The Living Daylights (1987)

PG | 130 mins | Drama | 31 July 1987

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HISTORY

The Living Daylights was the fifteenth film in the James Bond franchise produced by Albert R. Broccoli. The film is based on Ian Fleming’s short story of the same name, first published in The Sunday Times of London in Feb 1962, but also contained in the 1966 Bond short story collection, Octopussy. The short story concerns Bond being assigned to sniper duty while a Russian defector escapes from East Berlin.
       John Glen returned as director for his fourth consecutive Bond movie. The Living Daylights also marked the twelfth Bond script by Richard Maibaum and the fourth Bond script by Albert Broccoli’s stepson, Michael G. Wilson, who also served as producer for the fifth time on a Bond film.
       The Living Daylights was the first Bond film to star Welsh actor Timothy Dalton as Agent 007. An accomplished stage actor, Dalton told the 26 Jul 1987 LAT that Bond producers first approached him in the early 1970s about playing the role when actor Sean Connery indicated he was leaving the series. Although no firm offer was made to him at the time and there were only informal talks, Dalton declined as at twenty-five years old, he was too young to play the part. Producers went on to cast actor Roger Moore as Connery’s replacement. In 1986, after Moore decided to retire from the role, the producers again approached Dalton, who was eager to play the part. However, Dalton’s commitment to a stage production in London prevented him from accepting the role.
       Irish actor Pierce Brosnan was another actor being considered to replace Roger Moore. Brosnan had ... More Less

The Living Daylights was the fifteenth film in the James Bond franchise produced by Albert R. Broccoli. The film is based on Ian Fleming’s short story of the same name, first published in The Sunday Times of London in Feb 1962, but also contained in the 1966 Bond short story collection, Octopussy. The short story concerns Bond being assigned to sniper duty while a Russian defector escapes from East Berlin.
       John Glen returned as director for his fourth consecutive Bond movie. The Living Daylights also marked the twelfth Bond script by Richard Maibaum and the fourth Bond script by Albert Broccoli’s stepson, Michael G. Wilson, who also served as producer for the fifth time on a Bond film.
       The Living Daylights was the first Bond film to star Welsh actor Timothy Dalton as Agent 007. An accomplished stage actor, Dalton told the 26 Jul 1987 LAT that Bond producers first approached him in the early 1970s about playing the role when actor Sean Connery indicated he was leaving the series. Although no firm offer was made to him at the time and there were only informal talks, Dalton declined as at twenty-five years old, he was too young to play the part. Producers went on to cast actor Roger Moore as Connery’s replacement. In 1986, after Moore decided to retire from the role, the producers again approached Dalton, who was eager to play the part. However, Dalton’s commitment to a stage production in London prevented him from accepting the role.
       Irish actor Pierce Brosnan was another actor being considered to replace Roger Moore. Brosnan had come to fame in the television series Remington Steele. Although the critically acclaimed detective series had met with good ratings when it debuted in 1982 on NBC [National Broadcasting Company], by 1986, ratings had fallen and the network intended to cancel it. The 11 Aug 1986 People magazine explained that Brosnan was all but signed to play James Bond when news of the deal went public. This revived NBC’s interest in Remington Steele and the network renewed its option for the series just three days before it was set to expire. Bond producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli did not want NBC taking advantage of the Bond publicity and did not want his Bond “tainted” by being on television and the big screen simultaneously. Broccoli rescinded the offer to Brosnan who then returned to the Remingtom Steele set to film six more episodes for NBC.
       Many other actors were considered, according to People, including Mel Gibson and Bryan Brown, but neither was screen tested. Australian model Finlay Light was tested, but Australian actor Sam Neill was considered the front-runner for the part when the offer to Brosnan was rescinded. While several producers preferred Neill for the role, Broccoli endorsed Timothy Dalton.
