Release Details - Credits - Music - Cast - Notes

release details
Date of release: 21 November 1995 (UK), 13 November 1995 (US)
Running time: 130 mins
Aspect ratio: 2.35 : 1
Classification: 12 (UK), PG-13 (US)

Presented by: Albert R Broccoli
Directed by: Martin Campbell
Produced by: Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
Screenplay by: Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein
Story by: Michael France
Executive producer: Tom Pevsner
Associate producer: Anthony Waye
Production designer: Peter Lamont
Director of photography: Phil Meheux BSC
Second unit director: Ian Sharp
Additional unit directed and photographed by: Arthur Wooster BSC
Editor: Terry Rawlings
Special effects supervisor: Chris Corbould
Stunt co-ordinator: Simon Crane
Main title designed by: Daniel Kleinman

Music by: Eric Serra

Main theme: "GoldenEye"
Performed by: Tina Turner
Written by: Bono and The Edge
Highest chart position: 10 (UK), Did not chart (US)

End theme: "The Experience Of Love"
Performed by: Eric Serra
Written by: Eric Serra and Rupert Hine

Additional: "Stand By Your Man"
Performed by: Minnie Driver
Written by: Billy Sherril and Tammy Wynette
Usage: Performed by Driver in character in Zukovsky's nightclub.

Musical notes: The Bond theme used during the tank sequence was arranged by John Altman. The music which Eric Serra planned to use for this sequence appears on the the soundtrack album as "A Pleasant Drive In St Petersburg".

James Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Alec Trevelyan: Sean Bean
Natalya Fyodorovna Simonova: Izabella Scorupco
Xenia Onatopp: Famke Janssen
Jack Wade: Joe Don Baker
M: Judi Dench
Valentin Dimitreyevech Zukovsky: Robbie Coltrane
Defence Minister Dimitri Mishkin: Tcheky Karyo
Colonel/General Arkady Grigovich Ourumov: Gottfried John
Boris Grishenko: Alan Cumming
Q: Desmond Llewelyn
Moneypenny: Samantha Bond
Bill Tanner: Michael Kitchen
Caroline: Serena Gordon
Severnaya Duty Officer: Simon Kunz
French Warship Captain: Pavel Douglas
French Warship Officer: Cmdt Olivier Lajous
Admiral Chuck Farrel: Billy J Mitchell
Computer Store Manager: Constantine Gregory
Irina: Minnie Driver
Anna: Michelle Arthur
MIG Pilot: Ravil Isyanov
Croupier: Vladimir Milanovitch
Train Driver: Trevor Byfield
Valentin's Bodyguard: Peter Maje

French Helicopter Pilots: Wayne Michaels, Simon Crane
Guard at Helicopter Demonstration: Max Faulkner

The gunbarrel: There's a new Bond and new techniques to introduce him. Maurice Binder's traditionally animated gunbarrel is replaced by Daniel Kleinman's computer animation. But Brosnan seems a bit stiff in firing the gun, standing almost totally upright. His motion is reminiscent of Bob Simmons in the original sequence. Like Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton, Brosnan wears a tuxedo. Eric Serra's arrangement of the Bond theme only vaguely resembles the tune we all know and love. However, what there is of the theme is in the key of g minor (instead of e minor as most of the other films).

Using the title: GoldenEye is the generic name given to the Russian's electromagnetic pulse satellite weapon system. It must be said that the name does not sound particularly Russian, especially compared with the individual satellites which are called Petya and Mischa. The activation device for the weapon is a card shaped object which resembles...erm...a golden eye.

