6.6/10
93,083
368 user 102 critic

Licence to Kill (1989)

Trailer
1:54 | Trailer
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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Popularity
747 ( 1,659)
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:

Timothy Dalton is back as Bond...With A Vengeance! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

When the air hose on a truck's braking system is severed, the brakes lock on, they do not release as shown. 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

On pan and scan VHS prints issued since 1990, the opening title credits have been slightly altered to fit the screen. Some credits that took one line in the widescreen version were altered to fit two lines in the pan and scan version. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Filmpje! (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Game Show
(uncredited)
Music by Ray Davies
JW Media Music
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User Reviews

Hard-edged Bond film. Not a great commercial success, but it has interesting points.
10 October 2003 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

Timothy Dalton only played Bond twice, but he tried to base his interpretation of the character on the descriptions provided by Ian Fleming in the original novels. Therefore, his Bond is quite ruthless and embittered, and always ready to stick two fingers up at the establishment if he feels they've got it wrong.

Bond is vacationing in Florida, acting as best-man at his friend Felix Leiter's wedding, when the unthinkable happens. Leiter and his wife are assaulted by some Central American thugs; the wife is murdered and Leiter is crippled by sharks. Bond is obviously deeply unhappy about this, but his bosses instruct him to let the matter drop and get on with another assignment. 007 knows who is responsible for the injuries to his friend, so he revokes his licence to kill and becomes a rogue agent, tracking down the villainous drug lord Sanchez (Robert Davi) to his Latin America headquarters. Here, aided by Sanchez's unfaithful mistress Lupe (Talisa Soto) and CIA agent Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell), Bond attempts to wipe out their enormous clandestine drug operation single-handedly.

There's definitely an uneasy, hard edge to the film which makes it unique among the Bond series. Whether or not this improves the film depends on your personal taste: if you like safe, humorous Roger Moore escapades, you'll probably find this too jarring, whereas if you prefer espionage stories with a bit of grit and sweat, this may be just what you're after. The action sequences are still outrageous in the tried-and-trusted Bond style, with memorable episodes featuring a daring helicopter .vs. airplane pursuit; a barefoot water-skiing sequence; and a truck chase down the side of a mountain. Some of the language, though not out-and-out "foul", is a bit stronger and more believable than in other Bond entries. The theme tune from Gladys Knight and the Pips is one of the better 007-tracks.

Licence to Kill is a new twist on the Bond theme. It isn't the best, and some of its new ideas don't fit with the usual routine (which may or may not be a good thing), but it is certainly interesting.


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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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