       Although Dalton completed his stage commitment, he was now scheduled to film Brenda Starr (1989, see entry). Certain that Dalton was the right man for 007, producers reworked their schedule to accommodate him. He finished work on Brenda Starr on a Friday and started work on The Living Daylights the following Monday.
       Eight years later, Broccoli hired Brosnan to replace Dalton as James Bond, a part he played in four films, starting with Golden Eye (1995, see entry).
       With the casting of Dalton, producers decided on a younger actress as the flirtatious secretary, “Miss Moneypenny.” British actress Caroline Bliss was cast in the role, replacing Lois Maxwell, the only actor to appear in each of the first fourteen Bond movies, the 24 May 1987 LAT reported. While Maxwell was replaced, actor Robert Brown returned as “M,” the head of British Intelligence, and Desmond Llewelyn also returned as gadget designer “Q.”
       For Bond’s leading lady, producers screen tested model Linda Collier with Dalton, the 22 Aug 1986 DV reported, but the part ultimately went to actress Maryam d’Abo, appearing in her first major screen role. Dutch actor Jeroen Krabbe was cast as the villain, “Koskov.” The 5 Jul 1986 Screen International reported that Krabbe resigned his role in the Michael Cimino drama The Sicilian (1987, see entry) to participate in the Bond film. German dancer Andreas Wisniewski marked his first major film role as the Russian assassin “Necros.”
       With the casting of a new Bond, screenwriters Richard Maibaum and Michael Wilson wanted to reset the story and go back to the origins of James Bond, the 31 Jul 1987 NYT reported, but producer Albert Broccoli vetoed that idea. However, they were all in agreement about returning to the darker tone of Fleming’s novels, and away from the comical tone that had become the style during Moore’s run as 007. The 16 Nov 1986 LAT noted that the screenplay was already written when Timothy Dalton was cast and only a few changes were made to tailor the script to him.
       Principal photography began on 29 Sep 1986, according to the 1 Oct 1986 DV production chart. The film had a $32 million budget, the 4 Mar 1987 DV reported, and a nineteen-week shooting schedule, wrapping on 13 Feb 1987. Interiors were shot at Pinewood Studios in England while location work was done in Gibraltar, Austria, Morocco, Italy, England, and the United States. Promotional materials in AMPAS library files indicate The Forbes Museum in Morocco, owned by American publisher Malcolm Forbes, was used for the exteriors of arms dealer “Brad Whitaker’s” house, while the Ouarzazate Airfield in Morocco substituted for the Russian-occupied Afghanistan air base. The snow-covered mountain scenes were filmed in Austria’s Lake Weissensee section and in the Sachsenburg Tunnel area along the Austro-Italian border.
       The Living Daylights opened on 1,728 screens on 31 Jul 1987, earning $11.1 million in its first three days of release, according to the 4 Aug 1987 DV . It was the widest release and the most lucrative three-day opening in the history of the franchise to date.
       Timothy Dalton played James Bond again in 1989’s Licence to Kill (see entry) before Pierce Brosnan assumed the part with 1995’s Golden Eye (see entry).
       End credits state: “Made by Eon Productions Ltd. For Danjaq S.A. at Pinewood Studios, London, England and on location in Gibraltar, Austria, Morocco, U.S.A., Italy and England.”
       End credits also state: “The Producers gratefully acknowledge the co-operation of: His Majesty King Hassan II and the military and civil authorities of Morocco; the government of Gibraltar; The Ministry of Defence, London; the Province of Karnten, Austria and the people of Weissensee; Aston Martin LaGonda Limited; Audi AG; Bollinger Champagne; Cartier; Phillips Electronics; The Nature Conservancy Council; and the Mayor and City of Vienna”; and “James Bond will return.”

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Jul 1987
p. 56-64, 67-68.
Daily Variety
22 Aug 1986.
---
Daily Variety
1 Oct 1986.
---
Daily Variety
4 Mar 1987.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jun 1987.
p. 3, 13.
Daily Variety
4 Aug 1987.
p.1, 2.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 1987
p. 3, 33.
