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Licence to Kill (1989)

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James Bond goes rogue and sets off to unleash vengeance on a drug lord who tortured his best friend, a C.I.A. Agent, and left him for dead and murdered his bride after he helped capture him.

Director:

John Glen
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Popularity
2,383 ( 207)
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
David Hedison ... Felix Leiter
Wayne Newton ... Professor Joe Butcher
Benicio Del Toro ... Dario
Anthony Starke ... Truman-Lodge
Everett McGill ... Ed Killifer
Desmond Llewelyn ... Q
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ... President Hector Lopez (as Pedro Armendariz)
Robert Brown ... M
Priscilla Barnes ... Della Churchill Leiter
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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:

James Bond is out on his own and out for revenge. 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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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

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:

£287,578 (United Kingdom), 22 June 1989, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,774,776, 16 July 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$34,667,015

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$156,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The note Bond finds, says, "He disagreed with something that ate him", is from the novel Live and Let Die. See more »

Goofs

When Bond sneaks aboard the Wavekrest, it is night time. However, when the Sentinel is sent out to sea a few minutes later, it is suddenly broad daylight. 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.
See more »

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

Featured in Best Ever Bond (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Für Elise
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Arranged by Michael Kamen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Dalton's best run in the role
17 August 2003 | by didi-5See all my reviews

The worst-performing movie in the Bond movie in terms of grosses, it probably failed because it wasn't really a Bond at all. True, it is the character Fleming created, and Q is in there, but this extremely violent thriller with its strong female characterisation (Carey Lowell, perhaps the only Bond girl with `balls') is not a neat fit with the others.

The only one of the franchise created especially with star Timothy Dalton in mind (perhaps the sexiest Bond of them all?) it is a tale of loyalty, drug cartels, sharks, and 007 losing his licence and setting off as a vigilante. Lowell plays agent Pam Bouvier, who shines in a bar fight and gives 007 as good as he gets. And boy, do these two have chemistry together!

The only problem with this movie is that it gets so truncated on its TV showings that it loses a lot of its point (and in the worst edit I saw, its sense). There is perhaps too much going on - the abused Latino bimbo, the crooked evangelist, the Japanese businessmen touring the factory, the casino …

Not at all as bad as many commentators at the time and since have suggested. What a pity the series stagnated after this before its big budget Pierce Bronson revival. Dalton should have had the chance to show us more of the character he portrays in `Licence to Kill'. And what a great theme tune from Gladys Knight.


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