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The Living Daylights (1987)

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.


John Glen


Richard Maibaum (screenplay), Michael G. Wilson (screenplay)
3,080 ( 700)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
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 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


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. Written by simon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


James Bond 007 at his most dangerous in The Living Daylights See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

MGM [United States]




English | Arabic | French | German | Russian | Czech | Slovak | Dari | Pushto

Release Date:

31 July 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

James Bond 007: The Living Daylights See more »


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,051,284, 2 August 1987

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Eon Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Paul Weston: The Stuntman as Gibraltar Soldier #3. See more »


When the Russian assassin kills the second British guard in order to steal the Land Rover, the guard is shoved aside and falls alongside the idling vehicle. But when Bond arrives on the pathway above and looks down to see killer driving off, the murdered British guard is now laying a few feet further in front of the Land Rover. See more »


[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.
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Crazy Credits

James Bond will return See more »


Referenced in Skyfall (2012) See more »


Concert for cello in Ut minor
Music by Antonín Dvorák
Conducted by Gert Meditz
Performed by Austria Youth Symphony Orchestra with Stefan Kropfitsch (cello)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Stuff my orders! I only kill professionals.
10 July 2012 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Living Daylights is directed by John Glen and adapted to screenplay by Ricahrd Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson from an Ian Fleming story. It stars Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo, Jeroen Krabbe, Brad Whitaker, John Rhys-Davies, Joe Don Baker and Art Malik. Music is scored by John Barry and cinematography by Alec Mills.

Bond 15 and 007 is assigned to Bratislava to help in the defection of Soviet General Kosov from the Iron Curtain. But pretty soon Bond is mired in a plot involving arms, opium and assassinations.

With Moore retired the search for a new Bond invariably came down to two names who had been mentioned in Bond circles before, Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton. TV schedules and commitments would play a part and eventually Dalton got the role and eagerly he read up on Fleming's novels to ensure he had a grasp on the beloved Secret Agent. In spite of many misconceptions about Dalton's tenure in the tuxedo, his take was stripped back and closer to Fleming's literary source, his intense acting style ensuring Bond was getting back to the thriller realm.

The Living Daylights is a great Bond movie, mostly devoid of stupid sight gags and cheese laden quips, it sees Bond back to indulging in glorious fist fights, using brains and brawn to achieve his ends, and with Dalton putting the arrogant swagger back into the man, Bond is sexy and dangerous again. The plot is intelligent, operating on three fronts and spanning across the continents, production values are immense, Barry's final score is a knockout, one of his most atmospheric and the title song by Norwegian pop darlings, a-ha, is energy supreme and became a monster chart hit. Glen's action direction is practically peerless, including an excellent pre-credit sequence (where a training exercise turns bloody) and a mano mano fight between Bond and a baddie aboard an in flight cargo plane, the latter of which is a series highlight. Maryam d'Abo is a good Bond girl, making Kara Milovy brave but also sweetly innocent, the pairing of Dalton and d'Abo works very well.

Where the picture mainly falls down is with the villains, who are just too lightweight to amp up the peril within the plot. Krabbe and Baker are far from being bad or even average actors, but they rarely offer a threat to Bond and it's a stretch to imagine they could seriously trouble him. Elsewhere, Robert Brown continues to lack an edge in the role of M and Caroline Bliss steps into the Moneypenny shoes vacated by Lois Maxwell and struggles to make an impact because the script doesn't allow her too. Big crime, too, is having Felix Leiter finally return only for him to be underwritten and performed by a dull actor (John Terry). One misstep in the film 's plotting sees Bond and Milovy escape from danger by using a Cello case as a sledge, it looks daft and feels like it belongs in one of Roger Moore's cartoonish Bond movies. Much has been made of Dalton being uncomfortable saying the quips, and that's right, it does show, but that is a world away from the Bond he wanted to play. I do wonder if this screenplay was tailored towards Brosnan, who was inches away from getting the gig? Or even a holdover from a script written with Moore in mind?

No matter, Dalton ushered in a Bond of class and intensity and the worldwide box office chimed to the tune of over $190 million, nearly $50 million more than Moore's last film, A View to a Kill. Critics were mixed on the film and with Dalton's take on the Bond role, they failed to see it was a new era and that it was an actor refusing (rightly so) to mimic either of the Bond's that went before him. Fleming purists were much happier, and with that box office take proving, so were movie going Bond fans. 8.5/10

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