The Living Daylights

July 31st, 1987


The Living Daylights

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Still of Timothy Dalton and Maryam d'Abo in The Living DaylightsThe Living DaylightsThe Living DaylightsStill of Timothy Dalton in The Living DaylightsStill of Timothy Dalton and Maryam d'Abo in The Living DaylightsStill of Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights

James Bond is living on the edge to stop an evil arms dealer from starting another world war. Bond crosses all seven continents in order to stop the evil Whitaker and General Koskov.

Release Year: 1987

Rating: 6.6/10 (32,150 voted)

Director: John Glen

Stars: Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Jeroen Krabbé

James Bond 007's mission is to firstly, organise the defection of a top Soviet general. When the general is re-captured, Bond heads off to find why an ally of General Koskov was sent to murder him. Bond's mission continues to take him to Afghanistan, where he must confront an arms dealer known as Brad Whitaker. Everything eventually reveals its self to Bond.

Writers: Richard Maibaum, Michael G. Wilson

Timothy Dalton - James Bond
Maryam d'Abo - Kara Milovy
Jeroen Krabbé - General Georgi Koskov
Joe Don Baker - Brad Whitaker
John Rhys-Davies - General Leonid Pushkin
Art Malik - Kamran Shah
Andreas Wisniewski - Necros
Thomas Wheatley - Saunders
Desmond Llewelyn - Q
Robert Brown - M
Geoffrey Keen - Minister of Defence
Walter Gotell - General Anatol Gogol
Caroline Bliss - Miss Moneypenny
John Terry - Felix Leiter
Virginia Hey - Rubavitch

Taglines: The most dangerous Bond. Ever.


Official Website: MGM |

Release Date: 31 July 1987

Filming Locations: Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate, Morocco

Box Office Details

Budget: $30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $11,051,284 (USA) (2 August 1987) (1 Screen)

Gross: $191,200,000 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

There are three parallels in the film to the earlier James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only. These occur during the beginning of the film. Koskov is being detained and debriefed during lunch, he mentions Gogol's dislike for the new policy of détente. At the end of For Your Eyes Only, Bond throws the ATAC off of the mountain and tells Gogol "That's détente General, You don't have it, I don't have it". In the kitchen of the very same building is a parrot that has a striking resemblance to Max, the Havelocks' parrot from For Your Eyes Only. During the lunch, Koskov says of Pushkin, "We were once like brothers". In For Your Eyes Only, Kristatos also uses the same line when speaking about Columbo.

Continuity: When Bond parachutes off the Rock of Gibraltar at the beginning we see him slowly descending towards a moving yacht in the sea below. However, the moment he lands, the yacht is clearly moored in the harbour next to other boats, and going nowhere.

[first lines]
M: Gentlemen, this may only be an exercise so far as the Ministry of Defence is concerned. But for me, it is a matter of pride that the 00 section has been chosen for this test. Your objective is to penetrate the radar installations of Gibralter. Now, the SAS has been placed on full alert to intercept you, but I know you won't let me down. Good luck, men.

User Review

A New Era Dawns...Temporarily.


The year: 1987, the Man: Timothy Dalton, the film? The Living Daylights and good news for adults across the globe because after sending off their kids to joke it up with Roger Moore for over a decade they could finally sit down to a Bond movie which, whisper it quietly, resembled a real thriller...and a good one at that. We should be grateful for Dalton's two stints as the Bond because they came within a whisp of never existing. Had the studio had their way, Moore would have been wheeled off for Brosnan and a serious reinvention of the series would have been dropped in favour of the, er, "winning" return to form we've been privileged enough to have enjoyed since 1995's Goldeneye.

Dalton's take on the character was to return it (and I hope you're sitting down) to the brooding, cruel and methodical assassin envisioned by Flemming in his original stories. TD was a RADA trained Shakespearian actor for God's sake and certainly had no intention of smirking and punning his way through each adventure. Dalton said that half the world loved Connery and the other half loved Moore (which is hedging your bets a bit) but he bravely chose to play it like neither. We can only imagine at the relief Richard Maibrum must have felt, given the opportunity to finally write an real screenplay tailored to the new approach, having been no doubt advised in previous outings that plot and character was superfluous to requirements. The result is a story set in the real world . Goodbye super-villains bloated on world domination plots and hello to arms dealers, Afgan resistance fighters, double crosses and political assassinations. After so many remakes of You Only Live Twice it certainly is a tonic and Dalton's hard-edged, professional spy washes over you like a radox bath following a 300 mile trek through the Gobi. His performance reinvigorates the series and makes all thats old new again. The familiar elements are all here - the car, the girls, the locations, but anchored in a real cold war setting with Pretenders loving KGB agents round every corner and the credible whiff of counter-espionage, the whole thing crackles with an energy and an urgency that would have been a fantasy in any of Moores mirth-ridden efforts. Even John Barry's music, in his final contribution to the series, is a fresh and exciting affair - blending high tempo action cues with his usual gift for generating a sense of foreboding and pathos in equal measure. Yes, Bond hadn't felt this good or LOOKED this good since the mid-sixites but as if to prove the old adage that you can't have too much of a good thing, we didn't. Audiences found Dalton humorless and the heady excesses of good story, three-dimensional characterisation and real world setting somewhat distracting. After all, where were all the puns (Dalton's "he got the boot" aside), the jokes and the evil bloke at the end who plans to ravage the planet with deadly spores? People were beginning to ask and Dalton still had two films to go on his contract....


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