of more catchphrases than David Brent - there are many things that you can say about Austin Powers, and none of them are serious. Powers is a spy, but a spoofing amalgam of all of the spies we've seen in other movies - parodying the likes of James Bond and Jason King, whose screen incarnations were conceived with tongues already firmly wedged in cheeks, he is a super-enthusiastic and flamboyant creation, played with a great deal of wit and excitement by Mike Myers. Yes, he's cheesy, and the jokes in the movies come so thick and fast that a good deal of them fall flat, but there is a great deal of fun to be found in his big-screen incarnations.

Austin Powers series

Page Number
Page Navigation