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The Living Daylights (1987)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Thriller  |  31 July 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 65,344 users  
Reviews: 262 user | 100 critic

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.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Wheatley ...
Geoffrey Keen ...
Caroline Bliss ...


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


Living on the edge. It's the only way he lives. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



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Release Date:

31 July 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

James Bond 007: The Living Daylights  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)


$51,185,897 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Aerial stuntmen B.J. Worth and Jake Lombard performed the pre-credits parachute jump. Both the terrain and wind were unfavourable. Consideration was given to the stunt being done using cranes but Worth stuck to skydiving and completed the scenes in a day. See more »


During the fight scene between Bond and the assassin when they are hanging behind the airplane, the nets varies in position from hanging far out and hanging just a bit out. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

James Bond will return See more »


Referenced in James Bond: Licence to Thrill (1987) See more »


If There Was A Man
Performed by The Pretenders
Music by John Barry
Lyrics by Chrissie Hynde
Produced by John Barry and Paul Staveley O'Duffy (as Paul O'Duffy)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not only a great Bond movie, but a great spy thriller.
3 March 2004 | by (Co Down, Northern Ireland) – See all my reviews

While many will debate and argue over Timothy Dalton for years to come, in much the same way as over George Lazenby, I going to put my foot out and say Dalton is one of my favorite Bond's, along with Brosnan and Connery. There never really has been a bad Bond actor, but Dalton, I believe is up there with Connery and Pierce and I love The Living Daylights. Dalton was my first 'new' Bond in many ways. I was four when this film was released, and was developing a love for the Bond movies at the time. I had grown up watching the Moore and Connery movies on television and Dalton was the first new actor in the role that I seen, which is why I have special affection for this Bond movie. I love it. Not only do we have a great Bond movie, but it is also a great espionage thriller that eventually turns into the kind of epic Bond adventure we all know and love. The plot involving the double-double cross of a KGB agent defecting to Britain called Georgi played brilliantly by Jeroen Krabbe, and Bond's attempts to find him when he is 'kidnapped' by playing on the trust of his girlfriend, Kara, a beautiful cello player performed magnificently by Maryam D'abo, is enthralling, and the way it leads from the London countryside, to the ferris wheels of Vienna and eventually to Afghanistan is superbly done. The film is mixture of the thriller elements of the Ian Fleming novels and the epic adventure scope of the movies.

As James Bond Timothy Dalton is excellent, a fantastic choice to play the part. His decision to play the part more akin to the novels of Fleming than the humor of Roger Moore is an inspired choice. He is a mixture of the Fleming character and Sean Connery's Bond. While there is a serious nature here (the darker elements would be at the forefront more in the equally brilliant Licence To Kill), there is still room for humor as seen in the car chase ("I've had a few optional extras installed" when talking about the gadgets). Coming off the Moore films, it may have been too soon for a return to the serious roots, but it works well in the long run. The film doesn't feel like some far fetched action film, it feels like a great spy movie with great actors. Adding to this a wonderfully 80's theme tune from A-Ha, a great score from John Barry and a plethora of great baddies as well as some great set pieces (the battle on the runway at the end is great as is Bond's climactic battle with henchman Necros hanging from the back of an airplane).

I love this film a lot. It's dark, yes, although not as dark as the film that was to come, and is still cracking great entertainment. It is a forgotten Bond classic and it is nice that as time has went on, Dalton's movies as the character have remained as great as they were in the late 80's.

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