Live And Let Die’s 50th: The post-Connery era truly begins

Live And Let Die's poster

Live And Let Die’s poster

Adapted from a 2013 post
For the eighth James Bond film, star Sean Connery wasn’t coming back. Three key members of the 007 creative team, screenwriter Richard Maibaum, production designer Ken Adam and composer John Barry, weren’t going to participate. And producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman were mostly working separately, with this movie to be overseen primarily by Saltzman.

The result? Live And Let Die, which debuted in 1973. It would prove to be, financially, the highest-grossing movie in the series to date.

Things probably didn’t seem that way for Eon Productions and United Artists as work began.

They had no Bond. Broccoli and Saltzman didn’t want Connery back for 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. The studio didn’t want to take a chance and made the original screen 007 an offer he couldn’t refuse. But that was a one-film deal. Now, Eon and UA were starting from scratch.

Eon and UA had one non-Connery film under their belts, 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. They had tried the inexperienced George Lazenby, who bolted after one movie. For the second 007 film in the series not to star Connery, Eon and UA opted for a more-experienced choice: Roger Moore, former star of The Saint and The Persuaders! television shows. Older than Connery, Moore would employ a lighter touch.

Behind the camera, Saltzman largely depended on director Guy Hamilton, back for his third turn in the 007 director chair, and writer Tom Mankiewicz. Mankiewicz would be the sole writer from beginning to end, rewriting scenes as necessary during filming. In a commentary on the film’s DVD, Mankiewicz acknowledged it was highly unusual.

Perhaps the biggest creative change was with the film’s music. Barry had composed the scores for six Bond films in a row. George Martin, former producer for The Beatles, would take over. Martin had helped sell Saltzman on using a title song written by Paul and Linda McCartney. The ex-Beatle knew his song would be compared to the 007 classic title songs Barry had helped write. McCartney was determined to make his mark.

Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman pose with their new star, Roger Moore, during filming of Live And Let Die

Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman pose with their new star, Roger Moore, during filming of Live And Let Die

Saltzman liked the song, but inquired whether a woman singer would be more appropriate. Martin, in an interview for a 2006 special on U.K. television, said he informed Saltzman that if Eon didn’t accept McCartney as performer, the producer wouldn’t get the song. Saltzman accepted both.

Live And Let Die wasn’t the greatest James Bond film, despite an impressive boat chase sequence that was a highlight. The demise of its villain (Yaphet Kotto) still induces groans among long-time 007 fans as he pops like a balloon via an unimpressive special effect.

Sheriff J.W. Pepper, up to that time, was probably the most over-the-top comedic supporting character in the series. (“What are you?! Some kind of doomsday machine, boy?!”)

But Live And Let Die is one of the most important films in the series. As late as 1972, the question was whether James Bond could survive without Sean Connery. With $161.8 million in worldwide ticket sales, it was the first Bond film to exceed the gross for 1965’s Thunderball. In the U.S., its $35.4 million box office take trailed the $43.8 million for Diamonds Are Forever.

Bumpy days still lay ahead for Eon. The Man With the Golden Gun’s box office would tail off and relations between Broccoli and Saltzman would get worse. Still, for the first time, the idea took hold that the cinema 007 could move on from Connery.

Many editors at the former Her Majesty’s Secret Servant website criticized the movie and its star in a survey many years ago. But the film has its fans.

“I vividly remember the first time I saw one of the Bond movies, which was Live And Let Die, and the effect it had on me,” Skyfall director Sam Mendes said at a November 2011 news conference. Whatever one’s opinions about the movie, Live And Let Die ensured there’d be 007 employment for the likes of Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig.

FEBRUARY 2012 POST: LIVE AND LET DIE, A REAPPRAISAL

JANUARY 2010 POST: 1973: TIME PROFILES THE NEW JAMES BOND

JANUARY 2010 POST: 1973: TIME CALLS 007 A `RACIST PIG’

Licence to Kill treatment: Conclusion

Timothy Dalton

Continuing the blog’s examination of a March 1988 treatment by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson for Licence to Kill. The treatment was provided by Gary J. Firuta.

At the end of the blog’s last installment, Pam was flying Bond and Lupe and indicated some turbulence was ahead. She wasn’t kidding.

