The Living Daylights (1987)


James Bond must prevent renegade KGB General Koskov and his ally, arms dealer Brad Whitaker, from enriching themselves through a complicated sheme to cause all-out war between Soviet and British intelligence agencies.

Release Data
UK: 29th June 1987 (PG)
USA: 31st July 1987 (PG)
World Premiere: 29th June 1987 (Odeon Leicester Square, London)
UK TV Premiere: 3rd October 1992, ITV
US TV Premiere: 15th April 1990, ABC

Running Time: 130 minutes
Classification: PG (UK), PG (US)
Budget: $40m
Worldwide Box Office: $191.2m
US Box Office: $50.3m
US Admissions: 14.1 million
UK Box Office: N/A

Cast & Characters
James Bond
Timothy Dalton
Kara Milovy
Maryam d'Abo
Brad Whitaker
Joe Don Baker
Kamran Shah
Art Malik
General Georgi Koskov
Jeroen Krabbé
General Leonid Pushkin
John Rhys-Davies
Andreas Wisniewski
Thomas Wheatley
Felix Leite
John Terry
Sir Frederick Gray
Geoffrey Keen
General Gogol
Walter Gotell
Robert Brown
Miss Moneypenny
Caroline Bliss
Desmond Llewelyn

Producers: Albert R. Broccoli
Director: John Glen
Screenplay: Richard Maibaum, Michael G. Wilson
Composer: John Barry

Gibraltar; Bratislava, Czechoslovakia; Vienna, Austria; London, UK; Blayden, UK; Tangier; Afghanistan; New York.

Pre-Credits Sequence
Three 00-agents parachute onto the rock of Gibraltar for a mock assault. One of the agents is shot by a guard with a paintball gun, another has his grapple rope cut by a man out for blood. Bond rushes to the side of the fallen 00 and finds a clue; a tag with the words "Smiert Spionam" written on it. He gives chase to the assassin who is using a jeep as a get away vehicle. Bond jumps on to the roof as it sways along the road, almost out of control, as the assassin tries to throw 007 off. Packed with explosives, the vehicle is driven off a cliff. Bond activates his reserve chute, which pulls him clear of the stricken jeep just as it explodes into the sea.


Taken from an short story by Ian Fleming, "The Living Daylights" uses the original text as a basis for the opening scenes. Bond utters the phrase when describing how the sniper, who he deliberately missed, must have felt.


Cut Scenes & Alternate Versions
The largest cut scene was of Bond going for a magic carpet ride during the roof top chase in Tangiers, sliding down telephone cables and on to the back of a passing motorcycle. Director John Glen cut the scene as it did not fit the mood of the chase sequence, and the carpet was suspiciously rigid.

Two scenes were trimmed down in the final cut. The first to be shortened was the ice lake chase. Several shots of the Aston Martin being chased by Russian forces were removed in order to keep the pace of the chase up. The traditional Q-Branch briefing had a few goofy gadgets and extra lines removed.

An early preview cut of the film featured Dalton jumping across the gunbarrel in the iconic opening shot, but this was changed to a more traditional walk-turn-shoot in the final cut.

Some unedited footage was stolen and videos were sold as if they were the completed movie. The producers released a poster explaining that this copy of the movie was unfinished and had no soundtrack or special effects at all, saying that the only way to see the real movie was going to the cinema.

Best Line
Q, displaying a portable stereo with built-in rocket launcher: "Something we're making for the Americans. We call it the ghetto-blaster."

Best Mistake
When Bond and Kara are sliding down the slopes on the cello case, the cello Bond is holding gets shot through the front, yet Bond is unscathed. Not even Q never issues bullet- proof musical instruments.

Distinguishing Feature
Not only does this film usher in a new Bond (Dalton) but also a new Miss Moneypenny (Caroline Bliss).

Vital Statistics
Conquests: 2
Martinis: 2
Kills: 2
"Bond, James Bond": 1

MI6 Rating

Fan Rating

As voted in MI6's Fan Verdict poll


DVD cover image courtesy Amazon Associates