The Living Daylights

  • Directors: John Glen
  • Producers: Albert R Broccoli, Michael G Wilson
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Music, Thriller
  • Actors:

In the pre-title sequence, Agents 002, 004, and 007 parachute onto the Rock of Gibraltar as part of a war games scenario to test its defenses. 002 is immediately captured by the SAS, while Bond and 004 begin scaling the cliffs to the base. As they ascend, an assassin appears and, after shooting an SAS guard, sends a tag reading “Smiert Spionam” (“Death to Spies”) down the rope before cutting it, killing 004. Bond chases the assassin, ending in an explosives-laden Land Rover careening down Gibraltar’s roads and then into the air. Bond escapes (via his reserve parachute) mid-air from the falling jeep, while the assassin is killed when the Land Rover explodes, and Bond lands on a nearby yacht.

In Bratislava, Bond along with Saunders, another MI6 Agent, conducts the defection of a KGB officer, General Georgi Koskov, covering his intermission escape from a concert hall. He notices a sniper assigned to assassinate Koskov, who is actually a cellist named Kara Milovy. Suspecting that she is not an actual assassin, he shoots her sniper rifle out of her hands, instead of killing her, much to Saunders’s condemnation. Koskov is smuggled through the Russian gas pipeline into Austria and flown to England. There, at a countryside manor (Blayden House), Koskov informs MI6 that the KGB’s old policy of Smert’ Spionam, meaning Death to Spies, has been revived by General Leonid Pushkin, the new head of the KGB (heir to General Gogol). He presents them a list of British and American targets of SMERSH. Milovy is immediately speculated as an assassin. The leaders of MI6 leave for London to convene, while Koskov stays at the manor. Some time later, an assassin named Necros infiltrates the building, burns the list of targets, and abducts Koskov, killing two staff members and sending another two to the hospital.

Bond returns to Tangier and arrives at Whitaker’s residence as General Whitaker is playing Pickett’s Charge on Little Round Top, fighting the Battle of Gettysburg on his terms. When Bond tells him that the opium is burned, Whitaker takes out a submachine gun with a shield of bullet-proof glass. When Bond uses up all of his bullets, Whitaker fires. Bond hides behind a pillar with a bust of the Duke of Wellington, and inserts his explosive key chain on it while Whitaker taunts Bond on how Wellington had to hire German mercenaries to defeat Napoleon. Bond’s explosive key-chain, triggered by a wolf whistle, topples the bust onto Whitaker, who crashes onto a diorama of Waterloo, and, as Bond sums it up, “He [meets] his Waterloo.” At the same time Pushkin and his bodyguards arrive. Koskov is arrested and ordered to be flown back to Moscow in a “diplomatic bag”.

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