The plane does “a barrel roll.” Lupe is tossed off a bed in the plane onto to the floor. “Bond is amused but Lupe shouts ‘Beetch! at the top of her lungs.”

Meanwhile, in this treatment, Sanchez now is very suspicious of Bond, something that wouldn’t happen until later in the finished film. Sanchez orders his people to look out for Bond.

Bond & Co. have reached their destination, Oaxaca, near the site of the Bible Institute. Bond is in a taxi with Q, Pam and Lupe. Bond and Pam will get off at a hotel. Q is to take Lupe to Leiter in Miami “on the next available flight.” Lupe is hesitant to leave Bond. Bond tells her that Q will look after her until he can rejoin her.

Bond observes some “obviously working class Americans in their best duds” exiting a bus from the institute. Bond remembers that Sanchez had been watching institute programming. Bond tells Q to contact Leiter in Miami that the institute may be a Sanchez front.

Bond and Pam then get on a bus headed to the institute.

At the same time, Sanchez shows up and Dario is surprised to see him. “I had to come,” Sanchez tells Dario. “The Chinese are having second thoughts. They’ve heard rumors about Krest. That Kwang business upsets them. Then Bond taking Lupe and my plane. I have to show my face to prove everything’s alright.”

The treatment includes a description of an assembly line-like operation where checks and cash are separated from letters with donations. Addresses are entered into a computer database. The letters are deposited into a large shredder.

The Asian group also is being given a tour of the grounds. Eventually Bond and Pam separate, with Bond infiltrating the group of visitors by knocking out a technician and taking his place. Bond wears a filter mask and a white lab coat. Bond also has an ID with the name Jose Pico.

Sanchez, not as dense as he was in the finished movie, is aware of Bond’s presence and tells Dario to find him.

What follows is a demonstration similar to the completed film, showing how cocaine can be dissolved in gasoline. Sanchez tells his visitors he has a plan for shipments to Asia by chartering a tanker ship to Hong Kong.

Pam, meanwhile, gets away from Sanchez’ men who have been observing her. Back at the lab, Bond has been spotted. He is overcome by Sanchez henchmen.

“What is this vendetta, Senor Bond?” Sanchez asks.

“Felix Leiter,” Bond replies.

“The American drug agent? What is he? Nothing!”

“My friend,” Bond says. “A man you couldn’t buy.”

Sanchez is undeterred. “Too bad for him. So where is he now? Selling pencils in the streets?”

“No, Sanchez,” Bond says. “He’s after your head. You can’t stop men like him.”

Bond is taken to an area with a detonator. It is set for 10 minutes. The complex will go up to remove evidence.

Bond is tied up. “Dario owes you some pain,” Sanchez tells Bond. “I promised he could have you.” Sanchez steps up to Dario and pats his cheek. “Amuse yourself, Amigo.”

Sanchez and his entourage depart except for Darui and some thugs. One of Sanchez’ men ask the boss if they should let Dario know has seven minutes left.

“No!” Sanchez replies. “He has made too many mistakes lately.”

Yikes! Sanchez must have studied at the Blofeld School of Management.

While this is going on, Pam is at the facility’s auditorium watching Joe Butcher give a performance. At the same time, Leiter is watching the telecast of Butcher. Leiter tells a colleague he had received a message it was tied to Sanchez.

Back in Mexico, Dario puts Bond on the conveyor belt leading to the shredder used for all the letters sent to Joe Butcher. Dario turns it on.

Bond gets out of it thusly:

Several feet away Bond spots a stainless steel bucket besides the belt. He has enough play in his straps to swing his legs and jam both feet into the bucket. Then he swings his legs back onto the belt the instant before his foot reaches the knives of the shredder. The knives shatter as they hit the bucket. Bond falls through the shredder miraculously unscathed.

A fight breaks out as Pam catches up to Bond. She shoots Dario, who falls into the shredder. A foot chase ensues, with Bond and Pam ending up in the auditorium where Joe Butcher is doing his television broadcast. Leiter, still watching on TV, recognizes Bond. Security guards break into the auditorium and Leiter’s TV feed is interrupted. An explosion breaks out.

Bond now moves to delay a convoy of trucks containing cocaine in gasoline, with Pam flying a plane. A long description follows. The treatment includes how many of the Asian group are arrested at Acapulco, where the convoy was headed.

