A View To A Kill

 Release Details - Credits - Music - Cast - Notes

release details
Date of release: 12 June 1985 (UK), 22 May 1985 (US)
Running time: 131 mins
Aspect ratio: 2.35 : 1
Classification: PG (UK), PG (US)

Alternative titles: In The Face Of Death (Germany), Dangerously Yours (France), Moving Target (Italy), A Panorama To Kill (Spain), The Beautiful Prey (Japan), Dangerous Mission (Belgium), Operation: Moving Target (Greece), Living Target (Sweden), 007: In The Aim Of The Assassins or The Preview To A Death (Latin America).

Directed by: John Glen
Produced by: Albert R Broccoli and Michael G Wilson
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Michael G Wilson
Associate producer: Thomas Pevsner
Production designed by: Peter Lamont
Director of photography: Alan Hume
Second unit directed and photographed by: Arthur Wooster
Ski sequence directed and photographed by: Willy Bogner
Editor: Peter Davies
Special visual effects: John Richardson
Stunt team supervisors: Jim Arnett, Bob Simmons, Claude Carliez
Main title designed by: Maurice Binder

Music composed and conducted by: John Barry

Main theme: "A View To A Kill"
Performed by: Duran Duran
Written by: Duran Duran and John Barry
Highest chart position: 2 (UK), 1 (US)

Additional: "California Girls"
Performed by: Gidea Park
Written by: Brian Wilson
Usage: During the pre-credits ski chase.

Additional: "The Four Seasons"
Performed by: Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert
Written by: Vivaldi
Usage: During Zorin's reception.

Musical notes: The main theme also appears on Duran Duran's 1985 album "Decade". It was the biggest hit of any Bond theme to date.

James Bond: Roger Moore
Max Zorin: Christopher Walken
Stacey Sutton: Tanya Roberts
May Day: Grace Jones
Sir Godfrey Tibbett: Patrick Macnee
Scarpine: Patrick Bauchau
Chuck Lee: David Yip
Pola Ivanova: Fiona Fullerton
Bob Conley: Manning Redwood
Jenny Flex: Alison Doody
Dr Carl Mortner (Hans Glaub): Willoughby Gray
Q: Desmond Llewelyn
M: Robert Brown
Miss Moneypenny: Lois Maxwell
General Gogol: Walter Gotell
Minister of Defence (Frederick Gray): Geoffrey Keen
Achille Aubergine: Jean Rougerie
W G Howe: Daniel Benzali
Klotkoff: Bogdan Kominowski
Pan Ho: Paillon Soo Soo
Kimberley Jones: Mary Stavin
Butterfly Act Compere: Dominique Risbourg
Whistling Girl (Dominique): Carole Ashby
Taiwanese Tycoon: Anthony Chin
Paris Taxi Driver: Lucien Jerome
US Police Captain: Joe Flood
Auctioneer: Gerard Buhr
Venz: Dolph Lundgren
Mine Foreman: Tony Sibbald
O'Rourke: Bill Ackridge
Guards: Ron Tarr, Taylor McAuley
Tycoon: Peter Ensor
Helicopter Pilot: Seva Novgorodtseu

The Girls: Sian Adey-Jones, Caroline Hallett, Nike Clark, Paula Thomas, Gloria Douse, Lou-Anne Ronchi, Elke Ritschel, Mayako Torigai

Tycoon: Lenny Rabin
Thugs at Stacey's House: Tim Condren, Doug Robinson
KGO7 Reporter: Suzanne Saunders

The gunbarrel: The film opens with the final use of the Moore footage first seen in The Spy Who Loved Me. Barry's arrangement of the Bond theme is very similar to that used to open Octopussy.

Using the title: Of all the times that the Bond films attempted to justify their titles, this particular attempt surely takes the trophy for being the worst. As their airship approaches San Francisco, May Day declares "What a view". "...To a kill" adds Zorin for no good reason within the context of the film (unless it is intended to portray to the viewer that Zorin really is mad to say something quite that meaningless).

The novel approach: "From A View To A Kill" was one of the five short stories included in the "For Your Eyes Only" collection. It is not known why the title was shortened for the film, especially since the end of Octopussy declared that James Bond would return in From a View to a Kill. However, there is no connection between the Fleming story and the film, other than the fact that the story is set in Paris and the film features a sequence in the French capital.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The regulars are all present and correct, with Lois Maxwell making her last appearance as Moneypenny. Robert Brown's M is referred to as "Admiral" for the first time (both by Tibbett and Gogol), indicating that he could be either Admiral Hargreaves or Admiral Messervy. The film features two other MI6 agents - Kimberley Jones, the girl who pilots the iceberg submersible in the precredits sequence, and Sir Godfrey Tibbett, who appears to be the departmental racing expert. The exterior of the MI6 headquarters is shown again - it is the same building in Whitehall in London that was used in Octopussy.

The Double 0 Section: The film opens with Bond recovering a stolen microchip from the body of 003 in Siberia. The microchip is inside a locket that also contains a photograph of a woman and a child, which implies that the late agent has a family and indicating that not all Double 0 agents are like Bond.

Locations: Siberia; London; Ascot; Paris and rural France; San Franciso and the Bay Area, USA.

