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Licence to Kill (1989) Poster

Trivia

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In an interview during filming in September 1988 Timothy Dalton denied media claims that his Bond was not allowed to have as much sex due to the AIDS epidemic at the time. However, in a 2007 interview he admitted that this was in fact true.
Of all the Bond films, this one has the largest role for Desmond Llewelyn as Q.
Released in the summer of 1989, this movie suffered in competition from a welter of big box office blockbusters, including Batman (1989), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), The Abyss (1989), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) and Ghostbusters II (1989). Ever since, all Bond films have been released in either fall or winter.
Throughout the series Q is constantly reprimanding Bond for damaging or losing his equipment. Here, as a touch of irony, after he uses his rake/radio, he blithely tosses it in the bushes and walks away. This was Desmond Llewelyn's idea.
At 21 years old, Benicio Del Toro is the youngest actor to ever play a villain in a James Bond film.
During the scene where James Bond is hanging by a hook over the cocaine grinder, Benicio Del Toro's character is cutting him loose. During filming he actually cut Timothy Dalton's hand and the scene had to be stopped so he could be stitched up.
Pam Bouvier's alias as Ms. Kennedy is a reference to Jacqueline Kennedy, whose maiden name was Bouvier. Her weapon was a .25 caliber Beretta 950 automatic.
Despite being one of the least commercially successful Bond movies in the United States, it was considered by director John Glen his best "007". This opinion is shared by some fans and critics who praise the realism of Licence to Kill (1989).
The scene where Bond resigns from the MI6 was shot at Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West. That's why when M (Robert Brown) informs 007 that his licence to kill is revoked, he replies, "I guess this is a farewell to arms," a nod to one of Hemingway's most famous novels.
Had this film been financially successful, Timothy Dalton would have starred in a third James Bond film. Entitled "Property of a Lady", it would have been set in Scotland, Tokyo and Hong Kong and would have involved nanotechnology.
Due to the Writers' Guild of America strike in 1989, long-time James Bond scriptwriter Richard Maibaum was unable to continue working on the screenplay. A long time member of the Guild, Maibaum felt he could not betray his membership and ghost-write the script. Co-writer Michael G. Wilson had to complete the screenplay on his own. This was to be the fifth and final pairing for the Maibaum-Wilson writing team which had started with For Your Eyes Only (1981).
This is the last film to date in which James Bond wears a Rolex, here identified by researchers as the "Leiter Wedding Rolex". It is a Submariner Date model, either number 16800 or 168000 or 16610 (virtually identical to the casual buyer). Two decades after the release of this film, the Rolex Submariner Date 16610 is still in production and virtually identical to the watch featured in this film - except that its case lugs no longer have holes. The only watch brand Ian Fleming ever specified by name for his James Bond character was "Rolex", although his literary 007 wore an Explorer 1016 model.
Last Bond movie directed by John Glen.
Budget restraints were imposed as the producers were still paying interest on the overspending of Moonraker (1979).
Last James Bond film for six years. In August 1990, after the box office failure of this film in the United States, Director 'John Glen (II)' left EON Productions. Thirteen-time Bond screenwriter Richard Maibaum died on 4 January 1991. Some called this a "bloodless coup". Legal wrangling over the ownership of the James Bond character, coupled by these departures, delayed the release of the next film. In the interim, producer Albert R. Broccoli retired, and star Timothy Dalton decided not to play the role a third time.
Making their final appearances with the James Bond series: Richard Maibaum (writer), John Glen (director), Maurice Binder (title design), Robert Brown as M and Caroline Bliss as Moneypenny. Not to mention Timothy Dalton as James Bond.
According to the DVD commentary, Timothy Dalton was unavailable for Talisa Soto's screen test, so Robert Davi filled the role of Bond, and proved rather good in the part.
In the final chase sequence just after 007 lands on the tanker, Sanchez fires at Bond hitting the truck's fuel tanks. The sound of the bullets ricocheting off the tanks plays the start of the James Bond theme.
Pam Bouvier (played by Carey Lowell) is the first Bond Girl to ever actually drink one of Bond's signature vodka-martini cocktails.
