Trivia - The Living Daylights
Timothy Dalton was originally considered for the role of James Bond in the late 1960s, after Sean Connery left the role following "You Only Live Twice" (1967). Dalton was screen tested by Albert R. Broccoli for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969) but he turned down the part as he thought he was too young.
Bond Producer Cubby Broccoli expressed an interest in hiring Pierce Brosnan for "The Living Daylights" but the Irishman was contracted to NBC for "Remington Steele". The American broadcasting company initially declined the opportunity to renew Brosnan's contract but kept options open during a 60 window whilst deciding if there would be another season of the popular PI series. At 6.30pm on the 60th day of the period, Brosnan learned that NBC decided to make a fifth season. The Bond producers were subsequently prevented from Brosnan becoming the next James Bond and Dalton was hired in his place.
Timothy Dalton was officially announced as the new James Bond and to appear in this movie on 7 August 1986.
"The Living Daylights" is the first official James Bond movie in 25 years not to feature Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny who had played the role religiously since 1962.
Before Dalton joined the cast the script was first written with Roger Moore in mind. When Moore announced he was hanging up the tuxedo the next draft was completed expecting Pierce Brosnan to lead the cast. Finally, the script was tailored to what the producers believed would be Dalton's style.
During the opening battle, Bond drives a jeep through some umbrellas that have the initials "JB" printed on them.
An earlier draft of the script featured several scenes and developments that failed to make it to the finished film:
1) In the second draft screenplay, it is General Gogol who is being set up by Koskov, not Pushkin. Pushkin's girlfriend was likewise supposed to be the secretary seen romancing Gogol in several films. At the last minute Walter Gotell, who had played the role since "The Spy Who Loved Me" and had been in the Bond pictures since "From Russia With Love", proved too ill to shoot and the KGB-head was replaced. Gogol makes a last minute cameo in New York at the close of the film.
2) Bond and Kara were originally going to escape from Kara's apartment by stealing the car belonging to one of the KGB agent supposedly keeping an eye on her. The KGB agents give chase and Bond writes the car off on the ice of a frozen lake, the couple continuing their flight aboard a hijacked ice schooner.
3) On escaping from the air base in Afghanistan, Bond and Kara were to have been taken to Landi- Kotal by Ranjit Khan [who later became Kamran Shah] where they witness a massive arms bazaar. They are pursued by jailers from the air base and Bond disposes of one of them by pitching him into a pit full of yarn dye. He eludes his other pursuers by using his exploding key ring to set off the contents of a Chinese fireworks warehouse. The arms bazaar sequence would eventually turn up in the teaser to "Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997).
4) Originally, Bond and Kara did not escape from Koskov's Hercules on a jeep, but actually flew with the aircraft to a US aircraft carrier which Bond was going to attempt a landing on, despite the US navy's attempts to shoot them down. When M and Moneypenny step in to confirm the identity of the pilot, the carrier captain was to have allowed Bond to make his landing but the oversized aircraft careers off the end of the deck and Bond and Kara survive only by clinging to a cargo net.
5) An ending similar to the one that featured a parody of Margaret Thatcher and Denis Thatcher in "For Your Eyes Only" (1981) was originally intended for the movie. It was to include instead a parody of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. However, the idea was scrapped.
The roof-top escape from the police - after 007 has "assassinated" Pushkin - was to include a sequence where Bond rides a "magic" carpet suspended on cables to escape the goons. It was dropped from the sequence in editing.
Why does that woman on the yacht tell her friend on the phone that "it's all so boring here" - a jeep just fell off a cliff and exploded nearby! Didn't she notice, or does she not deem such an event to be sufficiently exciting?
Michael G. Wilson makes his regular cameo. The producer can be seen sitting near Saunders, to the right of the lady with a white dress during the performance at which Koskov defects.
The rocket fired from the "ghetto blaster" in Q's lab was an effect activated off-screen by Britain's Prince Charles - who was touring the studio at the time of filming. The effects crew offered to allow Prince Charles to activate the rocket that was used in the final cut of the film. There are also infamous pictures of Diana hitting her husband over the head with a sugar-glass bottle on the set of Q's lab.
"The Living Daylights" marks the last film appearance of Geoffrey Keen (Sir Frederick Gray Minister For Defence) before his retirement from acting.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 40th Symphony in G minor (1st movement only) is heard being played at the Bratislava Conservatoire during the defection sequence; Antonín Dvorák's cello concerto in B minor as well as an opera are heard; Aleksandr Borodin's s String Quartet No. 2 in D major is heard the second time James Bond is in the audience hearing Kara and the orchestra perform at the Bratislava Academy; at the film's end, Kara is playing Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations.