Bond and Sanchez have their final meeting. As in the final film, Sanchez prepares to decapitate Bond with a machete. Except, in the treatment, Bond uses a flare he took from a truck emergency box. “He thrusts burning flare into Sanchez’ face,” the treatment says. “Sanchez’ clothes, drenched in gasoline, ignite, turning him into a human torch.”

The next scene takes place at the “Mexican fiesta Acapulco.”

The scene plays out somewhat differently than the final film. We’re told, “It seems Lupe has found her true vocation taking care of Leiter.” (!) Then, Q (!) tells Bond that M wants him back “at once for re-assignment.”

During the scene, Pam is wearing her leather vest. Pam says Bond needs R&R before reporting back for duty. She asks Bond: “Why don’t you buy a yacht for a three month sail on the Caribbean with me”?

Bond asks what they will do for money

Pam opens one of the padded sections of her vest, containing “packets of hundred dollar bills.”

“You didn’t think I was going to let you put all that cash in the decompression chamber, did you? I’m a practical woman.”

At this point, after all the violence, Bond has one bad arm. He tells Pam he won’t be of much use with one arm.

“For what I have in mind, you won’t need your hands,” Pam says.

THE END

Licence to Kill treatment: A bumpy flight

Timothy Dalton’s gunbarrel

Continuing a serialization of a Licence to Kill treatment by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson in 1988. Treatment provided by Gary J. Firuta.

By page 41 of the treatment, Pam “has obviously fallen for Bond in a big way.”

At this point, Pam and Q are in the hotel suite in Isthmus City.

“Q gives her a stiff upper lip English pep talk,” according to the treatment. “No one has ever gotten the best of Bond and no one ever will. She tells him to shut up and let her think.”

Just then, Bond calls. “He is standing at the pay phone in the casino dressed in Dr. Mendez’ overcoat, dark glasses and hat. Lupe is at the bar as a look out.”

Bond tells Pam she “should get down to the airport and find out where Sanchez is taking the oriental group they saw at the casino the other night. She should also make sure their plane is ready for a quick get away.”

Over the next few pages, the demise of Milton Krest at the hands of Sanchez is described. It’s similar to what would be in the final film. The main difference is one of Sanchez’ lackeys realizes this was set up by Bond.

Later, there are other bits, including Q making a phony passport for Lupe.

The sequence is more complicated than the final product. There’s this bit about Q: The quartermaster “never knew how much fun in the field.” Pam puts the intercom to “listen.”

Bond wants to finish the job the dead Hong Kong agents took on to take out Sanchez. He, Pam and Lupe are on a plane t try to intercept Sanchez.

“Lupe now in a silk robe, joins Bond. ‘James, what will be do? Franz will follow us. Kill us.”

“Not if I get him first,” Bond replies.

Pam listens on the intercom as Bond and Lupe get closer. Pam switches the intercom to “talk.” “Please fasten your seat belts. We’re about to go through some turbulence.”

TO BE CONTINUED

Licence to Kill treatment: Boom!

Timothy Dalton

Continuing the blog’s look at a March 1988 treatment by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson for Licence to Kill. The treatment was provided by Gary J. Firuta.

A shell “from a tank hits the bungalow and explodes, almost demolishing it,” the treatment says on page 40. “Evidently Kwang had been followed there.”

The treatment says General Rios, “in a command car with Sanchez, is directing an attack by regular Isthmus City troops on the bungalow.”

The attack is deadly. Rios sends troops inside. The roof has collapsed. Rios and Sanchez follow the troops inside.

“Kwang and Loti are still alive,” according to the treatment. “Rios hands Sanchez a revolver. He dispatches them with it.”

As in the final film, Bond is discovered, still alive.

“Rios lifts revolver to kill him,” Maibaum and Wilson write. “Sanchez stays his hand.”

“He tried to warn me,” Sanchez says.

The next morning, Bond awakens in a bedroom of the casino penthouse. Lupe is there.

“She tells him she prayed for him,” the treatment says. “And for herself, too.”

Soon, Sanchez enters with his personal physician, Dr. Mendez, who “wears a voluminous camel’s hair coat, a broad rimmed fedora and dark sunglasses.”

Mendez begins to examine Bond. Sanchez “expresses hit gratitude to Bond.”

