After capturing a drug lord, Felix Leiter is left for dead and his wife is murdered. James Bond goes rogue and seeks vengeance on those responsible, as he infiltrates an organisation posing as a hitman.

Director:

John Glen
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2,775 ( 83)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Dalton ... James Bond
Carey Lowell ... Pam Bouvier
Robert Davi ... Franz Sanchez
Talisa Soto ... Lupe Lamora
Anthony Zerbe ... Milton Krest
Frank McRae ... Sharkey
Everett McGill ... Killifer
Wayne Newton ... Professor Joe Butcher
Benicio Del Toro ... Dario
Anthony Starke ... Truman-Lodge
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ... President Hector Lopez (as Pedro Armendariz)
Desmond Llewelyn ... Q
David Hedison ... Felix Leiter
Priscilla Barnes ... Della Churchill
Robert Brown ... M
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Storyline

James Bond is on possibly his most brutal mission yet. Bond's good friend, Felix Leiter, is left near death, by drug baron Franz Sanchez. Bond sets off on the hunt for Sanchez, but not everyone is happy. MI6 does not feel Sanchez is their problem and strips Bond of his license to kill making Bond more dangerous than ever. Bond gains the aid of one of Leiter's friends, known as Pam Bouvier and sneaks his way into the drug factories, which Sanchez owns. Will Bond be able to keep his identity secret, or will Sanchez see Bond's true intentions? Written by simon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

His bad side is a dangerous place to be. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for action violence and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Professor Joe Butcher (Wayne Newton) is heard to give his blessing, ("Bless your heart/hearts") five times: three times during his television broadcast, and twice, in person, to Miss Bouvier (Cary Lowell) - once in his inner sanctum, and again when she snatches back the cash from the fleeing ersatz holy man. See more »

Goofs

The head up display that is shown when the stinger missile is being aimed at the semi-trailer during the truck chase in Mexico, uses the exact same graphics that were used in the previous Bond film The Living Daylights on the Aston Martin when it fired it's missiles at a semi trailer blocking the road in Austria. The only difference is the colour of the graphics has changed from red to green. Amongst other things, the numbers on the display indicate that the temperature is freezing when it is a sunny day. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
AWACS radar operator: We have a mid-course deviation. Target heading 036, 126 miles, bearing 062, Havana VOR.
Voice of DEA agent: He's landing at Cray Key. Advise Key West Drug Enforcement.
AWACS radar operator: Roger, sir. AWACS to Key West. Key West Drug Enforcement, please come in.
Voice of DEA agent: If they hurry, they just might be able to grab the bastard.
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Crazy Credits

At the tail end of the credits: "James Bond Will Return" See more »

Alternate Versions

To receive a 15 certificate, the original UK cinema release was cut by the BBFC with edits to the opening whipping of Lupe, the shark attack on Leiter, a brief shot of Krest's exploding head, blood spurts from the shooting of Loti, Dario's bloody death in the grinder, Sanchez on fire, and sound effect levels of blows in certain scenes. This same print was released on VHS. For the 2000 Special Edition DVD, some cuts were waived, with the PG-13 version being passed 15 without further cuts (despite the film playing fully uncut on ITV). The BBFC waived all the cuts for the Ultimate Edition DVD release, which restored the cuts made for the PG-13 in the US and all of the original BBFC cuts. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Savage Harvest 2: October Blood (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Dirty Love
Performed by Tim Feehan
Produced by Tim Feehan and David White
Written by Steve Dubin and Jeffrey Pescetto (as Jeff Pescetto)
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User Reviews

 
CLASSIC BOND!
28 October 2003 | by eamon-hennedySee all my reviews

I really liked Timothy Dalton as Bond. I really thought the guy did a great job. The Living Daylights was an excellent Bond thriller, more in line with Dr No and From Russia With Love in tone and style, but with Licence To Kill you can tell that Broccoli decided to compete with the big boys with this action packed spectacular that aims high and scores. What we have here is Bond with spectacular action scenes and a more nastier steak with regards to the violence that is more in line with Hollywood action blockbusters than with quintessential British spies. This is why the film works. Licence To Kill is much more darker than any of the Bond films that has come before, and after the silliness of the Moore era, that was what this franchise needed. Why have world domination craving villains when you can just p*ss Bond off, big time. Having Felix Lieter maimed and his wife killed on their wedding day is inspired and immediately puts the film on a darker streak. The script here is very strong as we watch a darker more violent Bond infiltrate the bad guy's lifestyle and then proceed to work from there.

Don't make any mistakes this is not a Bond film that would be broadcast during a Bank Holiday afternoon. What we have here is a film that is graphically violent. Check out the head explosion scene or the nasty incidents involving sharks. Having Bond on the revenge path makes for a more interesting tale than just another villain trying to take over the world. The more personal element fits in with this more darker Bond. Dalton really rises to the occasion here and ensures that he will be remembered as a fine actor who played the part of James Bond. The ice cool look of anger as he dumps a bad guy into a shark tank with a case fool of money is fantastic as is his reaction to finding Lieter's dead wife. It may not be said, buy OHMSS is being referenced. Helping Dalton along the way is a great support cast. Robert Davi is superb as Franz Sanchez, without doubt the nastiest Bond villain there has ever been. We have two Bond girls too. Talisa Soto is beautifully sultry, but Carey Lowell just pips her to the post as Pam Bouvier who really gives Bond a run for his money. Another great casting point is an increased role for Q. Desmond Lewellyn appears here more than he ever has done before, helping out in the mission that makes one wonder the Bond writers never thought of it before, or why they never did it after.

Licence To Kill is classic Bond. Purists may give of with the more American touch to the narrative (you just know that any theatrical trailer is crying out for voice over man to go "this time it's personal"), but the more darker narrative suits the film and it shows that Dalton was a good Bond no matter what his critics say. With some of the most spectacular action sequences at the time, this is a genuine Bond classic.

Shaken and stirred most definitely.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

UK | Mexico | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 July 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

License to Kill See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,774,776, 16 July 1989

Gross USA:

$34,667,015

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$156,167,015
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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