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Goldeneye (1995) - An Illustrated Reference

Updated on October 25, 2017

Goldeneye was directed by Martin Campbell and premiered on 13th November 1995. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen and Joe Don Baker. Screenplay by Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein. Music by Eric Serra. Theme sung by Tina Turner. 130mins.

James Bond is sent on a mission to Russia to investigate the stolen access codes to "GoldenEye" an orbiting space weapon which can fire a devastating electromagnetic pulse on it’s target. 007 finds himself up against a mad Soviet General, the lethal Xenia Onatopp and renegade double-0 agent Alec Trevelyan. Bond teams up with beautiful Russian computer programmer Natalya Siminova to stop Trevelyan from firing Goldeneye at London.

It had been six years since the last James Bond movie, the poor reception and performance of Licence to Kill (1989) plus various legal disputes contributed to the delay. Timothy Dalton decided too many years had passed and on 11 April 1994 officially resigned from her Majesty’s Secret Service. The search was on for the next actor to play 007.

Caroline: James, is it really necessary to drive quite so fast?
James Bond: More often than you'd think.

Pierce Brosnan (1953-) / James Bond

Born in Navan, Ireland, Pierce Brosnan was up for the part of 007 back in 1986 after Roger Moore had left, but his contract on the TV series Remington Steele prevented him from playing Bond.

Brosnan's films include - The Long Good Friday (1980), The Fourth Protocol (1987), The Lawnmower Man (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Mars Attacks (1996), Dante's Peak (1997), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), The World is Not Enough (1999), The Tailor of Panama (2001), Die Another Day (2002), After the Sunset (2004), The Matador (2005), Seraphim Falls (2006), Mamma Mia (2008), Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (2010), The Ghostwriter (2010), and Remember Me (2010). TV series Remington Steele (1982-1987).

Alec Trevelyan: Oh, please, James, put it away. It's insulting to think I haven't anticipated your every move.

Sean Bean (1959-) / Alec Trevelyan

Alec Trevelyan, a former MI6 secret agent 006 and friend of James Bond turned Bond villain. He blames the British for the death of his parents and intends to use the Goldeneye space weapon on London.

Born in Sheffield, England, Sean Bean 's films include - The Field (1990), Patriot Games (1992), Ronin (1998), Don't Say a Word (2001), Lord of the Rings I -The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Troy (2004), National Treasure (2004), The Island (2005), Flightplan (2005), The Hitcher (2007), Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (2010) and Mirror Mirror (2012). TV series Sharpe (1993-2008), Game of Thrones (2011).

Izabella Scorupco (1970-) / Natalya Siminova

Beautiful computer programmer Natalya Siminova is a survivor of the massacre at the Severnaya facility which held the control disc to Goldeneye.

Born in Bialystock, Poland, Izabella Scorupco's films include - Vertical Limit (2000), Reign of Fire (2002), Exorcist the Beginning (2004) and Cougar Club (2007).

Famke Janssen (1964-) / Xenia Onatopp

Bond bad girl Xenia Onatopp enjoys killing men by crushing them between her thighs during sex. At least they died smiling.

Born in Amstelveen, Netherlands, Famke Janssen's films include - Lord of Illusions (1995), The Gingerbread Man (1998), Deep Rising (1998), The Faculty (1998), House on Haunted Hill (1999), X-Men (2000 as Jean Grey), I Spy (2002), X-Men 2 (2003), X-Men 3 (2006) and Taken (2008).

Alan Cumming (1965-) / Boris Grishenko

Russian computer hacker Boris Grishenko allies himself with villain Alec Trevelyan.

Born in Aberfeldy, Scotland, Alan Cumming's films include - Emma (1996), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Titus (1999), Spy Kids (2001), X-Men 2 (2003 as Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler), Son of the Mask (2005) and Burlesque (2010).

Gottfried John (1942-) / General Ourumov

Born in Berlin, Germany, Gottfried John plays a renegade Russian General who teams up with Alec Trevelyan to gain access to GoldenEye.

Joe Don Baker (1936-) / Jack Wade

Born in Groesbeck, Texas, Joe Don Baker plays 007’s CIA contact Jack Wade, he would reprise the role in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Baker’s second appearance in a Bond movie, he played international arms dealer Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights (1987).