“From now on they are hermanos,” according to the treatment. “And the East Coast territory might soon be his. They will discuss it when Bond has recovered.”

Sanchez instructs the doctor to give Bond a sedative “to knock him out for six hours.” After Sanchez exits the room, “he tells a man standing there to stay and keep an eye on Bond. It is Dario.”

Back in the room, Mendez is about to inject the sedative into Bond. But the agent “deftly snatches the needle” out of the doctor’s hand and injects him with it instead.

“The astounded Mendez pulls away, staggers a few feet and collapses.”

Dario’s suspicions are raised. He enters the room, his weapon drawn. Lupe is making the bed.

Dario pulls away the covers. Dr. Mendez is there. Bond gets into a fight with Dario. Eventually, Bond overcomes Dario. Bond tells Lupe “it is her last chance to get away from Sanchez and Krest.

“Will she come with him? She is still shaken but agrees.”

TO BE CONTINUED

Licence to Kill treatment: MI6 or MI5?

Licence to Kill’s poster

Resuming (after a break) describing the Licence to Kill treatment by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson from 1988. It was provided by Gary J. Firuta.

As in the film, Q drives a Rolls Royce. Bond exits, tells the casino manager he’ll play later. This gives Bond a chance to slip in by the service entrance. There’s a big party upstairs.

Bond pretends to be a waiter, giving him a chance to infiltrate the facility.

The treatment includes a description of the party, with Sanchez hosting various Asian people.

“We control whole government departments, in some cases, whole countries,” Sanchez tells his guests. “For example, the security of our shipping operations here is headed by Colonel Rios, the commandant of the President’s personal bodyguard.”

Rios is present at the gathering. “Rios stands as the others applaud him,” according to the treatment.

As in the film, the treatment now has Bond ready to try to kill Sanchez. Back at the meeting, Sanchez makes his pitch to extend his “invisible empire” to the Pacific Rim. “It will become our puddle,” Sanchez says.

Sanchez asks the Asians for $100 million each. But Kwang wants to see more of Sanchez’s operations before committing himself. The others go along. Sanchez will take them the next day to see the operations.

The treatment resembles the final film as Bond’s assassination attempt of Sanchez falls short. “A fight on the rooftop follows as Bond defends himself with a variety of martial arts all of which are countered by his adversaries.”

Bond is captured by the ninjas (as described in the treatment).

“Ninjas emerge with Bond still groggy between them,” the treatment says. “A car draws up and stops besides them. Ninjas open boot, fling Bond into it, close boot, lock it, then gets into the car which speeds away.”

The car “stops outside a bungalow somewhat removed from others on the city’s outskirts,” the treatment reads. The ninjas open the trunk and drag Bond into the house.

Bond is taken to the house’s basement and is strapped into a chair.

“Outside a car pulls up and a figure slips out hurrying into the house,” the treatment says. “A second figure rustles in the underbrush near the house. Is it being watched? Basement door opens. The figure from the car enters. It is Kwang.”

The first figure is Fallon “an Englishman from Hong Kong.” He and Kwang confer. Bond “must be MI5 (!),” Fallon says.

Kwang and Fallon “are irate that MI5 would attempt to kill Sanchez without informing them,” the treatment says.

Kwang says “when Bond made a display of himself at the blackjack table” he placed Bond under surveillance. That enabled Bond’s attempt to kill Sanchez to be foiled.

But things are about to go bad.

TO BE CONTINUED


Licence to Kill treatment: Bond meets Q

Timothy Dalton gunbarrel

Continuing the blog’s examination of a March 1988 treatment by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson for Licence to kill. The treatment was provided by Gary J. Firuta.

After Bond sees Sanchez, Bond and Pam go back to their hotel.

The two briefly discuss the layout of Sanchez’s office. “We have a problem,” Bond says. “Sanchez is up there behind two inches of armored glass. I’d need a cannon to get him.”

What follows is similar to the final film. Upon arrival, Bond is told by the concierge that his uncle is waiting for him in his suite. “Bond tells Pam to wait in the lobby while he investigates,” the treatment says.

Bond goes to the room, rings the bell, “then flattens back against the wall beside the door and poses to karate strike if necessary.”

Q opens the door. He is “all rigged out for a Caribbean vacation.” In the movie, Desmond Llewelyn wore a suit for the scene.

