2022 makes the 60th anniversary of Bond, James Bond, and with all the films recently coming to Prime Video as part of Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM earlier this year, I thought it was about time I watched them all again in order and see how I feel about each film. Since June 2020, Graham Stark and Matt Wiggins from LoadingReadyRun have been producing a fascinating podcast called From Rewatch with Love that I have been listening to regularly, these podcasts will help me during this rewatch to set out the films for you, they are fascinating, so go and give them a listen.

This post will include an in-depth summary and my opinions of each of the 25 moves of the James Bond film franchise from Dr. No to No Time To Die. I won’t be including the none-EON Productions films Casino Royale (1967) or Never Say Never Again (1983). I will be including the ratings given by Graham and Matt in From Rewatch with Love that include these films, along with my rankings.

The first film I ever remember watching was Goldfinger, it has been my favourite film of the franchise ever since, so we’ll see what ranking it comes out with in the end. I have seen some of the films multiple times, some only parts of them, and some I’ve never got around to viewing at all. So as a massive Bond fan, I hope this will help me to watch the ones I’ve missed, rank the films more fairly, and maybe find a new favourite. I may even change my mind on some of the others I didn’t rate too highly in cinemas.

This rewatch will happen over time and my rankings will change as I watch more films, I will include the final rankings on each post, in addition to a chart showing their changes over time, once the rewatch is finished – I’d love to see your rankings too, send them over to me on X/Twitter.

⚠️ Current rankings on this page are provisional and may change as more films are watched.

QUICK LINKS


Dr. No (1962)

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Staring the late Sir Sean Connery as Bond, this is a film which I haven’t seen in full until now. Its budget was $1.1 million in 1962 ($10.9 million in 2022). Considering the budget, it holds up rather well by today’s standards. The rear projection car chase scenes and the rudimentary suites in the radiation area do age it somewhat. However, the story, acting, and locations are all on point. It also includes those things which make a Bond film, a Classic Bond film, including the gun barrel sequence, Money Penny scene, silhouettes in the opening, airport pick-up scene, the end boat scene, and the mention of Spectre will run through the franchise. The pacing of the film is a bit slow for my taste, we don’t get to Dr. No himself until three-quarters of the way into the film, but you can feel his presence in what’s going on much earlier. It also overuses the Bond theme a lot which takes away from the action somewhat, and the Q-ish scene with Major Boothroydis (played by Peter Burton) is a bit boring since he only hands Bond a gun and nothing more. The film does include one of my favourite characters Felix Leiter (played by Jack Lord) which was nice to see. All-in-all, Dr No is a robust Bond film and one which I’d be happy to watch anytime, not my favourite but it’s up there for sure.


From Russia with Love (1963)

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Just over a year after Dr. No, Sir Sean Connery returns as 007 in a film I have never watched, From Russia With Love, with an increased budget of $2 million in 1963 ($19.4 million in 2022). The film opens with a training exercise for ‘James Bond Assasins’ the first pre-title sequence of the franchise and then moves into a classic silhouette and text over bodies opening titles. The theme song (composed by Lionel Bart and sung by Matt Monro) was a bit underwhelming with no lyrics, and we wouldn’t hear the one with vocals until the end of the film. According to From Rewatch with Love, most of the story was put together in post-production as the script wasn’t finished before production started. However, the film flows very well even with that. The story is interesting, with the British and Russians both being played by Spectre and Blofeld. The rear projection is back and this time is used way more including most Turkey location backdrops with Bond and Tatiana Romanova (played by Daniela Bianchi), this is most noticeable when they are on the boat towards the latter half of the film. I do love a train car fight and this film doesn’t disappoint, it’s on par for me with the ones in Skyfall or Spectre and includes the use of the first real James Bond gadget, the suitcase with tear gas inside, a definite upgrade from the simple gun in Dr. No. Although this is a much more polished 007 film they are still overusing the Bond theme. For a film I’ve never watched, this is a solid movie and builds well on the foundations of Dr. No which adds a good well-executed storyline, more action, and the first real gadgets of the franchise – From Russia With Love is a solid Bond film, and one I’ll be watching more often.


Goldfinger (1964)

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Goldfinger is the first Bond film I remember watching, and it has been my favourite ever since. It starts with an action-packed pre-title fight scene then moves into a classic Bond opening title and one of the most iconic 007 theme songs. At the start of the film, we meet Auric Goldfinger (played by Gert Fröbe) and Jill Masterson (played by Shirley Eaton) as Bond has a little fun with the card-cheating Goldfinger. It still has the quirks of the other two films. Although, the rear projection isn’t anywhere near as bad in this one. The film overall has a compelling storyline, a charming and infamous villain, and a villain sidekick Oddjob (played by Harold Sakata), who could easily have his own 007 movie. The film also has our first real Q scene of the franchise (played by Desmond Llewelyn) with brilliant gadgets, good pacing and chase scenes, striking visuals (Jill covered head to toe in gold paint, for example), and all for a budget of $3 million in 1964 (over $27 million in 2022). Pussy Galore (played by Honor Blackman) is again, like Oddjob, a very able villain in her own right with her own Flying Circus which is used later in the film to aid in the plot, and simultaneously used against it. Goldfinger brought in $125 million at the box office ($1.1 billion in 2022) beating box office figures for Dr. No and From Russia with Love combined. It will take an exceptional film to kick this movie off my top spot. I enjoy this movie as much today as I always have.


Thunderball (1965)

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Thunderball is one of those Bond films that I’ve seen only parts of in the past. This is the first Bond movie to be made in Panavision, and with that comes a new gun barrel sequence with Sean Connery, which uses a circular vignette as a transition. The main reason for not seeing Thunderball all the way through is that I have always got bored part way through. However, for this rewatch, I have watched through the whole thing, and sadly it just failed to grip me. I think there are just too many silent underwater scenes with slow pacing for my liking. It seemed like the first 30 minutes when we meet the NATO inspectors Spectre body double, the bombs are stolen, and then the meeting of all the double-Os. The last 30 minutes with Bond and Felix (Played by Rik Van Nutter) finding the boat, the (very long) underwater fight scene, the Disco Volante being attacked by the Navy and the bombs getting recovered had all the story in it. The rest of the film felt like filler and added very little to the overall mission and storylines. Having said all that there are things I did enjoy during the film, including the Jet Pack during the pre-title sequence, and the song is up there, just not quite as good as Goldfinger. I liked the visuals of the shark tank being connected to the swimming pool, although if that was my pool I’d be a little on edge when swimming in it. I think some future 007 movies will do a better job of utilizing sharks in the story. All-in-all Thumberball is okay. I certainly wouldn’t choose to watch this one over the preceding three films. However, if it is on TV one evening then I’d probably give it a watch.


You Only Live Twice (1967)

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This film is one of my all-time favourite Bond movies – Along with Goldfinger and others yet to come. The storyline is a bit far-fetched, but not as much as Moonraker will be. It starts with a US spaceship being ‘kidnapped’ in outer space. During a meeting, the US thinks it’s the USSR (Russia), and the UK representative (who seems a little bored) believes it could be Japan. It’s 007’s (played by Sean Connery) job to find out who is doing this before it turns into an all-out war. We find out that it’s Mr. Osato (played by Teru Shimada) a Japanese industrialist from OSATO Chemicals working with Blofeld (played by Donald Pleasence) from Spectre. Bond works with Tiger (played by Tetsurō Tamba), the Head of the Japanese secret service, as they believe a fishing island is being used for the launches after seeing a picture that Bond steals from the safe at OSATO. To get close to it, 007 must join his Ninja training school and take a wife to have good cover on the island. This is where some parts of this film are problematic, it makes clear that men are superior to women, and Bond marries Kissy Suzuki (played by Mie Hama) although he could have easily married Aki (played by Akiko Wakabayashi) an agent with the Japanese SIS. Their characters seem interchangeable throughout the film, the actresses were changed around before filming, according to From Rewatch with Love. One thing I am a sucker for is a Q (played by Desmond Llewelyn) scene. In this film, we only really get one gadget in this film (other than the safe cracking tool that Bond happens to have on him) but it’s a good one. Little Nellie, a gyroplane that’s a sort of flatpack plane built on location in Japan by Q and his team. Towards the end of the movie, we get inside the base where the kidnapping spaceships are launched from inside a volcano. It has a cool Monorail running around the outside and a metal roof to disguise it. The final few scenes where the ninjas infiltrate the base are epic. The fighting, explosions. and choreography is excellent, and Bond manages to blow up the CCCP-marked ship before it swallows the US spaceship. This film rules and rockets (pun intended) to the top of my list, just below Goldfinger… for now anyway.