Whilst on the set of Scarlett (1994), Timothy Dalton officially announced his resignation from the role of James Bond on 11 April 1994.
When Truman-Lodge (Anthony Starke) says that the set up cost them $32 million dollars, that is an inside joke, a reference to the film's $32 million dollar budget.
In AMC's Bond Girls Are Forever (2002), Carey Lowell said that she shut her eyes and flinched every time she fired the gun and had to be trained to fire with her eyes open because a CIA op would not flinch. However, she still winces a bit whenever she fires the handgun.
Long-time James Bond series producer Albert R. Broccoli fell sick during the production of this movie. The thinness of the air in Mexico affected his lungs and breathing and he left the location accompanied by wife Dana Broccoli and daughter Barbara Broccoli. He was unable to return and this was the last James Bond movie in which he was on the set.
According to Robert Davi, he wrote his line "Loyalty is more important to me than money."
This is the third James Bond movie to use story elements from Ian Fleming's James Bond novel "Live And Let Die" (1954), the others being obviously Live and Let Die (1973) and then secondly For Your Eyes Only (1981).
Marked the last filmed appearance of Felix Leiter until the series was rebooted with Casino Royale (2006). David Hedison remains the only actor to play Felix Leiter opposite 2 different Bonds, Timothy Dalton in 'Licence to Kill' and Roger Moore in 'Live and Let Die'.
The film was originally to be set in China but production difficulties became insurmountable. Scriptwriters Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson wrote two treatments set around drugs in the Golden Triangle with the villain being a Drug Warlord of the region. Ideas for the film included a motor cycle chase along the Great Wall of China and a fight sequence in the recently discovered museum of ancient terracotta statues at Xian. When the Chinese Government made a number restrictive demands such as veto rights over the script, the viability of the location fell through. Also, John Glen felt that The Last Emperor (1987) had removed some of the novelty from filming in China.
Bond's controversial betrayal of M was, in part, a way to sidestep the fact that the British have no jurisdiction over a Latin American drug cartel.
First James Bond movie to include tobacco warnings in its closing credits. This was in the form of a United States Surgeon General warning. Smoking of tobacco, cigarettes, cigars occurs in a number of Bond movies and this is the only one of them to include a health warning. The film featured product placement of the Philip Morris Company's Lark Cigarettes.
Gladys Knight's title song is the longest of all the Bond songs. In the UK, it peaked at the No. #6 position on the UK Charts. As a Christian soul singer, Knight apparently objected to having to sing a song with the word "kill" in it, but eventually she conceded. The song is apparently based on the "horn line" from the Goldfinger (1964) title song and consequently royalty payments were allegedly made to relevant personnel. The music video of this song was directed by Daniel Kleinman, who succeeded Maurice Binder as title designer on GoldenEye (1995).
The first James Bond film to receive a PG-13 rating in the USA.
The Broccolis (Albert R. Broccoli and his daughter Barbara Broccoli) arranged for a medical team to fly down from Washington with the sole purpose of attending to the crew, a lot of whom were having trouble adjusting to the pollution and high altitude of Mexico City.
The previous DVD special edition restored some of the original 1989 BBFC and MPAA cuts, but some footage was still missing. This included:
  • A shot of Felix' severed leg in the water.


  • The oriental woman Loti being shot in each breast.


  • Krest's head exploding against the glass.


  • Dario's legs being diced as he falls into the mincer.


  • Sanchez' burning.




All of these shots were restored in the 2006 Ultimate Edition.
This is the only James Bond film not to mention the name of the song or its artist in the opening credits sequence.
This film marked the retirement of Barry from composing scores and songs for the series. Michael Kamen took over composing duties on the film as John Barry was undergoing throat surgery at the time. Creative differences with the band A-Ha on the The Living Daylights (1987) allegedly also contributed.
The last film of the series produced and released during the Cold War. At that time Soviet Communism was already being viewed as less of a threat, and any new possible foreign adversaries were not yet clearly recognized. Producers felt that a Central American Dictator and Drug Lord would give the movie a topical story line.