Los Angeles Times
16 Nov 1986
Section S, p. 26-28.
Los Angeles Times
24 May 1987.
---
Los Angeles Times
26 Jul 1987
Calendar section, p. 4, 97.
Los Angeles Times
31 Jul 1987
p. 1.
New York Times
31 Jul 1987
p. 3.
New York Times
31 Jul 1987.
---
People
11 Aug 1986
p. 87-88, 91.
Screen International
5 Jul 1986.
---
Variety
1 Jul 1987
p. 10.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Albert R. Broccoli presents
From United Artists
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Asst dir
2d unit dir
2d unit asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
Add asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
Elec supv
2d unit photog
Dir of photog
Model photog
Addl photog
Addl photog
2d unit cam op
Addl cam op
Addl cam op
Addl cam op
Focus
Focus
Cam grip
Cam grip
Cam grip
Front projection
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Addl art dir
Addl art dir
Addl art dir
Addl art dir
Addl art dir
Addl art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Sketch artist
Chief sculptor
Scenic artist
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Const mgr
Asst set dec
Asst set dec
Addl const mgr
Addl const mgr
Prop master
Prod buyer
Prod buyer
Modelmaker
Floral arrangements
Swimwear
COSTUMES
Cost des by
Cost supv
Cost made by
2d unit ward master
Swimwear
MUSIC
Mus comp and conducted by
Mus ed
Mus mixer
Austrian Youth Symphony Orchestra conducted by
Austrian Youth Symphony Orchestra cello
Mus rec at
James Bond theme written by
SOUND
Sd ed
Boom op
Addl sd rec
Addl sd rec
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Addl sd eff
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd re-rec by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff
Main title des
Video eff supv
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Title opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairdressing supv
Makeup
Makeup
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
Travel and transport
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod accountant
Dir of marketing
Unit mgr
Continuity
Prod controller
Horse master
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Moroccan prod liaison
Gibraltar prod liaison
2d unit continuity
Asst accountant
Loc accountant
Loc accountant
Loc transport mgr
Loc tranport mgr
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Secy to Mr. Broccoli
Secy to Mr. Wilson
Secy to Mr. Juroe
Loc prod secy
Loc prod secy
Loc prod secy
U. S. contact
U. S. contact
Horses provided by
Aerial liaison
Safety climber
Armourer
Unit pub
Pub asst
Travel and transport
Travel and transport
Travel and transport
Travel and transport
CIA boat
Military dioramas
Whitaker's villa
Palais El Mendoub, Tangier
STAND INS
Stunt supv
Driving stunts arranger
Aerial stunts arranger
The stunt team
The stunt team
The stunt team
The stunt team
The stunt team
The stunt team
The stunt team
The stunt team
Horse stunts
Horse stunts
Horse stunts
Horse stunts
Horse stunts
Horse stunts
Horse stunts
Horse stunts
Aerial stunts
Aerial stunts
Aerial stunts
Aerial stunts
Driving stunts
Driving stunts
Driving stunts
Driving stunts
Driving stunts
Driving stunts
Driving stunts
Snow stunts
Snow stunts
Snow stunts
Snow stunts
SOURCES
SONGS
“The Living Daylights,” performed by a-ha, composed by Pal Waaktaar and John Barry, produced by Jason Corsaro, a-ha, and John Barry
“Where Has Every Body Gone?” and “If There Was A Man,” performed by The Pretenders, music by John Barry, lyrics by Chrissie Hynde, produced by John Barry and Paul O’Duffy.
PERFORMERS
DETAILS
Release Date:
31 July 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 31 July 1987
Production Date:
29 September 1986--13 February 1987
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in selected theatres.
