Moonraker
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FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Moonraker can be found here.

All of the James Bond movies are based, in some part, upon novels by British author Ian Fleming [1908-1964]. Moonraker is based on Fleming's 1955 novel of the same name. It was adapted for the screen by English screenwriter Christopher Wood. Wood, in turn, novelized the movie in James Bond and Moonraker, published the same year in which the movie was released (1979). Moonraker is the eleventh film in the EON Bond franchise and the fourth movie to feature Roger Moore as James Bond, 007.

Who sings the title song?

Moonraker is sung by Welsh singer Shirley Bassey, who is the only performer to date that has done more than one Bond theme. She also did the themes for Goldfinger & Diamonds are Forever.

What is the Moonraker?

The Moonraker is a space shuttle manufactured in California by Drax Industries. It was hijacked while being flown to England on the back of a 747. The jet subsequently crashed in Canada's Yukon Territory, but the Moonraker was nowhere to be found amid the debris.

Bond starts out on an airplane returning to London from Africa, where he was just finishing the last leg of another mission. He is then sent to California in order to talk with Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), the builder of the Moonraker that was hijacked in midair. There he meets Dr Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles), an astronaut working for Drax Industries. When Bond learns that some of the parts for Drax's Moonrakers are being made at the Venni Glassworks in Italy, he flies to Venice where he encounters Holly Goodhead again. Bond figures out that Holly is a CIA operative, and they decide to work together. They learn that Drax is moving his operation to Brazil, so they fly to Rio. After Bond discovers Drax's base in the Amazon jungle, he and Holly commandeer a Moonraker and end up in outer space.

Drax is playing Raindrop Prelude, opus 28, number 15 in D flat Major, composed by Frdric Chopin.

In the DVD commentary, it says that the effect was created with high-pressure air jets through a thin nozzle on a tube held off camera by Roger Moore himself. Moore suffered bruising to his cheeks afterwards.

As he explains to Bond, one of the six Moonrakers that were needed for him to complete his mission developed a fault during its assembly. He needed to get back the one that was on the way to England because he was breaking down his operation on Earth and didn't have time to build another Moonraker.

According to a commercial raiser of snakes, it's a reticulated python, native to Africa.

It's the theme song from The Magnificent Seven (1960). The music was also used in several Marlboro cigarette commercials in the 1980s.

How does the movie end?

Bond and Holly knock out the pilots for the sixth Moonraker and take their place. Flying on a preset course, they eventually rendezvous with the other Moonrakers at a radar-cloaked space station where Drax has assembled numerous pairs of perfect people whom he intends to use to restart the human race. Bond and Holly disable the radar jammer in order to make the station visible from earth. The U.S. subsequently sends a military shuttle to investigate. Meanwhile, Drax has launched the first three of 50 globes carrying the deadly nerve toxin to earth in his attempt to wipe out the imperfect human race. A laser battle in space takes place when the military shuttle arrives, and Bond manages to eject Drax into space after shooting him with a cyanide-tipped dart. The space station begins to break up, so Bond and Holly attempt to get away in Drax's personal Moonraker, but they can't get the release work. Jaws (Richard Kiel), having been convinced to turn sides when Bond points out that Drax won't allow him and Dolly (Blanche Ravalec) to live in his perfect world, agrees to help and frees the Moonraker. As the space station begins to disintegrate around Jaws and Dolly, their module also detaches from the station; they go floating into space just before the space station explodes. Bond and Holly track down the three globes and destroy them. In the final scene, M has gotten visual contact with Bond's Moonraker. Bond and Holly are seen floating in space with only a sheet to cover their naked bodies. "I think he's attempting re-entry," says Q. Bond flicks off the camera, and Holly asks him to "take [her] around the world one more time."

After Bond destroys the last globe, a Houston controller states that the American shuttle rescued two survivors "a tall man and a short, blonde woman", indicating that Jaws and Dolly did indeed survive.

Bond comes across Drax when M has Bond expose him as a card cheat. Drax has a red beard that covers scarring on his face. The Moonraker is a missile instead of a space shuttle. Jaws and Chang aren't in the book. Dr.Holly Goodhead is instead a Scotland Yard agent named Galatea "Gala" Brand. Drax turns out to be a Nazi named Graf Hugo von der Drache and the Moonraker is secretly aimed to hit London. Drache captures James and Gala and plans to cook them with the Moonraker's rockets. They escape and James changes the gyros then he and Gala hide in the shower turned on full blast. Drache escapes in a Russian submarine but a reprogrammed Moonraker blows him out of the water. Bond and Gala are exiled to France until the event blows over but Gala reveals to Bond that she's engaged to marry another man.

Including Moonraker, Moore made seven movies in which he played James Bond: Live and Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), and A View to a Kill (1985).

During his fight with behind the glass-faced clock, Bond spots some large crates with the Drax Industries logo and Rio de Jainero stenciled on them. One of the crates is partially broken open and Bond spots one of the globes he saw in the laboratory inside it.

Also, a little later, following his romantic tryst with Holly Goodhead, he sees a plane ticket for her to fly to Rio.

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