Robbie Coltrane (1950-) / Valentin Zukovsky

Born in Rutherglen, Scoltand, Robbie Coltrane played ex-KGB, Russian mafia boss Valentin Zukovsky. Coltrane would play Valentin again in The World is Not Enough (1999). The actor played Rubeus Hagrid in the highly popular Harry Potter movies.

Samantha Bond (1961-) / Moneypenny

Born in London, England, Samantha Bond was the third actress in the series to play Moneypenny. She would play the role in three more Bond films.

M: You don't like me, Bond. You don't like my methods. You think I'm an accountant, a bean counter more interested in my numbers than your instincts.
Bond: The thought had occurred to me.
M: Good, because I think you're a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War, whose boyish charms, though wasted on me, obviously appealed to that young woman I sent out to evaluate you.
Bond: Point taken.

Dame Judi Dench (1934-) / M

Born in York, England, Dame Judi Dench plays 'M' the head of MI6 (SIS - Secret Intelligence Service), at the time the film was made Stella Rimington was Director General of MI5 (Military Intelligence, Section 5).

“Goldeneye” was the name of Ian Fleming’s house in Jamaica, where he wrote all the Bond novels and stories between 1952 and 1964. Goldeneye is also the third Bond film with the word “Gold” in the title.

Goldeneye was novelised by thriller writer John Gardner (1926-2007), Gardner had written 16 Bond novels including two novelisations.

Other actors considered for the role of 007 in 1994 included Mel Gibson, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, and Sam Neill before it was decided Brosnan was the man for the job.

In early script stages Trevelyan was an older man and Bond’s former mentor, Anthony Hopkins and Alan Rickman were both considered for the part, until it was rewritten for a younger man.

The great Derek Meddings last Bond film, the special effects legend won an Oscar for Superman the Movie (1978), and was nominated for his work on Moonraker (1979). He died of cancer while Goldeneye was in production, the film is dedicated to his memory.

Bond drives a silver Aston Martin DB5 at the start of the film and later on Q provides him with a brand new blue BMW Z3 convertible equipped with stinger missiles behind the headlights.

The opening bungee jump over a dam set a record for highest drop, 720ft, it was performed by Wayne Michaels. The action centrepiece of the film is a destructive tank chase through the streets of St. Petersburg. This sequence took four weeks to film.

Tina Turner sang the theme song “Goldeneye” written by Bono and The Edge. The song failed to chart in the US but reached #10 in the UK singles chart. French composer Eric Serra composed the music score, one of the weakest in the series.

A computer game based on the film was released in 1997 and had rave reviews, winning first place in one game magazine’s 100 Greatest Video Games list.

Goldeneye was a big box office success, grossing $350m worldwide, more than any other previous Bond movie in unadjusted dollars and nearly $200m more than the last Bond movie Licence to Kill (1989). Brosnan would be back in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).

The Critics Wrote –

"The very definition of escapist fare." (Variety)

"Goldeneye" unveils Pierce Brosnan as the coffee-bar James Bond: mild, fashionable and nice in a very 90's way... and this film is missing such basics as the cold war and the James Bond theme music. The absence of the latter is sure to throw some audience members into a two-hour Pavlovian twitch." (New York Times)

"The movie's only real mistake is Sean Bean. Bond villains should be driven as much by their jealousy of Bond's sexual performance as anything else, but not even a prosthetic scar can hide the fact that Bean is better looking than Brosnan, possessed of the cruel sexiness that Bond himself should have and Brosnan lacks." (The Sunday Times)

"Welcome back Commander Bond. You left me shaken and stirred - and I loved it." (Rachel Simpson, Daily Express)

“Brosnan was quite adequate, although all of the later Bonds suffer from the reality that no one else will ever really replace Sean Connery. I had a good enough time I guess, although I never really got involved. I was shaken but not stirred.” (Roger Ebert)

“Bond gets to work in his tailored clothing, you feel Schwarzenegger and Stallone shrivelling...He is undoubtedly the best Bond since Sean Connery." (Geoff Brown, Times)

"GoldenEye delivers everything you expect, and more. It is one of the best Bond films, and successfully revives one of the screen's great legends." (Chris Tookey)


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    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Thank you Charles Etwood. I'm glad you like them. Brosnan was very popular with fans and audiences, but the producers decided the series needed a reboot.