On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

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OHMSS is our first and only Bond film with George Lazenby as 007, and it’s a very different film from the others. I’ve only seen bits of it in the past. Unfortunately, I paused it several times, and only finished it after three days, so not the best review already. The film starts with a woman (who we will find out is Tracy) walking into the sea to try and kill herself, and this never comes up again for some reason. Bond gets into a fight scene with some goons who we assume are after her. The fighting is jarringly edited, as most of the fight scenes in this film are. I’m not a fan, it takes away from the acting and is hard to watch. During a casino game, Tracy (played by Diana Rigg) loses and can’t pay, so Bond steps in to cover the bill. She invites him to her hotel room, where he is attacked once again. After returning to his room, he finds Tracy who says “Think of me as a woman you just bought” which is a bit problematic but we’ll see throughout this film that she is more than capable of looking after herself and it feels less sexist than some of the other Bond-girl scene in the other films but still not great. Later her father, Draco (played by Gabriele Ferzetti) wants 007 to marry his daughter for money and info on Blofeld. We see a long and dull romantic comedy-style montage of dates that Tracy and Bond go on, which feels odd in a Bond film. Draco helps 007 to break into a safe at the Gebrüder Gumbold law office in Switzerland, he finds documents relating to Blofeld wanting to claim the title of Count Balthazar de Bleuchamp.

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Bond finds out he is in contact with genealogist Sir Hilary Bray (played by George Baker) at the London College of Arms. 007 works with the college to meet with Blofeld (played by Telly Savalas) by pretending to be Sir Hilary Bray. Later after being outed as James Bond, Blofeld reveals he has the scientific info to control and destroy the world economy. He is training his patients (who are there to be cured of allergies) to become his Angels of Death. Bond is put in the cable car engine room, he escapes and is chased down the ski slopes to the Christmas market in the village. Tracy helps him to escape by car where they end up at a barn as the weather gets too nasty to drive in. Early the next morning they end up in another skiing scene being pursued by Blofeld’s goons and trying to avoid getting killed in an avalanche, where Tracy is captured. Back in M’s office, 007 is informed that the UN will pay Blofeld off. Bond decides to take matters into his own hands, along with Draco they pose as Red Cross helicopters (which apparently would be a war crime). They land and start to shoot up the clinic, Tracy is rescued, and the institute is blown up. The final part is the wedding between Tracy and Bond, them driving off, and Blofeld doing a drive-by shooting where Tracy is killed. The romantic comedy sections of this film feel off for a Bond movie (although I do enjoy romcoms), the pacing of the film is slow and it doesn’t get going till about midway through. Plus, there’s no real Q-scene to speak of which is always bad in my book and the execution of the story is a bit meh. All of these contribute to dragging down my rating of OHMSS, although George Lazenby is good in the role, and it’s a shame he only did one film.

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Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

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Like most of the earlier films, I’ve only seen parts of it in the past, and the headline is I really enjoyed it. Sean Connery is back for his sixth and final Eon Productions Bond movie, he was paid $1.2 Million of the $7 Million budget to return. The opening seems to try and ignore that OHMSS and George Lazenby ever happened, we meet 007 on the trial of Blofeld (played by Charles Gray) and find his cloning operation to try and evade assassination, which he seemingly fails as Bond sends him into the hot mud bath. M (played by Bernard Lee), 007 and diamond expert Sir Donald Munger (played by Laurence Naismith) discuss the recent smuggling of Diamonds. During this scene, we see the path of smuggling and meet the excellent characters of Mr Wint (played by Bruce Glover) and Mr Kidd (played by Putter Smith) who are working for Blofeld to interpret the smuggled diamonds as they pick off each of the mule’s in turn. Later we find out Blofeld has kidnapped and is impersonating entrepreneur Willard Whyte (played by Jimmy Dean) to use his satellite and the stolen diamonds to take out the missiles in multiple countries. The end goal is to sell the capability of nuclear supremacy to the highest bidder. Some of the key moments that stand out in this movie are the straight way everyone plays the cremation scene even though they all know it’s all about the diamonds.

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The fight scene in a small moving elevator between 007 and Peter Franks (played by Joe Robinson). Plenty O’Toole (played by Lana Wood) is thrown from a hotel room window and lands in the pool. The car chase with the Las Vegas Police where Bond takes out half a dozen squad cars in the process of driving around a parking lot, even if the swapping of the side of the car the wheels are on when going through the tight alleyway is kinda silly. A couple of things that let this film down for me are the very small amount of Q (played by Desmond Llewelyn) in it. The fact that toward the end of the movie Bond only knows that the satellite is being controlled from an oil rig because it’s on a map of Willard Whyte’s company locations and he doesn’t recognise it. This means Blofeld has gone to the trouble of creating a model oil rig and has put it on the map for some reason, which I find hard to believe. Tiffany Case (played by Jill St. John) seems to be just along for the ride, she’s not given much to do bar sitting, laying down, being passed from Bond to Blofeld and “helping” with the satellite control tape towards the end, I feel like the character deserved to more integral to the plot seems kind of a waste. Finally, Bond driving the Moon Buggy out of the Moon Landing studio (which I don’t understand why there’s even there) and across the desert is also very silly. All things considered, this Bond film is one I’d be happy to sit down and watch on a Sunday afternoon, it’s a funny, interesting, and well-put-together film with an iconic title song by Shirley Bassey.

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Live and Let Die (1973)

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Live and Let Die is the first Roger Moore Bond film and has been one of my favourites for a long time. After this re-watch and listening to the episode of From Rewatch With Love on it, I can see the issues that it does have. We’ll look at the good things in this movie first. The opening titles set up the story that will run throughout this movie with three different agents being killed, one in New York City, New Orleans, and San Monique. We also see a range of places that we’ll come back to, including the Fillet of Soul restaurant where an agent was killed by a Jazz Funeral procession – which is a fun and interesting way for someone to die in a Bond film. We learn all of this is being operated by Kananga/Mr. Big (played by Yaphet Kotto), a corrupt Caribbean Prime Minister who doubles as a drug lord, with poppy fields in San Monique. I’m not going to go into too much detail on the overall story as there’s a lot to say about a few of the characters. David Hedison has to be one of my favourite actors so far to play CIA agent Felix Leiter, he’s a big part of the story in this film and is always cleaning up Bond’s mess. One of my favourites is when he’s talking to the owner of the Flight School which 007 has destroyed and scared his student half to death. Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi is amazing as well, however, the Voodoo in this film is a mismatched/fictionalised representation of Voodoo drawing inspiration from two actual practices of Voodoo that are related but distinct although this doesn’t make a real difference to the film as it’s still interesting. Sheriff J.W. Pepper (played by Clifton James) is one of my favourite characters from the franchise.

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He is a racist hick certainly, but he has some of the best lines in this movie and gets his just deserts when his patrol car and the police car he commanders are destroyed during one of the most epic boat chases in the Bond franchise. Now for the problems, the fact Solitaire (played by Jane Seymour) believes her powers for reading tarot cards only exist as long as she’s a virgin, with both Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big and Bond (especially when he stacks the deck with ‘Lovers’ cards to sleep with her) using that against her is abhorrent. We also have Rosie Carver (played by Gloria Hendry), a junior CIA agent and Bond’s first black co-star, and the fact she is evil and secretly working for Kananga is not a good look for the film. If we look at the good points, the movie Is well written, acted, edited, and paced, if we weigh them against the bad – which I’ve only very briefly outlined, there’s much more to say. Please listen to the From Rewatch With Love episode on it for a more in-depth analysis. This movie is still up there for me. I love Roger Moore as Bond, he’s kind of a jerk but more empathetic than Connery‘s Bond. This film is one of Moore’s best in my opinion, with a top-tier title song by Paul and Linda McCartney.

