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Moonraker (1979)
UK / English
"Where all the other Bonds end . . . this one begins! "
James Bond investigates the mid-air theft of a space shuttle and discovers a plot to commit global genocide.
Roger Moore James Bond
Lois Chiles Dr. Holly Goodhead
Michael Lonsdale Hugo Drax
Richard Kiel Jaws
Corinne Clery Corinne Dufour
Bernard Lee M
Geoffrey Keen Sir Frederick Gray
Desmond Llewelyn Q
Lois Maxwell Miss Moneypenny
Toshirô Suga Chang (as Toshiro Suga)
Emily Bolton Manuela
Blanche Ravalec Dolly, Jaws' Girlfriend
Irka Bochenko Blonde Beauty
Mike Marshall Colonel Scott (as Michael Marshall)
Leila Shenna Private Jet Hostess
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Producer: Albert R. Broccoli
Writer: Ian Fleming,Christopher Wood
The last classic James Bond film!
Breathtaking stunts, jaw-dropping sets, and imaginative situations make Moonraker (1979) a dazzling entry in the legendary James Bond franchise. There is no doubt that Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind served as an inspiration, however, this inspiration also happened to be a very positive one that led to quite a unique product. Quite simply, Moonraker is the gutsiest and most ambitious film in the entire James Bond series.

I have always been a big fan of Roger Moore's classy interpretation of James Bond in the 1970s. The four Bond films he made during that era were all outstanding. His best was certainly The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), but Moonraker is a very close second in my opinion. His chemistry with Barbara Bach (my favorite Bond girl) in Spy was outstanding and he nearly equals it here with Lois Chiles. The elegant Lois Chiles may not have been the strongest actress, but she always displayed intelligence and an independent spirit. She is a delight to watch on screen. In the 1970s, the "Bond girl" began to transform into the Bond woman, as both Barbara Bach and Lois Chiles expertly conveyed smarts and inner strength. Gone were the days of weak, air-headed "Bond girls," who served only as eye candy.

Also underrated here is Michael Lonsdale's performance as Hugo Drax. His icy delivery is very effective and he plays the evil genius with a dry humor later made popular by the great Alan Rickman. The Jaws reprise is underrated as well. Not only is his romance refreshing to watch, but most importantly, it also serves as a rather important plot point as well.

While the laser effects do not work well, the rest of the special effects are absolutely incredible without being intrusive. It is important to mention that during this era, filmmakers still realized the importance of characterization over explosions (a knowledge lost in the 1980s and 1990s.) Watch how Christopher Wood's smart script is perfectly balanced with innovative special effects. In the end, the overall film becomes entirely plausible.

Moonraker was a major gamble that paid off and I give all of those involved with the production a lot of credit. As was the case with many creative ventures during the 1970s, a traditional genre was taken into a more exploratory direction and was ultimately lifted to greater heights. This progressive philosophy and style of film-making made Moonraker the last truly great James Bond film. The franchise would never get this creative or exciting again.

Seen it:Ja
Nr of disks/tapes:1
Storage device:Divx 4
Imdb rating: 6.1
Musician: John Barry
Running time: 126 min
Everything else:
Last modified: 2007-07-19 20:27:3