    • profile image

      Charles Etwood 6 years ago

      I loved this movie, I am still sad Pierce did not make more movies after the 4 he made. I like the series you have done. Keep up the good work.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Thanks Rob, I enjoyed your review.

      I have to admit to liking the next one - Tomorrow Never Dies - more than this one but more on that when I post the hub tomorrow.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 6 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      A good Bond film. This was a good start for Brosnan and it was probably the best of the four Bond films he did.

      Brosnan was a good choice to play Bond. He had the looks and the charm and the right touch of humor, without going overboard into camp like Moore did. (He's actually Irish, not English, but that doesn't really matter, since Connery is a Scotsman.) As usual, Brosnan was compared to Connery, rather than to his predecessor. (All new Bonds from Moore to Craig are compared to Connery. He's still remains the standard for all Bonds.)

      Sean Bean was fine as the villain. Not one of the best, but perfectly fine. The Russian General was OK, too, and I really enjoyed Femke Jannsen as Onatop. (She was the last of the Bond girls to have a naughty, sugestive name.)

      Joe Don Baker was much better here as Wade than he'd been as the villain in "Living Daylights". And the latest Bond girl Natalya was pretty good, too.

      The film did have a tendency to fall back on some silly Roger Moore type stunts (Such as divng off a cliff after the falling plane, somehow catching up with it in mid-air, crawling inside and flying it away safely before it hit the ground) which was a bit of a disappointment to me after the Connery-like realism of "License to Kill". But apparantly Roger Moore changed Bond films forever, so post-Moore, wacky stunts have become mandatory. "Licence to Kill" didn't have them and it didn't do well.

      Judi Dench is very authoratative as the new "M". Her screen gravitas lends a lot of crediblity to a franchise which was no longer taken seriously post-Moore. She's a nice addition to the cast and it looks like she'll keep on doing it for a long time.

      Good Bond film. Fun stuff. Well done hub.


    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Thanks Mentalist. I'm not sure if it's a region issue, some Youtube videos I can copy on the hub and at my home theater forum, others say Embedding Disabled. I think the Live and Let Die video I posted is still up.

      Videos go very well with your hubs but on mine they're probably distracting. And I'd rather plaster the page with pictures anyway... :)

    • Mentalist acer profile image

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

      Right Now I'm Listening To A Goldeneye Trailer While Writing This Comment...As A Rouge Agent,Funny Enough,I Liked Pierce Brosnan after Roger Moore Then Sean...This Is One Of My Favorite Bond Movies...

      By he Way,Because You're In London,Are You Restricted From Placing YouTube Videos?

      This Is Another Professional Joy Steve.;)

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Hi Flora, I couldn't find any info on the songs US chart performance. I found this link which lists Turners song chart positions around the world but Goldeneye missed the US chart -

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      This was the first Bond movie I saw on the big screen. I have to disagree with the critic from The Sunday Times who said that Sean Bean is better looking than Pierce Brosnan. That is patently false, even though Bean is good looking. I don't have a single complaint among the acting. As for the movie missing the Cold War, the Cold War died with the fall of the USSR, so...why should it continue to be in the Bond series? I am surprised Tina Turner didn't chart in the US. Her song is included in my Best of Bond Music Cd.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Thanks Cogerson, much appreciated. It was a good solid Bond movie, the only bum note in my opinion was Eric Serra's music score.

      The producers were horrified when it looked like he wasn't interested in using the famous Bond theme and brought another composer in to rewrite bits of the score. They didn't like Serra's music for the tank chase and someone else scored that sequence.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Excellent hub, this is one of my favorite James Bond movies, I thought Brosnan did a great job as Bond in this movie. I liked Judi Dench as M, a nice twist on the formula.

      In reading the reviews, it looks Sean Bean did not get much credit, but I liked him as the villian. I think the only character I did not like was Joe Don Baker's...he seems out of place in the Bond world.

      As always you have selected some awesome photos...voted up interesting and informative.