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The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

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Long Review and Film Summary

Roger Moore returns as 007 in The Man With The Golden Gun. The film starts with an interesting pre-title sequence that introduces Francisco Scaramanga (Played by Christopher Lee) by sending a golden bullet with 007 engraved on it. We will find out later that it was sent by his mistress Andrea Anders (played by Maud Adams). In addition, we discover his third nipple, which becomes relevant later in the film when Bond pretends to be Scaramanga. Additionally, we get to see his fun house with a hall of mirrors and a Bond statue of all things (a.k.a his obsession with James Bond). This setup in the pre-title will help with the pacing and understanding of the surroundings in the final scene. During all of this, we meet his assistant/chef/accomplice Nick Nack (played by Hervé Villechaize). Later in the movie, we have the return of audience favourite Sheriff J.W. Pepper (played by Clifton James) who is renting a car on his holidays when 007 steals it to give chase on Scaramanga and Nick Nack. They have Mary Goodnight (played by Britt Ekland) stuck in the boot with the Solex (basically a circuit board that controls the solar energy system). The car is being chased by Bond and J.W. who perform a cool car flip, but this is somewhat undercut by the terrible penny whistle sound effect. Once the car arrives at a kind of barn it turns into a plane and flies off as J.W. Pepper is trying to reason with the local police.

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Back in Ms office, Q is talking about a flying car they are working on as news of Goodnight’s whereabouts comes through, we see her open the boot of the car as they are still flying and gets the shock of her life. Bond flies to the Chinese protected islands and is given dinner by Scaramanga, and a tour of the facility, where they also have pistols at dawn fight which turns into a similar scene that we saw in the per-titles, but this time Bond (disguised as the 007 statue) gets his man. With the “help” of Goodnight, the facility starts to explode to the dismay of Nick Nack who has a very silly but entertaining knife fight with Bond aboard the Junk boat, where he is unceremoniously put in the Crow’s nest.

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Short Review

Although this movie is interesting and Scaramanga is a worthy villain if not an equal to Bond, the storyline just makes no sense. He is a wealthy man, charging $1 Million a shot and is protected by the Chinese Government, why does he need to worry about becoming some kind of Energy Magnet, it just doesn’t land for me. I understand that the film was set in the backdrop of the 1973 energy crisis (how very apt for today) but having 007 and Goodnight running around for most of the film after the Solex is not the most thrilling thing in the world. The title song by Lulu (composed by John Barry) is an interesting one, at the start of the movie the lyrics are about The Man With The Golden Gun (Scaramanga) and at the end of the film sings about James Bond, which is genius and shows they are being treated as equals by the film. Someone who isn’t shown as an equal is Goodnight, frankly, the writing is mean to her and treats her as a stupid Blond who always needs saving by Bond and is incapable, incompetent, and helpless which I am not a fan of – Her character could have been so much more – This is not a bad Bond film but it’s not the best, there are others I would watch before this (including many with Roger Moore) but if it’s on TV, I’d happily watch it.


The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

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Long Review and Film Summary

When nuclear submarines of both the British and Russian navies go missing, each country sends its best agent to investigate. 007 (played by Roger Moore) is in a log cabin with a lady in Austria. Bond is requested at MI5 via his label-printing watch. He sets out on the ski slopes where he runs into Russian agents (we will find out later that one of them is XXX’s boyfriend, who Bond kills). Here we witness ski pole guns, shootouts and an impressive jump off a cliff into a Union Jack parshoot. At the same time, Anya Amasova, a Soviet KGB agent known as XXX (played by Barbara Bach) is also called upon by the Russians. At first, they are working separately. However, as the film goes on their investigations get intertwined to the point where M (played by Bernard Lee) and his Russian counterpart General Gogol (played by Walter Gotell) make the collaboration official. They are both in search of the Heat Signature Recognition Tracking for the submarines, which has been created by two scientists working for Karl Stromberg (played by Curt Jürgens) who wants to make a new civilisation underwater by targeting key locations (New York and Moscow) with the two nuclear submarines he has stolen and causing World War III. Although Anya and Bond have been told to work together they can’t help trying to one-up each other, including when they are trying to get the tracking microfilm off each other, shown to them by Max Kalba (played by Vernon Dobtcheff) who gets killed by Jaws (played by Richard Kiel). 007 and Bond get into an epic train fight (who doesn’t love a good Bond film train fight) where 007 electrocutes his teeth with a broken lamp and kicks him out the train window.

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Later on, while being chased by Jaws and several henchmen in cars and on motorcycles. We get a classic gadget scene, with mud sprays, smoke screens, and the Bond car turning into a submarine as a helicopter fires at them. Bond and Anya eventually find Strongberg’s secret hideout, along with the two submarines; they turn up on a US submarine and get captured. Once they have disembarked, XXX is captured and taken with Strongberg to Atlantis. Bond fights off his guards, and the Navy turn up with grenades, explosions, flame throwers and tones of gunfire – the Captain seals the operations room. Bond manages to remove the detonator from the nuclear missile on a third submarine and then gets on top of the security camera ball on a track as it moves close to the Operations Room. He cuts the CCTV cable and sets off a 20-second explosion timer. Trying to get away, the pully jams, and he manages to drop down just as the wall blows up. They work out where the two submarines are and tell them to change their firing position to each other’s location. Bond goes back to Strongberg’s big spider hideout (Atlantis) to get XXX (he only has an hour before the Navy blow it up). He arrives on a build-it-yourself Jet Ski that Q (played by Desmond Llewelyn) sent him. Once on board, he meets with Strongberg who has a gun under the table pointed at him, Bond fires through the barrel twice, shoots Strongberg, and then fights with Jaws in the tank room. 007 uses a large magnet to pick Jaws up and dump him in the shark tank – Jaws eats the shark with his metal teeth. Bond finds Anya (as Atlantis starts to explode) and they get into Strongberg’s escape pod. XXX picks up a gun to shoot Bond but shoots the top of the Dom Perignon instead, they are congratulated by their governments and embrace in the escape pod.

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Short Review

The premise of this film is that Bond and Anya are meant to be the best their country has to offer and a match for each other. However, the writing doesn’t do XXX justice. She spends a lot of time waiting for Bond to save her throughout the film, along with forgiving him so easily for killing her boyfriend, Sergei Barsov (played by Michael Billington), during the pre-titles. She tells Bond that when the mission is over she will kill him, but she very easily forgives him, and they get amorous in the final scene. The film shows her as weaker than Bond and easily led. I did enjoy this film, its storyline, explosions, gadgets, fights, Jaws, Strongberg, the one-liners from Bond, etc. Unfortunately, the writing is not as strong as I would have liked to see, and the second half of this film is better than the first, which is a bit slow to get going. I feel like the chapter of XXX has so much promise and could have been written better. Graham and Matt of From Rewatch with Love see this as a stealth remake of You Only Live Twice, which I can see in parts.


Moonraker (1979)

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Long Review and Film Summary

Moonraker, like a lot of the earlier Bond films, is one which I have seen parts of but not the whole film. I feel like I have probably seen the first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes loads of times but never seen the rest, so it was nice to sit down and watch the movie in full. Starring Roger Moore as 007, Moonraker wasn’t meant to be the next film, at the end of The Spy Who Loved Me it said “James Bond will return in For Your Eyes Only”. According to From Rewatch with Love, this film was made instead to capitalise on the hype from Star Wars. The idea of a British spy with no formal astronaut training going to space is unbelievable even by 007 movie standards. The opening titles start with a shuttle (which we will learn is called Moonraker) being hijacked from the roof of a Boeing 747 by two stowaways, with the plane going down soon after. Bond is on a different plane kissing Corinne Dufour (played by Corinne Cléry), who then trains a gun on him; a fight breaks out, and we see the return of Jews (played by Richard Kiel). I feel having Jaws in the opening scene was a mistake and takes away from his reveal later in the film. Bond without a parachute, is pushed out of the plane by Jaws, and a mid-air fight ensues. Bond manages to steal a parachute from the Pilot after doing some physics-breaking “flying”. This apparently took 88 jumps for the stuntmen and camera operators to get the perfect shots for this scene, so big props to them; it can’t have been easy to do back in 1979. Bond deploys and is fine, while Jaw’s parachute is broken, and he lands in a circus big top.

