A View to a Kill (1985)

PG | 131 mins | Adventure | 24 May 1985

Director:

John Glen

Cinematographer:

Alan Hume

Editor:

Peter Davies

Production Designer:

Peter Lamont

Production Company:

Eon Productions
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HISTORY

       Following the release of Octopussy (see entry), the 8 Dec 1983 HR announced that Roger Moore would once again reprise his role as “James Bond” for the fourteenth installment of the spy series, From a View to a Kill. Although the story was an original script by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson, the title was borrowed from Bond creator Ian Fleming’s short story, which was one of the five pieces included in the collection, For Your Eyes Only, published in 1960. Before production began, however, the 30 May 1984 Var reported that the title was shortened to View to a Kill. An opening “A” was added later.
       A 4 Jan 1984 HR item stated that producer Albert R. Broccoli originally considered David Bowie for the role of Max Zorin before Christopher Walken joined the cast.
       According to the 8 Aug 1984 Var, second unit photography had already been completed in Iceland and Switzerland for the film’s pre-title sequence by the time principal photography began on 6 Aug 1984 at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England. Production notes in AMPAS library files state that Pinewood’s “007 Stage”—built for The Spy Who Loved Me (1976, see entry)—was destroyed in a fire shortly before production of A View to a Kill, but was quickly restored to its original dimensions within four and a half months. Film crews began building sets simultaneously with the repairs, the largest of which was the interior of the “Main Strike” mine chamber. The 11 Dec 1984 DV reported that production had been ... More Less