Re-unites Robert Davi and Grand L. Bush, one year after they played FBI agents Big Johnson and Little Johnson in Die Hard (1988).
First EON Series James Bond film not to take its title from an Ian Fleming James Bond novel or short story, even though there were still some usable titles available such as "Property of a Lady", "Quantum of Solace", "007 In New York", "Risico" and "The Hildebrand Rarity". "Licence to Kill" is a phrase commonly used in the books, however. The story takes the loss of Felix Leiter's arm (here a leg) from the novel "Live and Let Die." "The Hildebrand Rarity" (a short story based on a never-filmed TV script) provided the scene where Sanchez beats his mistress with a whip made from the tail of a stingray--in the story it was Milton Krest who beats his wife with a similar implement.
John Rhys-Davies was offered a cameo role as General Pushkin but declined the offer, as he was filming Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).
Timothy Dalton got homesick while filming in Mexico. He said that he really missed a good pint of bitter.
The "maggots" at Krest's lab in Key West were in reality white plastic fishing grubs.
Sanchez is from Isthmus City, a reference to the country of Panama which lies on an isthmus and the corrupt dictator Manuel Noriega, whom the CIA were working very hard to oust, at the time. He was eventually deposed by U.S. troops in the same year this film was released. Sanchez itself seems to be an on-screen representation of Colombian drug-lord Pablo Escobar which was terrorizing his country with bomb attacks and selective killing of presidential candidates at the time of the movie release.
To emphasize the topical nature of the film, promotional material described Sanchez as a villain taken straight from the newspaper headlines and reports of the day.
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. played President Hector Lopez, named after Héctor López, production supervisor in Mexico. Armendariz's father Pedro Armendáriz played Kerim Bay in From Russia with Love (1963).
First EON Productions James Bond movie to receive a '15' Rating by the British Board of Film Classification. The highest rating in all previous entries in the series had been a 'PG' level rating.
Extras during the wedding scene include Doug Redenius, a postman from Chicago, Illinois who owns one of the largest collections of Bond memorabilia, Sandi Sentell, a gym teacher from Atlanta, Georgia, who won a MTV/ VH1 competition to appear in the film (in the film, a bystander is seen wearing a VH1 t-shirt with the late 1980s logo design), and still photographer Keith Hamshere, as the wedding photographer.
The Banco de Isthmus was filmed at Mexico's main post office, an old elaborate building of European styling. A real bank in Mexico called Bancomer denied permission to shoot there because it was felt that the image of the bank in the movie would be affected by the fictional money laundering story elements.
The closing credits song "If You Asked Me To" sung by Patti LaBelle was featured on the B-side of the main title song's 45 rpm single and became an unexpected minor hit. The LaBelle song charted in a Rhythm and Blues Top Ten and was later sung in a cover version by Céline Dion where it became an even bigger hit.
Former Playboy Playmate Diane Hsu plays Hong Kong narcotics agent Loti. She also appears in the opening titles.
A good portion of Bond's plan to get close to Sanchez comes from the novel "Goldfinger", when Bond recounts to himself his exploits in breaking up a Central American drug ring.
All the instrumental score tracks on the movie's soundtrack album are amalgams (or suites) of various sequences from the film and none are singular, isolated cues of the film's original score.
Carey Lowell would later reprise her role as Pam Bouvier in the video game 007 Legends (2012).
Whilst in production, various newspapers reported that this would be the most violent Bond film yet - and would trying to keep up with the mega violence of such recent, popular, action fare as Lethal Weapon (1987) and Die Hard (1988). This was the first Bond film to score a PG-13 rating due to its violent content.
The project was originally entitled "Licence Revoked" and teaser artwork was produced with this title. Among the reasons for changing the title was to avoid confusion with the 1981 James Bond novel, "Licence Renewed," written by John Gardner (who ended up writing a novel based on this film as well). Licence Renewed means the exact opposite of Licence Revoked. Another reason for the change was that "license revoked" denotes losing one's driving privileges in the USA. Taglines for "Licenced Revoked" included "You're looking at the world's most wanted man" and "Dismissed. Disgraced. Dishonored. Deadly." In the movie, when M says to James Bond, "Your Licence to kill is revoked", both titles are referenced at the same time. After a minor controversy as to whether the British or American spelling ("licence" or "license") would be used in the title, the British spelling won out.
