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Licence to Kill (1989) Poster

Trivia

The name of the vessel that played Milton Krest's research vessel was the "J.W. Powell".
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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 A.I.D.S. epidemic at the time. However, in a 2007 interview, he admitted that this was true.
Throughout the franchise, 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.
Of all of 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.
Had this film been financially successful, Timothy Dalton would have starred in a third James Bond film. Titled, "Property of a Lady", it would have been set in Scotland, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, and would have involved nanotechnology.
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 left EON Productions. Thirteen-time Bond Screenwriter Richard Maibaum died on January 4, 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 Timothy Dalton decided not to play the role a third time.
At twenty-one-years-old, Benicio Del Toro is the youngest actor to play a villain in a James Bond film.
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 this movie.
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.
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.
According to the DVD commentary, Timothy Dalton was unavailable for Talisa Soto's screentest, so Robert Davi filled the role of Bond, and proved to be rather good in the part.
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.
Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) is the first Bond Girl to ever drink one of Bond's signature vodka-martini cocktails.
Making their final appearances with the James Bond franchise: Richard Maibaum (Writer), John Glen (Director), Maurice Binder (Title Design), Robert Brown as M, Caroline Bliss as Miss Moneypenny, and Timothy Dalton as James Bond.
Last Bond movie directed by John Glen.
Due to the Writers' Guild of America strike in 1988, long-time James Bond Screenwriter 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).
According to Robert Davi, he wrote his line "Loyalty is more important to me than money."
According to Michael G. Wilson, that really was Timothy Dalton running from the exploding tanker, and not a stunt double.
While on the set of Scarlett (1994), Timothy Dalton officially announced his resignation from the role of James Bond on April 11, 1994.
Long-time James Bond franchise 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, and daughter Barbara. He was unable to return, and this was the last James Bond movie in which he was on the set.
When Truman-Lodge (Anthony Starke) says that the set-up cost them thirty-two million dollars, that is an inside joke, a reference to the film's thirty-two million dollar budget.
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.
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 Live and Let Die (1973) and For Your Eyes Only (1981).
Desmond Llewelyn later noted that this was the first time that he'd made any real money out of the Bond films.
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 C.I.A. operative would not flinch. However, she still winces a bit whenever she fires the handgun.
The last film of the franchise 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.
The Broccolis (Albert and his daughter Barbara) 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.
Gladys Knight's title song is the longest of all the Bond songs. In the UK, it peaked at the number six position on the 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).
Timothy Dalton got homesick while filming in Mexico. He said that he really missed a good pint of bitter.
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, and cigars occurs in numerous 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.
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 C.I.A. 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 seems to be an on-screen representation of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, who was terrorizing his country with bomb attacks and selective killing of Presidential candidates at the time of the movie's release.
The film was originally to be set in China, but production difficulties became insurmountable. Screenwriters 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 motorcycle 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 several 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.
Marked the last filmed appearance of Felix Leiter until Casino Royale (2006). David Hedison remains the only actor to play Felix Leiter opposite two different Bonds, Timothy Dalton in Licence to Kill (1989), and Sir Roger Moore in Live and Let Die (1973).
First EON franchise 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. 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 television 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.
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.
This film marked the retirement of John Barry from composing scores and songs for the franchise. 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 Living Daylights (1987) allegedly also contributed.
Re-united Robert Davi and Grand L. Bush, one year after they played F.B.I. Agents Big Johnson and Little Johnson, respectively, in Die Hard (1988). As well as for Composer Michael Kamen, who scored Die Hard (1988) and this movie.
Pedro Armendáriz, Jr. played President Hector Lopez, named after Héctor López, Production Supervisor in Mexico. Armendariz's father, Pedro Armendáriz, Sr., played Kerim Bay in From Russia with Love (1963).
This is the only James Bond film not to mention the name of the song or its artist in the opening credits sequence.
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.
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.
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 an 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 first James Bond film to receive a PG-13 rating in the U.S.
The "maggots" at Krest's lab in Key West were in reality white plastic fishing grubs.
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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Former Playboy Playmate Diane Hsu played Hong Kong Narcotics Agent Loti. She also appeared in the opening titles.
Bond makes a quip when introducing Q to Pam. "Pam, this is Q, my uncle. This is Pam, my cousin." In the real-life S.I.S., "cousins" is a term for the C.I.A.
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.
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.
The project was originally titled "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 opposite of Licence Revoked. Another reason for the change was that "license revoked" denotes losing one's driving privileges in the U.S. Taglines for "Licence 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.
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).
Robert Davi had to learn to scuba dive, for the scene where he escapes from an armored car underwater on the Florida Keys.
While 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 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.
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.
In Italy, the 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); With A Right To Kill (Norway); Permission to Kill (Brazil). Finland, Croatia, Portugal, and Spain simply translated the actual title.
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 made multiple appearances as Felix in the Daniel Craig James Bond movies.
Pam's pistol of choice is a .25 caliber Beretta. This was James Bond's favored gun in the books, until "Doctor No", where it's replaced with the Walther PPK. In Dr. No (1962), his Beretta was criticized as a lady's gun.
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Eric Clapton and Vic Flick were asked to write and perform the title song, along with 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.
Carey Lowell reprised her role, as Pam Bouvier, in the video game, 007 Legends (2012).
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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The note Bond finds, says, "He disagreed with something that ate him", is from the novel Live and Let Die.
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Martini & Rossi ran a tie-in promotion, featuring a new martini drink, and when you purchased a "Shaken, not stirred" drink, it came in a martini glass with "007 License to Kill Shaken, not stirred", etched into the martini glass.
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Final Bond film in which Richard Maibaum had a part in writing the screenplay. He died in 1991. This was also the final Bond film on which long-time Title Sequence Designer Maurice Binder worked. He also died in 1991.
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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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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Carey Lowell and Talisa Soto refused to pose for Playboy.
Product placements, brand integrations, promotional tie-ins, and sponsorships for this movie include: Anheuser-Busch beers; Carlsberg beer; Philip Morris Company's Lark cigarettes; Kenworth trucks; Cutty Sark Scotch whiskey; 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 The Duel (1993).
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The Royal World Charity Premiere of this movie was held on Tuesday, June 13, 1989, at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square, London, and was attended by Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the last Bond launch they attended together. The Gala Charity Premiere Benefit was held in aid of the charity, The Prince's Trust. The U.S. Premiere was held in New York City on Tuesday, July 11, 1989, at Lowes Astor Plaza theatre, near Times Square.
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First James Bond film movie to be released as a novelization since Moonraker (1979).
Robert Davi was taken by several 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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Timothy Dalton stated in an interview about why his Bond was a much darker, grittier incarnation. It was because he wanted to go back to the Ian Fleming novels, and capture the essence and the spirit of the character Ian Fleming created.
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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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Florida Governor Bob Martinez 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 in 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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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.
According to John Glen, he had an argument with Timothy Dalton at the end of shooting. Glen wondered if this was why Dalton dropped out of Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992).
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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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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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Carey Lowell had described becoming a Bond girl as "huge shoes to fill", as she did not see herself as a "glamor girl", even coming to audition in jeans and a leather jacket.
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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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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 scene where Della is attacked, was filmed before the wedding sequence. Therefore, seventeen meters of the material had to be located, at one hundred fifty dollars a meter. The Leiter's bridal car was a white Lincoln Limousine.
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Apart from a spin-off video game, 007: Licence to Kill (1989), the film's title lent its name to a card game in 1967. Produced by Golden Wonder, the packaging boasted the tagline: "An Exciting New James Bond Game". There are fifty-two playing cards, which include four "Licence to Kill" cards, forty-eight "Enemy Agent" cards, and 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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Benicio Del Toro was the third actor or actress to win an Academy Award after appearing in a James Bond movie. Dame Judi Dench was the second, and Sir Sean Connery was the first. Del Toro is the fourth actor or actress 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, a 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.
The production office in Key West was located on 422 Fleming Street. Ian Fleming was the creator of James Bond.
The aquatic battle between Bond and the henchmen required two separate units, a surface one led by Arthur Wooster, which used Timothy Dalton, and an underwater one, which involved experienced divers.
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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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Timothy Dalton is the only Bond to share the screen with Felix in both of his movies.
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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 sixty-one-year-old David Hedison, since the role had a scene parachuting.
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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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Dario's handgun, which he pointed at Bond at the fortress, was a Walther P5, which was used by Bond in Octopussy (1983) and Never Say Never Again (1983).
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With the subsequent death of Screenwriter Richard Maibaum, and various lawsuits, it would be another six years before the next Bond film.
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The telephone number for Professor Joe Butcher's show is 555-LOVE.
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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, MGM/UA, was unsure about the wisdom of casting someone who had appeared in such a film.
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The first Bond movie to be rated PG-13.
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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 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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This film would have been the first of two movies with Timothy Dalton and Frank McRae had Dalton been kept on as Benedict in Last Action Hero (1993). However, the role went to Charles Dance.
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The second James Bond film, in which he takes on a drug lord. The first was Live and Let Die (1973), in which Bond went up against crime kingpin Dr. Kananga, who smuggled drugs into the United States.
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This was Robert Brown's final film before his death on November 11, 2003, at the age of eighty-two.
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Michael G. Wilson said that the script was inspired by Yojimbo (1961).
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Franz Sanchez's name is a nod to Frank Sinatra. Sinatra was not only a friend of Albert R. Broccoli and Robert Davi, but also a Bond fan, who wanted to play a villain in the franchise.
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Vehicles featured include: 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's silver metallic Maserati Biturbo; several Mopar squad cars (Dodge Diplomat and St. Regis used by the Key West Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals) a four-seat high-wing single-engine Cessna 172 Skyhawk airplane, a Cessna 185 seaplane, and a two-seat tricycle Cessna 150 airplane; a Piper PA-18-150 "Super Cub" crop duster floatplane, and Piper J-3 "Cub" airplane; Aerospatiale 350B A-star and U.S. Coast Guard Aerospatiale HH-65A Dauphin helicopters; a Harbor Pilot's boat; a black and yellow two-seater Shark Hunter submersible (mini wet submarine, as seen in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)); a Wavekrest remote controlled Sentinel underwater exploratory submersible; Sharkey's fishing boat Pa Ja Ma; a Cigarette 1 Café Racer; the WaveKrest marine research vessel; and an electric golf cart at the Olimpatec Meditation Institute.
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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 organization, and destroys it from within.
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The barefoot waterskiing was done by David Reinhart, with some close-ups, using Timothy Dalton on a special rig.
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Talisa Soto, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, and Grand L. Bush went on to appear in video game based films. Soto and Tagawa appeared in Mortal Kombat (1995), as Kitana and Shang Tsung, respectively, while Soto reprised her role as Kitana in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997). Grand L. Bush appeared in Street Fighter (1994) as Balrog.
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The bank scene in the movie was filmed in a post office, an old elaborate building of European styling. Real casinos were illegal in Mexico at the time of filming.
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In some South American media, Lupe Lamora 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 several years, it was usual to see Rodriguez introduced as a "bond Girl" in some show business 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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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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In Robert Davi's earlier film, The Goonies (1985), Data (Jonathan Ke Quan) had "007" inscribed on his belt.
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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", include: "You're looking at the world's most wanted man" and "Dismissed. Disgraced. Dishonored. Deadly."
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The scene, in which Sanchez has Lupe's lover's heart cut out of his chest, and Sanchez whips Lupe in the back, was written to establish his brutality.
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In Italy, the movie is called Vendetta Privata, which means "Private Revenge". The literal translation of "licenza di uccidere", had already been used for Dr. No (1962).
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The film was given the "15" rating in the United Kingdom, due to the sequence in which Felix Leiter is tortured.
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Everett McGill later appeared on Twin Peaks (1990), in which a character is shot by a Walther PPK, which, it is pointed out, is James Bond's weapon.
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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 aforementioned torture of Felix Leiter.
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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 movie'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", and Licence to Kill (1989) referenced death, as did Ian Fleming's short story "From a View to a Kill" (1960). Many 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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The set for Paradise Island (1977) is the same location used for Sanchez's house.
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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 a 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 Kentucky Fried Chicken.
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After Carey Lowell was chosen to play Pam Bouvier, she watched many of the films in the franchise for inspiration.
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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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Sanchez's first scene, in which he orders his men to cut out the heart of the man in bed with Lupe, and whipping Lupe, was written to establish his brutality.