       Following the release of Octopussy (see entry), the 8 Dec 1983 HR announced that Roger Moore would once again reprise his role as “James Bond” for the fourteenth installment of the spy series, From a View to a Kill. Although the story was an original script by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson, the title was borrowed from Bond creator Ian Fleming’s short story, which was one of the five pieces included in the collection, For Your Eyes Only, published in 1960. Before production began, however, the 30 May 1984 Var reported that the title was shortened to View to a Kill. An opening “A” was added later.
       A 4 Jan 1984 HR item stated that producer Albert R. Broccoli originally considered David Bowie for the role of Max Zorin before Christopher Walken joined the cast.
       According to the 8 Aug 1984 Var, second unit photography had already been completed in Iceland and Switzerland for the film’s pre-title sequence by the time principal photography began on 6 Aug 1984 at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England. Production notes in AMPAS library files state that Pinewood’s “007 Stage”—built for The Spy Who Loved Me (1976, see entry)—was destroyed in a fire shortly before production of A View to a Kill, but was quickly restored to its original dimensions within four and a half months. Film crews began building sets simultaneously with the repairs, the largest of which was the interior of the “Main Strike” mine chamber. The 11 Dec 1984 DV reported that production had been briefly shut down while final sets were completed over the Christmas holiday break, and the 12 Dec 1984 Var estimated that filming would commence on the newly restored “Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage” in Jan 1985.
       A 10 Aug 1985 Screen International article stated that as many as six units were operating simultaneously throughout production. The main production unit spent two weeks filming the actors at the Pinewood Main Strike set before a stunt team moved in to shoot footage of the mine flooding. The climactic action sequence atop the “Golden Gate Bridge” was filmed using three scale models of one of the structure’s main towers, which were constructed using measurements taken by production designer Peter Lamont during a visit to the bridge. Interiors of the “Eiffel Tower” restaurant were specially built on a Pinewood soundstage, although exterior location filming was completed in Paris, France. The 8 Aug 1984 Var indicated that scenes at Zorin’s stud farm were filmed at the Musee Vivant du Cheval in Chantilly, France. Fisherman’s Wharf, Potrero Hill, the China Basin Landing, and the Civic Center were among the featured locations in San Francisco, CA, and a 6 Oct 1984 LAHExam brief indicated that a pier scene was shot in the adjacent town of Richmond, CA. According to the 5 Jul 1985 DV, production contributed $4 million to the San Francisco economy.
       Director John Glen told the 10 Aug 1985 Screen International that although filming ran two weeks over schedule, production was completed $5 million under the $35 million budget.
       Actor Dolph Lundgren made his debut in this film.
       A View to a Kill premiered 22 May 1985 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, which, according to the 25 May 1985 LAT, made it the first of the Bond series to host its debut outside London. An unsourced news item in AMPAS library files stated that a gala screening was held the following day at the Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, CA, as a benefit for the Westside Center for Independent Living, Inc. The 1 May 1985 Var noted that the London premiere was scheduled to take place 12 Jun 1985 as a royal charity event for the Prince of Wales Trust and the British Deaf Association, preceding its U.K. release on 13 Jun 1985.
       The Aug 1985 issue of Box reported an opening weekend box-office total of $13.3 million from 1,583 domestic theaters, with earnings of $30 million over seventeen days. The 28 Jun 1985 DV stated that the picture was the highest grossing Bond film in the U.K. to date, taking in $604,376 after eleven days in release and breaking box-office records at London’s Odeon Leicester Square Theater. A 6 Mar 1998 HR box-office chart later listed a total worldwide gross of $152.3 million. According to the 13 Jul 1985 issue of Billboard magazine, Duran Duran’s opening title song, “A View To A Kill,” was the first Bond theme to top the Billboard Hot 100.
       Despite its strong box-office reception, A View to a Kill received mixed-to-negative reviews, with several critics remarking on the poor performances, tired plot, and Roger Moore’s advanced age.
       A View to a Kill marked Moore’s seventh and final performance as 007, and director John Glen’s third consecutive Bond film, following For Your Eyes Only (1981, see entry) and Octopussy (1983, see entry). Glen stayed on to continue the franchise with The Living Daylights (1987, see entry) and License to Kill (1989, see entry), which featured Timothy Dalton as Bond.
       Dolph Lundgren made his feature film debut in the role of "Venz."
       End credits state: “The Producers gratefully acknowledge the co-operation of the sheriff and people of Höfn; the Commune of Pontresina; the City of Paris; the Chateau of Chantilly; Renault Automobiles; Bollinger Champagne; Cartier; The Ascot Authority; Amberley Chalk Pits Museum; Airship Industries; Seiko Time (U.K.) Ltd.; Philips Electronics; Chevron U.S.A. and the Mayor and City of San Francisco”; and, “Made by Eon Productions Ltd. at Pinewood Studios, London, England and on location in Iceland, Switzerland, France, England and the United States.”
      The opening sequence is preceded by the disclaimer: "Neither the name 'Zorin' nor any other name or character in this film is meant to portray a real company or actual person." According to the 17 May 1985 NYT, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists (MGM/UA) included the statement after being notified that the name of villain “Max Zorin” closely resembled that of fashion designer Zoran Ladicorbic. End credits conclude with the statement: “James Bond will return.”
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Billboard
13 Jul 1985.
---
Box Office
Aug 1985
Section R, p. 94.
Daily Variety
11 Dec 1984.
---
Daily Variety
28 Jun 1985.
---
Daily Variety
5 Jul 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Dec 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 1985