In Italy, title was "Vendetta Privata" (Personal Revenge or Private Revenge), not following the translation, because the first Bond film (Dr. No (1962)) was titled "Licenza di Uccidere", the translation of this film's title. Sweden had the same problem: Dr. No had been "Agent 007 med rätt att döda" (Agent 007 with a license to kill), so "Tid för hämnd" (Time for revenge) was used for this movie. Other countries used Personal Revenge (France); The Cancelled Licence (Japan); and With A Right To Kill (Norway). Brazil, Finland, Croatia, Portugal and Spain simply translated the actual title.
Eric Clapton and Vic Flick were asked to write and perform the title song along with composer Michael Kamen. Apparently, they re-recorded and made a video of a new version of the James Bond theme with the guitar riff played by Flick. However, the theme was rejected by the producers and not used.
Robert Davi had to learn to scuba dive for the scene where he escapes from an armored car underwater on the Florida Keys.
David Hedison became the first Actor to play the role of Felix Leiter for a second time, having previously played the part in Live and Let Die (1973). Jeffrey Wright would later make multiple appearances as Felix in the Daniel Craig James Bond movies.
Final Bond film in which Richard Maibaum had a part in writing the screenplay. He would pass away in 1991. This was also the final Bond film on which long-time title sequence designer Maurice Binder worked. He too passed away in 1991.
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Product placements, brand integrations, promotional tie-ins and sponsorships for this movie include Budweiser / Busch Beer; Carlsberg Beer; the Philip Morris Company's Lark Cigarettes; Kenworth Trucks; Michelob Light; Cutty Sark scotch whisky; Armorlite; Bollinger Champagne; Rolex Watches, particularly the Rolex Submariner 16800/168000 watch; Aerospatial Helicopters; Stolichnaya Vodka; Philips Electronics; and Domark's spin-off video-games, 007: Licence to Kill (1989) and later with Tengen, James Bond: The Duel (1993).
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The Royal World Charity Premiere of Licence to Kill (1989) was held on Tuesday 13th June 1989 at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square, London and was attended by Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the last Bond launch they would attend together. Reportedly, Diana wore the same dress that she wore to the World Premiere of Octopussy (1983). The Gala Charity Premiere Benefit was held in aid of the charity the The Prince's Trust. The US American Premiere was held in New York on Tuesday 11th July 1989 at Lowes Astor Plaza theatre near Times Square.
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The movie featured several Kenworth W900B trucks. Three were specifically modified, one so as to be able to do back-wheelies, one with dual-steering and one with a high supercharge engine. They were named Pamela One, Pamela Two and Pamela Three, after the character Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) in the movie. 5 Others were simply modified so as to increase their horse power. P1 required new suspension be applied to the rear fault axle as well as a new front axle and fitted with steering brakes. Its horsepower was increased to 1000 hp, two to three times the normal capacity. Truckweld co-ordinated the modification. P2 was the largest and most detailed modification of all the trucks for the film Licence to Kill (1989). Apparently, it had not been done before and the process involved electronic engines and two throttle steer peddles being able to operate independently of one another. Truckweld co-ordinated the modification. Although a rig was constructed to help the 18 wheeler truck tilt onto its side, it wasn't necessary as the stunt driver was able to pull off the stunt without the aid of camera trickery. P3 had increased horsepower by fitting new turbo charges and injectors. Other vehicles in the scene included a deluxe Maserati and a 2-seat tricycle Cessna 150 crop-duster airplane. The scene was produced by Barbara Broccoli and took 7 weeks to film.
The film was due to be shown on ITV on March 13, 1996 but it was cancelled as a result of the Dunblane school massacre.
Director John Glen said the production had a tough time pulling off the action, stunts and huge set-pieces because the budgets of the Bond films had not changed since Octopussy (1983). This was mostly due to MGM's constant financial woes.