The villain: Max Zorin, a leading industrialist and supposedly a staunch anti-Communist with strong connections with the French government. It was believed that he was born in Dresden and fled East Germany in the 60s, claiming has French citizenship. He made his first fortune in oil and gas before moving into electronics and microchips. However, there is more to Zorin's background than this. He is actually the product of one Hans Glaub, a German steroid pioneer who experimented on pregnant women in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Most of the women aborted but some gave birth to children, including Zorin, with incredible IQs but with the side effect of being pyschotic. Following the war, Glaub was offered sanctuary by the Russians where he worked on steroids for their athletes. In the 60s he went to the West with Zorin, who he seems to treat as a son, taking on the identity Dr Carl Mortner. Zorin himself was actually a KGB agent installed into the world of Western commerce. This has allowed the Russians to gain details on a new microchip being developed in Britain that is impervious to the electromagnetic effects of a nuclear explosion. Unfortunately, Zorin developed too great a taste for capitalism and turned his back on the KGB in order to develop his own Project Main Strike, a plot to destroy Silicon Valley and increase the value of his own companies.
Zorin speaks five languages and lives in a French chateau. He has a passion for horse racing, using microchip controlled steroids in order to ensure that his horse wins. Zorin dies falling from the Golden Gate bridge in his final battle with Bond.
Zorin had a large team of accomplises, including security chief Scarpine and the well-groomed Jenny Flex and Pan Ho. However, principal amongst his team is May Day, who appears to be his lover. Little is known about May Day other than that she is American and appears to "take a lot of vitamins". However, she turns against Zorin when he leaves her to perish in the aftermath of Project Main Strike. She does die, but only in the process of saving Silicon Valley.

The girl: Stacey Sutton, an American woman born into a family of Californian oil tycoons. Her grandfather founded Sutton Oil and left it to her father. Stacey studied geology at college with the aim of one day taking over the company. However, it was bought by Zorin, who required its land as part of Project Main Strike. Stacey fought the take-over and retained the shares that she had, leaving her almost destitute as a result. She tides herself over working as state geologist, refusing Zorin's generous offer to buy the shares. Of course, she ultimately meets Bond, which leads to the end of her Zorin problems. Stacey owns a cat and can't cook.

Bond's conquests: Four - Kimberley Jones, May Day, Pola Ivanova and Stacey Sutton.

Gadgets: A submersible that is disguised as an iceberg; Snooper, a prototype remote controlled surveillance machine; an electric shaver that contains a bug detector; sunglasses that allow the wearer to see through one-way glass; a roll-on device that reveals imprints left on paper; a ring that contains a camera; a credit card lock-opener.

Recurring characters: Now series regulars, Geoffrey Keen and Walter Gotell make their customary appearances as the Minister of Defence and General Gogol respectively.

Cameos: The regular cameo from executive producer Michael Wilson is here in the form of his voice only - his is the voice that can be faintly heard when Bond and Stacey leave the lift on returning to City Hall at night. Maud Adams (who appeared in The Man with the Golden Gun and was the eponymous Octopussy) visited the San Francisco location shoot and appears as an extra on a streetcar when Bond arrives at Fisherman's wharf (she's not visible in pan and scan versions).

Cuts: The film lost a sequence following Bond's arrest in Paris where a bemused police sergeant returns Bond's possessions in the shape of a watch containing a garotting wire (shades of From Russia With Love, which is actually referenced by Bond), a pen that emits acid (as seen in Octopussy) and a flame-throwing cigarette lighter. This sequence was included in the DVD release of the movie. Another cut sequence apparently featured Snooper being used to penetrate Zorin's pumping station, where it defends itself against a guard dog by squirting acid, but it is difficult to see where this would have appeared in the finished film.

I didn't catch the name?: Bond spends much of the film operating under an assumed identity, although even then he introduces himself as either "St John Smythe - James St John Smythe" or "Stock - James Stock". He finally uses his trademark introduction when talking to the San Francisco police captain and shortly afterwards when he properly introduces himself to Stacey.

Vodka Martinis: A bottle of Vodka is amongst the souvenirs that Bond brings back with him from Siberia. Bond also drinks Bollinger 75 and Lafitte Rothschild.

Gambling: Moneypenny is gambling at Ascot, but loses. Bond wins by betting on Pegasus, Zorin's horse.

Bond bits: Bond is initially on a mission to locate 003, who was operating in Siberia. On leaving that location he apparently heads for Alaska. He is again said to be English (rather than British). At some point prior to the events of the film he met KGB agent Pola Ivanova who was posing as a member of the Bolshoi ballet with orders to seduce him. Bond knew who she was, but that apparently didn't stop him from taking advantage of the situation. He is an expert safe cracker and cooks a little, rustling up a "quiche des cabinet" for Stacey. When visiting Zorin's thoroughbred sale, Bond takes on the identity of one James St John Smythe, an English gent who has inherited some stables from an Aunt. Later in San Francisco he pretends to be James Stock, a journalist with the London Financial Times. These false indentities seem to be worthwhile, since it appears that Bond has become so notorious that his name is actually known by a San Francisco police captain! At the end of the film Bond is awarded the Order of Lenin - he is the first non-Soviet citizen to receive this honour.

Other trivia: Bond is again helped by CIA agent working within the USA (which is outside of their jurisdiction) in the shape of Chuck Lee, who appears to work undercover in a San Francisco fish market. He is killed by May Day.
Bond is fined 6 million francs after the incident in Paris.
The film is unusual in that it can be dated precisely. According to the cheque that Zorin writes for Stacey, the reception at his chateau takes places on 3 May 1985. Project Main Strike itself takes place on 22 May.

Anything else?: The film opens with the following disclaimer: "Neither the name 'Zorin' nor any other name or character is meant to portray a real company or actual person". This was inserted when the producers discovered a real company called Zoran Ladicorbic Ltd, although that deals with fashion design rather than microchips.
Yes, that is Dolph Lundgren who appears briefly as a KGB heavy. At the time of the film he was Grace Jones's boyfriend.
From this point on the films do not identify the name of their successor in the end credits; the phrase "James Bond will return" is used by itself.

The Bond Film Informant was compiled by Matthew Newton. © Copyright MJ Newton. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission unless otherwise stated.

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