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The titles are a Classic Bond opening by Maurice Binder and silhouettes all over the world. The theme song performed by Shirley Bassey is good, but it’s nothing to write home about. For some reason, there’s an annoying beeping throughout the opening titles. The film follows 007 as he tries to find out what happened to the stolen shuttle, which we find out during a meeting between M (played by Bernard Lee), Q (played by Desmond Llewelyn), MOD (played by Geoffrey Keen) and Bond that it was on loan from the USA. Bond heads off to the DRAX Corporation in California, who made the shuttle. 007 is immediately suspicious of Hugo Drax (played by Michael Lonsdale) as they have tea together, after which Drax asks for Bond to be killed. Dr Holly Goodhead (played by Lois Chiles) show 007 around the Astronauts training area as a Drax henchman tries to take Bond out on many accessions, including trapping him in a Centrifuge and subjecting him to debilitating G forces. Bond follows the clues to Venice and then Rio where he runs into Dr Goodhead (who we found out earlier is CIA) looking at DRAX planes. During the film, 007 comes across a lab making nerve gases that do not affect animals or plants, but is lethal to humans – Drax wants to destroy the human race and start again. Towards the end of the film, Bond and Dr Goodhead are put under a rocket engine to die; 007 uses his watch to blow the air vent, and they escape. After stealing a DRAX car and uniform, they manage to replace the real astronauts and end up on Moonraker 6 heading into space. They arrive at the new civilisation in space, along with Moonraker’s 1-5. Once there, Drax delivers a speech about creating the perfect super race and returning it to Earth to shape its new beginning. After working out that Drax is just using him, Jews and his new girlfriend Dolly (played by Blanche Ravalec) help Bond and Dr Goodhead to break free from the space station and take Drax’s Moonraker 5 (fitted with lasers) to go after the satellites which have been launched into space to spray the Nerve Gas onto Earth, they manage to destroy all three of them. This film is very silly. Bond going to space, all the strange fight scenes in space between US and DRAX forces – everyone just floating around.

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Short Review

Although I did enjoy this film, it has some fun stunts, and it is nice to see Jews back. The middle third of this film, with him going from country to country to find the Moonraker; was a bit unnecessary. It’s an interesting film, which did very well at the Box Office and was the highest-grossing Bond film until Goldeneye came out in 1995 (according to From Rewatch with Love). The story is just a bit too unbelievable in parts for me – even for a Bond film.


For Your Eyes Only (1981)

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Long Review and Film Summary

Roger Moore is back as James Bond and brought down to earth in For Your Eyes Only – another film I don’t remember anything about. During the pre-titles, after visiting the grave of Teresa Bond, 007 is whisked away by helicopter, which unfortunately is being remotely controlled by a ‘Bald man with a white cat’. Bond removes the remote circuit and picks up (let’s call him ‘Blofeld’, although they couldn’t due to legal reasons) by his wheelchair and drops him into a smokestack. We move into a brilliant and powerful song performed by Sheena Easton, accompanied by the usual silhouettes with a well-put-together underwater scene. Moving into the film, we find ourselves aboard a British surveillance vessel (St Georges) disguised as a fishing trawler off the Albania coast, which decodes Russian satellite data on British and American submarine locations. Fishing nets on the ship pull in a bomb, which explodes and sends the vessel into chaos. The St George is equipped with an Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator (A.T.A.C) to coordinate their fleet of Polaris submarines and is a device the Russians want to get their hands on. The British have asked Sir Timothy (played by Jack Hedley), a marine archaeologist, to find where the ship went down. Before he can submit the report, he and his wife are gunned down by Cuban hitman Hector (played by Stefan Kalipha) flying a seaplane after he drops off their daughter Melina Havelock (played by Carole Bouquet).

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Bond is sent to Madrid to follow Hector and find out who hired him; Hector is met by a man at a pool party and given cash as payment for the hit. He is then shot in the back with an arrow by Melina. She and 007 escape as the henchman attempts to break into his Lotus, and it explodes. They run through the forest, get into her Citroen 2CV and start an amusing car chase scene with many jumps, spins, rolls, push starts, blockages and gunfire. Bond meets up with Q (played by Desmond Llewelyn) back at MI6 to use the identi-graph to find out who paid off Hector. Bond describes the man and the computer creating an e-fit using magnetic tape cartridges and cross-referencing it with international databases and comes up with Emile Leopold Locque (played by Michael Gothard), an enforcer in the Brussels Underworld who is currently working for Geek Smuggler. Bond heads to Northern Italy and meets his contact, Luigi Ferrara (played by John Moreno), who sets up a meeting with a Greek contact, Aristotle Kristatos (played by Julian Glover). As they chat, he tells James that Locque is an associate of Columbo (head of a crime syndicate). He also asks if Bond would escort his ice-skating prodigy, Bibi Dahi (played by Lynn-Holly Johnson), to a Biathlon later that afternoon. In this scene, we also meet Bibi’s skating coach, Jacoba Brink (played by Jill Bennett), as she is an older Russian woman and if you look back at other Bond films, you would be forgiven for thinking she is involved, she isn’t, but its a nice curve ball. Melina received a telegram to meet Bond in Italy (he didn’t send it). She arrives, goes off to buy another crossbow, and is set upon by motorcyclists. Bond uses roadwork barriers to take them out, forcing one into the window of a florist, where he had just ordered some Lilies, and sends Melina to Corfu. When returning to his hotel room, Bond finds Bibi coming out of his shower and tells her to “get dressed, and I’ll buy you an ice cream”. I like how uncomfortable he is in this scene; he is so not into it, probably because of the massive age gap. They go to the Biathlon and ski around. We meet Bibi’s other love interest, Erich Krieger (played by John Wyman). Bond goes to leave and is shot at by Erich. He is surrounded and forced to do a Ski Jump where henchmen are waiting for him at the bottom with a crossbow. Bond manages to hit Erich, and motorcycles (with guns mounted) chase him through the snow and into a Bobsleigh track, the team looking very uneasy with the situation. Bond goes over a roof, barrel rolls, and escapes. James meets with Bibi to get information on Erich, an East German Olympic class biathlete – he is later revealed as Kristatos’s second in command. As she and Jacoba leave, the lights go off, and the Hockey players attack Bond. I love how the scoreboard keeps track of 007’s points (one with an Ice Polishing truck). Once he escapes, James finds Ferrara dead and a pin of a Dove in his hand (the sign of Columbo). Meeting up with Melina in Corfu, Kristatos tells Bond that Locque refines heroin destined for Britain. Columbo listens to the conversation via a recorder in the candle holder on their table. Columbo’s mistress, Lisl (played by Cassandra Harris), suspiciously makes a scene and leaves. She confirms at her house that it was for show, and Columbo wants her to get information from him. The morning after they have a walk by the beach, Locque and Claus (played by Charles Dance) turn up on dune buggies, and they hold 007 at gunpoint as Claus is shot in the back with a harpoon as Locque drives off. The Dove team comes out of the sea and knocks Bond out, he’s taken to meet Columbo on his big sailboat. He insists that Kristatos is the one playing Bond, they share a drink, and he invites Bond to Albania to see Kristato’s operation. Once there, they fight with the crew on the dock and find salvage equipment, drugs, and the same kind of Bomb that blew up the St George. Bond shoots at Locque’s car, pursuing him on foot, and manages to shoot him in the arm. The car hangs over a cliff, Bond throws in the Dove pin Locque left with Ferrara’s body, kicks the car, and it goes over the edge. 007 meets Melina on her parent’s boat and asks if she can help find the St George. They look in her father’s daily log and go down in Neptune (a mini-submarine) to look for it. Once they find the St George and the A.T.A.C., they try to remove it. Melina has her air supply cut by someone in an atmospheric diving suit, in the confusion, James sets an explosive timer, and a fight starts between him and this person. They manage to escape as the explosion goes off, a mini-submarine turns up and starts cutting the CO2 lines of Neptune. Bond and Melina push the mini-submarine into the hole in the side of the St George and leave. Once back on the boat, they are met by Apostis, Kristatos and Erich and taken to a speed boat, tied up and dropped into the water. Being towed at high speed back and forth, with Kristatos trying to rake them over the Coral to entice the sharks. James tries to get the rope snagged on a rock so he can break it – after a few attempts they are free. Once back on board, the parrot (Max) says “A.T.A.C to St Cyril’s”. Bond visits a church and goes into the confessional. Q tells him that there are 439 St Cyril’s in Greece. Luckily, Columbo knows which one they are at, as they used to hide from the Germans there. Once there, Bond starts to scale the cliff to the Monastery. Along the way, he gets caught and is kicked off the cliff, held in mid-air by his rope. James makes a makeshift winch out of his shoelaces as Apostis (played by Jack Klaff) breaks two more of 007’s anchor points, but James manages to throw a knife in his chest as he tries to break the third. Once at the top, Bond lets down a motorised basket so Columbo, his men and Melina can get up to him. Santos tries to stop Bond and aims at the basket, but Melina shoots him with her crossbow. Now everyone is in the Monastery, and with help from Jacoba, they find where the A.T.A.C is. We get into an epic final fight scene between the two groups. While all this has been going on, General Gogol (played by Walter Gotell), head of the KGB, has been flying in by helicopter to pick up the A.C.T.A. When he arrives, Kristatos tries to escape with it, Columbo puts a knife in his back, Bond throws the A.C.T.A off the mountain, destroying it, and General Gogol quickly leaves. In the final scene, Bond and Melina are making out as Q sets up a satellite to reach Bond via his watch to be put through to then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher (played by Janet Brown), Melina says “Give us a kiss”, and Max throws the watch into the sea.