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According to Michael G. Wilson, that really is Timothy Dalton running from the exploding tanker and not a stunt double.
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First James Bond film movie to be released as a novelization since Moonraker (1979).
Bond makes a quip when introducing Q to Pam. "Pam, this is Q, my uncle. This is Pam, my cousin." In the actual SIS, "cousins" is a term for the CIA.
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Milton Krest's death used a prostethic head which was created by John Richardson's team based on a mold of Anthony Zerbe's face. The result was so gruesome that it was shortened and toned down to avoid censorship problems.
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Desmond Llewelyn later noted that this was the first time that he'd made any real money out of the Bond films.
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Governor Bob Martinez of the state of Florida presented Albert R. Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson and head of marketing Charles Juroe each with the Great Seal of the State of Florida during a month's filming at Key West. The Governor also won a walk-on part in the film as a customs officer at the Key West airport.
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With the subsequent death of screenwriter Richard Maibaum and various lawsuits, it would be another 6 years before the next Bond film.
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Carey Lowell and Talisa Soto refused to pose for Playboy.
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The production office in Key West was located on 422 Fleming Street. Ian Fleming was the creator of James Bond.
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Apart from a spin-off video-game 007: Licence to Kill (1989), the film's title previously lent its name to a card game twenty-two years earlier in 1967. Produced by Golden Wonder, the packaging boasts the tagline: "An Exciting New James Bond Game". There are 52 playing cards which include four "Licence to Kill" cards, 48 "Enemy Agent" cards and there are twelve "Assignment Cards". The cover of the manual for the card game read: "O.H.M.S. - TOP SECRET - OO AGENTS ONLY".
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While Carey Lowell wore a wig for the scenes set in the United States, a scene where Bouvier cuts her hair was added so Lowell's natural short hair could be used.
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Felix's bride Della's wedding dress was made of re-embroidered French Llace adorned with seed pearls and opal sequins. Two versions of the dress had to be made because the scenes where Della is attacked were filmed before the wedding sequence. Therefore, 17 meters of the material had to be located at $150 a meter. The Leiter's bridal car was a white Lincoln Limousine.
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Richard Maibaum suggested Robert Davi to play the part of Franz Sanchez after seeing him in Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami (1988).
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The role of Lupe Lamora was initially offered to Maria Conchita Alonso.
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Benicio Del Toro was the third actor to win an Academy Award after appearing in a James Bond movie. Judi Dench was the second whilst Sean Connery was the first. Del Toro is the fourth actor to appear in a James Bond movie who has won an Oscar, the first was Christopher Walken who won one before he appeared in a Bond movie, feat repeated by Halle Berry, Javier Bardem and Christoph Waltz. He is the first Bond henchman to win an Oscar and the fourth Bond villain to do so.
Dario's handgun, which he pointed at Bond at the fortress, was a Walther P5; which was used by Bond himself in Octopussy (1983) and unofficial 007 film released on the same year, Never Say Never Again (1983).
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Vehicles featured included several Kenworth W900B tanker trucks; a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II; a Lincoln Continental Mark VII LSC, James Bond's hire car in Key West; Sanchez' silver metallic Maserati Biturbo; several Mopar Squads (Dodge Diplomat and St. Regis used by the Key West P.D. and the U.S. Marshals) a 4-seat high-wing single-engine Cessna 172 Skyhawk airplane, a Cessna 185 seaplane and a 2-seat tricycle Cessna 150 airplane; a Piper PA-18-150 "Super Cub" crop-duster float-plane and Piper J-3 "Cub" airplane; Aerospatiale 350B A-star and US Coast Guard Aerospatiale HH-65A Dauphin helicopters; a Harbour Pilot's boat; a black and yellow two-seater Shark Hunter submersible (mini wet submarine) as seen before in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); a Wavekrest remote-control Sentinel underwater exploratory submersible; Sharkey's fishing boat Pa Ja Ma; a Cigarette 1 Cafe Racer; the WaveKrest marine research vessel; and an electric golf-car at the Olimpatec Meditation Institute.
