Sir Roger Moore said that he decided to end his run as James Bond, when he realized that Tanya Roberts' mother was younger than he was. However, Albert R. Broccoli said he wanted a younger actor for the next film, The Living Daylights (1987), and would not have kept Moore as Bond anyway. Broccoli felt that retaining Moore, who was fifty-seven, for this film had been a mistake. Contrary to what some sources have said, Moore was never offered another Bond film after this one.
Sir Roger Moore, on his DVD commentary, has said that this is definitely his least favorite Bond movie of the seven, in which he starred, mainly because of the increased violence, but also because he felt he was too old for the part, and, as confirmed in his autobiography, he felt there was no chemistry between he and Tanya Roberts, and a genuine dislike of Grace Jones.
This was Lois Maxwell's final appearance as Miss Moneypenny. Apparently, after she was told that she would be retiring from the role, she thought that she could become M as a promotion. However, at the time, Producer Albert R. Broccoli believed that audiences would not accept James Bond being given orders by woman. M did become a lady a decade later, when Dame Judi Dench took on the role in GoldenEye (1995).
Although only appearing briefly, this movie is Dolph Lundgren's first on-screen role, playing General Gogol's K.G.B. bodyguard Venz. He landed the position, because he was dating Grace Jones at the time of the filming, and was conveniently on-set when Director John Glen realized he quickly needed someone to fill in as a simple gun-wielding bodyguard.
When Grace Jones (May Day) screams during the mine sequence, when sparks fly around her, her screams are for real. She did not know that electric cables around her would go off as a special effect for the scene.
The title song was written by John Barry and Duran Duran, and was sung by Duran Duran. It has been the only James Bond song to reach number one in the U.S. It stayed at the top position for two weeks out of its seventeen week run on the charts. It entered the UK and U.S. charts on May 18, 1985, and it peaked at number two on the UK charts. The soundtrack album charted in the UK on June 22, 1985, where it went to number eighty-one. In the U.S., the soundtrack album peaked at number thirty-eight, after entering the charts on June 29, 1985.
The final scenes for Lois Maxwell and Sir Roger Moore each make a reference to their end with the franchise. Maxwell's last scene as Moneypenny shows her in tears, while Moore's last scene as Bond has him, quite literally, throwing in the towel.
According to former C.I.A. Agent Tony Mendez (the subject of the spy film Argo (2012)), after watching this film, his superior at the C.I.A. asked him if they have any facial recognition technology as depicted in this movie. When Mendez told him they did not, he ordered them to develop it.
When Stacey comes out of the shack in Silicon Valley wearing a pair of coveralls, Bond comments "Pity you couldn't find one that fits", and Stacey gives him a dirty look. This scene was not in the script. Sir Roger Moore ad-libbed the line, and Tanya Roberts' reaction was genuine. Roberts had refused to film the scene, until the wardrobe department made her a pair of custom-fitted coveralls that would look flattering on her, and, because she was so difficult to work with, Director John Glen decided to leave it in.
After Producer Albert R. Broccoli told Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny) that she would not return for the next "Bond" film, he commented that they were the only two people from Dr. No (1962), who were still working on the franchise.
The Remy-Julienne Stunt Team from France did many of the stunts in this movie, but in the San Francisco segment, a scene in which Sir Roger Moore was supposed to be driving a fire truck, the stunt driver was too short to reach the pedals, and properly operate the truck. There wasn't much time to "rig" the truck, so Moore volunteered to drive it himself, quite expertly as noted by the local San Francisco Teamsters. Moore claims he was a lorry driver, among other things, before his acting paid the bills.
The disclaimer, "Neither the name Zorin, nor any other name or character in this film, is meant to portray a real company or actual person" was added, after producers discovered a real company known as Zoran Ladicorbic Ltd. Their industry was fashion design.
David Bowie was offered the part of Max Zorin. He turned down the role, in favor of one in Labyrinth (1986). Bowie later explained that he thought this movie's script was too "terrible" and "workmanlike" to spend much time working on, and he told the producers what he thought of it. He also said that his directness wasn't received very well by them. In 2003, he admitted that he didn't like the Bond films, and hadn't seen one since the Sir Sean Connery era.
With this being Lois Maxwell's final appearance as Miss Moneypenny, it brings her screen total across all the James Bond films, in which she appeared, to just one hour. She also delivered fewer than two hundred words.
