James Bond’s THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS Pre-Title Decoded!

Podcast Episode

James Bond’s THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS Pre-Title Decoded!

Join undercover agents Dan, Tom and Vicky as they decode new discoveries and connections of the pre-title sequence in The Living Daylights!

Gibraltar! Spies parachuting in! Paint balls! Hedgehogs! Macaques, a chase, a yacht, smiert spionam and . . . a new James Bond! All in the pre-title sequence to THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS!

Join undercover agents Dan, Tom and Vicky as they decode new discoveries and connections of this fun pre-title sequence!

Ideas/Comments: Info@SpyMovieNavigator.com

 

In this discussion we look at the following in the pre-title sequence to The Living Daylights:

  • The beach that opens the movie
  • M’s office delivering a pep talk in a plane
  • Timothy Dalton’s slow reveal as James Bond
  • The parachute scene
  • Climbing on the steep cliffs of Gibraltar
  • Filming technique on the short road
  • The Land Rover plunge off the cliff
  • Dalton’s landing on a yacht
  • and more …

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The Lost and Overlooked Bonds

Contributed by: Daniel Silvestri and Tom Pizzato of SpyMovieNavigator.com

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James Bond has been big for decades!  Spies still rule movies, and James Bond still rules spies!  There have been six actors who have played James Bond so far in the EON Production James Bond 007 movies.  Hundreds of articles and polls rank these actors as to who is the best, with rankings from one to sixThere is some consensus that people like Sean Connery the best.  Daniel Craig is ranked highly as well And, there are those who love Pierce Brosnan, and others who adore Roger Moore. Many times, what influences a person’s rankings or favorite Bond is the era in which they grew up. If you grew up with Pierce, then a lot of people like Pierce and so on. As a result, that means that there are two who are the lost and overlooked Bonds.  We would like to concentrate on these “forgotten” Bonds. Namely, George Lazenby from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and Timothy Dalton from The Living Daylights  and Licence to Kill 

Is George Lazenby - A lost and Overlooked Bond?

George Lazenby wearing a tux - headshotOn Her Majesty’s Secret Service is just one of the best Bond stories Fleming ever wroteAnd while bringing it to film, EON Productions stuck very closely to the Fleming text. George's only acting experience had been in television commercials.  Still, he landed the role after Sean Connery decided to leave the franchise.

The Criticism

There is a loof criticism swirling about that George Lazenby was a poor Bond, that his acting was terrible, that his characterization of Bond was weak. However, we think that this is misguided.  In our opinion, George is one of the lost and overlooked Bonds who deserves more credit than he gets.  We think George did a wonderful job as Bond.  He was surrounded by an outstanding cast spearheaded by Diana Rigg (Tracy di Vincenzo) and Gabriele Ferzetti (Draco, Tracy’s father)The movie was well done.  It has great cinematography and wonderful locations selected in Portugal and Switzerland 

George Lazenby's Talent

George Lazenby was a believable, emotional, real-person Bond: much like Fleming wrote Bond. For example, look at the scene  at Draco’s birthday party at the bull ring.  Bond follows Tracy down the stairs and speaks with her just outside the bull ring.  Lazenby's acting is just spot-on, he's a believable guy. He's a guy, not just a spy guy.   James Bond (George Lazenby) and Tracy (Diana Rigg) in the barn   And when Bond and Tracy are hiding in the barn, and Bond asks Tracy to marry him. We think this is just a perfect scene – well played.  Diana Rigg certainly elevates the emotions and acting here.   George Lazenby as James Bond - see his expression when he looks at Tracy's dead body   In the last scene, he is cradling his dead wife in his arms in the car after she is killed.  George is just outstandingWe believe is a very real Bond.  He's a very believable spy who is also a human being.  Lazenby gives a very consistent portrayal of Bond throughout this production.   

Our Thoughts On George Lazenby

Lazenby should have continued to do more Bond films, but he received advice from agents or friends that he should move onAnd he didThat is too bad because we think he would have been better and better as Bond, and a very solid contribution to the history of the franchiseGeorge Lazenby, at the time of this writing, is still active.  He participated in the 50th Anniversary of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service celebration held in Portugal and Switzerland in 2019, and is active on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lazenbyofficial  We truly believe that George Lazenby is one of the lost and overlooked Bonds.  That is unfortunate because we really liked his performance in the role.