The novel approach: Aside from the characters of Bond, Moneypenny and Bill Tanner, there is no obvious Fleming material in the film. However, it has been observed that the character of Alec Trevelyan is reminiscent of the literary version of Hugo Drax from "Moonraker". Both were scarred in an explosion and left for dead. Both hated Britain, despite appearing to be British.
However, there is a more obvious reference to Fleming in the title of the film, which is taken from the name of Fleming's house in Jamaica where he wrote the Bond novels. Fleming took the name from the novel "Reflections in a Golden Eye". The title GoldenEye had previously been used for a British TV biopic of Fleming starring Charles Dance (who had appeared in For Your Eyes Only.)
Some of the background of Fleming's Bond did find its way into the film. Bond's naval rank of Commander has been mentioned on numerous previous occasions, but GoldenEye was the first film to mention Bond's parents and the fact that they were killed in a climbing accident. This was first revealed in the novel "You Only Live Twice".
Like Licence To Kill, GoldenEye was novelised by John Gardner.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Perhaps understandably given the long break since Licence To Kill, there is a somewhat different line-up of regulars, with Desmond Llewelyn the only survivor from the previous film. Much publicity was given over to the new female M, played by Judi Dench, and for the first time it was acknowledged that M is a position rather than a designation for a particular person. It appears that the new M has not held the position for very long since her staff seem unsure of her. It is mentioned that M has children. She keeps bourbon in her office, preferring it to her predecessor's taste for cognac.
The appropriately named Samantha Bond takes over the role of Moneypenny who is somewhat more strong-willed in her treatment of Bond, and is even said to be dating a "gentleman". In the credits, the character loses her "Miss" and is named just as Moneypenny.
The regular characters are joined by the third appearance of Bill Tanner (following The Man With The Golden Gun and For Your Eyes Only). Tanner is played by Michael Kitchen and the character is certainly closer to Fleming's version than in the previous films. Tanner's role as Chief of Staff is not mentioned.
Away from personnel, it is stated for the first time that Bond works for MI6, the real designation of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). An establishing shot introducing the MI6 scenes shows the real SIS HQ at Vauxhall in South London. Somewhere at MI6 there is a memorial board for dead agents.
Bond has a code phrase to identify his CIA contact in St Petersburg. It starts: "In London, April's a Spring month". We never hear the actual response, but it is close to: " While in St Petersburg we're freezing our butts off"!

The Double 0 Section: For the first time, another Double 0 agent is a major character in the shape of 006, Alec Trevelyan (see The Villain). Trevelyan is only the third Double 0 agent to be named, following Bond and Bill Fairbanks, the late 002 mentioned in The Man With The Golden Gun.

Locations: Arkangel Chemical Weapons Facility, USSR (circa 1986). The south of France; the Space Weapons Control Centre at Severnaya, Russia (latitude 62.08 N, longitude 102.58 E); London; St Petersburg, Russia; an unidentified Carribbean island; Cuba.

The villain: Alec Trevelyan, formerly 006 of MI6 and a trusted colleague of Bond's. Trevelyan's parents were Lienz Cossacks, who worked for the Nazis against the Russians during the Second World War. At the end of the war, the Cossacks turned to the British, hoping to join them in the fight against Communists. However, they were sent back to Stalin and slaughtered. Trevelyan's parents survived the death squads, but his father couldn't live with himself, killing himself and his wife. MI6 knew of Trevelyan's heritage but believed that he was too young to remember. However, he really harboured extreme bitterness against the British and was actually working for his own ends. He faked his death during a mission to the Arkangel Chemical Weapons Facility in around 1986, although the explosion when Bond destroyed it left him scarred. This allowed him to concentrate on building up the Janus crime syndicate, through which he became a major arms dealer, being the first to restock the Iraqis during the Gulf War. He was based in St Petersburg, living on an old Soviet missile train.
Trevelyan re-emerged with his plan to hijack the GoldenEye satellites, which he planned to use to incapacitate London, gaining revenge as well as providing the means for some electronic bank theft. Of course, Trevelyan is finally stopped and killed by Bond, who drops him from his Cuban radio dish.
Trevelyan's main accomplice is Xenia Onatopp, a Georgian ex-Soviet fighter pilot with a taste for large cigars and killing people, most strikingly with her thighs. She ultimately suffers her own fatal squeeze.

The girl: Natalya Fyodorovna Simonova, a level two systems programmer at Severnaya who worked on the guidance systems. She survives the destruction of the control centre and goes on to help Bond defeat Trevelyan. According to Trevelyan, she tastes of strawberries.

Bond's conquests: Caroline (the women sent to evaluate Bond) and Natalya.

Gadgets: In 1986, Bond uses a digital lock cracking device and a laser attached to a gun. In the main action there is something similar in his watch (a similar gadget appeared in the unofficial film Never Say Never Again), which also provides a remote control to an explosives detonator (this is old technology, since Trevelyan knows of it). A leather belt with a 75 foot repelling cord piton. An pen which is actually a Class 4 grenade with a 4 second fuse that is activated and deactivated by 4 clicks. A digital camera that can be linked to a printer and transmitter in the Aston Martin.
Q presents Bond with a new car in the shape of a BMW Z3 (registration BXB 608, but only at the rear). It apparently features an all point radar, a self destruct mechanism and Stinger missiles behind the headlights. Only the first of these is seen in action since Bond only drives the car very briefly, and that is after it has been shipped all the way to the Carribbean for him!

