After capturing a drug lord, Felix Leiter is left for dead and his wife is murdered. James Bond goes rogue and seeks vengeance on those responsible, as he infiltrates an organisation posing as a hitman.

Director:

John Glen
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2,403 ( 77)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Dalton ... James Bond
Carey Lowell ... Pam Bouvier
Robert Davi ... Franz Sanchez
Talisa Soto ... Lupe Lamora
Anthony Zerbe ... Milton Krest
Frank McRae ... Sharkey
Everett McGill ... Killifer
Wayne Newton ... Professor Joe Butcher
Benicio Del Toro ... Dario
Anthony Starke ... Truman-Lodge
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ... President Hector Lopez (as Pedro Armendariz)
Desmond Llewelyn ... Q
David Hedison ... Felix Leiter
Priscilla Barnes ... Della Churchill
Robert Brown ... M
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Storyline

James Bond is on possibly his most brutal mission yet. Bond's good friend, Felix Leiter, is left near death, by drug baron Franz Sanchez. Bond sets off on the hunt for Sanchez, but not everyone is happy. MI6 does not feel Sanchez is their problem and strips Bond of his license to kill making Bond more dangerous than ever. Bond gains the aid of one of Leiter's friends, known as Pam Bouvier and sneaks his way into the drug factories, which Sanchez owns. Will Bond be able to keep his identity secret, or will Sanchez see Bond's true intentions? Written by simon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Timothy Dalton is back as Bond...With A Vengeance! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for action violence and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally to be set in China, but production difficulties became insurmountable. Screenwriters Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson wrote two treatments set around drugs in the Golden Triangle, with the villain being a drug warlord of the region. Ideas for the film included a motorcycle chase along the Great Wall of China, and a fight sequence in the recently discovered museum of ancient terracotta statues at Xian. When the Chinese government made several restrictive demands, such as veto rights over the script, the viability of the location fell through. Also, John Glen felt that The Last Emperor (1987) had removed some of the novelty from filming in China. See more »

Goofs

When Bond is hanging on the pontoon plane his hair is dry despite coming straight out of the sea. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
AWACS radar operator: We have a mid-course deviation. Target heading 036, 126 miles, bearing 062, Havana VOR.
Voice of DEA agent: He's landing at Cray Key. Advise Key West Drug Enforcement.
AWACS radar operator: Roger, sir. AWACS to Key West. Key West Drug Enforcement, please come in.
Voice of DEA agent: If they hurry, they just might be able to grab the bastard.
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Crazy Credits

At the tail end of the credits: "James Bond Will Return" See more »

Alternate Versions

To receive a 15 certificate, the original UK cinema release was cut by the BBFC with edits to the opening whipping of Lupe, the shark attack on Leiter, a brief shot of Krest's exploding head, blood spurts from the shooting of Loti, Dario's bloody death in the grinder, Sanchez on fire, and sound effect levels of blows in certain scenes. This same print was released on VHS. For the 2000 Special Edition DVD, some cuts were waived, with the PG-13 version being passed 15 without further cuts (despite the film playing fully uncut on ITV). The BBFC waived all the cuts for the Ultimate Edition DVD release, which restored the cuts made for the PG-13 in the US and all of the original BBFC cuts. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Round the Bend!: Episode #1.6 (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Asked Me To
Performed by Patti LaBelle
Produced by Stewart Levine
Arranged by Aaron Zigman
Written by Diane Warren
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User Reviews

Dalton's best run in the role
17 August 2003 | by didi-5See all my reviews

The worst-performing movie in the Bond movie in terms of grosses, it probably failed because it wasn't really a Bond at all. True, it is the character Fleming created, and Q is in there, but this extremely violent thriller with its strong female characterisation (Carey Lowell, perhaps the only Bond girl with `balls') is not a neat fit with the others.

The only one of the franchise created especially with star Timothy Dalton in mind (perhaps the sexiest Bond of them all?) it is a tale of loyalty, drug cartels, sharks, and 007 losing his licence and setting off as a vigilante. Lowell plays agent Pam Bouvier, who shines in a bar fight and gives 007 as good as he gets. And boy, do these two have chemistry together!

The only problem with this movie is that it gets so truncated on its TV showings that it loses a lot of its point (and in the worst edit I saw, its sense). There is perhaps too much going on - the abused Latino bimbo, the crooked evangelist, the Japanese businessmen touring the factory, the casino …

Not at all as bad as many commentators at the time and since have suggested. What a pity the series stagnated after this before its big budget Pierce Bronson revival. Dalton should have had the chance to show us more of the character he portrays in `Licence to Kill'. And what a great theme tune from Gladys Knight.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

UK | Mexico | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 July 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

License to Kill See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,774,776, 16 July 1989

Gross USA:

$34,667,015

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$156,167,015
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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