p. 3, 17.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Mar 1998.
---
LAHExam
6 Oct 1984.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 May 1985
Section J, p. 1, 14.
Los Angeles Times
25 May 1985.
---
New York Times
17 May 1985.
---
New York Times
24 May 1985
p. 10.
Screen International
18 Aug 1984
p. 12.
Screen International
10 Aug 1985.
---
Variety
8 Aug 1984.
---
Variety
30 May 1984.
---
Variety
12 Dec 1984.
---
Variety
1 May 1985.
---
Variety
22 May 1985
p. 14, 36.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Albert R. Broccoli presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
2d unit dir by
Ski seq dir by
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Asst dir
2d unit asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
Addl asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit photog by
Ski seq photog by
Cam op
Elec supv
Cam, The aerial team
Cam, The aerial team
Cam, The aerial team
Model photog
Addl photog
Addl photog
2d unit cam op
2d unit cam op
Focus
Front projection
Front projection
Cam grip
Cam grip
Ultraviolet lighting
Cams and binoculars
Elec gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
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
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Const mgr
Asst set dec
Sketch artist
Sketch artist
Prod buyer
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Prop master
Draughtsman
Propman
Propman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Cost made by
Addl ward for Grace Jones
Ward asst
Ward asst
Ward asst
2d unit ward master
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Title song performed by
Comp by
Comp by
Prod by
Mus ed
Mus mixer
Mus rec at
The James Bond theme written by
SOUND
Sd rec
Sd ed
Boom op
Dubbing ed
Dubbing ed
Dubbing ed
Asst dubbing ed
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Sd re-rec by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Main title des by
Computer eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Title opticals
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Sculptor and modeller
Sculptor and modeller
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairdressing supv
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
2d unit makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Unit mgr
Prod accountant
Action seq arr
Driving stunts arr
Prod controller
Dir of marketing
Driving team
Driving team
Driving team
Driving team
Driving team
Driving team
Driving team
Eiffel tower jump, The aerial team
Skyship 500, The aerial team
Helicopter, The aerial team
Helicopter, The aerial team
Helicopter, The aerial team
Helicopter, The aerial team
Helicopter, The aerial team
Pilot, The aerial team
Pilot, The aerial team
Pilot, The aerial team
Pilot, The aerial team
Pilot, The aerial team
Horse team
Horse team
Horse team
Horse team
Horse team
Snow team
Snow team
Snow team
Snow team
Snow team
Snow team
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
2d unit cont
2d unit cont
Loc accountant
Loc accountant
Loc accountant
Loc accountant
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod secy
Mr. Moore's asst
U.S. casting
U.S. casting
U.S. contact
U.S. contact
Unit pub
Crowd artists
Eiffel tower
Zorin's stable
Chantilly
Whitewood House
Oakland
Title skiers
Chateau flowers
Speedboats
Speedboats
Spec prop
Iceland adv
Iceland adv
Travel and transport
Travel and transport
Travel and transport
Travel and transport
Casting
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
STAND INS
Supv, Stunt team
Supv, Stunt team
Supv, Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Stunt team
Eiffel tower jump, The aerial team
Skyship 500, The aerial team
The horse team
The horse team
The horse team
The horse team
The horse team
The horse team
The horse team
The snow team
The snow team
The snow team
The snow team
The snow team
The snow team
COLOR PERSONNEL
[Col by]
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Ian Fleming.
AUTHOR
SONGS
“California Girls,” written by Brian Wilson, © Almo/Irving Music, performed by Gidea Park, courtesy of Adrian Baker
“Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons,’” performed by Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert, courtesy of CRD Records.
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
From a View to a Kill
View to a Kill
Release Date:
24 May 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 23 May 1985
Los Angeles and New York openings: 24 May 1985
London premiere: 12 June 1985
London opening: 13 June 1985
Production Date:
6 August 1984--January 1985
Copyright Claimant:
Danjaq, S.A.
Copyright Date:
17 July 1985
Copyright Number:
PA255115
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
131
Length(in feet):
11,785
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27721
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the Siberian mountains, MI6 commander James Bond, codename 007, uncovers a microchip hidden in the locket of dead fellow agent 003, whose body is frozen in the snow. Spotted by Soviet KGB (Komitet gosudarstvennoy benopasnosti) patrolmen, Bond flees down the slopes and escapes in a submarine. Back in London, England, MI6 technology expert, “Q,” examines the chip and reveals that the silicon device is impervious to damage caused by nuclear explosions. “M,” head of the Secret Intelligence Service, notes that the private contractor who developed the chip was recently acquired by an Anglo-French company, Zorin Industries, which has ties to the KGB. Although the owner, Max Zorin, is described as a “staunch anticommunist,” the team travels to the Ascot Racecourse to observe him and his mysterious American lover, May Day. When Zorin’s horse easily wins the race against more qualified opponents, horse trainer and MI6 officer Sir Godfrey Tibbett suspects he is somehow cheating. In Paris, France, Bond consults with a detective named Achilles Aubergine, who suggests an answer can be found at Zorin’s annual thoroughbred sale in Chantilly later that month. During their meeting at the Eiffel Tower, May Day sneaks in undetected and kills Aubergine before jumping from the stairs with a parachute. Bond gives chase in a stolen taxicab, but is unable to catch her. With Tibbett posing as his valet, Bond attends the horse sale at Zorin’s stud farm under the pseudonym “James St. John Smythe.” During a welcoming reception, Bond breaks into Zorin’s office and finds a $5-million check made out to an American woman named “S. Sutton.” He approaches her in an attempt to glean more information, but Zorin orders May Day ... +