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To portray Sanchez, Robert Davi researched on the Colombian drug cartels and how to do a Colombian accent, and since he was method acting, he would stay in character off-set. After Davi read "Casino Royale" for preparation, he decided to turn Sanchez into a "mirror image" of James Bond, based on Ian Fleming's descriptions of Le Chiffre.
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Talisa Soto, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Grand L. Bush went to appear in video game based films. Soto and Tagawa appeared in Mortal Kombat (1995) as Kitana and Shang Tsung respectively, and Grand L. Bush appeared in Street Fighter (1994) as Balrog.
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During one of the takes of Bond and Leiter's parachute jump, a malfunction of the harness equipment caused David Hedison to fall on the pavement. The injury made him limp for the remainder of filming.
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For the climactic tanker chase, the producers used an entire section of a highway near Mexicali, which had been closed for safety reasons. Sixteen eighteen-wheeler tankers were used, some with modifications made by manufacturer Kenworth at the request of driving stunts arranger Rémy Julienne. Most were given improvements to their engines to run faster, while one model had an extra steering wheel on the back of the cabin so a hidden stuntman could drive while Carey Lowell was in the front and another received extra suspension on its back so it could lift its front wheels. Although a rig was constructed to help a rig tilt onto its side, it was not necessary as Julienne was able to pull off the stunt without the aid of camera trickery.
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John Glen said he picked Michael Kamen as composer, because he felt that he could give "the closest thing to John Barry."
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Pam's pistol of choice is a .25 Beretta. This was James Bond's favoured gun in the books until "Doctor No", where it's replaced with the Walther PPK. In Dr. No (1962), his Beretta is criticised as a lady's gun.
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In Live and Let Die (1973), Bond communicated with Leiter through a phone in a car cigarette lighter (a "Felix Lighter"). In this film, Leiter gives Bond a lighter as a gift that he uses to kill Sanchez. David Hedison played Leiter in both films.
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Timothy Dalton is the only Bond to share the screen with Felix in all his movies; the character is in both this film and The Living Daylights (1987).
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Wayne Newton got the role of Professor Joe Butcher after sending a letter to the producers expressing interest in a cameo because he always wanted to be in a Bond film.
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In some South American media, the Lupe Lamora character was incorrectly attributed to Rudy Rodriguez, a Venezuelan ex beauty-queen who was a very popular soap opera actress and sex symbol at the time and who has a close resemblance to Talisa Soto. So for some years after it was usual to see Rodriguez introduced as a "bond Girl" in some showbiz programs, because she appeared as one of the hostesses at the pool in the Moroccan palace in The Living Daylights (1987)
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This was Robert Brown's final film before his death on November 11, 2003 at the age of 82.
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The telephone number for Professor Joe Butcher's show is 555-LOVE (555-5683).
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The name of the vessel that played Milton Krest's research vessel was the "J.W. Powell".
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In 1985, the Films Act was passed, removing the Eady Levy, resulting in foreign artists being taxed more heavily. The associated rising costs to Eon Productions meant no part of the movie was filmed in the UK, the first Bond film not to do so. Pinewood Studios, used in every previous Bond film, housed only the post-production and sound re-recording.
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Michael G. Wilson said that the script was inspired by Yojimbo (1961). ("Yo, Jimbo!" also happens to be what Jack Wade calls to Bond in GoldenEye (1995).)
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Carey Lowell had described becoming a Bond girl as "huge shoes to fill", as she did not see herself as a "glamour girl", even coming to audition in jeans and a leather jacket.
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The MI6/Universal Exports building exterior, used in this film, Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985) and The Living Daylights (1987), is in fact the old War Offices near Westminster. It is close to other Bond filming locations, including the College of Arms (used in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)), Westminster tube station exit (used in Skyfall (2012)) and Westminster Bridge (used in The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002) and Spectre (2015)).
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Sea-Air Service, a sea plane company located in Louisiana, leased their sea plane for the scene where Bond takes over the plane full of cash. When the plane was returned to Louisiana, an employee from the sea plane company still found loose movie cash in the back when cleaning the cabin upon return from filming.