Is Timothy Dalton - a lost and overlooked Bond?

Timothy Dalton wearing a tux - headshotAfter Roger Moore left the Bond franchise having done seven James Bond films, Timothy Dalton stepped in as the next James Bond, for the 1987 film, The Living DaylightsHis take on the role was to bring back the Fleming-esque elements of Bond – the blunt instrument of the government – the tough, rough assassin who is dedicated to Queen and Country.   The transition from a very light Bond portrayed by Roger Moore, with a more tongue-in-cheek approach, lots of funny quips, more humor than we have seen ion any other Bond – to Timothy Dalton’s Bond was like Evel Knievel leaping across Grand Canyon on a motorcycle – a huge challenge.    In short, after seven Bond films with Moore, the viewing public might not have been ready for this take on Bond. Dalton played a very serious James Bond – with few quips, few smiles, and a very hard-nosed focus on getting the job done, and in a way that was a very believable approach to how a spy in the real-world night workThe missions were more down-to-earth too: transporting a defecting spy from the Russians to the British in The Living Daylights, and capturing a South American drug lord in Licence to Kill.  This is stuff that really happens in the real world – not dealing with some demented, super-megalomaniacal enemy who wants to rule the world. Although in real life we have some instances of that.     We like that “normal” approach to the spy world – which is more realistic.  However, we have enjoyed the world domination theme as well in the other films  With Dalton, you can see several things which stand out in his acting: 

Facial Expressions

For instance, his facial expressions are exactly that – they express a lot to the viewer in just a few short seconds.  This is very difficult to doSome great examples of this are: 
    • In The Living Daylights:

Timothy Dalton looking for revenge after Saunder's death • Saunders gets killed and Bond runs to his side. A balloon blows in with "Smiert Spionom" written on it.  Dalton's angry face says it all - he will retaliate.  

• Similarly, during the entire scene with Pushkin in the hotel room where Bond is threatening him with his gun.  Dalton has perfect facial expressions and body movement. 

    • In Licence to Kill:

Timothy Dalton's expression when looking at Della after her death 

When Bond finds Della's body 

 

 

And then finds Felix in the body bag - his face just says it all - terrific acting.

 

 • His facial expression when M is talking to Bond at the Hemingway House, revoking his license to kill is top-notch.

• When Bond tells Sanchez about potential traitors and Sanchez says he was right and got the guy, and Bond says, “Only one?”  Again, lots of potential dialogue delivered in a couple of words and great facial communications which substitutes for more linePerfect.

In the scene where Sanchez dies.  Bond is wounded and bleeding.  Sanchez, after saying “You could have had it all” goes up in flames. Examine Bond’s face – you feel the pain, you feel the tension.   

Body Movement

Similarly, Timothy Dalton’s body movements are spot on.  In other words, he walks, he fights, and he runs just like what we think a normal human being would be like 
    • In Licence to Kill:
      • When Bond is walking with Hawkins through Mallory Square in Key West on the way to the Hemingway House to meet M. Bond which Bond did not know that's where they were going at the time.  However,  he moves like a normal personNatural, walking, and walking. 
      • And, when he's on the boat with Sharkey going to Wavecrest’s warehouse and research center – again, great facial expressions, and great, natural body movement. 
      • And, when he gets off the boat at the Barrelhead Bar in Bimini – again, perfect movement, perfect facial expressions, and inside the bar, his face says it allSo powerful.
    • In The Living Daylights, as above, with the Pushkin scene Dalton's body movement is just what you think it should be. And, as you're watching, you do not think about it. This is the pointThis entire scene is Dalton at his bestLove it! 

Our Thoughts On Timothy Dalton

These are just a few examplesDalton did a great job as Bond and we wish he would have done more Bond moviesFor a variety of reasons it was not to be.  This was partially due to delays in the next release (6 years).  Some licensing issues and rumors that lower box office numbers had something to do with it.  But, Dalton himself says, they approached him to do GoldenEye. However, they wanted a 5 movie deal.  As a result, Dalton thought that would be the rest of his life and turned them down.   See this article in Esquire where he talks about this very point.    In our opinion, Timothy is the other lost and overlooked Bonds who deserves more credit than he gets.

