A View To a Kill: 25th anniversary of the end of an era

This month is the silver anniversary of the release of A View To a Kill. It’s not a film that often enters the James Bond discussion of classic entries in the series. Truth be told (and in the interests of full disclosure), AVTAK didn’t get much love in a survey of HMSS editors some time back.

Still, it’s an anniversary worth noting if only because it the swan song of Roger Moore in the role of James Bond after seven films. One can certainly argue that Sir Roger was (and looked) too old but he does have a lot of fans who were willing to overlook that to see the actor one more time.

AVTAK also has elements of a classic 007 movie, though weird things happen at critical moments. One of the main examples: the pre-titles sequence starts out with second unit director/ski stunt arranger Willy Bogner and composer John Barry seemingly at the top of their games then a Beach Boys song pops up, completing changing the mood.

Producer Albert R. Broccoli went out and hired an Oscar winner (Christopher Walken) to be the villain, but he sometimes draws mixed reactions among fans. Broccoli also hired Patrick Macnee to be one of Bond’s (doomed) allies, letting the actor get into a 007 movies after three of his co-stars on The Avengers had participated. (Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg were hired at least in part because of the fame they got from the show; Joanna Lumley’s Bond time was prior to being Macnee’s co-star in The New Avengers.)

In any case, here’s the trailer:

And here are the main titles, which include a Duran Duran-performed song that apparently inspired designer Maurice Binder to come up with unusual makeup for his nude models:

5 Responses

  1. Even when discovering it in 85′ , I thought it was the ‘ one too many ‘ dear old Rog’ shouldn’t have done …

    The script merely rehearses old idea from previous entries , the locations are lame ( Bond in Paris ? Ok, let’s go to the Eiffel Tower everyone ! ) , the cast is on automatic mode ( which is really a shame since it got very good actors in it ) and the whole thing plays like a geriatric adventure of 007 …

    When compared to the energy bursting next film entry , one wonders why AVTAK suffers from so many faults…

  2. Although I know its considered one of the lesser Bonds, its still a guilty pleasure of mine. I even liked Tanya Roberts who so many people consider to be one of the worst Bond girls. Christopher Walkens manical goofiness is fun to watch. And its always a pleasure to see Patrick Macnee. Also I have always liked the scenes on the Golden Gate Bridge in the finale. But I do agree, they should have never put that Beach Boys music in the opening.

  3. I remember quite liking this when it first came out, and thinking that at least they had toned down the excessive gadgetry a bit. The Beach Boys song always bothered me, though, and Moore looked too old for the role.

    Looking at it now, the film seems awfully tired, like it was really the last gasp of the ailing Moore era. None of it is particularly memorable, and all the performances seem by the numbers, with even Grace Jones failing to add any pizazz. Plus that damned iceberg submarine always bothers me, with the Union Jack displayed in the hatch no less. At that point in the film I remember my dad remarking that Ian Fleming was spinning in his grave. At this point in the series, it really needed to be rebooted, which they kinda did with the two Dalton films.

  4. “The Beach Boys Music Scene” is wrong on several different levels.

    I’m pretty sure WE ALL GOT that Bond was “surfing” with the snowmobile strut. Kind of a clever, Bondy idea, which may have been made cool with some REAL “surf” music: the twangy guitars, with the tremolo and reverb turned all the way up, sounds a lot like spy music anyway. (Maybe they version of the James Bond Theme played in that style would’ve been cool.) However, some uninformed person made the mental jump from “surf” to “The Beach Boys” (Mistake #1). Then they chose the song “California Girls” which has NOTHING to do with surfing (Mistake #2) . And then, ultimately, they were too bloody CHEAP to even use the original recording, and simply covered it with some in-house musicians (Mistake #3).

    Ill-conceived, and poorly executed. Feh.

  5. […] Continued here:  A View To a Kill: 25th anniversary of the end of an era « The HMSS … […]

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