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The plot is very similar to the novel "The Man with the Golden Gun". In the book, Bond infiltrates the villain's organisation and destroys it from within.
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The only James Bond film in the UK to get the 15 certificate. Due to the film's drug content and the torture of Felix Leiter.
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The barefoot waterskiing was done by world champion David Reinhart, with some close-ups using Timothy Dalton on a special rig.
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The casting of Carey Lowell raised a few eyebrows, as her most recent film had been the oddball comedy Me and Him (1988) about a talking penis and Bond's distributor, Columbia, were unsure about the wisdom of casting someone who had appeared in such a film.
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Pam's "I haven't heard that one in a long time" quip about Bond mentioning their escape boat has run out of fuel is most likely a reference to Bond and Honey Rider's similar predicament at the end of Dr. No (1962).
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Franz Sanchez's name is a nod to Frank Sinatra. Sinatra was not only a friend of Cubby Broccoli and Robert Davi, but also a Bond fan himself who wanted to one day play a villain in the series. Frank Sinatra and Franz Sanchez not only share the same initials but also the same number of letters.
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Anthony Zerbe, Everett McGill and Robert Davi have all worked with Clint Eastwood. Zerbe in True Crime (1999) as a Judge, McGill as a Marine in Heartbreak Ridge (1986) and Davi as a Mobster in City Heat (1984).
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The screenplay was not ready by the time casting had begun, with Carey Lowell being auditioned with lines from A View to a Kill (1985).
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John Glen was reluctant to cast the 61-year-old David Hedison, since the role even had a scene parachuting.
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The character of Milton Krest appeared in the short story "The Hildebrand Rarity". Also, it was he who hit his wife with a stingray tail as Sanchez does in the film.
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Taglines on early posters for the film when it was known as "Licenced Revoked" included "You're looking at the world's most wanted man" and "Dismissed. Disgraced. Dishonored. Deadly."
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Gene Simmons of KISS was allegedly offered a role, but due to commitments to the band, he declined.
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Robert Davi, Anthony Zerbe, David Hedison and Christopher Neame (Sanchez, Milton Krest, Felix Leiter and Fallon) all have worked on Dynasty (1981).
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After Carey Lowell was chosen to play Pam Bouvier, she watched many of the films in the series for inspiration.
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The aquatic battle between Bond and the henchmen required two separate units, a surface one led by Arthur Wooster which used Timothy Dalton himself, and an underwater one which involved experienced divers.
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During the tanker chase sequence at the end of the movie when Sanchez fires his automatic gun at Bond, and the bullets ricochet off the tanker, they create the sound of the first few notes of the James Bond theme tune.
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Live and Let Die (1973) was the first James Bond movie to feature the word "die" (or a variation of it) in the picture's title. Later films in the official film franchise would be called Die Another Day (2002) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). The theme song for Quantum of Solace (2008) by Alicia Keys and Jack White was called "Another Way To Die" whilst Licence to Kill (1989) referenced deadness as did the title of Ian Fleming's short story "From a View to a Kill" (1960). A number of the post-Fleming James Bond novels have had titles that have referenced fatality. These include "Win, Lose or Die" (1989), "High Time to Kill" (1999), "The Facts of Death" (1998), "Trigger Mortis" (2015), "Nobody Lives for Ever" (1986), and "Never Dream of Dying" (2001). Moreover, "Double or Die" (2007) and "A Hard Man to Kill" (2009) are the names of a Young James Bond novel and short-story respectively.
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Robert Davi was taken by a number of thugs while on vacation in South America to an actual drug lord. The man enjoyed his portrayal of a drug lord.
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The scene where Sanchez's plane is hijacked was filmed on location in Florida, with stuntman Jake Lombard jumping from a helicopter to a plane and Timothy Dalton himself being filmed atop the aircraft. The plane towed by the helicopter was a life-sized model created by special effects supervisor John Richardson. After filming wide shots of David Hedison and Dalton parachuting, closer shots were made near the church location.
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According to John Glen, he had an argument with Timothy Dalton at the end of shooting. Glen wondered if this was why the actor dropped out of Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992).