Bravo Gentlemen

In short, these overlooked and mostly forgotten Bonds deserve an honored place in Bond movie folklore, performance, and durabilityThey have survived the years, and more people now think that their work should be appreciated as part of the James Bond 007 movie franchise  Therefore, we salute both George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton as rightful Bonds!  What do you think?
Spy Movie Navigator visits Licence to Kill Filming Locations in Key West Florida (USA)

Podcast Episode

Spy Movie Navigator visits Licence to Kill Filming Locations in Key West Florida (USA)

Eon Productions film, Licence to Kill was filmed, in part, in Key West, Florida in the USA. Spy Movie Navigator took a trip to Key West to see what the locations from the movie look like today. Join Dan and Tom as they navigate the Key West streets and harbors and get an updated look at these sites.

This is part 2 of Spy Movie Navigator’s Florida trip.

Do you remember the airports in Licence to Kill, both the airport that Sanchez lands his Cessna and the one where James Bond lands in Key West?  How about the Seven-Mile Bridge where Felix Leiter, Sharkey, and Bond are in their Rolls Royce heading to Felix’s wedding (and where Sanchez executes his escape)? These scenes and many others were actually in Key West, Florida and in other Florida Key, in the USA.    We visit over a dozen film Licence to Kill locations in the Florida Keys!

Join Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato on their journey to Key West to find out what has happened to these, and other, Florida Key filming locations from the fantastic movie,  Licence to Kill.

Related Content

LICENCE TO KILL 

First EON Productions film where the title was not taken from a Fleming work.  Was going to be called Licence Revoked, but powers that be thought not many people would understand the word “Revoked” at that time, so was changed to Licence to Kill.  What EON did well is take pieces of Flemings works and characters and move them around in their screenplays for their movies.    Here, Milton Krest is taken from the Fleming short storyThe Hildebrand Rarity written in 1960, which was published in the For Your Eyes Only collection The Hildebrand Rarity is a rare fish, by the way.  Here, Krest is inserted into Licence to Kill as a main character.   Simply brilliant.     

This is a story of a South American drug lord (Franz Sanchez) who the US DEA has been after for bringing drugs into the US, is captured on US soil, here in the Florida Keys, directed by Felix Leiter and fellow DEA team, along with Bond.   After a daring escape by Sanchez, he retaliates against Leiter, kills his new bride, and leaves Leiter for dead after feeding him to sharks.  The rest of the story is Bond going rogue as an agent to get his revenge on Sanchez for what he has done, MI6 wanting him out of the picture, and all the details that happen to get resolution to this situation, which of course, Bond does.   

Filmed in the Florida Keys and Mexico 

 

  1. Seven Mile Bridge – Rolls Royce and Helicopter landing – to let Felix, Sharkey, and Bond know Sanchez is on the mainland.   

The helicopter with DEA agents aboard, stop the Rolls Royce carrying the tuxedo-clad Leiter, Sharkey, and Bond who are on the way to Felix Leiter’s wedding.   By the way, in the movie, they are shown driving in the opposite direction of Key West where the wedding is taking place, but that’s artistic license.     

The helicopter lands in what is now a parking lot near Marathon (a Key about halfway between Key Largo and Key West).  There is the old Seven Mile Bridge running parallel to this bridge.   Leiter decides to go pursue Sanchez and tells Sharkey to tell Dells, his bride to be, that he will be there.  Leiter and Bond get into the helicopter right here and fly off to pursue Sanchez who is supposedly on American soil in pursuit of his girlfriend, Lupe somewhere in the Keys.   

 

  1. Sugarloaf Key – airport where Sanchez lands his jet. 

Sanchez’s plane lands here because he knows that his girlfriend Lupe is in some house here with a lover.    

 

  1. The wooden house where Lupe is caught with boyfriend.  Sanchez, Lupe, Boyfriend, and Dario (Benicio del Toro) and Braun (Guy De Saint Cyr)

At this very house, which looks a little different today than it did in the film, Sanchez’s goons kill a guy who is dozing on these stairs by strangling him from behind and leaving his body beneath the stairs.   Sanchez, Dario and Braun climb these stairs throw open the door and find Lupe (Talisa Soto) in bed with another man.   Here we see how evil, malicious and wicked Sanchez is (played brilliantly by Robert Davi – one of our all-time favorite Bond villains.  