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Short Review

Looking back on the film, Melina is a better equal to Bond than Anya was in The Spy Who Loved Me. There are many music drops and sound effects that are over the top and frankly takes away from the film. I love a good Q scene, so the identi-graph and the quips between him and Bond are very enjoyable. There are good car and skiing chase scenes and way more crossbows than any other Bond film. I feel the pacing was a little off in the middle part of the film, a lot of talking scenes. Overall, I liked this film, more serious than Moonraker, with some visuals from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and From Russia with Love themes. It’s funny and charming – a middle-of-the-road Bond film.


Octopussy (1983)

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Long Review and Film Summary

Octopussy (and A View to a Kill) are the Roger Moore films I remember the most of – We start with Bond driving a Horse Box to a race track across the road from a Military Base. He changes into a uniform and impersonates a soldier to gain access to a plane with a new radar system that the British don’t want to be tested. He’s caught by the soldier he is impersonating and is loaded onto an open-top truck, 007’s assistant drives a long side and tries to seduce the guards. Once distracted, James pulls their cords which opens their parashoots and sends them into the sky, he takes their guns and shoots out the tires on the transport truck. He gets into the horse box he brought and opens up the back, including the fake horse’s bottom. Out comes a small Union Jack plane, they send missiles after Bond, and he flies through a hanger, and the missiles blow it up. He flies off but soon lands as he runs out of fuel, parks in a petrol station and asks them to fill it up. Funny, silly, and interesting per-title sequence – Big fan of it. Moving into the opening and the song, we get lasers for the first time in a Bond opening, along with the usual silhouette that has become synonymous with Bond films. The song is very forgettable and doesn’t include the film title, something I’m very keen on. The film opens in East Berlin with a clown being chased by Mischka and Grischka (remember those names for later) throwing knives. As they all approach the border into West Berlin, one of them hits the clown in the back, he falls off the bridge and gets carried away by the river. Reaching the residence of the British Ambassador, the clown breaks through the glass and falls over dead, dropping a Faberġe egg. I feel like this could have been a good pre-title sequence, pretending that Bond is dead. However, we learn very shortly that this is instead 009.

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At a meeting with M (played by Robert Brown), MOD (played by Geoffrey Keen), and an Antiquities Expert, we find out the egg was an Easter present for the Russian royal family. The one that 009 recovered is a fake, with the real one being auctioned at Sotheby’s in the afternoon, the fourth egg auctioned this year. Bond and the Antiquities Expert, Jim Fanning (played by Douglas Wilmer), go to watch the auction. The program provides no name and simply calls it ‘Property of a Lady’. The funds from the sale will be paid to an anonymous Swiss bank account. We observe a Soviet meeting about mutual disarmament with NATO. General Gogol (played by Walter Gotell) and General Orlov (played by Steven Berkoff) disagree about whether this would compromise the Russian defensive position. Orlov does a presentation on how he can take over Europe in just ten days, and NATO wouldn’t attack with nuclear weapons. We follow Orlov as he goes inside the Kremlin Art Repository, he finds out the counterfeit egg was stolen and says they have no choice but to buy the real egg at auction. Back at Sotheby’s, a lady enters, Magda (played by Kristina Wayborn), along with Kamal Khan (played by Louis Jourdan) – he and Bond get into a bidding war for the egg. While the bidding is going on 007 has a look at the real egg and swaps it with the fake one. After many bids, Khan is forced to pay £500,000 for the counterfeit. Once outside, Bond puts a tail on their Taxi, which takes them to Heathrow and onto a plane to Delhi. M tells 007 to get on a flight to India (which he already has a ticket for) and sign a chit for the egg – It’s government property now. Getting off a boat in Delhi, Bond passes a snake charmer playing the 007 theme on a flute (bit fourth wall breaking). Vijay (played by Vijay Amritra) is his MI6 contact (the actor was very afraid of snakes) who takes him to see Sadruddin (played by Albert Moses), head of the MI6 station in India. Vijay tells Bond that Khan is an exiled Afghan Prince who lives at the heavily guarded Monsoon Palace but plays Backgammon at the hotel-casino most days. Khan beats the major at Backgammon with a weighted dice. Bond takes over and stakes the real egg while utilising players’ privilege to use Khan’s dice, 007 collects 200,000 rupees and keeps the egg. Khan says “Spend the money quickly, Mr. Bond”, as James is passing some of it off to others. As they leave the hotel, Bond and Vijay end up in a Tuk Tuk chase with Ninjas in black driving a Jeep, we get a great fight scene with knives, hot coals, swords, and Vijay hitting them with a tennis racket. Bond asks for the money he gave to Vijays and throws it into the crowd to slow the chasers down. They drive through a movie poster (which is replaced by a new one) and enter the MI6 station, Q (played by Desmond Llewelyn) gives 007 the egg back with a homing device and microphone in it. Additionally, he gets a fountain pen that can listen and dissolve metals and a watch that can find the egg and show a video stream. Back at the hotel, Bond enters the dining room and is taken to a table he never reserved, where he finds Magda, they chat and head up to his room. The next morning, she steals the real egg (Bond knows) and exits via the balcony, using her sarry to lower herself to the ground. Kamal’s bodyguard, Gobinda (played by Kabir Bedi), knocks Bond out and takes him to Monsoon Palace. Khan meets with Octopussy (played by Maud Adams), she’s glad the egg is back but is not happy it was stolen in the first place. She also wants to meet with Bond after Khan has got the information he needs. Back at the Palace, the watch on James’ wrist pings with eggs location as Khan arrives back, he’s told that dinner with Magda and Khan is at 8 pm. During dinner, we find out that Bond is not a fan of steamed Sheep’s head, especially when Khan is talking about all the different chemicals he can use to torture him if he doesn’t talk. Bond goes back to his room and uses his acid pen to melt the bars on his window. He goes out onto the side of the building as a helicopter lands with Kamal, Gobinda, and General Orlov. James sneaks through Magda’s room and into the palace, gets close to the room they all went into and uses his listening device in the egg. He finds out that Kamal makes fake eggs for Orlov, who swaps them at the Kremlin Art Repository, selling the real egg for loads of money. Orlov breaks the egg (assuming it’s a fake) just after we hear, “One week from today in Karl-Marx-Stadt”. Kamal notices the bug inside but doesn’t say anything. When they are all leaving, Bond hides in a room where Kamal hangs the bodies of those he has killed. Gobinda walks past, notices the door is open, looks inside and locks the door. Henchman comes to take the bodies as Bond hides in one of the bags. They drive the bodies outside. Just before they can throw 007 into a hole, he kicks one of them, breaks free from the bag and runs into the forest. Kamal and his thugs are on top of Elephants doing a bit of hunting – Bond has now become their target. The chase through the forests has everything: tigers, spiders, snakes, fights, Tarzan swing, burning off a leach, James undoing one of the harnesses – leading to the guy falling off his Elephant. Once he gives them all the slip, Bond flags down a tourist boat and gets away. Inside a fake Crocodile, 007 approaches the Floating Palace where Octopussy lives, along with her all-female population. She sees him on CCTV, arriving, skulking around and entering her room. We find out that she is the daughter of Major Dexter Smythe – he was sent by the British Secret Service to locate a cache of Chinese gold in North Korea. His guide was found 20 years later with a bullet from Smythe’s Service Revolver. He nobly committed suicide rather than face a Court Marshal. When her father’s gold ran out, the people in Hong Kong who disposed of it for him offered her commission to smuggle some diamonds. As well as smuggling, she set up this island for underprivileged girls and diversified into hotels, circuses, shipping and carnivals – Bond finds a leaflet for a circus at Karl-Marx-Stadt. While this is all happening, Kamal and Gobinda pay some thugs to take 007 out at Octopussy Island, including a man with a circular saw yoyo, which is a silly and impractical weapon but very entertaining. Vijay relieves Q of his lookout (waiting for Bond to come back) and says he will be back at midnight. Later that night, Vijay is surrounded by Gobinda and his thugs, and is killed with the yoyo saw. The thugs enter the island unnoticed, as they get ready to drop the saw onto Bond, he feels water drip off it and onto his face. He and Octopussy barely avoid being hit by it, and this turns into a fight between the two groups. Bond and a thug end up going through a window and into the water. Octopussy can’t get a clear shot of the assailant, they both disappear, and she thinks Bond is dead. However, James escaped in his fake crocodile and returned to Q, finding out that Vijay was dead. Bond asks M (via Q) to meet him in Berlin, West Germany, as the circus is heading for Karl-Marx-Stadt. James is given his papers and drives into East Germany. This is where the film and its timeline become very difficult to follow. Magda, Gobinda, General Orlov, and Ocotopussy are all at the Big Top, Bond dressed as staff, overhears a meeting about jewellery snuggling and the Star of Russia, which Octopussy has the original hidden in the base of a cannon and wants to sell it in Switzerland. After the show, they’re going back to West Germany. 007 is under the train, braised, as it goes into a tunnel and stops alongside a nearly identical train. He gets off and onto the other train, which has a bomb loaded into its canon base. The bomb is designed to mimic a US bomb and will go off at the next performance in a US Air Force Base in West Germany. Bond catches Mischka (played by David Meyer) removing the jewels on the other train; he tries to use a blow torch on Bond, and they fight, but ultimately 007 hits him with the canon and steals his uniform. A villain monologue wouldn’t have gone a miss here to explain the plan, which is basically, the bomb will go off and seem like an accident by the US and lead to disarmament, leaving every border open to the Russians. Orlov comes over to collect his Jewels as Bond pulls a gun on him. Orlov manages to get away, and Bond ends up in a shoot-out with his henchmen. James steals Orlov’s car, as the tires shred on stop strips, 007 takes to the rails after the train. The signalman changes Bond’s track, and he ends up alongside the train as another train is coming and pushes the car into a river. General Gogol gets the car out of the river and finds the Jewels. Orlov tries to run through a checkpoint and is gunned down by US soldiers. Bond is now on the train, hiding in a Gorilla outfit as Gobinda sets the bomb for 3:45 pm (four hours from now). Gobinda gets suspicious and goes to chop the head of the Gorilla as James escapes on top of the train, then down the side. Kamal shoots at the window upon seeing Bond. James and Gobinda end up fighting on the roof (love a good 007 train fight). Grishka (played by Anthony Meyer), who is Mischka’s brother, gets involved as he and Bond fall off the train roof, run into a forest, and towards a shack. Grishka throws knives at James and impales him on the wooden door, Grishka lunges at him and says “This is for my brother”. Bond opens the door and Grishka falls through, James looks at him and says “This is for 009” while throwing a knife at him. The circus parade gets into full swing at the Air Force base. Bond flags down a lift into town to find a phone to call into MI6, a lady beats him to a phone box, so he steals her car and ends up in a chase with the Police. 007 bursts through a US security checkpoint and has everyone on his tail. The cannon (with the bomb in it) is wheeled into the Big Top – it shows just five minutes left. James gives everyone the slip, steals a clown costume from an RV, and goes to find the American base commander (played by Bruce Boa). Octopussy (who is scared James is about to ruin her smuggling operation) and the commander are not being very helpful, so Bond tries to get the lock off with an axe. He gets held back by the Police, and Octopussy shoots the lock off. After seeing the bomb inside, the commander asks for silence and to let 007 go. Bond manages to take the detonator out with just a second to spear – the pin fires just outside the bomb. Back in India, Octopussy and her team seduce Kamal’s men and break in to comfort him for trying to kill her and stealing her smuggled jewellery. Octopussy and Kamal’s teams end up in a massive fight, as Bond and Q arrive by Union Jack Hot Air Ballon, which is a very odd entrance but rather assuming. Bond enters the palace by crashing through a window and shooting the guards. He sees on his watch (which is being broadcast from the cameras on the Hot Air Ballon) that Ocotopussy is being led away on horseback. James goes after them as she’s loaded into a plane by Kamal and Gobinda. Bond jumps from a horse onto the plane, once in the air, Kamal tries to shake him off, going up and down, and side to side. Bond pulls wires in one of the engines. Gobinda and Bond fight on top of the plane with knives. Gobinda falls off, and Bond manages to get inside as Kamal is losing control. He and Octopussy jump out as Kamal crashes the plane along a mountain. Back in London, General Gogol meets with M, and they agree that none of this happened as long as they get the Star of Russia back. Bond is apparently “too injured” to travel home but that doesn’t stop him from having relations with Octopussy as the movie ends.

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Short Review

Graham and Matt of From Rewatch with Love were critical of this film, saying that it was confusing and the timeline was hard to follow in parts, which is true for the most part. However, I think the main problem is it has too many villains, you don’t really know who’s in charge, and as it turns out, the one the film is named after is being played by everyone else and doesn’t know what’s actually going on. Parts of this film are a bit juvenile and problematic too, such as the Q scene where Bond is getting his watch that can play a video stream, and he zooms in and out on a female employee’s cleavage. Some innuendo is a bit on the nose, such as in the scene with Magda in the hotel room after she and Bond have dinner, and she says “I need re-filling”. Despite all of this, I love the storyline of this movie, so I’m going to rate it highly within the Roger Moore era, as it is one of my favourite Bond films of his – along with the next one.


A View to a Kill (1985)

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Long Review and Film Summary

Roger Moore is back for his final appearance as James Bond in A View to a Kill. The pre-titles start with a helicopter flying over a glacier in Siberia and Bond following a tracker. 007 finds the body of 003 in the ice. James takes a microchip from 003’s locket; as he tries to leave, troops and the helicopter fire at him as we move into a ski chase. Bond steals a snow buggy as the chase continues. The music used in parts of this scene ruins it. California Girls by the Beach Boy doesn’t work here and distracts from the otherwise brilliant chase scene. Eventually, he uses a flare to bring down the helicopter and spots a Union Jack. James goes inside the submarine camouflaged as an iceberg and meets with Kimberley Jones (played by Mary Stavin), and they escape. Moving to the opening titles, we have the usual mix of lasers and silhouettes, this time with black lights, fire and ice sequences, and skiing. The song is 80’s pop with the name of the film working well in the lyrics, and although it’s a good song, Goldfinger and Live and Let Die are better, in my opinion. The film opens at MI6 with Miss Moneypenny (played by Lois Maxwell) in a big hat and dressed for a formal day out. Moving into M’s office, we find M (played by Robert Brown), the MOD (played by Geoffrey Keen) and Q (played by Desmond Llewelyn) playing with a prototype surveillance robot. Q talks to us about silicon integrated circuits and microchips, he explains how they are susceptible to intense magnetic pulses from a Nuclear explosion. Zorin Industries, a defence contractor for Britain, has made one that isn’t susceptible. The microchip found on 003 was a duplicate from the Russians, showing the KGB must have a pipeline into the research company, which was acquired six months ago by an Anglo-French combine.

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Max Zorin (played by Christopher Walken) is a billionaire industrialist trying to increase his power, similar to Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger and Hugo Drax in Moonraker. The races are underway as M and Bond discuss Zorin, who is in the owner’s box watching the race with his henchwoman, May Day (played by Grace Jone). Bond ally, Sir Godfrey Tibbett (played by Patrick Macnee), is concerned about how the horse won the race in the last furlong. The horse, who seems spoked and acts in the winner’s circle, shouldn’t be notable based on its breed. James asks Moneypenny, who has been watching the race with Q, to cash his slip in (he bet on Zorin’s horse, Pegasus). Bond meets Achille Aubergine (played by Jean Rougerie) for dinner in the Eiffel Tower. Achille has been investigating Zorin for cheating and tells 007 that Zorin will soon be holding an annual sale at his Château in Paris and that his security is formidable. Music starts, and the Butterfly Act gets underway. The compère is attacked by May Day, and she uses a butterfly to kill Achille. Bond goes after her on the frame of the tower, with both of them running up the staircase, shots are fired up the staircase, and 007 is lifted up by a fishing rod. May Day parashoots off the building, as Bond jumps on top of an elevator on the way to the ground. James highjacks a Taxi to follow, going backwards down a staircase, lands, spins, goes forwards down a second staircase, up a boat ramp on top of a Bus and down on the ground. The car roof comes off, as does the back, with the car just with its front end, jumping from the bridge onto a barge and into a wedding cake. May Day escapes on a speedboat piloted by Zorin. Bond arrives at Zorin’s stud sale as John Smythe, who has just come into some stables and has decided to start dabbling in horse breeding. Scarpine (played by Patrick Bauchau), Head of Security, takes John to the stables to see the previews, hands him a program, and lets him know that a full brother of Pegasus is estimated to reach a price of $3 million. Sir Godfrey Tibbett, disguised as Mr Smythe’s driver, is waxing the car and goes looking for information. He notices Pegasus being taken to the stables and waits for the trainer to leave. Once clear, he finds the horses nowhere to be seen. Mr Smythe is shown to his room by Jenny Flex (played by Alison Doody) as May Day sneaks around. Tibbett joins Bond in his room as they check for listening devices, we find out that they can listen into any room at any time. The bug is discovered in a lamp, and they play a pre-recorded tape of Mr Smythe dressing down Tibbet for incompetence and go onto the balcony to talk. Once outside, they see Stacy Sutton (played by Tanya Roberts) arrive by helicopter, and Zorin go to meet her. At Reception, Bond sees Zorin handing over a cheque to Stacy, as he tries to enter, he’s stopped and shown the way to the party by May Day. Eventually, after wandering around the party in his polarising sunglasses, he gains entry to the office and takes an imprint of the last cheque in the book, which shows Five Million Dollars to Stacy Sutton. James meets Dr Carl Mortner (played by Willoughby Gray), formerly Hans Glaub, a Nazi scientist, father figure to Zorin, and his breeding consultant. Dr Carl catches Bond coming out of the back area and shows him to the bar – he tells him how Pegasus can be so good even with this breeding being so average. While mingling at the party, Bond uses his ring to take pictures of the guests and meets Bob Conley (played by Manning Redwood), who handles Zorin’s Oil business on the East Bay. Zorin comes over and talks to Mr Smythe about horse riding. James asks about fly casting, giving his cover away to Zorin. Next, Bond talks to Stacy and finds out she is not interested in horses, they get interrupted by May Day, and Stacy goes to her helicopter. Later that night, Tibbett is snooping in the stables and runs into Bond, who shows him the secret lab area underneath. They find Pegasus, who has had surgery to put a microchip in his leg, which is programmed to control an injection of natural horse steroids, this is released when it gets a transmission from the Jokeys cane. Bond uses a stethoscope to discover the combination to the drug cabinet, as two Guards notice the stable door is not locked upstairs. The doors start to close as the guards try to come down. Tibbett and James put the drugs back, turn all the lights off, and hide in the warehouse. They find a surplus of Microchips being stored, at the same time as there is a world shortage of silicon. Guards come into the room and fight with Tibbett and Bond. Both guards end up on the conveyor belt and wrapped up in a box. As this is happening, May Day and Zorin are practising martial arts as they make out, the phone rings and they’re informed of what has been going on. Security is put on full alert, meaning 007 comes across a locked gate and has to jump onto a rising walkway to get back to his room. May Day and Zorin find his room empty as May Day remembers he was the man at the Eiffel Tower. James comes around the corner and decides to go into May Day’s room and get into her bed as cover, as she did say she would – to take care of him personally. She enters her room, gets undressed and takes control. Back in the lab, Dr. Carl tells Zorin that one of the vials is in the wrong place and must have been discovered. The next morning, Zorin asks Mr Smythe to meet him in his study to discuss the Progeny Index (a compilation of thoroughbred bloodlines) to help him with his purchase. Zorin uses a camera behind a painting and a computer to find out who he is. He now knows that Mr Smythe is James Bond, British intelligence, likely armed, extremely dangerous, licensed to kill. Zorin continues to play along and thinks he has the perfect horse for 007. Bond asks Tibbett to go to town and phone M to put a trace on the cheque he copied at the reception. Tibbett goes out on the pretence of getting the car washed and is followed by May Day. Dr Carl and Zorin load a vial into a jockey cane just before James joins Zorin for a horse ride on Inferno. In town, as the car is being washed, May Day strangles Tibbett from the back seat. Back at the Château, Bond is surrounded by Zorin’s men as they line up for the steeplechase. Scarpine moves the fences up when Bond comes up to jump, to their anger, James gets over the hurdles fine, and the others fall. They re-group and attack. Zorin uses his cane to inject Bond’s horse, it goes wild, and they head into the woods. Knowing that his cover is blown, James sees Tibbett’s car approaching, he tries to get in, finding May Day is driving and Tibbett is dead. 007 is searched, Zorin tells him he knows he’s James Bond, and they have a heated chat. Everyone gets into the car, and Bond is knocked out. They drive to a wasteland and point the car at a river, May Day pushes the car into the water, and it sinks to the bottom as James wakes up. He manages to open the door but has to use the air from the tires to keep himself alive until Zorin and May Day have gone. General Gogol (played by Walter Gotell) meets with Conrade Zorin to give him a dressing down about not answering his control or getting approval to eliminate 007. He tells Zorin that his racing activities and unauthorised commercial ventures are bringing unwanted attention. Zorin tells Gogol that he no longer sees himself as an agent, and Gogol tells him that no one leaves the KGB. Zorin meets with his investors in a blimp. He wants them all to create a cartel to control the production and distribution of microchips, showing them the obstacle – Silicon Valley. Project Main Strike, costing one million dollars each plus half their net income, will remove the dominance of Silicon Valley and put Zorin in control. One of his investors, a Taiwanese Tycoon, wants nothing to do with it and is asked to wait outside. He descends the stairs, it turns into a slide, the floor opens up, and he falls to his death. The Blimp goes over the Golden Gate Bridge, and we get the most on-the-nose comment from May Day “What a view”, with Zorin responding “to a kill”. Bond meets with CIA contact Chuck Lee (played by David Yip) at Fisherman’s Wharf in the USA, he is told that Dr Carl was a Nazi scientist who used steroids on pregnant women to enhance intelligence, and a handful were born (including Zorin) with phenomenal IQs but where also psychotics. James gets information about a Zorin oil pumping station that has ruined one of the best crab patches in the Bay. Bond Scuba dives to the heavily guarded pumping station as they are testing the new equipment. He notices other scuba divers with a microphone trying to get information. 007 goes into one of the outflow pipes as they turn on the intake pump, he drops his air tank, and it jams the propeller. Henchmen check the blockage, one of the Russian spies is caught, told to defuse a bomb they placed, and is thrown into the turbine. The gauge readouts leave the grim death to the viewer’s imagination. Pola Ivanova (played by Fiona Fullerton), a KGB Agent known to Bond, comes out of the water, and they drive off together while being followed. According to From Rewatch with Love, this was meant to be agent XXX from The Spy Who Loved Me, unfortunately, Barbara Bach didn’t want to do it. They go to a Hot Tub place, she thinks that James has stolen the tape they recorded, so as he showers, she switches them and leaves in a car with General Gogol. They find out the tape is of Swan Lake by London Symphony Orchestra. Bond still has the real tape of Zorin giving details of the Silicon Valley, Operation Mainstrike, three days, and its essential remaining pipelines are opened on time. Posing as a reporter from the London Financial Times, 007 goes to see W.G. Howe (played by Daniel Benzali) at the Division of Oil and Mines in California. He asks about Zorin, and as he leaves, he sees Stacy Sutton showing him some test results. Bond trails her to a house near the San Andreas Lake Reservoir – her car shows she works for the Department of Conservation (Mines and Geology). James breaks in via a window and finds the house mainly empty inside. Stacy is running the shower, and as he enters the bathroom, she comes out of a closet behind him, pointing a gun. She goes to call the police (the line has been cut) when a man with a gun is seen at the window. Bond pulls the gun from her and shoots at him – more men are inside the property, shoot are being fired in all directions – James finds out her gun is loaded with rock salt. The fight intensifies as an urn is knocked off and saved multiple times before Stacy hits one of them over the head with it, “Sorry, Grandpa” she says. The henchmen flee in a car as Bond continues to shoot at them. She still thinks 007 is a reporter, and they have dinner. Stacy tells James that her grandfather left Sutton Oil to her dad, who expected her to take it over. Zorin used a rigged proxy to take over Sutton Oil. Money, furniture, everything has gone into fighting him in court. Stacy took a job as a State Geologist and has managed to keep house and her shares. The $5,000,000 cheque Zorin gave her was for her shares, but she rips it up. Bond fixes the telephone line and joins her in her room for the night. She falls asleep, he tucks her in and sleeps in the armchair with a gun, like 007 will in multiple films. The pets are startled by a tremor as Stacy checks the Earthquake Center, which shows a 2.5 on the Richter scale. The epicentre is near a Zorin Oil field. Bond asks if pumping seawater into the wells is causing it, she tells him it’s incredibly dangerous. She tries to tell Howe what Zorin is doing and gets fired. Chuck Lee meets them back at the house, telling them that flooding a fault could cause a major earthquake. Bond asks if Silicon Valley could be affected. The only way they would know is to find out how many wells are involved. Stacy tells them that the information will be at City Hall and grabs her security pass. Chuck Lee leaves to contact the CIA for backup and gets attacked by May Day in his vehicle. His car drives off as James and Stacy exit the house, not knowing what just happened. They arrive at City Hall and go up to the file room, they find a document listing Main Strike as an abandoned silver mine near the San Andreas fault. While they are looking May Day and Zorin enter the room, guns drawn. They take them to Mr Howe’s office, Zorin asks him to call the police about a break-in, he tells Mr Howe that “after you fired her, she came here with her accomplice, to kill you, then set fire to the office to conceal the crime, but they were trapped in the elevator and perished in the flames”. Howe responds, “That means I would have to be”. “Dead” Zorin replies and shoots him with Bond’s gun. Their team start to fill the office with gasoline. Zorin and May Day put Stacy and James in the elevator and pull the fuse once their between floors. They set a fire in the elevator shaft and the corridors of the building. The elevator cart starts to collapse under the heat, and as the cables break, Bond and Stacy narrowly escape the cart. 007 opens the doors, grabs a fire hose, and lowers it down to Stacy. The fire service arrives. James carries her up the staircase, to the roof, and down the fire ladder. The Police Captain wants to talk to Bond, Chuck Lee’s body was found in Chinatown, and Howl was killed with his gun. Stacy says he’s James Stock of the London Financial Times, he then has to confess he’s James Bond of the British Secret Service, but the Captain doesn’t believe him. Bond sprays him with a fire hose nearby and steals the hook and ladder fire engine. Stacy puts on the siren as many police cars join the chase. She takes over driving as 007 gets on the ladder and finds out the ladder is unlocked, he swings about as signs fall, cars crash, and the top is ripped from a campervan. This scene is a fun car chase, with bits of rear projection, but not unexpected in 1985. They go towards a bridge as the Police Captain calls ahead to raise it. James and Stacy go through the closed barrier and manage to get over the bridge in the fire truck. Police cars end up stuck on the edge and roll back smashing all the police cars up. The next morning, James and Stacy drive their fire truck towards the silver mine near the San Andreas fault – Which has a lot of activity considering it’s abandoned. Many trucks of explosives arrive as they pull up to one of them and the driver asks “Where’s the fire?”. Bond replies, “In your rear end!”. He goes to check and 007 knocks him out, steals his truck, and enters the facility. The truck is stopped by security and they are given a hard hat to wear. The Mine Foreman tells them to go get a coffee over at the hut while the truck is unloaded, be about 20 minutes. They steal Zorin-branded uniforms and get on the bucket train going into the mine, sitting on the explosives. They hide in an office, locking the door, as Zorin sets a bomb for an hour and lowers it into the pit of explosives. Stacy and Bond find a table with his plan mapped out, if he can blast through the bottom of the lake, he can flood the fault using his flooded Oil wells, causing a double earthquake and wiping out Silicon Valley. Zorin and May Day come back to the office and try to get in, James breaks the rear window so he and Stacy can escape into the mines. May Day and her assistants chase them as Zorin goes to flood the fault. The Mine Foreman protests, his men and May Day are down there. He gets knocked out. The dynamite placed by Scarpine earlier explodes, and water starts to flood the tunnels, the main bomb has just 10 minutes left. Zorin (laughing) and Scarpine open fire on the fleeing workers. May Day and 007 get washed away as Stacy climbs up. Zorin kicks a worker in the face as he tries to get up. May Day confides in Bond that she thought that creep loved her. Zorin and Scarpine Leave the mine as Stacy escapes. Dr Carl, Scarpine and Zorin take off in their Blimp (which inflates out of a prefab office building). May Day tells Bond that the timer on the bomb is booby-trapped; they must bring the whole bomb up and out of the explosives. May Day lowers Bond down, he attaches the clamp to it – the bomb has just two minutes left. She struggles to pull James and the bomb up, once she does, they put it on a cart with less than a minute left, and push it out of the mine. The handbrake slips and May Day gets on, holding the brake to stop it from slipping, she shouts to Bond “Get Zorin for me”. She stares at Zorin with no emotion as the bomb explodes, killing her. James walks out of mine and runs towards Stacy as the blimp is behind her. Zorin sets the blimp down, grabs her and pulls her in. Bond clings to the mooring rope, flying 007 over the city, then the water and into the Golden Gate Bridge. Bond ties the rope around the bridge and starts to climb up, nearly falling off. The blimp crashes into the bridge, and Zorin tells Scarpine to go get him before Stacy hits Scarpine over the head with a fire extinguisher. Zorin’s not happy and grabs an axe as Stacy jumps towards Bond and nearly falls off, she gets a foothold as Zorin and James fight. Dr Carl comes around as Zorin falls off the bridge to his death. Dr Carl starts firing at Bond and Stacy but runs out of bullets. Dr Carl grabs dynamite, lights it, and falls backwards when Bond cuts the rope with Zorin’s axe. Scarpine and Dr Carl try to throw it out, but can’t, and the blimp explodes – with bits falling into the water. Back at MI6, General Gogle meets with M to issue Bond with The Order of Lenin on behalf of the KGB. After all, where would Russian research be without Silicon Valley? James is missing and presumed dead. However, Q is in an RV near Stacy’s house and sends in his surveillance robot. He finds clothing along the floor leading to the bathroom with the shower running. Bond throws a towel over the robot, and Q reports that 007 is alive and “cleaning up a few details”.