Initially, Q tells Bond he’s on leave and decided to spend it with the agent. “Q finally confesses it was Miss Moneypenny who kept tabs on him.”

Q then tells Bond that Moneypenny has “been mad about him for years.”

‘”Really?’ Bond exclaims, pretending surprise. Bond says he’s in no mood for a vacation and Q had better enjoy himself somewhere else.”

Q “then confesses” he’s present without M’s knowledge. Q also says Leiter was his friend too. (Obviously, this happened offscreen.)

As in the final film, the treatment has Q showing Bond the gadgets he’s brought, including the “denonite” toothpaste and the disguised signature gun.

Pam enters. The dialogue in the treatment is a bit different than the movie.

“Just who is this Uncle?” Pam asks. “For that matter who are you?”

“Just civil servants,” Bond replies.

“Like Leiter, only English,” Pam says.

TO BE CONTINUED

Licence to Kill treatment: Blackjack

Timothy Dalton gunbarrel

The blog continues its examination of a 1988 treatment by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson for what would become Licence to Kill. The treatment was provided by Gary J. Firuta.

Lupe answers the summons from Sanchez as Bond is adding to his winnings at the blackjack table at Sanchez’s casino.

Sanchez “points to Bond” on a closed-circuit television screen. Lupe “recognizes Bond at the blackjack table.” Lupe “conceals her reaction.” Sanchez instructs Lupe to “chat Bond up and get to know him.”

Bond, meanwhile, “continues playing and winning.” At the same time, “Several of the orientals, including Kwang and his beautiful young Asian companion, Loti, are now watching him play.”

Lupe enters. Bond “tells dealer he’s taking a break, rises, and asks Pam to hold his seat or him.”

Pam knows “nothing about blackjack except what she picked up watching Bond.”

Bond leaves the private gambling room with Lupe following him.

Bond is seated at a bar while Lupe “joins him hesitantly.”

According to the treatment, “Her natural inclination toward him conflicts with her fear of Sanchez.”

Lupe tells Bond she is “afraid Sanchez might somehow learn about the episode on Krest’s yacht. She begs him to leave.”

That’s not Bond’s style. “He asks her where Sanchez is,” the treatment reads.

“Upstairs in his penthouse office,” Lupe replies. “He’s getting ready for some kind of a big meeting tomorrow and a party afterward.”

Bond isn’t ready to retreat. He wants Lupe to take him to Sanchez.

“Are you loco?”

The treatment says, “He reassures her, says he has important information for Sanchez who will be pleased with her for bringing Bond to him.”

Lupe takes Bond “reluctantly” to a self-service elevator.

Bond and Lupe ride the elevator up. Bond “promises her that somehow he will reunite her with her family.”

When Bond gets out of the elevator, he is relieved of his Walther PPK and his passport by Sanchez thugs (Perez and Braun).

Bond says he has come to see Sanchez. “Perez takes Lupe into Sanchez,” the treatment says.

TO BE CONTINUED

Licence to Kill treatment: Pam changes her hair color

Licence to Kill’s poster

Continuing the blog’s examination of a 1988 treatment by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson for what would become Licence to Kill. The treatment was provided by Gary J. Firuta.

Bond and Pam go to a bank in Isthmus City. They are “appropriately dressed” and meet with the bank manager.

Pam “is now a stunning blonde.”

Bond wants to open an account with an initial deposit of $5 million. He tells the bank manager there will be additional monthly deposits. “Responding to the manager’s questions, he says he is an independent entrepreneur specializing in Investment Opportunities. Presently he is on an extended holiday with his confidential secretary.”

Bond also arranges a credit line of $2 million at Sanchez’s casino.

“The manager assures him there will be no difficulty with that,” the treatment says. “The bank’s chairman also owns the casino.”

Bond and Pam arrive at the casino in “a chauffeured driven Rolls Royce.” Both are well dressed.

What follows is a description of the casino and its clientele. The building is five stories tall “surmounted by a flag pole and a large satellite dish.” The patrons are “handsome and obviously well heeled.”

Bond and Pam “are taken into a private gambling salon reserved for big betters.”

The treatment says the betters include “the oriental group Bond saw at the airport.” The gathering “has one or two members from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, and an impressive-looking Chinese from Hong Kong. We later learn he is named Kwang.”

