A View to a Kill, released in 1985, is the fourteenth entry in the James Bond series of films made by EON Productions, and the last to star Roger Moore as British Secret Service Agent, Commander James Bond. It was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.
The title itself is adapted from Ian Fleming's short story "From a View to a Kill", contained in the For Your Eyes Only collection of short stories released in 1960; however the title is where the similarity between book and film end, making this the second completely original Bond film after The Spy Who Loved Me. The screenplay was written by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson.
Film plot summary
The plot centers around billionaire industrialist Max Zorin, who intends to destroy Silicon Valley in California in order to gain complete control of the microchip market. Zorin is aided by his Amazonian henchwoman, the murderous May Day and his Head of Security, Scarpine. James Bond is aided in his adventure by Stacey Sutton and Sir Godfrey Tibbett.
Cast & characters
The theme tune "A View to a Kill", performed by Duran Duran, was written by Duran Duran and John Barry and peaked at #1 and #2 in the US and UK charts respectively. Although the movie underperformed commercially, "A View to a Kill" is considered the most successful Bond theme to date.
During the opening teaser the 1965 Beach Boys song California Girls is used during a chase in which Bond snowboards.
- Main Title - A View to a Kill — Duran Duran
- Snow Job
- May Day Jumps
- Bond Meets Stacey (A View to a Kill)
- Pegasus' Stable
- Tibbett Gets Washed Out
- Airship to Silicon Valley
- He's Dangerous
- Bond Underwater
- Wine With Stacey (A View to a Kill)
- Bond Escapes Roller
- Destroy Silicon Valley
- May Day Bombs Out
- Golden Gate Fight
- End Title - A View to a Kill — Duran Duran
Vehicles & gadgets
- Iceberg - Bond escapes from a mission in Iceland by getting into a boat built to look like an Iceberg.
- Camera Ring - Bond wears a ring given to him by Q-Branch that acts a camera.
- A View To A Kill is widely regarded as one of the poorest entries in the Bond series, the criticism centering on the now aged Roger Moore having long outstayed his welcome in the role; in fact many tabloid newspapers joking that Bond's next gadget from "Q" should be a Zimmer frame (walker). The plotline was also criticised for being almost identical to that of Goldfinger; similar elements include:
- In Goldfinger, the villain's scheme is to irradiate the entire US gold reserve, making it worthless, causing financial meltdown in the West plus Auric Goldfinger's personal gold stocks will increase in value tenfold; correspondingly in A View To A Kill, Max Zorin intends to destroy Silicon Valley by triggering a massive earthquake, thus leaving his company with a monopoly on the microchip market.
- As in Goldfinger, one of the business partners in the scam gets cold feet and would rather take the money and run. While Mr. Solo was assassinated by Oddjob and his body disposed of in a car crusher , in A View To A Kill, the dissenter in the ranks is dropped from Zorin's airship and into San Francisco Bay.
- Both Zorin and Goldfinger are being bankrolled by the Communists: in the former case, Zorin is an ex-KGB agent, while the atom bomb intended to destroy Fort Knox is supplied by the Chinese.
- This film is not only Roger Moore's swansong, but Lois Maxwell's as well. Maud Adams also has a cameo, taking her total of Bond appearances to three.
- At the end of Octopussy when it says "James Bond Will Return", it listed the next film as "From a View to A Kill", the name of the original short story by Ian Fleming. The title was changed a few months before filming.
- The title of the original short story is taken from a version of the words to a traditional hunting song "D'ye ken John Peel?": "From a find to a check, from a check to a view,/ From a view to a kill in the morning".
- The 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios burned down shortly prior to filming, causing a delay. It was completely rebuilt in four months and renamed 'The Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage'.
- Christopher Walken is the first Bond villain actor, and the only chief villain, to have won an Academy Award. (Benicio del Toro was a henchman to the chief villain in Licence to Kill.)
- David Bowie was allegedly the producers' first choice to play Zorin.
- When a company with a name similar to Zorin was discovered in the United States, a disclaimer was added to the start of the film affirming that the evil Zorin was not related to any real-life company.
- Part of the film takes place on the Eiffel Tower. In an earlier Bond film, Moonraker, it was mentioned that the tower was purchased by the villain of that movie, Hugo Drax, but he was refused an export permit for the structure.
- It has been suggested that the film's teaser sequence helped initiate interest in snowboarding.