10 Movies That Shamelessly Ripped-Off James Bond

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10 Movies That Shamelessly Ripped-Off James Bond


  • James Bond’s influence on the spy genre is undeniable, with countless films shamelessly ripping off the iconic character and his style.
  • The ’60s saw a boom of Bond imitators, such as
    Our Man Flint
    The Silencers,
    which captured the plot and humor of Bond with their own unique twists.
  • Other films, ranging from Westerns like
    to spy thrillers like
    The MacKintosh Man
    , have also drawn inspiration from Bond, showcasing the character’s enduring impact on cinema.



Ever since his big screen debut in 1962’s Dr. No, James Bond has been a staple of the action genre and one of the most influential fictional characters in the history of cinema. For over 60 years, movies featuring 007 have been worldwide box office hits, as well as fan favorites. As such, it’s only natural that the James Bond movies have their fair share of imitators. From cheap spy films from the ’60s to modern-day studio blockbusters, there is no end to the number of projects that have ripped off 007.

In terms of the spy genre, James Bond is the most influential piece of media, as almost every entry in the genre owes some debt to Ian Flemming and the world he created. However, these films go beyond a wink and a nod, as their existence is solely because of James Bond. In the mid to late ’60s, there was a boom of spy releases shamelessly ripping off Bond. James Bond also inspired future generations of filmmakers who riffed on the spy for years to come.

10 Our Man Flint (1966)

While Bond’s popularity has ebbed and flowed over the past 60 years, the franchise hit its peak popularity in the mid-late ’60s, when Sean Connery was in the role. Countless studios and stars tried ripping off Bond, including 1966’s Our Man Flint. Starring James Coburn, Our Man Flint has the plot and style of a Connery James Bond movie but with more humor, brighter colors, and an all-around swinging vibe. Our Man Flint was popular enough to warrant a sequel, In Like Flint, and the two films were a major source of inspiration for the Austin Powers series.

9 The Silencers (1966)

Two people in bed in The Silencers

Since Bond originated from a series of spy books, the late ’60s boom of James Bond rip-offs saw several other paperback spies getting movie adaptions. This included Donald Hamilton’s Mat Helm novels, as they were turned into a series of spy movies starring Dean Martin. There were four Matt Helm movies from 1966 to 1968, but the first one released — The Silencers — owes the most to 007, as Helm has to stop an evil organization not dissimilar to Specter from detonating an atomic bomb. Like Our Man Flint, The Silencers is sillier than Bond ever was and is more embedded in the ’60s culture that spawned it.

Related: Bruce Lee’s First Hollywood Job Was A Dean Martin Movie (But Not As An Actor)

8 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark in the jungle covered in cobwebs having just escaped from a tomb

For years, filmmaker Steven Spielberg tried and failed to get his hands on the James Bond franchise, but the producers turned Spielberg down multiple times. So when the director’s friend George Lucas came to him with the idea of an adventuring archaeologist, Spielberg saw it as an opportunity to make his Bond movie. While Raiders of the Lost Ark takes inspiration from adventure cereals and John Huston films, in terms of style and tone Spielberg is clearly riffing on Bond. So much so that, in The Last Crusade, Connery plays Indiana Jones’ father.

7 Sabata (1969)

A close-up to a male character looking serious in Sabata

Along with Bond and Spies, the ’60s saw the peak of the Western genre — and some Westerns even managed to rip off James Bond. The TV show The Wild Wild West was shamelessly Bond in the old West, but the spaghetti western Sabata also uses Bond iconography in a Western setting. From the distinct henchmen, to the gadgets, to the use of women, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’s Lee Van Cleef as Sabata often feels as if the character of Bond was born in 1800s America. The character of Sabata was so popular that he received a whole trilogy of films.

6 The Ipcress File (1965)

Screencap of The Ipcress File

Of all the Bond imitators to emerge from the ’60s, Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer might be the most iconic. Caine played the character in five films over the course of 30 years, and it is one of his most defining roles. Based on a series of novels by Len Deighton, the Harry Palmer movies are less action-oriented than the Bond films. They’re more focused on intriguing plots and thrills, but they share the core DNA of the wise-cracking British spy’s adventures. However, unlike Bond, Palmer is forever associated with just one actor who played him, as any attempt to recast the character has proven fruitless.

5 Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Harry Hart and Eggsy in Kingsman.

Mathew Vaughn’s Kingsman franchise straddles the line of being a James Bond parody. While riffing on the tropes of the spy genre, especially those from the ’60s, Kingsman brings sincerity and commitment to the bit. Instead of just mocking old Bond movies for the sake of it, Vaughn lets his love for ’60s spy films show by unapologetically ripping them off and playing with the style and tempo. From the wacky villains to the world-destroying plots, there is a lot of love in how Kingsman copies James Bond.

4 The MacKintosh Man (1973)

The MacKintosh Man

Part of the reason Bond became so popular when he did was the growing tensions of the Cold War and the sense of paranoia that was felt in both America and the UK. John Huston’s The MacKintosh Man takes those elements of the Bond franchise and expands upon them. Halfway between the spy fantasy of Bond and the paranoid thriller of The Parallax View, this Paul Newman-led thriller serves as a fascinating riff on the British spy film while still maintaining the necessary elements of a cool spy film.

3 Patriot Games (1992)

Harrison Ford holding a gun in Patriot Games

There have been dozens of attempts to make an American equivalent to James Bond, and while the U.S. has had its fair share of successful spy franchises, no spy character has been able to transcend time and actors in the way Bond has. The closest equivalent is Jack Ryan, as he has been played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine to varying effect. The two Jack Ryan films that Ford did in the ’90s, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, feel the most similar to Bond. Patriot Games, in particular, feels like a Bond film due to its style and London setting.

RELATED: Every Actor Who Has Played Jack Ryan

2 Harper (1966)

Paul Newman Harper

Paul Newman found himself in several Bond-type roles, but the most similar to Bond in terms of personality was the private investigator Lew Harper. In both Harper and its sequel The Drowning Pool, Newman plays a seductive PI who gets caught up in a plot of intrigue and seduction. The Harper movies are more grounded and personal than Bond, as Harper is just trying to find a missing girl, not save the world. However, they still borrow a style and tone that people associate with 007.

1 Tenet (2020)

Robert Pattinson and John David Washington speaking to each other in Tenet

Christopher Nolan has flirted with the idea of directing a James Bond movie for several years now. He is a fan-favorite choice and has an affinity for the franchise, but nothing has ever materialized. However, his 2020 spy epic Tenet feels so much like a Bond movie that an official Nolan Bond film would only feel repetitive. Instead of playing by the rules of the franchise, Nolan took the elements of Bond he liked and put them into an original sci-fi plot. James Bond has influenced Nolan throughout most of his work, but Tenet is the clearest example of his love for 007.

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