As a thank you for supporting the production by loaning cars, Aston Martin chairman Victor Gauntlett was offered a small role as a KGB colonel, but did not have the time to play the part.
In the opening scene at Gibraltar, real military installations were used. These included a Ministry of Defence road not open to the public. The machine gun nest on the airstrip was not authentic.
The Cello Case Chase sequence down the snow took three days to shoot. The cello was specially made of fibreglass, and fitted with control handles on the sides and skis underneath. Firecrackers were set in the snow to simulate gunfire and during filming the case would tend to topple over as Timothy Dalton was heavier than Maryam d'Abo.
In the trailer, the real voice of the girl on the boat in the pre-title sequence talks with her own voice. She was ultimately re-dubbed for the finished film.
This was the first appearance of the Felix Leiter character in the EON Productions official series since Live and Let Die (1973), a gap of fourteen years.
This marks the first time Alec Mills was director of photography on a Bond film though he had first worked second unit 18 years before on "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969).
Rushes of the film were stolen and peddled on the black market before the film was released. The rough cut that people could see had no effects or audio.
Maryam d'Abo was originally hired only to appear in screen tests opposite actors screen testing for the role of the new James Bond. She had previously acted in the screen tests for "For Your Eyes Only" (1981) as well. The producers realised through the testing process that she would be their new James Bond girl.
The gourmet food contained in the picnic basket brought by James Bond to General Georgi Koskov at the Blayden Safe House included Bollinger RD Champagne, Caviar and Foie gras. The contents mentioned are pretty much the same as what James Bond has in his suitcase at the Shrublands Health Clinic in "Thunderball".
The agents seen during the opening sequence were 002, 004 and 007 - James Bond. This is the first time that more than one 00 was seen working together, albeit a training assignment.
Alan Talbot who plays Koskov's KGB Minder was booked to do the cameo that would see him in work for three days. He stayed with the production two months.
The title, "The Living Daylights" is drawn from the Ian Fleming short story found in the anthology "Octopussy and The Living Daylights". The short story inspired the "Sniper was a woman" sequence from the scoping out of the opera to the famous line, "Whoever she was I must have scared the living daylights out of her." In the short story the sniper is called Trigger and rumoured to have been based on Amaryllis Fleming, the author's half-sister. Bond's assistant sniper Captain Paul Sender becomes Saunders from section V in the film.
Whilst there was a slew of bikini-clad women at Whitiker's abode, Bond becomes a one-woman man for the first time in the James Bond franchise.
Brad Whitaker's personal war museum included busts and statues of himself dressed up as the following leaders of military history: Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Adolf Hitler, 'Napoleon Bonaparte', the Duke of Wellington and Gaius Julius Caesar.
The woman who appeared in a white negligee in one of the movie's main posters was American model Kathy Stangel.
This is the film of re-castings. Nadim Sawalha who played the Tangier Chief of Security in this movie previously played Aziz Fekkesh in the earlier James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977). Peter Porteous who played the Gasworks Supervisor was the jewel forger Lenkin in "Octopussy" (1983). Joe Don Baker who plays the evil Brad Whitaker later played helpful CIA agent Jack Wade in "GoldenEye" (1995) and "Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997).
The Red Cross organization in the USA, UK and Canada protested against the use of the Red Cross emblem and symbol in the movie. It can be seen on a helicopter during the escape from the Blayden House siege and later in the film on sacks containing opium. They maintained that its use in the film was inappropriate and unauthorised.
The rifle Bond uses in the sniper sequence is a WA2000 sniper rifle, perfect for Bond since it's designed by Walther Firearms, maker of his classic PPK.
The name of the gas pipeline which crossed from Czechslovakia to Austria was the Trans Siberian Pipeline.
A stuntman was originally going to play the role of The Impostor, the Russian assassin in Gibraltar at the beginning, but after watching rushes, director John Glen decided that they needed a real actor for the part and it was given to Carl Rigg. At the time, Rigg was out of work and staying home, taking care of his baby while his wife was away on business. Upon getting the call, Rigg left the baby with a neighbor, left his wife a note telling her he'd gone to be in a James Bond movie, and caught the next plane to Gibraltar to start filming.
For a time, the General Pushkin character (played here by John Rhys-Davies) was intended to return in the next James Bond movie, "Licence to Kill" (1989).
This was the first Bond film to feature a different song over the closing credits. It was called "If There Was a Man" and was performed by The Pretenders who sang two songs for the movie, the other being "Where Has Everybody Gone?".
The film's composer, John Barry is seen conducting the orchestra at Carnegie Hall.