The Living Daylights

The Living Daylights

Synopsis

After a training exercise in Gibraltar is hijacked and an MI6 agent is murdered, it seems that the KGB’s old policy of Smert Spionam (Death to Spies) has been reactivated. Bond is sent to Czechoslovakia to support the defection of a Russian Army Officer, Koskov. He becomes suspicious when the sniper he has to assassinate appears to be a glamorous cellist, Kara Milovy. Later, when Koskov is kidnapped from the MI6 safe house, Bond’s suspicions are heightened and he combines his official assignment to assassinate General Leonid Pushkin – the new head of the KGB, whom Koskov has named as the initiator of the Smert Spionam policy – with an investigation into Kara and Koskov. Bond, with Kara in tow, pursues Koskov to Tangier, where he is hiding with arms/drug dealer Whitaker and his hired killer, Necros. Betrayed by Kara, Bond is kidnapped and taken to Afghanistan. He escapes and, with the assistance of an army of Afghan rebels led by charismatic Kamran Shah, brings down Whitaker’s illegal activities.

Cast

Timothy Dalton, Maryam d’Abo, Jeroen Krabbé, Joe Don Baker, John Rhys-Davies, Art Malik, Andreas Wisniewski, Thomas Wheatley, Desmond Llewelyn, Robert Brown, Caroline Bliss, John Terry

Producers

Albert R. Broccoli
Michael G. Wilson

Director

John Glen

Release Date

30 June 1987 (UK)
31 July 1987 (USA)

World Premiere 

29 June 1987, Odeon Leicester Square, London

Locations

Ouarzazate, Tangier, Morocco; Gibraltar; sky over California, USA; Vienna, Weissensee, Austria; Oxfordshire, Beachy Head, RAF Wittering, Thetford, Norfolk, London and Pinewood Studios, England

Music

“The Living Daylights” – written and performed by A-ha, produced by John Barry

Vehicles

Aston Martin Volante, Aston Martin V8;British SAS Land Rover Series III; Saunder’s Audi 200 Quattro; Red Army’s Land Rover Series III armoured; Harrier jet; Hercules C-130 aircraft, Chevrolet Impala Convertible, cello case

Gadgets/Weapons/Technology

  • Walther PPK 7.65mm
  • Walther WA 2000 sniper’s fifle
  • Colt Commando Model M733 assault rifle with ballistic face shield
  • Philips keyfob – Bond activates the key fob with a wolf whistle and then by whistling the first bars of ‘Rule Britannia’ stun gas is released to a range of 5ft (1.5m). It is also packed with a highly concentrated plastic explosive and the skeleton keys open 90 percent of the world’s locks
  • Milk bottle grenades
  • Fake assassination kit consisting of a bulletproof vest, a clear plastic bag containing ‘blood’ and a blood capsule for ‘victim’ to bite into at the time of the ‘fake’ shooting
  • Hydraulic detonator
  • Night-vision goggles
  • Opium bomb
  • Pipeline pig
  • Emergency alarm watch
  • Rake metal detector

Trivia

At a script conference in LA, director John Glen came up with the idea to use Kara’s cello case to make their escape down the snowy hillside after self-destructing Bond’s Aston Martin. Glen had a cello case sent up from the MGM music stage and invited Cubby Broccoli to try out his idea with him. It was snug but they both fitted – it went into the script

Bond and Kara’s escape included sliding through a border control requiring Bond to throw the cello in the air and catch it after they pass under the barrier. Timothy Dalton wanted to try it himself and executed this stunt perfectly for the camera

Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson began writing The Living Daylights before casting Timothy Dalton

This was the last Bond film to be scored by John Barry

One of the prop missiles in Q’s lab was set off by Prince Charles, who visited the set with Princess Diana

The fight sequence between Bill Weston (as Safe House Security) and Andreas Wisniewski (as Necros) took three days to shoot

Trailer