He is the personification of evil when they yank the lover out of bed, and Sanchez asks Lupe,   “Did he promise you his heart?  Give her his heart.”  And his goons take the man outside, presumably to cut out his heart.   At this point, they hear the helicopter coming, and start to leave the house.  A jeep swings by to pick up Sanchez as he now descends these very steps.    

  1. The field where the chase takes place  

A big chase happens right in the fields near this house, where the helicopter has landed, the jeep is driving, bullets are flying everywhere,  where Sanchez leaps from the jeep and eventually gets away taking off in a Cessna 172 sports plane.  As he escapes, he looks down at Leiter and Bond and the DEA agents, smiles and salutes them goodbye.   

 

  1. Sugarloaf airport where Sanchez takes the Cessna 172 (N54748 – was a 3) plane and escapes.  (NOW PRIVATELY OWNED: SKYDIVE WEST – William Respess, manager.  5 Bat Tower Road  305-396-8806). Here is the runway at Sugar Loaf Airport, where Sanchez takes off with the Cessna.  You can still see the houses in the background that were in the film.   

 

  1. St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church,  on Truman Ave and Windsor Lane
    There are several shots of the church while Della is riding around the block with her father, as Sharkey tells her to go around again because Felix is not here yet.   Her dad, p[prophetically tells Della, “I told you this was a mistake.”    Eventually, after Bond’s daring fishing venture where he is lowered from the helicopter on the cable and wraps the cable around the tail of Sanchez’s plane to capture the villain, both Bond and Leiter parachute down to the wedding and land right in front of the church.   They actually did this in one take, even though they landed several yards apart.   

 

So here we see the sky above the church where they parachuted down, and the front of the church where they landed.  We are standing in the very spots where Felix landed, and then Bond a moment later.  Here is the beautiful church, pretty much looking exactly like it did in the film.   While they did not show the inside of the church in the film, we wanted to take a look inside and to be able to show you this beautiful church, whose doors are always open.  This is a must-stop for Bond fans. 

 

  1. Seven Mile Bridge – where Sanchez is being transported and where truck crashes off the bridge for his escape.  

We are back on Seven Mile Bridge, where the secured armored prison vehicle is transporting the captured Sanchez to Miami.  This time, by the way, they are headed in the right direction.    

Sanchez has paid off a DEA agent, Killifer, and an escape plan is hatched and in the works here.  At a precise moment, the van is crashed off the bridge into the water, near Pigeon Key (an island in the middle of the old Severn Mile/Parallel Bridge), and just before the parking lot at Marathon. 

  1. Felix Leiter’s House – wedding reception.  707 South Street – Stephano’s house?  SOLD for $5m in 2017 

Felix and Della’s wedding reception takes place at Felix’s house, in the side yard.  This is a beautiful home surrender by palm trees.   It is at the reception that Della and Felix give Bond a gift, a silver lighter engraved, “To James.  Love Always, Della and Felix.” 

This is the second wedding reception location we have been too – we were at the James Bond and Teresa di Vincenzo’s wedding reception mansion in Portugal – which was simply gorgeous.  Look up our “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” videos and podcasts for that. 

 

  1. Airport – outside where Bond parks and Continental counter, which is now United 
  1. Outside where Bond parks his car and gets his bags out of the trunk, and the inside counter which was a Continental counter at the time of the filming, where Bond is getting his ticket.  This is now a United Airlines counter.   This is where Bond hears a lot of sirens and sees a lot of police officers and asks what’s going on;   The ticket counter agent tells him some drug lord has escaped, and that’s when Bond heads back to Felix’s house to discover Della dead and Felix almost dead.  
     
  1. Conch Republic Seafood Company is a restaurant now at 631 Green Street (at Elizabeth) where the warehouse was where Krest was and where Leiter was fed to the sharks.  We went in to see if we could see where that took place but no remnants of that are left.   

 

  1. Felix Leiter’s House again – finds Della dead, Felix almost dead
     
  1.  Meeting with Pam Bouvier, Barrelhead Bar in Bimini: Actually is The Harbor Lights Raw Bar at Palm Avenue/Eisenhower Drive (In North of Key West Old Town).   Lunch here?  Inside was shot in Mexico.  Shoot where boat pulls up, and the building, etc.] 