Filming was delayed, when the "007 Stage" at Pinewood Studios burned down on June 27, 1984, during production of Legend (1985). It was completely rebuilt in less than four months, and renamed "The Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage". Coincidentally, the title song of the movie contained the lyric "Dance into the fire". The stage burned down again in July 2006 just after filming had been completed on Casino Royale (2006).
The selection of Duran Duran to perform the theme song was seen as attempts to help market the film (and potential future James Bond movies) towards a younger audience, specifically the "MTV Generation".
Dianne Feinstein was the mayor of San Francisco at the time of filming. Because Sir Roger Moore was her favorite of the first three actors to play Bond, she granted all the necessary permits to film in the city.
Sir Roger Moore's hair reportedly had to be thickened every day during filming. There were rumors he wore a toupee for this film, although other sources say his hair was dyed a lighter color than in his previous six Bond films.
Patrick Macnee got the role of Sir Godfrey Tibbet, because he wanted to be in a Bond movie, and also because he and Sir Roger Moore were the best of friends. Macnee had also been friends with Bond Creator Ian Fleming, and subsequently had voiced narration for Bond film short video documentaries, when they were first released on videocassette and DVD in 1995 and 2000.
Just before the jump off the Eiffel Tower stunt was to be undertaken, two thrill-seeking members of the public made an unauthorized jump off Paris' famous landmark. It has long been a dare, lark, and thrill for people to jump off famous structures without permission. The first of the film's jumps was so successful, that the second jump was cancelled, thereby eliminating any further risk, cost, and time. However, as mentioned in Inside 'A View to a Kill' (2000), two of the crew, including Don "Tweet" Caltvedt, allegedly went and made an unauthorized jump, as they were apparently so disappointed that they didn't get to jump off the Eiffel Tower. The non-permitted stunt jump cost them their jobs, as it jeopardized the remaining filming of the shoot in the French capital.
This is the only James Bond movie to have the title from an Ian Fleming work be amended or changed in some way. The source title which is from the "For Your Eyes Only" collection of short stories was called "From a View to a Kill". This was also this movie's working title, as seen in the end credits of Octopussy (1983), but the word "From" was dropped before filming began in May 1984.
The effect of splitting the Renault in half was achieved by disabling an electromagnet used to hold the front and rear sections of the car together. The car was equipped with a small fuel tank in the front section. Because the "half car" did not have a muffler, it was quite loud.
Tanya Roberts had high hopes that this film would be her breakthrough, telling reporters at the time: "Kim Basinger got The Natural (1984) after making a James Bond movie. The same kind of thing could happen to me." Unfortunately, despite the global attention that came her way as a result of starring in the film, it did nothing to boost her career, and she has not appeared in a widely released theatrical movie since.
Duran Duran was chosen to do the song after bassist John Taylor (a lifelong Bond fan) approached Albert R. Broccoli at a party, and somewhat drunkenly asked "When are you going to get someone decent to do one of your theme songs?"
The role of Russian Agent Pola Ivanova was originally meant to be the character Anya Amasova, the female lead from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). When Barbara Bach declined to reprise her role, the new character of Pola Ivanova was created, and was cast with Fiona Fullerton.
Because of the unprecedented level of co-operation from the San Francisco authorities, Producer Albert R. Broccoli insisted that the film's premiere take place in the city. It was held at the Palace of Fine Arts, and was the franchise's first World Premiere to be in the U.S.
First James Bond movie to have an associated video game produced tied-in with it. The game had two versions, one was called James Bond 007: A View to a Kill (1985), and the other A View to a Kill (1985). Though there had been a James Bond video game produced prior to it, called James Bond 007 (1983), this was the first to have a Bond film's name, which was also the name of the video game. A video game called "James Bond as seen in Octopussy" had been developed in 1984 by Capcom and Parker Brothers for Octopussy (1983). It was designed for the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Commodore 64, and ColecoVision platforms, but was never released.
This film is often credited with helping to spark the interest in snowboarding, due to its use in the pre-credits opening action snow sequence. The snowboarding stunts were performed by Thomas Sims, American inventor of the snowboard. The The Beach Boys song "California Girls" can be briefly heard as an in-joke, when James Bond snowboards. The song does not feature on the soundtrack album.
As reported by "Variety" on November 26, 1985, while this movie was still in release in some territories, Sir Roger Moore officially had advised Albert R. Broccoli that he would be retiring from the role of James Bond.
The idea to set the story in California's Silicon Valley was a concept conceived by Producer and co-Writer Michael G. Wilson. In the first draft, Zorin wanted to destroy Silicon Valley by changing the course of the Halley Comet, but it was later decided that this plot was not believable.