Color
Technicolor ®
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision ®
Duration(in mins):
130
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28638
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the town of Bratislava in Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia, British agent James Bond goes to a concert hall to meet Agent Saunders, head of the V-section in Vienna, Austria. Saunders has arranged for a top KGB mastermind, General Georgi Koskov, to defect to the West during intermission. At a store across the street, Bond watches for snipers trying to prevent Koskov’s escape. When Koskov sneaks out the bathroom window, Bond sees that a sniper is waiting for him. However, Bond is startled that the sniper is a woman who is also the concert cellist. Although his orders are to kill the sniper, Bond instead shoots at the butt of her rifle, preventing her from firing. When the KGB realize Koskov has escaped, police rush to the concert hall, but Bond drives Koskov to the Trans-Siberian Pipeline, where the defector is placed in a shuttle and spirited to Austria in a service pipe. In England, as Koskov’s defection makes the news, Bond goes to a country estate where he and the Russian meet with British officials. Koskov reports that KGB head General Leonid Pushkin has gone mad with power. Pushkin despises détente with the West and plans to assassinate British and American spies, which could trigger a nuclear war. Koskov also reports that Pushkin will be in Morocco in three days, ostensibly for a trade convention, but in actuality, to initiate his plans. After the British officials leave, Necros, a Soviet spy disguised as a milkman, breaks into the estate and takes Koskov hostage. M, the head of British Intelligence, orders Bond to terminate Pushkin. Bond is reluctant to do so, believing Pushkin would not order such assassinations. M reminds Bond ... +


In the town of Bratislava in Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia, British agent James Bond goes to a concert hall to meet Agent Saunders, head of the V-section in Vienna, Austria. Saunders has arranged for a top KGB mastermind, General Georgi Koskov, to defect to the West during intermission. At a store across the street, Bond watches for snipers trying to prevent Koskov’s escape. When Koskov sneaks out the bathroom window, Bond sees that a sniper is waiting for him. However, Bond is startled that the sniper is a woman who is also the concert cellist. Although his orders are to kill the sniper, Bond instead shoots at the butt of her rifle, preventing her from firing. When the KGB realize Koskov has escaped, police rush to the concert hall, but Bond drives Koskov to the Trans-Siberian Pipeline, where the defector is placed in a shuttle and spirited to Austria in a service pipe. In England, as Koskov’s defection makes the news, Bond goes to a country estate where he and the Russian meet with British officials. Koskov reports that KGB head General Leonid Pushkin has gone mad with power. Pushkin despises détente with the West and plans to assassinate British and American spies, which could trigger a nuclear war. Koskov also reports that Pushkin will be in Morocco in three days, ostensibly for a trade convention, but in actuality, to initiate his plans. After the British officials leave, Necros, a Soviet spy disguised as a milkman, breaks into the estate and takes Koskov hostage. M, the head of British Intelligence, orders Bond to terminate Pushkin. Bond is reluctant to do so, believing Pushkin would not order such assassinations. M reminds Bond that he is one of the spies on Pushkin’s assassination list. Meanwhile, M’s assistant, Miss Moneypenny, informs Bond the cellist-turned-sniper is a scholarship student named Kara Milovy. Bond flies back to Bratislava where Kara has returned to orchestra rehearsals. He follows her onto a streetcar, but after she is detained by KGB agents, Bond takes the cello case she leaves behind. Inside, he finds a high-powered rifle loaded with blanks. Bond realizes that Koskov’s defection was a fake. Kara is released from KGB custody and enters her apartment shortly before Bond returns the cello case. Kara believes Bond is there to take her to Koskov, her lover. Bond plays along, hopes she will reveal information about the Russian. Although the KGB watches her apartment, Bond gets her safely away. Along the highway, police try to stop Bond, but the spy uses a special laser installed in his sports car to remove the chassis of the police vehicle and escape. Further down the road, police block the road with a large truck, which Bond destroys with a missile. An Army tank shoots out his tires, but