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The set for Paradise Island (1977) is the same location used for Sanchez's house.
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The "Bank" scene in the movie is actually Mexico's main post office, an old elaborate building of European styling. Real casinos were illegal in Mexico at the time of filming.
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Franz Sanchez is a combination of two villains from the novels - Le Chiffre from "Casino Royale" and Francisco Scaramanga from "The Man with the Golden Gun".
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When the film was released on VHS in the UK in 1990. On the videotape, just before the film started. Chris Tarrant advertised an James Bond competition set up by Kentucky Fried Chicken, which the winner's prize was to become James Bond for a day and runners up won a James Bond T-shirt. In the competition, owners of the videotape were asked questions about the Bond films and this film and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
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In Robert Davi's earlier film "The Goonies", the character Data (Jonathan Ke Quan) had "007" inscribed on his belt.
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Cameo 

Wayne Newton: The Las Vegas performer played a small part, in a credited performance as a televangelist called Professor Joe Butcher. His character was a dig at televangelists at the time (including Jim Bakker) who had been exposed during the mid-1980s as being involved in extra-marital affairs and/or general promiscuity. Being in a Bond movie fulfilled Wayne Newton's dream.
Michael G. Wilson: voice of a DEA Agent.
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Director Trademark 

John Glen: [pigeon] When Bond lands on the balcony outside Sanchez's office at the casino, he's startled by a flock of pigeons flying in his face.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Based on the events of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and this film, James Bond and Felix Leiter now share the unfortunate bond of losing their wife on their wedding day.
According to the documentary Inside 'Licence to Kill' (2000), a number of mishaps and strange occurrences took place while filming the final climatic tanker chase. The sequence was filmed on the dangerous La Rumorosa Road, which had been closed down at the time of filming because of the number of fatal accidents occurring on the snake-like twists and turns. Among the mishaps involved the dummy rocket Sanchez (Robert Davi) uses to bring down Pam's (Carey Lowell) plane. The rocket traveled two-and-a-half miles, striking and injuring a telephone worker. Upon investigation, it was determined that the stretch of road they were filming on was where a van with five nuns crashed and were fatally killed. Bizarre incidents continued. Timothy Dalton was nearly added to the list of tragedies while filming the scene after James Bond releases the tanker to blow up the tanker trucks at the bottom of the hill, and jumps into the semi. All vehicles were cleared from the area, but when Dalton came around the curve, a vehicle was in his path and he narrowly missed driving over the edge. If he had, Dalton likely would have been seriously injured, and possibly killed due to the height the hill the truck was on. Director John Glen and others state that human figures would be seen standing around the fleet of Kenworth semis being used for filming. When challenged by security guards, they would simply disappear. Two semis caught fire for no apparent reason, and one started up and drove by itself a short distance before coming to a stop. However, the biggest creepy surprise occurred while filming the final tanker explosion in which Bond sets Sanchez on fire and his flaming body ignites the tanker truck into a huge explosion. The scene went off without a hitch, with the still photographer shooting photos while the scene took place. Upon reviewing the photos, The still photographer found one contained what looked like a flaming hand (Which you can see by doing a simple web search) coming out of the flames. Four cameras were set up to record the final explosion, but after reviewing the footage, the only glimpse of the hand was found on the still photograph. According to John Glen, a copy was made for him, but his wife refused to allow it in the house.
007 finds Felix Leiter barely alive with a piece of paper in his mouth which reads ' He disagreed with something that ate him' This was in the book 'Live and Let Die'
In a scene where James Bond leaves his CIA friend's wedding with a little sadness, Felix Leiter tells his newly wedded wife Della, "He was married once and it was a long time ago." That occurred in the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). That part had to be told due to this film being released on the 20th anniversary year of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) as well as this film being ten films after it.
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Unusual for a Bond film, the majority of people working for the main villain in the climax of the film; there are only 7 confirmed deaths of Sanchez's men - Dario, three tanker drivers, Truman Lodge, and two people driving in the pick up truck off the cliff. Heller is also killed, but he was working to get the stingers back.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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