Maud Adams is said to be visible as an extra in one of the Fisherman's Wharf scenes. In the DVD documentary Inside 'A View to a Kill' (2000), Adams explains that she was visiting her friend Sir Roger Moore on-location, and ended up in the crowd, but admits she is unable to actually see herself in the film. In the same documentary, John Glen confirms that Adams appears as an extra, but does not specify where she is visible. The appearance remained a mystery for several years, until she was identified as standing in the background during one of the Fisherman's Wharf scenes. As a result, Adams is confirmed to have appeared in this, and two other Bond films, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and Octopussy (1983).
The 1962 silver Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II, seen in the film, was owned by Albert R. Broccoli, who lent it to the production. Its license plate number in the film was 354 HYK. A duplicate model without an engine was used, when Zorin and May Day push it into the lake.
The name on the cat's bowl is PUSSY. The word has previously been used as part of one of the most ever popular Bond girl's name, Pussy Galore, in the novel and movie Goldfinger (1964), as well as in the short story and James Bond movie Octopussy (1983), where it appeared in a title. It's a word that is very much associated with the James Bond universe.
Dr. Carl Mortner, a.k.a. Hans Glaub (Willoughby Gray), was modelled after Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor who performed unethical and sadistic experiments on Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz during World War II.
When Stacey Sutton shows Bond the earth tremor details on her home computer, the electronic sound made by the computer is the same sound as that made by the computer in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) when the submarine-launched missiles are in the air.
James Bond utilized two aliases in this movie, in third place after second ranked Octopussy (1983), where he used three, and Diamonds Are Forever (1971), where he used the most, four. The first alias was as James St. John Smythe while visiting Zorin's horse sales. The second alias was as journalist James Stock (a pun on stocks and bonds) of the London Financial Times while in San Francisco. In neither case, did he use a disguise.
According to the James Bond encyclopedia by John Cork and Collin Stutz, Felix Leiter was originally going to be Bond's contact in San Francisco. However, owing to Chinatown being such a prominent part of the city, David Yip was cast as Chuck Lee instead.
In 1959, The "London Daily News" published an original Ian Fleming short story (conceived as a plot for an abandoned James Bond television show) called "Murder Before Breakfast". Fleming felt the title did not capture the essence of the story, and re-titled it "From A View To A Kill" when it was included in his "For Your Eyes Only" collection of five James Bond stories in 1960. Fleming found the inspiration for this new title from John Woodcock Grave's 1820 Cumberland Hunting Song, "D'Ye Ken John Peel". It read in part: "From the drag to the chase. From the chase to the view. From the view to a death in the morning..." Fleming adapted the third stanza for his short story title.
The only element of this film taken from the original Bond story by Ian Fleming is its title, and the French location. However, it has been pointed out that the 1981 James Bond novel "Licence Renewed" by John Gardner, features an Ascot horse racing scene similar to that seen in this film.
With the release of this film, Sir Roger Moore's Bond has bedded a total of seventeen women, one more than Sir Sean Connery's (Bond beds four women in this film, which is a tie for the most (at time of release) with Never Say Never Again (1983)). (Connery's Bond did bed one character twice in two different movies, counting as one woman).
The title song for this film, "Dance Into the Fire (A View To A Kill)", was the last song recorded by the rock group Duran Duran before the band briefly split up. According to the sleeve notes for this movie's CD soundtrack, as a joke, composer John Barry used the melody from this song in the score for the scene where James Bond and Stacy Sutton escape from the fire in San Francisco City Hall. The lead singer, Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, shares a surname with Sir Otto Le Bon, ancestor of James Bond mentioned in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). At the end of the music video for this song, Simon Le Bon says: "Bon. Simon Le Bon" like the famous Bond catchphrase of the film series, "Bond. James Bond". Coincidentally, the Danish title for the earlier James Bond movie Thunderball (1965) was actually called "Agent 007 Into The Fire."
Bond makes quiche for Stacey, a reference to the popular 80s humorous book "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche" (1980), written by Bruce Feirstein. Feirstein later went on to write the screenplay for GoldenEye (1995).
Some people felt that a little bit of artistic license was taken with one of the movie's main posters, as James Bond was shown as being considerably taller than May Day. However, Grace Jones's height is 5' 10½" (1.79 meters), while Sir Roger Moore's height is 6' 1" (1.85 meters), making James Bond approximately taller by 2 1/2 inches (or 6 centimeters). It should be noted though that Jones was wearing four inch heels in the picture, which would have made her taller than Moore in reality.