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Some sources said that this was the least commercially successful, or unsuccessful James Bond movie. This isn't true, as this movie made over one hundred seventy-five million dollars against a thirty-two million dollar production budget. They called it the least successful, as the profits made by this movie didn't reach the expectations of the producers, or the studio. The producers wanted this movie to earn at least two hundred ten million dollars, in order to become the highest grossing Bond movie at that time. The producers also expected that this movie should have earned at least sixty-five million dollars from the U.S. box-office market, due to the fact that most parts of this movie were filmed in the U.S., as all the Bond movies filmed in the U.S. made good profits in the U.S. box-office market, before the release of this movie. This didn't happen, due to other blockbusters in the U.S. box-office market, like Batman (1989), Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), The Abyss (1989), Ghostbusters II (1989), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) (along with previous Bond actor Sir Sean Connery, and other actors appeared in Bond movies), and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989). But still, this movie managed to make decent profits at the U.S. box-office, as the earnings of this movie was forty million dollars, making it successful, but the least one in the U.S. market. It made good profits in other North American countries, European, and Asian box-office markets. It made good profits from VHS sales in the U.S. and other countries. It also earned a PG-13 rating, and it was the most violent James Bond movie ever. Despite this, it was met with highly positive reviews from critics and audiences, and has developed a cult following among fans. Some sources also said that On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) was also the least commercially successful, or unsuccessful James Bond movie, but this isn't true either, as it also made good profits in its box-office run against its production budget of eight million dollars, and has also developed a cult following amongst Bond fans. Actually, the least commercially successful James Bond movie is The Man With The Golden Gun (1974). No James Bond movie has been commercially unsuccessful in its box-office run to date.
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Many reviews and articles have compared the dark, violent tone to the action films of Producer Joel Silver. Several actors in the cast were frequently cast in Silver's films from the era, including Robert Davi, Grand L. Bush, Frank McRae, and Wayne Newton. Composer Michael Kamen also worked with Silver several times, spanning the Lethal Weapon and Die Hard franchises, Road House (1989), Hudson Hawk (1991), and The Last Boy Scout (1991).
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This was David Hedison's second appearance as Felix Leiter. He first played the role in Live and Let Die (1973).
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According to Director Albert Pyun, Carey Lowell was cast after producers saw her performances in Dangerously Close (1986) and Down Twisted (1987).
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Pam Bouvier uses the alias "Ms. Kennedy", an homage to Jackie Kennedy's maiden name.
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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 D.E.A. 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.
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 accidentally cut Timothy Dalton's hand, and the scene had to be stopped so he could be stitched up.
According to the documentary Inside 'Licence to Kill' (2000), several 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 fatal accidents occurring on the snake-like twists and turns. Among the mishaps, involved the dummy rocket Sanchez (Robert Davi) used to bring down Pam's (Carey Lowell) plane. The rocket travelled two and a half miles, striking and injuring a telephone worker. Upon investigation, it was determined that the stretch of road, on which they were filming, was where a van with five nuns crashed and were 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 of the hill the truck was on. John Glen and others stated 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 that 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.
In the final chase sequence, just after 007 lands on the tanker, Sanchez fired 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.
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".
The previous Special Edition DVD restored some of the original 1989 BBFC and MPAA cuts, but some footage was still missing. This included: A shot of Felix's severed leg in the water. 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's burning. All of these shots were restored in the 2006 Ultimate Edition.
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.
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In a scene where James Bond leaves his C I.A. friend's wedding with a little sadness, Felix Leiter tells his 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.
For the climactic tanker chase, the producers used a section of a highway near Mexicali, Mexico, which had been closed for safety reasons. Sixteen eighteen-wheeler tankers were used, some with modifications made by Kenworth at the request of Driving Stunt Coordinator 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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Unusual for a Bond film, out of all of people working for the main villain in the climax of the film; there are only seven 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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Felix Leiter being caught by sharks is an element originally from the novel "Live and Let Die". In the John Gardner novelization of this film, the original shark attack is referenced, and Leiter is described using a prosthetic arm. Also, after learning of Sanchez's escape, Bond's worries about his friend are reflected as "lightning strikes twice", which is also the name of the chapter in which Bond finds Leiter's remains in the couch.
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Franz Sanchez has a pet iguana sitting on his right shoulder with diamonds around its collar, which mirrored Blofeld, who had a pet white Persian cat, also with diamonds around its collar.
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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 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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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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