Continuity: In a lovely touch, Bond's private car is a grey Aston Martin DB5 somewhat similar to the one featured in Goldfinger and Thunderball, although the registration number is BMT 214A, due to the original one (BMT 216A) not being available. Ironically, the DB5 features more in the film than the BMW which was heavily publicised as Bond's new car.
It was claimed by MGM's website that at the start of the film Caroline is evaluating Bond in order to determine whether he is fit to fit to return to MI6 after his exploits in Licence To Kill, although this is not supported by any dialogue. Later during the briefing scene, M warns Bond not to turn his mission involving Ouromov into a personnel vendetta, perhaps alluding to his actions in Licence To Kill (although Bond's response - "Never" - perhaps indicates that the producers are trying to distance themselves from that film).
Although it is probably not a deliberate reference it is interesting to recall the scene in The Living Daylights when Q is searching a database of female KGB assassins; there is mention of one called Ula Yokhfov who strangles her victims with her thighs. This does sound remarkably like Onatopp.

Cameos: Director Martin Campbell plays one of the cyclists unfortunate enough to encounter Bond and Onatopp's race in the south of France. Producer Michael G Wilson appears as one of the members of the Russian security council (as he did in Octopussy). Although not strictly a cameo, the daughter of Eunice Gayson (who played Sylvia Trench in Dr No and From Russia With Love), Kate Jackson, is one of the extras during the casino scenes.

Cuts: The British video version of the film is slightly cut compared with the theatrical release; a brief shot of Onatopp headbutting Natalya in the Cuban jungle scene was removed.

I didn't catch the name?: Bond gives his trademark introduction when he meets Onatopp in the French casino.

Vodka Martinis: Bond orders one, shaken not stirred, when talking to Onatopp in the casino. Onatopp also drinks Vodka Martini, but she drinks it "straight up, with a twist". Both Zukovsky and Trevelyan know of Bond's passion for the drink, since they both refer to it in when disparaging Bond.

Gambling: Bond plays chemin de fer against Onatopp (she calls it baccarat, but it's clearly chemis, which is the variant of bacarrat where the players themselves act as the dealer). He loses the first hand 7 to 8, but then wins with a score of 6 compared to Onatopp's 7.

Bond bits: Bond has a size 34 waist. He speaks French, but seems bemused by computers. His parents died in a climbing accident. Zukovsky implies that Bond is the last living agent to still use a Walther PPK.
Nine years prior to the main action, Bond accompanied 006 on a mission to sabotage the Soviet Chemical Weapons Facility at Arkangel - this must have been an important mission to warrant sending two Double 0 agents. While the mission was nominally a success, 006 was apparently killed.
At some point in the past, Bond had a run-in with KGB agent Valentine Dimitreyevech Zukovsky. He shot Zukovsky in the right knee, giving him a limp, as well as stealing his car and his girl.

Other trivia: The GoldenEye weapon system consists of two satellites, Petya and Mischa, which orbit the Earth at 100 km every 90 minutes. They produce a nuclear explosion in the upper atmosphere, resulting in an electromagnetic pulse that destroys everything below that contains an electronic circuit. Each satellite can only be used once - Petya is used to destroy Severnaya and Mischa is later destroyed when Natalya causes it to enter the Earth's atmosphere. Interestingly, the plot of A View To A Kill concerned the development of a microchip that was impervious to electromagnetic pulses, but it doesn't seem to have caught on!
Bond's CIA contact in St Petersburg is Jack Wade, who has been married at least three times - his third wife was called Muffy and is commemorated by his rose tattoo. He appears to like gardening.

Anything else?: The film is dedicated to the memory of Derek Meddings, who was the miniature effects supervisor on this and many previous Bond films including Moonraker for which he was Oscar nominated.
One of the computer screens seen in Trevelyan's HQ shows the name "Pevsner Communications GmBH", a reference to executive producer Tom Pevsner.
The character Jack Wade takes his surname from Kevin Wade, a writer who had uncredited input to the film's screenplay.

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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