The film takes place in May 1985, which at the time of filming (mostly 1984), was the future. This is unusual in that previous Bond films were set at the time of filming, as evident in car tax discs, I.D. tags, et cetera.
According to Inside 'A View to a Kill' (2000), the color scheme of red, white, and green of the Zorin airship, was based on the Fuji Airship logo color scheme. This is because during a location scout, actual footage was used from this in the finished movie, and the long shots had to match the close-ups.
Bond tells M and the Minister about how an electro magnetic blast over the UK will render anything with a chip useless. In GoldenEye (1995), the villain's plot is to create an electro magnetic blast over London, after stealing money, to do exactly that.
When M is discussing Zorin at the Ascot race track, he says, "Now the talk of the City and the Bourse." "The City" refers to a city and county within London, which is a major business and financial center. "The Bourse" is a building in Paris that is used as a commodities exchange.
The external mine sequences were filmed at Amberley Chalk Pits Museum in Sussex, England, and when the air ship was flown with a dummy dangling underneath, the Sussex Police switchboard was reportedly inundated with calls to report a man hanging from a balloon.
Together, Paris and the Eiffel Tower were major locations for this movie. But it wasn't the first time they had been used in an EON Productions official James Bond film. Paris was seen in the opening scenes of Thunderball (1965) which included a long shot of the Eiffel Tower.
When 007 meets his C.I.A. contact (Chuck Lee) in San Francisco, there is a reference to a South African mining accident. Sir Roger Moore previously starred in Gold (1974), where he portrayed a gold mine General Manager, who uncovers a plot to stage a gold mining accident (with a plot similar to Goldfinger (1964)).
Product placements, brand integrations, and promotional tie-ins for this movie include: Renault automobiles; Michelin tires; Stolichnaya vodka; BP; Phillips computers; Phillips Electronics; Apple computers, Lafite Rothschild wine; The Sharper Image; Cartier; Bollinger Champagne, particularly a Bollinger '75; Diner's Club; Chevron Oil USA; Seiko Time (U.K.) Ltd.; Whiskas, and two spin-off video games, A View to a Kill (1985) and James Bond 007: A View to a Kill (1985).
The fishing-butterfly-hook-marionette kill in the Eiffel Tower restaurant was an unused concept from Moonraker (1979), where it would have been a poisonous bee brooch. John Glen suggested the change from bee to butterfly.
Two classical pieces of music are excerpted in the movie. The piece of classical music heard during the French château sequence was Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" (Italian title is Le quattro stagioni). The piece of music heard during the hot tub sequence was classical music composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Neither piece of music though is included on the movie's soundtrack album as they are only excerpted for the movie.
Airship Industries managed a major marketing coup with the inclusion of their Skyship 500 series airship in the film. At the time, Airship Industries was producing a fleet of ships, which were recognizable over many capitals of the world offering tours, or advertising sponsorship deals. As all Bond films have included the most current technology, this included the lighter than air interest.
At "A Night with Sir Roger Moore" in Dublin, Ireland, on November 20, 2016, Sir Roger Moore, was asked who would win in a fight with Grace Jones. Moore paused and remained silent for several seconds before saying, "My mother once said if you have nothing good to say about someone, then say nothing at all! "
The literal translations of some this film's foreign language titles include: Moving Target (Italy); Dangerously Yours (Canada and France); A Panorama To Kill (Spain); Dangerous Mission (Belgium); Operation: Moving Target (Greece); In The Face of Death (West Germany); Murder In The Eyes (Hebrew and Israel); The Beautiful Prey (Japan); Living Target (Sweden); 007: In The Aim Of The Assassins (or 007 At The Aim Of The Killers) / The Preview To A Death (Latin America); 007 In The Target Of The Assassins (Portugal and Brazil); 007 And A View Of Death (or 007 And The Look of Death) (Finland) and Agent 007 In The Line Of Fire (Denmark).
The San Francisco cable cars, seen in the film, are road vehicles. At the time of filming, the entire system was being overhauled, meaning the bus-like vehicles had to be used instead. (This is evident during the fire truck chase, where the vehicles have been placed over the rails to give the real effect, but clearly have tires, and larger wheels). The cable cars, unlike in the film, do not run to Fisherman's Wharf.
Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson had noted the explosion in available computer technology, and the public's fascination and concern with all things hi-tech, so they decided that their story should center around the planned destruction of America's Silicon Valley.
