The Living Daylights

 Release Details - Credits - Music - Cast - Notes

release details
Date of release: 29 June 1987 (UK), 31 July 1987 (US)
Running time: 130 mins
Aspect ratio: 2.35 : 1
Classification: PG (UK), PG (US)

Alternative titles: The Touch Of Death (Germany), Death Is Not A Game (France and Belgium), Danger Zone (Italy) 007: High Tension (Spain and Portugal), Having The Finger On The Trigger (Greece), 007 And The Danger Zone (Finland) Icecold Mission (Sweden), Marked To Die (Brazil), 007 His Name Is Danger (Latin America).

Directed by: John Glen
Produced by: Albert R Broccoli and Michael G Wilson
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Michael G Wilson
Associate producers: Tom Pevsner and Barbara Broccoli
Production designed by: Peter Lamont
Director of photography: Alec Mills
Second unit directed and photographed by: Arthur Wooster
Editor: John Grover and Peter Davies
Special visual effects: John Richardson
Stunt supervisor: Paul Weston
Main title designed by: Maurice Binder

Music composed and conducted by: John Barry

Main theme: "The Living Daylights"
Performed by: A-Ha
Composed by: Pal Waaktaar and John Barry
Highest chart position: 5 (UK)

End theme: "If There Was A Man"
Performed by: The Pretenders
Lyrics by: Chrissie Hynde
Music by: John Barry

Additional: "Where Has Everybody Gone"
Performed by: The Pretenders
Lyrics by: Chrissie Hynde
Music by: John Barry
Usage: Heard on Necros's personal stereo.

Musical notes: The main theme also appears on A-Ha's 1987 album "Stay On These Roads", albeit in a somewhat different version. This film broke with established tradition by using a different song for the end credits rather than reprising the main theme; this trend would be continued in all subsequent films.

James Bond: Timothy Dalton
Kara Milovy: Maryam D'Abo
General Georgi Koskov: Jeroen Krabbé
Brad Whitaker: Joe Don Baker
General Leonid Pushkin: John Rhys-Davis
Kamran Shah: Art Malik
Necros: Andreas Wisniewski
Saunders: Thomas Wheatley
Q: Desmond Llewelyn
M: Robert Brown
Minister of Defence (Frederick Gray): Geoffrey Keen
General Gogol: Walter Gotell
Miss Moneypenny: Caroline Bliss
Felix Leiter: John Terry
Rubavitch: Virginia Hey
Colonel Feyador: John Bowe
Rosika Miklos: Julie T Wallace
Linda: Kell Tyler
Liz: Catherine Rabett
Ava: Dulice Liecier
Chief of Security, Tangier: Nadim Sawalha
Koskov's KGB Minder: Alan Talbot
Gibraltar Imposter: Carl Rigg
Chief of Snow Leopard Brotherhood: Tony Cyrus
Achmed: Atik Mohammed
Kamran's Men: Michael Moor, Sumar Khan
Jailer: Ken Sharrock
Gasworks Supervisor: Peter Porteous
Male Secretary at Blayden: Antony Carrick
004: Frederick Warder
002: Glyn Baker
Sergeant Stagg: Derek Hoxby
Butler at Blayden: Bill Weston
Trade Centre Toastmaster: Richard Cubison
Concierge at Vienna Hotel: Heinz Winter
Lavatory Attendant: Leslie French

The Girls: Odette Benatar, Dianna Casale, Sharon Devlin, Femi Gardiner, Patricia Keefer, Ruddy Rodriguez, Mayte Sanchez, Cela Savannah, Karen Seeberg, Waris Walsh, Karen Williams

First Gibraltar Soldier: Simon Crane ("That's it chum - you're out of it")
Second Gibraltar Soldier: Paul Weston ("Hold on - you're dead")
Blayden Cook: Michael Percival
Fairground Balloon Seller: Hanno Poeschl
Pushkin's Guard: Robert Miranda
Russian Guard on Plane: Nick Wilkinson

The gunbarrel: Timothy Dalton wears a tuxedo, but the sequence has little else in common with the one used for the later Moore films. Dalton's shooting motion is much more cat-like and he fires the gun one-handed. He crouches similar to how Connery did, but he doesn't bend his knees as low. Barry's arrangement of the Bond theme is quicker, perhaps reflecting Dalton's motion.

Using the title: Driving back after failing to kill the sniper apparently sent by the KGB to kill the defecting General Koskov, Bond tells Saunders that whoever the sniper was he must have "scared the living daylights out of her".