After Bond discovers Della dead, and Felix almost dead from shark attack with a bloody note on his body, right from the Fleming book, “He disagreed with something that ate him” he later finds the laser disk that Felix had hidden behind a photo of Della and examines it and discovers that Felix was supposed to have a meeting with Pam Bouvier at the Barrelhead Bar in Bimini.   So, Bond gets a boat and heads to Bimini.  This location of the Barrelhead bar is really on the north end of Key West, so we are here for a visit now!    

The real name of the place is The Harbor Lights Raw Bar and for the film, they built a false front wall to the building – which later a hole is blown through.   This is where Bond comes in with the boat, and the dock man ties it up and keeps an eye on the boat, and actually turns it around for Bond.   When he enters the bar, this is actually filmed somewhere in Mexico and not in this bar. 

But we went in this bar anyway, hand lunch, and they claim to have the original neon Barrelhead Bar sign that was used in the film above the bar here.  Here is the sign in the bar.  You decide! 

  1. Garrison Bite: Charter Dock: Sharkey’s Boat – where Bond meets Sharkey  

We wanted to see where all the charter boats go out, as this is where Sharkey’s boat was when Bond met with him.  So we think we are about where Sharkey’s boat would have been, but the area looks a lot different now as you can see.  It still is a beautiful area and a very busy one indeed. 

  1. Mallory Square Walking with DEA Agent Hawkins on way to Hemmingway House 

We are walking in Mallory Square, one of the hot spots of Key West – this is where lots of people meet at sunset, there are street musicians and all kinds of things going on – this is Key West – pretty crazy here.    

This is where DEA agent Hawkins meets Bond, taps him on the shoulder and says that they heard about what happened the nights before at that Krest fish warehouse, and some were killed, etc. and that Bond should basically back off and let the DEA do their job because we have laws here too.   Bond is not happy, but Hawkins is taking Bond to a meeting, which will take place at Hemingway House – though they stroll a short distance walking and talking, the Hemingway House is probably about a mile or so away. 
Hemingway House
907 Whitehead
Key West, FL 

M: “You were supposed to be in Istanbul last night.  I’m afraid this unfortunate Leiter business has clouded your judgment.   You have a job to do.  I expect you on a plane this afternoon.” 

When Bond says he has not finished here, M says “Leave it to the Americans.   It’s their mess.  Let them clear it up.”  Bond objects again saying he owes it to Leiter.   M says, ‘Oh spare me this sentimental rubbish.  He knew the risks.”  Bond: “And his wife?”    M: “This personal vendetta of yours could easily compromise her majesty’s government.  You have an assignment and I expect you to carry it out objectively and professionally.  

Bond: “Then you have my resignation, sir.  “We’re not a country club 007”  “Effective immediately your license to kill is revoked. And I require you to hand over your weapon.   Now.” 

Bond: “I guess it’s A Farewell to Arms.” 

Farewell to Arms, is an obvious reference to a Hemingway novel, that was written at the very house where M is telling Bond that his License to Kill is revoked.   When instructed to turn over his weapon, Bond quips “A Farewell to Arms” meaning both he will have no weapons, and the Hemingway reference.  The hidden message is that in A Farewell to Arms, the main character, Henry, wants out of the army, and abandons his men on the front so he can rejoin his love, Catherine.   So, the reference is to a soldier gladly giving up his weapons to pursue life as he wants.  The irony here is Bond is doing just the opposite.  He does NOT want to give up his weapon, and he does NOT want to discontinue the fight – for him, against Sanchez for killing Della and almost killing Felix Leiter.   

So, as M and 2 agents close in on Bond, to turn over his weapon, while a sniper is on the lighthouse tower watching over M and the other agents, Bond puts up a fight and leaps over the railing of the balcony of the Hemingway House and escapes.   While some shots are fired at him here, M stops them from shooting any more – not because he doesn’t want Bond shot, but because he says “too many people.”   But as the camera looks up at M from below as he leans over the railing, he says “God help you, Commander”  This made us think that perhaps M stopped his agents from shooting Bond because he really did not want Bond killed, but said “too many people” to show his reports that he is tough and means business. 

 

  1. Coast Guard Pier – is where WaveKrest was docked, where WaveKrest crashes into the dock was filmed here, and other scenes.  Between Pier one and Pier 2.   Can we get in there?  Maybe not 

 


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