First James Bond movie where Michael G. Wilson, stepson of Albert R. Broccoli, is credited as a regular Producer. He had previously been an Executive Producer on Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), and Octopussy (1983), and a Special Assistant to the Producer on The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). His association with the James Bond franchise started with Goldfinger (1964), in which he was a Third Assistant Director, and made an appearance, the cameo becoming a tradition regularly from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). He was also a screenwriter for the franchise on five occasions. This was also the first Bond film that Broccoli shared a producer's credit with anyone besides original Bond co-Producer Harry Saltzman.
Originally, Bond was to have used the electronic snooping device created by Q. When the device is threatened by guard dogs, it sprays them, skunk-like, with a noxious liquid, and then gets stuck in a tunnel. Q later berates Bond for deserting "a fellow Agent in the field."
Zorin's thoroughbred stud sale is dated to (Friday) May 3, 1985 (via the five million dollar check he makes out to Stacey). His "Main Strike" takes place on the 22nd, which became the real-life date of the film's premiere in San Francisco.
The Eiffel Tower jump was made from a platform extending out into the air, which was necessary in order to perform the stunt. The platform was painted the same color as the Eiffel Tower, and it can still be seen in the final film's footage.
A significant amount of this film's principal cast played characters with different nationalities than their own. For example, Christopher Walken is an American actor, who played a character of German origins, Willoughby Gray was a British actor, who played a German doctor, Fiona Fullerton is a Nigerian-born British actress, who played a Soviet Agent, and Grace Jones is a Jamaican actress, who played Zorin's American henchwoman.
Vehicles featured include: two Zorin airship blimps, one with green and white, and the other with green, red, and white markings, the larger being a SkyShip 6000, and the smaller is marked G-BIHN, and was inflatable from a Portakabin; a 1962 silver Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II, chauffeured by Tippett, but owned by the producer; a 1984 blue Renault 11 TXE French taxi; a Peugeot 604 limousine; a 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 limousine (used by Zorin's thugs), a 1985 Ford LTD U.S. sedan; a truck carrying explosives; a red American LaFrance Tiller Fire Engine Truck, belonging to the San Francisco Fire Department; a MBB Bo-105 helicopter; Stacy's Jeep Cherokee XJ; Pola's 1984 Chevrolet Corvette C4 hire-car; Polaris Indy 600 snowmobiles; an Aerospatiale SA 341/342 Gazelle helicopter; an Iceberg mini-submarine, and various makes and models for the San Francisco Police Department squad and patrol cars, such as late 1970s Dodge Monacos, Dodge Diplomats, a Plymouth Volaré, and vehicles typical of Mopar Squads, one of two James Bond movies ever to feature them.
"A View To A Kill" is an abridged title derived from the Ian Fleming short story "From A View To A Kill". The title and the story's French setting and some Russian spies are the only common story elements of the film, and the short story. The short story was included in the "For Your Eyes Only" short story anthology, which was the first collection of Ian Fleming James Bond short stories. This was first published on April 11, 1960. The collection was subtitled "Five Secret Occasions in the life of James Bond", and was the eighth James Bond book. Working titles for the story included "The Rough with the Smooth" and "Murder Before Breakfast". The name of the Bond girl in the short story was Mary Ann Russell, but this name was not used for the film.
The ship used in the climax was a Skyship 500, then on a promotional tour of Los Angeles after its participation in the opening ceremony of the 1984 Olympic Games. At that time, it had "WELCOME" painted across the side of the hull, but the word was replaced by "ZORIN INDUSTRIES" for the film. During the 1984 season, the ship was painted green and red, as a part of Fujifilm's blimp fleet. It was subsequently colored white. In real-life, inflating it would take up to twenty-four hours, but during the film, it was shown to take two minutes.
For several days during the filming in the Financial District in San Francisco, the sunken outdoor plaza of the Crown Zellerbach Building (now known as One Bush Plaza) at Market and Bush Streets, served as the outdoor dining area for the cast and crew of the film. This delighted the thousands of office workers in the area, who gazed from down to catch a glimpse of the stars while they dined.
The first line of the Ian Fleming short story read: "The eyes behind the wide black rubber goggles were as cold as flint." The last line read: "Bond took the girl by the arm. He said: 'Come over here. I want to show you a bird's nest.' 'Is that an order?' 'Yes'."