The novel approach: "The Living Daylights" was a short story that was first published in the Sunday Times in 1962 (when it had the title "Berlin Escape"). The plot of the story is incorporated effectively into the opening section of the film (concerning Koskov's defection), but with the original location of East Berlin changed to Bratislava. Even Bond's line concerning the sniper having enough time to make strawberry jam of Koskov is taken directly from the story.
The name of the supposed KGB plot, Smiert Spionam ("Death to Spies"), was the full name of SMERSH, the Soviet agency who provided Bond's main adversaries in the early Fleming novels. Pushkin knows of the organisation, reminding Bond that it was an organisation during Stalin's time that was deactivated 20 years previously.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: With Timothy Dalton making his debut as Bond it was deemed necessary to recast Miss Moneypenny with a younger actress. Caroline Bliss is given glasses and wears her hair up (in her first scene at least) in an attempt to make her less attractive, especially since the unrequited love of Moneypenny for Bond is emphasised more than Lois Maxwell's flirting with Dalton's predecessors. Strangely, in this film Moneypenny is seen more around Q Branch, rather than in her traditional position outside M's office. Meanwhile, age appears to be catching up with Q, who is seen out of breath and popping pills.
Q Branch itself appears to have moved to more modern surroundings in a separate building on the corner of Trafalgar Square and the Mall (in reality it is currently the Malaysian tourist office). Station V (Vienna) is headed by Saunders until he is killed by Necros. It was Saunders who was contacted by Koskov in order to arrange his defection. When Bond telephones Station V it is answered using the Universal Exports cover; the name is also seen outside the Q Branch building.

The Double 0 Section: The opening exercise on Gibraltar features Bond and two other agents. 004 is murdered, apparently as part of the Smiert Spionen conspiracy. The third agent is 002, although this designation is not mentioned on screen and only given in the end credits. Later, when Bond is showing reluctance in accepting his mission to kill General Pushkin M threatens to replace him with 008 who "follows orders not instincts". This is reminiscent of Goldfinger when M also threatened to replace Bond with 008.

Locations: Gibraltar; Bratislava, Czechoslovakia and Vienna, Austria, plus locations in between; London; Blayden in the English countryside; Tangier (venue for the North African Trade Convention); Afghanistan; New York.

The villain: The movie is unusual since it features no one dominant villain. Instead we are presented with a partnership in the shape of Brad Whitaker and General Georgi Koskov.
Whitaker is at least given a certain amount of background. He is an American arms dealer who lives in Tangier. He is obsessed with warfare and his home features waxworks figures of great tyrants from history in his own image. Although claiming to be a Major, Whitaker was expelled from West Point for cheating. He then went on to act as a mercenary in the Belgian Congo before going to work for a number of criminal organisations who financed his first arms deals. Whitaker is killed by a falling statute of the Duke of Wellington.
Georgi Koskov is a "top KGB mastermind". However, he is also Whitaker's business parter. Together they hatched a scheme whereby on behalf of the Russians Koskov orders a large amount of weaponry from Whitaker. They used the down payments to buy diamonds in Amsterdam in order to trade for opium in Afghanistan which they could then go on to sell at a huge profit. However, new KGB chief General Pushkin discovered Koskov's plans and was due to have him arrested for misusing state funds. Sensing a problem, Koskov hatched a scheme to escape to Whitaker by appearing to "defect" to the British before being "recaptured" by the KGB, leaving behind information on Pushkin's instability in order to get the British to kill Puskin for him. Of course, the plot is uncovered by Bond. Unusually for a Bond villain, Koskov survives the film. He is ultimately arrested by Puskin and returned to Russia.
There is a third villain in the shape of Necros, a mercenary who is able to operate using a wide variety of accents and disguises. He has previously worked for the Russians and appears to have some loyalty to some comrades aiming to bring about worldwide revolution. He is killed when he falls from the Hercules aircraft in a fight with Bond.

The girl: Kara Milovy, a Czech cellist and Koskov's lover. She is set up by him when he asks her to fire blank bullets at him in an attempt to make his defection appear real. Koskov expects this to lead to her death since he has asked for Bond to protect him from any KGB snipers. Fortunately, Bond realises that she is not a professional sniper and does not shoot to kill.
For once, Bond's relationship with Kara is convincingly portrayed. Although Bond is posing as a friend of Koskov, it is apparent that Kara is falling for him, leading to a charming sequence in the Vienna funfair. However, Kara continues to be tricked by Koskov and betrays Bond before finally returning to her side. She is ultimately granted asylum in the West.

Bond's conquests: Linda, the girl on the boat in pre-credits sequence, and Kara Milovy. At the time of the film's release it was publicised that this was a deliberate attempt to tone down Bond's bed-hopping in the era of AIDS.

Gadgets: The film captures a real-life gadget of the era through equipping Bond with one of those bleeping key rings that responds to whistling that helps you find your keys. Of course, Bond's has some extra features - it emits stun gas that is effective over 5 feet when Bond whistles the first bars of Rule Britannia, disorientating any normal person for around 30 seconds. The keyring will also explode in response to a personalised signal (which implies that it is standard equipment) - Bond's is a wolf whistle. It is also magnetic and contains skeleton keys that can open 90% of the world's locks.
In Q Branch we see a demonstration of a "ghetto blaster", a radio that contains a rocket launcher, which is being developed for the Americans, and a sofa that swallows anyone unlucky enough to sit on it. The Blayden safe house features a revolving rake cum metal detector. In Tangier, Bond uses a strange pair of binocular glasses. Not to be outdone, Necros uses some amusing exploding milk bottles as part of his milkman disguise, as well as a personnel stereo that contains a remote controlled detonator and has a headphone cord that is strong enough to be used as a garotte.
However, the main gadget is clearly Bond's new Aston Martin, registration B549 WUU. It is first seen as convertible (the Volante model) which is winterised (into the Vantage). The car is fully bullet proof and features a radio that can receive police frequencies. The other features that we see are as follows: a head-up display unit; a laser from the centre of the wheel; missiles from under the fog lamps; ski outriggers; extending spikes from the tyres; a jet booster under the rear number plate; and finally, a self destruct system.