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Short Review

This film has always been one of my favourites – Roger Moore, the villains, story, locations, action, and even the blimp all come together to make an enjoyable movie. Grace Jones as May Day is awesome in this film as a henchwoman. The instrumental version of the film’s song is also used well at points in the film. From Rewatch with Love, call this movie a stealth Goldfinger remake, which is probably why I like it so much. Yes, the film is a bit all over the place at times, and the KGB narrative is not necessary to the main story, but it doesn’t take away from the rest of the movie either. The disclaimer at the start of the film is amusing when you look into why it’s there, seems someone was a little overprotective of their brand if you ask me. One disappointment I have with this film is the lack of a proper Q scene. We had the surveillance robot at the start and end, but no banter as 007 is getting his photo ring, polarising sunglasses, shaver bug detector, or check reader.


The Living Daylights (1987)

Check back soon


Licence to Kill (1989)

Check back soon


GoldenEye (1995)

I haven’t re-watched it yet.


Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

I haven’t re-watched it yet.


The World Is Not Enough (1999)

I haven’t re-watched it yet.


Die Another Day (2002)

I haven’t re-watched it yet.


Casino Royale (2006)

I haven’t re-watched it yet.


Quantum of Solace (2008)

I haven’t re-watched it yet.


Skyfall (2012)

I haven’t re-watched it yet.


Spectre (2015)

I haven’t re-watched it yet.


No Time to Die (2021)

I haven’t re-watched it yet.


Conclusion

A conclusion will be provided after I have rewatched all the films.


Disclaimers

The information provided on this page is my own opinions on these movies (unless otherwise stated).

Reviews are based on my understanding of these films and may differ from an official synopsis.

The content on this page is not associated with or approved by Amazon, MGM, EON Productions Limited, United Artists Corporation, its affiliates or licensees.

All inflation calculations were obtained from in2013dollars.com at the time of writing the review.