In the Siberian mountains, MI6 commander James Bond, codename 007, uncovers a microchip hidden in the locket of dead fellow agent 003, whose body is frozen in the snow. Spotted by Soviet KGB (Komitet gosudarstvennoy benopasnosti) patrolmen, Bond flees down the slopes and escapes in a submarine. Back in London, England, MI6 technology expert, “Q,” examines the chip and reveals that the silicon device is impervious to damage caused by nuclear explosions. “M,” head of the Secret Intelligence Service, notes that the private contractor who developed the chip was recently acquired by an Anglo-French company, Zorin Industries, which has ties to the KGB. Although the owner, Max Zorin, is described as a “staunch anticommunist,” the team travels to the Ascot Racecourse to observe him and his mysterious American lover, May Day. When Zorin’s horse easily wins the race against more qualified opponents, horse trainer and MI6 officer Sir Godfrey Tibbett suspects he is somehow cheating. In Paris, France, Bond consults with a detective named Achilles Aubergine, who suggests an answer can be found at Zorin’s annual thoroughbred sale in Chantilly later that month. During their meeting at the Eiffel Tower, May Day sneaks in undetected and kills Aubergine before jumping from the stairs with a parachute. Bond gives chase in a stolen taxicab, but is unable to catch her. With Tibbett posing as his valet, Bond attends the horse sale at Zorin’s stud farm under the pseudonym “James St. John Smythe.” During a welcoming reception, Bond breaks into Zorin’s office and finds a $5-million check made out to an American woman named “S. Sutton.” He approaches her in an attempt to glean more information, but Zorin orders May Day to separate them. That evening, Bond and Tibbett discover a hidden underground facility run by Zorin’s breeding expert, Dr. Carl Mortner, and deduce that the prized horse has been implanted with a special microchip that releases steroids during the races. After finding a warehouse full of identical chips, Bond runs back to the chateau where he is staying, but Zorin and May Day have already been alerted to the disturbance and notice that “St. John Smythe” is missing from his suite. To eliminate suspicion, Bond hides in May Day’s room and pretends he is there to seduce her. The next morning, Zorin uncovers Bond’s identity as a British secret agent, and May Day kills Tibbett. When she returns, she and Zorin lock Bond in the back of Tibbett’s car and push it into a lake. Bond escapes, but Russian General Gogol reprimands Zorin for eliminating the agent without his permission and abandoning his former position with the KGB. Intent on pursuing his commercial ventures, Zorin proposes Project Main Strike, which will monopolize the microchip market and obliterate California’s Silicon Valley. Bond follows Zorin and his team of investors to San Francisco, where he confers with CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) agent Chuck Lee. According to Lee’s findings, the check to “S. Sutton” has not yet been cashed, and Dr. Carl Mortner is actually Hans Glaub, a Nazi physician who performed tests on expectant mothers in concentration camps to enhance their babies’ intelligence. Although most of the fetuses were aborted, Lee believes Zorin may be one of the few surviving children born with an outstanding IQ. That night, Bond investigates an oil station that has been pumping seawater into Zorin’s wells and encounters his former lover, KGB agent Pola Ivanova, sent by General Gogol to record Zorin’s conversations. Bond steals her tape recording and later tracks down a mysterious blonde woman he saw at Zorin’s party at City Hall. He follows her to her estate on San Andreas Lake, posing as “James Stock,” a London Financial Times reporter writing an exposé on Zorin. She introduces herself as Stacey Sutton, State Geologist and heiress to her grandfather’s oil company, which Zorin took over before she came of age. Since then, Stacey’s efforts to regain control have been met with generous settlement offers, including Zorin’s most recent check for $5 million. When a minor earthquake hits, she traces the epicenter to Main Strike, an abandoned silver mine now home to Zorin Industries. She and Bond search the company records at City Hall, but Zorin arrives and kills Stacey’s boss with Bond’s gun, framing him for the murder. While police attempt to arrest Bond, he and Stacey steal a fire truck and speed away. Arriving at Main Strike, they disguise themselves as workers and jump onto a mine wagon containing hundreds of pounds of explosives. Inside the mine, they watch as Zorin and May Day inspect a powerful bomb that has been planted in a powder keg of dynamite. Uncovering a geological diagram of the region, they realize that the mines are located directly beneath San Andreas Lake. Stacey deduces that Zorin plans to bomb the area around the San Andreas and Hayward Faults, triggering two simultaneous earthquakes that will submerge all of Silicon Valley under water. Upon discovering their presence, Zorin orders May Day to chase them through the mineshafts while he floods the pit with lake water, knowing May Day and his workers will drown in the process. Although Stacey climbs to the surface, Bond and May Day are swept back into the tunnels. When the water levels begin to drop, they return to the main quarry. Outraged by Zorin’s betrayal, May Day helps Bond remove the bomb and jumps onto a handcar to push it outside the mine. The device explodes, killing her, while Zorin and Dr. Mortner watch from a zeppelin floating overhead. As Stacey emerges from the bushes and runs toward Bond, Zorin swoops down and abducts her. Bond grabs hold of the mooring rope and dangles hundreds of feet below the passenger cabin while Zorin flies over the city. As they pass the Golden Gate Bridge, Bond ties the rope to one of the towers, anchoring the airship so it crashes into the structure. Stacey attacks Zorin and sneaks onto the tower to rejoin Bond. Zorin follows, wielding an ax, and engages Bond in a fight atop the suspension cable until he loses his balance and falls to his death in the icy bay. Dr. Mortner lights a stick of dynamite, but before he can throw it, Bond cuts the rope and the zeppelin explodes. Afterward, KGB General Gogol awards Bond with the Order of Lenin for his services defeating Zorin. Although M admits that Bond has been reported missing, Q eventually tracks down the agent at Stacey’s house as they make love in the shower. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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