Recurring characters: Walter Gotell makes his final appearance as General Gogol after appearing in every film since The Spy Who Loved Me. His appearance is little more than a cameo at the end of the film, with Gogol now promoted to the Foreign Service. However, this was only due to Gotell's unavailability since in the original script for the film it was Gogol who was accused of being behind the Smiert Spionam plot, with the character of Pushkin being invented as a replacement. Given the audience's familiarity with the character, this would have certainly put a different emphasis on the early part of the film where Bond is sent to kill the KGB chief. Interestingly, in the end credits of the film, General Gogol's first name is given as Anatol; this conflicts with The Spy Who Loved Me when M called him Alexis.
Geoffrey Keen makes his final appearance as Frederick Gray, the Minister of Defence, also after appearing in every film since The Spy Who Loved Me.
Felix Leiter makes his first appearance since Live and Let Die with John Terry becoming the 6th actor to play the part. Unfortunately, Leiter contributes little to the movie - something that would be changed for its successor...

Cameos: Producer and co-writer Michael G Wilson makes his customary cameo appearance - he is in the audience for the opera in Vienna, sitting two to the right of Saunders. In addition, composer John Barry plays the conductor at Kara's concert at the end of the film, and Paul Weston, the stunt arranger, appears as a soldier at Gibraltar (he's the one who shouts "Hold on - you're dead"!)

Cuts: The film lost a large sequence following Bond's supposed assassination of Pushkin whereby he is pursued by the Tangiers police. The police chief ends up in a vat of dye, before Bond places a rug over some telephone wires which becomes a "magic carpet". The sequence concludes with Bond grabbing on to a banner and dropping on to a mototcycling tradesman (played by well known British stuntman Eddie Kidd). The sequence reflected the movie's origins as intended for Roger Moore and it was deemed to be out of place given the more serious tone of the rest of the film, so was removed. However, it can now be seen on the DVD release of the movie.

I didn't catch the name?: Bond's trademark introduction is amongst Timothy Dalton's first words in the film when he arrives on Linda's boat.

Vodka Martinis: The hotel in Vienna knows Bond's taste and sends one up to his room - "shaken not stirred, of course". Kara later prepares one for Bond in Tangier, although she has drugged it with chloryl-hydrate.

Gambling: None.

Bond bits: Bond is first seen taking part in an exercise to test of the defences of the British bases in Gibraltar. As well as his Aston Martin, he drives Audis in both Bratislava and Tangier. He doesn't speak Czech, but knows a few words of Afghan. Bond smokes cigarettes and thinks that Harrods foie gras is excellent. When shopping for Koskov he selects Bollinger RD over M's choice. He knows a great restaurant in Karachi (Pakistan) and is well known at the Vienna hotel, although he doesn't take his usual suite because he needs a second bedroom. Bond knows of General Pushkin (reflecting the origins of the character as actually being Gogol) and instinctively doesn't believe that he is a psychotic. He has worked previously with Rosika Miklos, a British agent working in the Bratislava terminal of the Trans-Sibera gas pipeline. When Koskov removes an unconscious Bond from Tangier he is given the false identity "Jerzy Bondov".

Other trivia: Kara's cello is Stradivarius is called the Lady Rose. It was bought on Koskov's behalf by Whitaker in a New York auction for $150,000.
Section 26 paragraph 5 is a Secret Service regulation concerning the need to know information during a defection operation. Amongst the female KGB assassins in the Secret Service database are Ula Yokhfov, who strangles her victims with her thighs (3 confirmed kills and 2 probable kills), and Natasha Zarky, a child impersonator who kills using an exploding teddy bear.
Kamran Shah is the Deputy Commander of the Eastern District of the Mujahadin, the Afghan resistance. He was eduacted at Oxford. Moneypenny has a collection of Barry Manilow records. Pushkin's secretary/lover is called Rubavitch, which is very similar to Rubelvitch, who worked for Koskov.

Anything else?: Pierce Brosnan was originally cast as Bond for the movie - there are photos of him with Cubby Broccoli and a clapperboard for the film, and he allegedly even filmed the gunbarrel sequence. However, the associated publicity lead to his "Remington Steele" contract being reactivated (the show had previously been axed) and he was unavailble for filming. Timothy Dalton stepped in, although Brosnan's time would come...
Kara's cello playing was provided by Stefan Kropfitsch.

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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