1989: For 007, a preview of things to come AND the start of a long hiatus

For James Bond fans, 1989’s Licence to Kill, originally to be called License Revoked, is a polarizing film. For some, it’s a grittier James Bond, more in line with Ian Fleming’s character. For others, it’s a cheaply made 007 movie with a lot of U.S. television actors.

It’s also, to some, a preview of things to come: it features a Bond that’s awfully similiar to the grittier Bond represented by the 21st Century 007, Daniel Craig.

It’s safe to say there are few points of agreement. It was the second, and last, Bond movie to star Timothy Dalton as Bond. Some fans view Dalton as the closest to Fleming’s literary 007. For others, he’s a dull and unattractive 007 with “pig fingers.”

In any event, this month is the 20th anniversary of the film. Some trivia:

–It was the last Bond film where veteran screenwriter Richard Maibuam (1909-1991) was involved. Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson prepared a treatment (essentially the plot) but a Writer’s Guild strike cut short Maibuam’s further participation while Wilson did the final script.

–It was also the final 007 movie with main titles designed by Maurice Binder.

–It was the final 007 movie where Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli was credited as a producer.

Another Bond movie wouldn’t debut until 1995 with GoldenEye (where Cubby Broccoli had a “presents” credit but where Wilson and Barbara Broccoli were credited as producers). Thus, Licence to Kill was the end of an era in various ways.

Here’s a trailer: