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A View to a Kill (1985) - Illustrated Reference

Updated on September 19, 2016

A View to a Kill was directed by John Glen and premiered on 22th May 1985. Starring Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Tanya Roberts, Grace Jones and Patrick Macnee. Screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson. Music by John Barry. Theme sung by Duran Duran. 131mins.

Bond is sent to California to investigate Zorin Industries. The billionaire industrialist Max Zorin has developed a chip impervious to an atomic explosion in space. 007 meets beautiful geologist and oil heiress Stacey Sutton. Working together they uncover Project Main Strike, Zorin’s plan to monopolize the microchip industry by destroying Silicon Valley.

The title A View to a Kill was taken from the story From a View to a Kill included in Ian Fleming’s For Your Eyes Only short story collection. The film has no relation at all with the short story which had Bond investigating Russian spies hiding out in an underground base in France.

Roger Moore (1927-) / James Bond

Born in London, England, Roger Moore's films include - Diane (1956), Live and Let Die (1973), Gold (1974), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Shout at the Devil (1976), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), The Wild Geese (1978), Escape to Athena (1979), Moonraker (1979), The Sea Wolves (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and The Quest (1996). TV series The Saint (1962-1969), The Persuaders (1971-1972)

Christopher Walken (1943-) / Max Zorin

Max Zorin is bent on destroying Silicon Valley so he can gain a monopoly on the worlds microchip market. The result of steroid experiments on women in Nazi concentration camps, Zorin was born a genius but like all steroid kids he turned psychotic. David Bowie was considered for the role of Zorin.

Born in Queens, New York City, Christopher Walken won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Deer Hunter (1978), Oscar nominated for Catch Me if you Can (2002).

Tanya Roberts (1955-) / Stacey Sutton

Stacey Sutton is an oil heiress and geologist who teams up with Bond to stop Zorin.

Born in the Bronx, New York, Tanya Roberts films include - Tourist Trap (1979), The Beastmaster (1982) and Sheena (1984). TV series - Charlies Angels (1980-1981), That 70's Show (1998-2006).

Grace Jones (1948-) / May Day

May Day is Zorin’s lover, bodyguard, henchwoman, assassin and hostess.

Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, model and singer Grace Jones boyfriend at the time, Dolph Lundgren, has a small role in the film as a Russian agent. Her films include - Conan the Destroyer (1984), Vamp (1986), Straight to Hell (1987) and Boomerang (1992).

Patrick Macnee (1922-) / Sir Godfrey Tibbett

Sir Godfrey Tibbett works for the secret service, he poses as Bonds chauffeur when 007 investigates Zorin’s annual thoroughbred racehorse sale. They discover Zorin injects steroids into the animals to make them faster.

Born in London, England, Patrick Macnee's films include - The Elusive Pimpernell (1950), Battle of the River Plate (1956), Les Girls (1957), The Sea Wolves (1980), The Howling (1981), Young Doctors in Love (1982), This is Spinal Tap (1984), Waxwork (1988) and Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992). TV series - The Avengers (1961-1969 as John Steed), The New Avengers (1976-1977 as John Steed).

Police Captain: You're under arrest.
Stacey: Wait a minute, this is James Stock of the London Financial times.
Bond: Well, actually, captain, I'm with the British Secret Service. The name is Bond, James Bond.
Police Captain: Is he?
Stacey: Are you?
Bond: Yes.
Police Captain: And I'm Dick Tracy and you're still under arrest!

In his autobiography Roger Moore mentions that A View to a Kill was his least favourite Bond film. He felt it was too violent, "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." he admitted he had little chemistry with Tanya Roberts and confesses that her mother was younger than he was. He also disliked working with Grace Jones.

The daring jump from the Eiffel Tower required a platform attached to the top of the tower, it was painted the same colour as the tower but can still be seen in the movie.

This was the first Bond film to have a video game tie-in.

May Day: Wow! What a view!
Max Zorin: To a kill!

Duran Duran sung the theme song A View to a Kill, the only Bond song to reach #1 in the US charts. In the UK it peaked at #2. The Beach Boys song California Girls can be heard in the opening teaser.

Look out for the scene where Zorin and May Day are pushing the Rolls Royce into the water with Bond unconscious in the back seat, the cable pulling the car is visible.

When Pola Ivanova walks over to General Gogol's car, the man glimpsed waiting inside the car is not the actor Walter Gotell, until she gets in and than we see Gogol driving..

Roger Moore’s last movie as 007, the actor was 57 years old when making A View to a Kill, he felt he was getting too old for the part and the producers reluctantly agreed. Moore was enormously popular as the worlds most well known secret agent. The hunt was on for a new Bond.