The Charity World Premiere of this movie, held on May 22, 1985, at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts. The Gala Charity Premiere Benefit was held in aid of the (San Francisco's) Mayor's Youth Fund to benefit the Tenderloin Child Care Center. A Benefit Premiere was also held in Los Angeles on the following night, on May 23, 1985. The British and European Gala Royal Charity Premiere was held on June 12, 1985, at London's Odeon Leicester Square Theatre. This is the usual venue for Bond World Premieres. The after-premiere party was held at the Inner Temple Hall.
Four novelizations based on this movie were written and published in 1985, as part of a series of children's book tie-ins called "Find Your Fate". The novels were called (in order): Find Your Fate #11: James Bond in Win, Place, or Die; Find Your Fate #12: James Bond in Strike It Deadly; Find Your Fate #13: James Bond in Programmed for Danger and Find Your Fate #14: James Bond in Barracuda Run.
In the german Synchronisation Roger Moore has his longtime standard voice, given by Niels Clausnitzer. Patrick MacNee is dubbed by Gert Günther Hoffmann, who was the longtime standard voice for Sean Connery. Both (Clausnitzer & Hoffmann) where the standard voices since the 1960s and dubbed Moore & Connery till they passed away.
With Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015), Ralph Fiennes became the 007th (seventh) major actor or actress who has appeared in the "James Bond" and "The Avengers" universes, the latter being the English spy one, and not the comic superheroes one. From the original television series The Avengers (1961), three cast members appeared in Bond movies: Honor Blackman played Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (1964), Patrick Macnee portrayed Sir Godfrey Tibbett in this movie, and Diana Rigg played Tracy Di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). The latter film also featured as The English Girl, Joanna Lumley who appeared in The New Avengers (1976), which also starred Macnee. While Nadim Sawalha appeared in The Avengers (1998), as well as two Bond movies: The Living Daylights (1987) and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Fiennes appeared in The Avengers (1998), co-starring former James Bond Sir Sean Connery who played the villain Sir August de Wynter. Of these seven actors and actresses, Fiennes and Macnee have portrayed The Avengers' character of John Steed, in the theatrical film, and television series, respectively, with the latter also voicing "Invisible Jones" in The Avengers (1998). In this 1998 movie, John Steed (Ralph Fiennes) and Emma Peel (Uma Thurman) get across the frozen river by "walking" on the surface inside inflatable plastic bubbles, which is similar to how James Bond got aboard Ernst Stavro Blofeld's (Charles Gray's) oil rig in Connery's final official series Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
At the end of the introduction sequence, Bond fires a weapon that enters and explodes inside the Russian helicopter. The "weapon" is not actually that, (or a fancy gadget from Q-branch), but rather a regular emergency flare, which causes havoc inside the helicopter.
One of two espionage movies debuting in cinemas in 1985 which had a significant Russian female character with the last name of "Ivanova". In White Nights (1985), Galina Ivanova was played by Dame Helen Mirren, and in this movie, Pola Ivanova was portrayed by Fiona Fullerton.
Maud Adams: As a woman in the crowd at Fisherman's Wharf. Adams happened to be visiting San Francisco when the film was in production there. Sir Roger Moore got her to appear as an uncredited extra in a crowd scene, making her the only actress to appear in three Bond films (excluding actresses in recurring roles), after The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and Octopussy (1983).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
This film was intensely disliked by Sir Roger Moore, who was barely on speaking terms with Grace Jones during filming. He did not consider this to be a real 007 movie. Moore said, "I was horrified on the last Bond I did. Whole slews of sequences where Christopher Walken was machine-gunning hundreds of people. I said, 'That wasn't Bond, those weren't Bond films.' It stopped being what they were all about. You didn't dwell on the blood and the brains spewing all over the place."
When Bond is trapped underwater, he opened a tire valve, and breathes the air from the tire. MythBusters (2003) did a James Bond Special, and tried repeatedly to reproduce this action. It proved to be impossible to do.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors forbade any falling stunt (as per The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), and For Your Eyes Only (1981)) from the Golden Gate Bridge, in fear of copy-cat suicides. As such, the death of Zorin was created by special optical effects.
For an unknown reason, there are several inside jokes in the film that refer to the John F. Kennedy assassination. Zorin's "Main Strike" is scheduled for the date of the 22nd, the same day as the assassination. Patrick Macnee's character is murdered, and named "Sir Godfrey Tibbet". Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit was killed the same day as the assassination. The Texan in the movie is named "Conley". Texas Governor John Connally was also shot during the assassination.
UK actor, comedian, and writer Tony Hawks makes an uncredited appearance during the scene of Aubergine's assassination. He is at the next table to Bond, and goes along side him as they examine the corpse.