Fan Verdict - The Living Daylights

Each month, a different James Bond film is selected for review, rating and discussion by the largest online community of 007 fans - the Keeping The British End Up forums.

Fans rated the following elements of the movie on a 1-10 scale (10 being best): Bond, Babes, Villains, Humour, Sadism, Snobbery, Action, Locations, Gadgets, Music and 'Tilt' - a rating to account for any qualities not captured in the main categories.

Also up for discussion were the 'best bits' of the movie, including: most 'Bondian' moment, funniest scene, best line, best location, best action sequence, best Bond girl and best overall performance.

The Living Daylights overall score:8.3


Above: Cover art for the "The Living Daylights" score, composed by John Barry...

Most 'Bondian' Moment
Winner: "On your knees General..." - Bond, unconvinced that the story Koskov has spun the British Secret Service, breaks into Pushkin's hotel room to interrogate the KGB chief.
Honourable mentions: In a sequence inspired by Fleming's short story, Bond scopes out the sniper sent to assassinate Koskov.

Funniest Scene
Winner: Bond is picking up his new Aston, and whilst in the Quartermaster's labs, Q show's 007 his Ghetto Blaster.

  Rating Results
Category Average Score

Honourable mentions: Kara is overjoyed that Bond has escaped Russian guards, but he reminds her they are still "inside a Russian airbase in the middle of Afghanistan", Bond smuggles Koskov over the border via the PIG.

Best Line
Winner: "Whoever she was, I must have scared the living daylights out of her."
Honourable mentions: "Yes, I got the message." or "Sorry old man. Section 26, paragraph five, need-to-know. I'm sure you understand."

Best Location
Winner: Vienna, Austria.
Honourable mentions: Afghanistan Airbase.

Best Action Sequence
Winner: Escaping with the raw opium and the girl in tow, Bond is unaware that Necros is still onboard his commandeered Hercules. 007 and the henchman do battle, clinging to a cargo net, flailing from the rear of the plane in mid-flight.
Honourable mentions: The 00-Agents' exercise at Gibraltar, the Aston Martin escaped the Russian army on ice.

Best Bond Girl
Winner: Kara Milovy.

Best Overall Performance
Winner: Timothy Dalton as James Bond.

What The Fans Said
Below are selected quotes from reviews by Keeping The British End Up members. Click here to read all the reviews in their entirety.

"Bond's central romantic relationship in this film (with Maryam D'Abo's charming Czechoslovakian cellist) is one of the best-developed and believable relationships between Bond and a leading lady throughout the course of the series. Bond doesn't screw around in this film. He uses the girl to get to the bad guy but, against the better judgment of either of them, they become mutually attracted to each other." -- Lazenby.

"Beautiful locations in Morocco and Austria lend a luxurious feel; high-flying adventure is present in many forms, including the ridiculous Aston Martin chase, Bond's daring roof-top escape, and the smartly un-scored desert battle between the Russians and Afghans. Thrills are plenty, as the film's central sniping job only leads to Bond purposely botching it." -- Louis Armstrong

"A new Bond means a new car, and after 18 years Bond was coming home to Aston Martin in their new V8 Vantage. No Bond car is complete without the extras, and the Vantage is no different with, Laser Cutters in the wheel caps, HUD display in the windscreen, missiles hidden behind the headlights, Tyre Spikes and a Jet Thrust Booster, that are all used in just about the most thrilling car chase in the entire series where Bond casually works his way through the multitude of goodies all the while avoiding being blown up by mortars. Accumulating in a shot that would make even the toughest car fanatic cry." -- Major D.Smythe

"There are one or two decent orchestral cues, but the orchestra sounds incredibly thin, the interesting harmonies are gone, and there are far too many dull or monotonous tracks. Just because you have 3 main themes, doesn't mean your score's going to be any better. Barry should have left after the superior AVTAK score." -- Largo's Shark

"I feel it's appropriate to mention Timothy Dalton. As Broccoli's original pick, Pierce Brosnan, became unavailable, Dalton was cast in the role, and as the new Bond he had a lot to live up to. After the humorous, geriatric Bond that Moore provided in A View to a Kill, Dalton had to bring Bond back to the spy roots that Connery had so magnificently planted. And luckily, he just about provides. His one-liner delivery is a little off, but apart from that, he is great. He has a ruthlessness that only Craig has managed to match, he is intelligent, charming, but also has a hardness about him that Bond should have. It's a great performance, one great part of an uneven film." -- thegiantcookie

"Essentially this is back to basics Bond. It takes a lot for a director to come into a leviathan of a series like Bond to introduce a new actor playing 007 and John Glen succeeds well, giving audiences perhaps the most intriguing Bond film of the five that he helmed as director. There are no hollowed out volcanoes or super tankers, just believable characterisation and an intelligent screenplay. A promising debut for Dalton... Timothy Dalton." -- JamesC

"The storyline of "The Living Daylights" is unusually complex for a Bond film, considering those films that came before and later on in the series. The plot involves Bond's rescue and later pursuit of a Russian defector, Koskov. During this mission he meets up with his usual love interest, Kara, and battles for survival against a relentless spy killer. Thrown in seemingly to confuse both the audience and Bond is the theme of illegal arms-dealings and a Stalinist decree to "kill all spies", that now threatens the lives of Bond and every member of the espionage community." -- Bondfan06

"The Living Daylights has some of the most memorable Bond action scenes. The fight in the kitchen really set the tone for the new Bond. The shrieking reaction of the audience when Necros burned that butler before whacking him with a frying pan has always stuck in my mind. And then there's the Hercules stuff at the end. The Bond team try to have fun with this giant prop and the thrills they get out of it actually have more in common with an adventure movie than a spy one. I've no problem with this as it's the point where you realise just how enjoyable the whole film has been." -- DOUBLE-O-NOEL

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