Bond activates retractable skies, enabling the car to travel across a frozen lake. After crashing into a snow bank, Bond and Kara use her cello case as a sled to ride down a mountain into Austria. Meanwhile, Pushkin arrives in Tangier, Morocco, and meets with American arms dealer Brad Whitaker, who wants to sell advanced weapons to the Russians. Pushkin cancels the weapons deal and demands the return of his $50 million down payment within forty-eight hours. Later, Brad Whitaker meets with General Koskov and Necros to order Pushkin’s murder. In Vienna, Austria, Bond and Kara enjoy a night at the opera, then go to the Prater amusement park where they kiss on the Ferris wheel. Bond has agent Saunders investigate Kara’s cello, which was a gift to her from General Koskov. Saunders reports that Brad Whitaker recently bought the 250-year-old Stradivarius cello, dubbed “The Lady Rose,” at auction for $150,000, confirming to Bond that Koskov and Whitaker are working together. As Saunders leaves, Necros kills the agent. In Tangier, Bond traps General Pushkin in a hotel room. The KGB head swears he had nothing to do with the assassinations of any British spies, and plans to have Koskov arrested for stealing government funds. Bond has orders to kill Pushkin, but instead they devise a scheme to uncover Koskov’s activities. As Pushkin gives a speech at the trade convention, Necros prepares to shoot him from the balcony, but Bond appears in the audience and shoots at Pushkin, appearing to kill him. Although the KGB chief is unharmed, Koskov believes he is dead. With soldiers chasing him, Bond escapes into a crowded Moroccan bazaar, where two women take him to Felix Leiter of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Bond and Leiter soon realize they are working on the same case from different ends. Later, Kara accuses Bond of being a KGB agent out to kill Koskov, based on misinformation from Whitaker. Bond reveals his true affiliation and informs Kara that Koskov intends to kill her because she knows too much. Kara is unsure whether to believe him, and renders him unconscious with a drugged martini. Posing as a doctor, Koskov takes Bond to the airport, claiming the spy is a heart transplant patient. In reality, Koskov intends to turn Bond over to Soviet authorities. When Bond awakens on the plane, he notices that the ice surrounding the replacement heart is actually a collection of diamonds. Upon arriving in Afghanistan, Koskov has Bond and Kara locked in a jail cell. They escape jail with the help of Kamran Shah, an Afghan resistance fighter they met in an adjoining cell. They take refuge in a village controlled by the resistance and make love. The next morning, Kamran Shah takes them to meet a group of opium traders, known as the Snow Leopard Brotherhood, who plan to sell their wares to the Russians. Kamran does not care if the Russians die from bullets or from opium, but they need the drug money to buy arms. From a distance, Bond and Kamran Shah see Koskov trading diamonds for opium. Bond suggests they provoke a conflict between the Snow Leopard Brotherhood and the Russians. Bond boards the truck loading opium into a Russian military cargo plane, and Kara chases after him in a jeep. As Bond plants an explosive device in the airplane, Koskov recognizes him. Bond takes the controls and taxis down the runway. With Russian soldiers in pursuit, Kara drives through the cargo hatch of the moving plane, moments before it is airborne. Necros jumps aboard as well, and attacks Bond while he attempts to defuse the bomb. In the cockpit, Kara accidentally opens the cargo door, nearly ejecting Bond and Necros from the plane. Both grab hold of the cargo net and try to climb back on board while fighting each other, as the bomb ticks away. Bond climbs inside as Necros grabs onto his boot. Bond removes his boot and Necros falls to his death. On the ground, Kamran Shah and his men chase Russian soldiers onto a bridge, and Bond drops the bomb, causing the bridge to collapse. When the airplane engines fail, Kara and Bond attach a parachute to her jeep and escape before the vessel crashes into a mountain. Bond confronts Brad Whitaker in Tangier, and the arms dealer is killed in the ensuing fight. General Pushkin arrives, thanking Bond for devising the plan. Koskov appears and Pushkin orders him killed. Later, Kara solos with an orchestra as part of her world tour. After the concert, Kara returns to her dressing room, where Bond is there to surprise her with a night of romance. +

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Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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