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Moonraker (1979)

Where all the other Bonds end . . . this one begins!

Original Title : Moonraker
Director : Lewis Gilbert
Writer : Ian Fleming
Christopher Wood
Genre : Action
Adventure/Sci-Fi/Thriller
Country : UK
Language : English
Producer : Albert R. Broccoli , William P. Cartlidge , Michael G. Wilson
Music : John Barry
Photography : Jean Tournier
Distributor : United Artists Corporation
IMDB ID : 0079574
Official site : http://www.mgm.com/title_title.do?title_star=MOONRAKE
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poster for "Moonraker" by Lewis Gilbert (1979)
Moonraker (1979) - Lewis Gilbert
 

Starring

Roger Moore James Bond
Lois Chiles Dr. Holly Goodhead
Michael Lonsdale Hugo Drax
Richard Kiel Jaws
Corinne Clery Corinne Dufour
Bernard Lee M
Geoffrey Keen Sir Frederick Gray
Desmond Llewelyn Q
Lois Maxwell Miss Moneypenny
Toshirô Suga Chang (as Toshiro Suga
Emily Bolton Manuela
Blanche Ravalec Dolly, Jaws' Girlfriend
Irka Bochenko Blonde Beauty
Mike Marshall Colonel Scott (as Michael Marshall
Leila Shenna Private Jet Hostess
Anne Lonnberg Museum Guide
Jean-Pierre Castaldi Private Jet Pilot (as Jean Pierre Castaldi
Walter Gotell General Anatol Gogol
Douglas Lambert Mission Control Director
Arthur Howard Cavendish
Alfie Bass Venice Coffin Spotter
Brian Keith U.S. Shuttle Captain
George Birt Boeing 747 Captain
Kim Fortune RAF Officer
Lizzie Warville Russian Girl
Nicholas Arbez Drax's Boy
Guy Di Rigo Ambulance Thug
Chris Dillinger Drax's Technician
Claude Carliez Gondolier
Georges Beller Drax's Technician
Denis Seurat Boeing 747 Officer
Chichinou Kaeppler Signora Del Mateo
Christina Hui Drax's Girl
Françoise Gayat Lady Victoria Devon (as Francoise Gayat
Nicaise Jean Louis Drax's Girl
Catherine Serre Countess Labinsky
Béatrice Libert Mademoiselle Deradier (as Beatrice Libert
Johnny Traber's Troupe Funambulists
S. Newton Anderson Samuel (uncredited
Jenny Arasse Bit Part (uncredited
Michel Berreur Venice Boat Pilot (uncredited
Daniel Breton Fighting Monk/Spatial Base Guard (uncredited
Albert R. Broccoli Man at St. Marks Square (uncredited
Dana Broccoli Woman at St. Mark's Square (uncredited
Lewis Gilbert Man at St. Mark's Square (uncredited
Rika Hofmann Model (uncredited
Peter Howitt Rio de Janeiro Hotel Manager (uncredited
Dominique Hulin (uncredited
W.C. 'Chunky' Huse Sailor at St. Mark's Square (uncredited
Carlos Kurt Airport Metal Detector Guard (uncredited
Melinda Maxwell (uncredited
Marc Mazza Lab Technician (uncredited
Patrick Morin Painter at St. Mark's Square (uncredited
Marc Smith Tannoy voice (uncredited
Victor Tourjansky Man with Bottle (uncredited
Jean Tournier Painter at St. Mark's Square (uncredited
Herma Vos Astronaut (uncredited
Michael G. Wilson Man outside Venini Glass/NASA Technician/Man on Bridge (uncredited
 

Plot

When a U.S. space shuttle is stolen in a midair hijacking, only Bond can find the evil genius responsible. The clues point to billionaire Hugo Drax, who has devised a scheme to destroy all human life on earth! As Bond races against time to stop Drax's evil plot, he joins forces with Dr. Holly Goodhead, a NASA scientist who is as beautiful as she is brilliant. And 007 needs all the help he can get, for Drax's henchman is none other Bond's old nemesis Jaws, the indestructible steel-toothed giant. Their adventure leads all the way to a gigantic space station, where the stage is set for an epic battle for the fate of all mankind.
 

Comments

A brilliant Bond film that is highly underrated!, 8 March 2000 Author: john-597 (john@e1600.demon.co.uk) from Brighton, England "Moonraker" is the most unfairly criticised of all the Bond films. The 11th film in the series and the fourth starring Roger Moore, "Moonraker" works very well for a number of reasons. As Ian Fleming's original novel (written in 1955) had become too dated to translate to the screen, the producers decided to capitalise on the sci-fi craze started by Star Wars, and so created a spectacular space-age adventure where Bond himself journeys into outer space.Whilst this film was certainly inspired by Star Wars, this is not meant to imply that "Moonraker" copies directly from the former. Don't forget that only the last 20-30 minutes of the film takes place in space. Although the laser battle looks dated by modern standards, it is still a classic slice of Bond action, that, as one reviewer has stated, compares with the underwater battle in "Thunderball". And on that level it works superbly. What I especially like about "Moonraker" is the way it glides smoothly from one action sequence to another. This way, there's not only no shortage of thrills, but an overall level of consistency in the storyline is maintained, where Bond hops across the globe (to Venice and Rio, for example) uncovering clues as to the disappearance of the Moonraker space shuttle. On the way, he survives the customary assassination attempts by the bad guys (Drax and Jaws), and then at the end of the film all the clues piece together to complete the jigsaw. It's steady, consistent storylines like this that prove the key to a successful Bond film.Purists often accuse "Moonraker" of being too stupid. Although there are some pretty outrageous sight gags, the film still retains its enormous appeal. Certainly, "Moonraker" is the most light-hearted Bond film, and it's quite clear that Roger Moore was enjoying himself tremendously here. His performance in this escapade certainly brought a smile to my lips.There's also a wonderful cast. Drax is quite possibly the best Bond villain. His one-liners are great and he is certainly not short of ideas on how to dispose of Bond. The beautiful Lois Chiles proves to have the right qualities as an astronaut/CIA agent, and she is a worthy ally to 007. Bond's first romantic encounter Corinne Dufour (Corinne Clery) brings a lot to the film. Richard Kiel makes his encore performance as the steel-toothed giant Jaws. After his superhuman appearance in "The Spy Who Loved Me", Jaws plays more for laughs this time round, but his Roadrunner/Wile E. Coyote-type battles with 007 are still entertaining. There's also another henchman, Chang (Toshiro Suga) who provides more credibility if somewhat less invincibility in a superbly staged duel with Bond in a glass factory."Moonraker" also sees John Barry at his composing best. He provides a number of rich, atmospheric tracks that perfectly reflect the film's outer space theme. Shirley Bassey's third title song isn't quite as good as "Goldfinger" but better than "Diamonds Are Forever", and is certainly as good as Carly Simon's song for TSWLM."Moonraker" has often been placed at the bottom of the Bond spectrum. It doesn't belong there. It has everything a successful Bond film needs: a great plot, superb villains, exotic locations, beautiful women, brilliant special effects (for which visual effects maestro Derek meddings received an Oscar nomination) and action by the bucketful. There are scenes which generate genuine suspense and which feature awe-inspiring stunts in mid-air and on water. The space scenes are well done and all aspects of the space shuttle look true to life. In summary, "Moonraker" is a brilliant film in its own right and should rank up there with "Goldfinger" and "The Spy Who Loved Me" as one of the best Bonds ever made. I strongly urge you doubters to take a second look.
 
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