It was also to be Lois Maxwell’s last Bond film, a younger Moneypenny was sought for the next film The Living Daylights. Lois was the only person to appear in all 14 Bond films.

A View to a Kill was retitled in some countries –

007 and A View of Death (Finland)
Operation Moving Target (Greece)
Murder in the Eyes (Israel)
In the Face of Death (Germany)
Dangerously Yours (France)
Beautiful Prey (Japan)

The Critics Wrote –

"The James Bond series has had its bummers, but nothing before in the class of this one." (New Yorker)

"Everything about A View To A Kill ... suggests that the creative juices have begun to run dry. the plot, at once simple-minded and hopelessly convuluted, seems to be held together by spit." (Arthur Knight, The Hollywood Reporter)

"'A View to a Kill'' should be no surprise to anyone who has seen the other recent Bond films with Mr. Moore, and no strain on the intelligence or memory of anyone else. It does hold the attention, in a what-won't-they-think-of-next? manner, while under way. It's entirely forgettable a moment later." (Janet Maslin, New York Times)

“Walken is the first Bond villain who is not so much an evil person as a crazed neurotic. I find him more memorable than some of the more recent Bond foes. Unfortunately, the filmmakers – who ruined villain Jaws by making him a nice guy in Moonraker – make the mistake of switching Mayday at the end from Bond’s nemesis to his accomplice. I suppose gentleman Bond isn’t allowed to kill women, even a monster like Mayday, but overall it’s fast-paced, fairly enjoyable, and a worthy entry in the series." (Danny Peary)

"Roger Moore as James Bond: not so much like a piece of plastic as something embalmed but moving." (Shipman)


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    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Loved seeing Tanya Roberts in Beastmaster and Sheena, for obvious reasons.

      Not so much here. Apart from looking pretty all she does in the film was yell "James!" over and over. To be fair so did Maryam D'abo in the next Bond, only hers sounded like "Jems! Jems!" :)

      Rob, AlabamaGirl thanks for the comments.

    • AlabamaGirl86 profile image

      AlabamaGirl86 6 years ago

      I might be in the minority but I have always liked this movie. Granted I did not see it for the first time until the late 90s, but I remember watching it at a friend's house and the movie was a blast.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 6 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      This was not the best way for Roger Moore to go out. While he wasn't my favorite Bond, he was popular and his bow-out should have been something more impressive than this weak entry in the franchise. He should have left after the hilariously silly "Octopussy". At least that one was fun.

      Grace Jones was horribly miscast as the second-lead girl. Former Charlie's Angel Tanya Roberts was rather bland as the leading lady/love interest and I agree that she had zero chemestry with Roger Moore. Even Christopher Walken was disappointing here.

      I did like the theme song, thought.


    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Thanks Mentalist, appreciate that.

      And thanks for popping in Flora.

      How would I rank the Moore Bonds? Hmm I'll give it a go -

      1) The Spy Who Loved Me (Bondius Epicus)

      2) Live and Let Die (hilarious black villains, voodoo)

      3) Moonraker (Bond in Spaaaace! guilty pleasure)

      4) The Man With the Golden Gun (Christopher Lee)

      5) Octopussy (Louis Jourdan, John Barry)

      6) A View to a Kill (Macnee, Walken, John Barry)

      7) For Your Eyes only (Nice song)

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      As I remember my impression of this movie,I had a hard time focusing on the seemed a little tenuous...but I enjoyed it in general and the theme song was great.;)

      Though this filmography is both professional and highly enjoyable Steve!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I'm surprised this movie's theme song was the only one to reach number 1 on the charts. I really would have thought that Goldfinger or Nobody does It Better would have reached number 1, plus some others too.

      I have always enjoyed Walken in everythin he does. He is one of those actors who gives a strong performance even when the overall movie is bad. I don't dislike this movie quite as much as Cogerson does. It's not my least favourite of moore's films. I'm not sure I could rank them in order, but I like this one better than Moonraker

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Thanks Cogerson, Moore had to quit when he became old enough to be the Bond girls grandad. :)

      Btw Dolph Lundgren is the guy pointing the gun at Grace Jones in one of the screenshots above. It was his first movie credit.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      I was so sad to see Roger Moore finish his outstanding Bond run with this movie. Other than Moore, I do not think I liked any of the characters in the movie. I know Moore strongly disliked Grace Jones....where did she go by the way? In watching this movie, you can tell that it was time for a new direction for the franchise. Great hub with lots of great that View To A Kill was the only song of many great songs that made it to #1 on the music charts.. voted up and interesting.