As in the final film, Bond informs the pit boss he wants to play blackjack at a private table. What follows is a description of what’s happening upstairs. Sanchez is watching “a telethon fundraising for the Oaxaca Bible Institute.”

The program is hosted by “an evangelist couple, Deedie and Joe Butcher, who reminds us you know who.”

Presumably, this is a reference to Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, who had a popular evangelist program, The PTL Club, in that era. Jim Bakker got into big legal problems in 1988 and 1989. In the final film, we only saw Joe Butcher, who was played by Wayne Newton.

Meanwhile, Chicago underworld types are watching the same program. “Big Boss Benjy reacts angrily” to how Sanchez is using the show to make bids for the drugs.

“The program is obviously not only an appeal for charitable contributions but to also announce prices and receive orders for cocaine,” according to the treatment.

Back at the casino, Bond now wants to play with no limit. The treatment provides more details of how the supposedly religious telecast is part of Sanchez’ empire.

The treatment describes Bond playing blackjack at the private table.

“Bond is obviously not the pigeon the pit boss thought he was,” the treatment reads. “The ten thousand dollar plaques are piling up in front of Bond. Pit boss tells Sanchez the Englishman has recouped and is 200 thousand up.” Presumably, that is $200,000.

Sanchez calls up Lupe who is “bored, leafing through a magazine in the sitting room of a penthouse suite….Sanchez tells her she wants him.”

TO BE CONTINUED

Licence to Kill treatment: Pam’s backstory

Timothy Dalton gunbarrel

The blog continues its examination of a 1988 treatment by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson for what would become Licence to Kill. The treatment was provided by Gary J. Firuta.

After a night of bliss, Pam and Bond are still on the cigarette boat. At dawn, Bond is awakened as the engines come to life. Pam is “in her leather vest and jeans again.”

“You found the reserve tank,” Bond says.

“Driving Cigarette boats is my profession,” Pam replies. “It’s the vessel of choice for short haul smuggling.”

And what of long-haul? Bond asks.

“Planes. I used to fly Air America for the CIA. Guns, people, money, whatever was needed. That’s how I met Leiter.”

Pam later went free lance. She was hired by Dario for a job. Pam thought it meant smuggling “Mexican illegals into Texas. They turned out to be Colombian hit men. I got indicted. I helped Leiter while he was trying to nail Sanchez. He said he’d get me off if I did.”

In any case, Pam is going to help get Bond to Sanchez.

Back in London, similar to the final film, M criticizes Moneypenny for frequent typos on a memo. She’s worried about Bond.

M spots a telex on Moneypenny’s desk. It says that Bond cleared immigration at Bimini on his way to Isthmus City.

M asks who ordered the surveillance. Moneypenny admits she did. “I thought you’d want to keep track of his movements, sir.”

“Whatever he’s doing has nothing to do with this office,” M says. “I’ve told you that before.” M goes back into his office.

Moneypenny rings up Q but in the treatment, the line is slightly different. “Q, Moneypenny here, are you free for lunch?”

The treatment shifts to Isthmus City. There’s a detailed description of Bond’s arrival. At one point, Bond sees various people who’ve come in on a private jet including “six men from the Far East.” The group exits through a side gate by customs officials are are “whisked away in limos.”

“Pigeons Sanchez is bringing to his casino,” Pam says.

Bond later arrives at a suite in a posh hotel. A bell boy sets down heavy suitcases and asks what is in them.

“Money”, Bond says “jocularly.” “I don’t believe in banks.”

Bond tips the bell boy “lavishly.”

Bond checks out the beds of the suite.

“Don’t get any ideas,” Pam says. “Last night was pure lust.” She adds that getting Sanchez will be difficult without mixing up sex into the proceedings.

Bond opens one of the suitcases loaded with cash.

“Whose is it?” Pam asks.

“Sanchez’,” Bond replies. He hands her some cash.

Similar to the final film, Bond issues some instructions.

“Buy some clothes. You’re now my executive secretary…Start acting the part. Say, ‘Yes, Mr. Bond.'”

Pam “gives him a dirty look,” the treatment says. Pam says, “I should always trust my first impressions.”

TO BE CONTINUED

Licence to Kill treatment: Bond buys a boat

Licence to Kill’s poster

The blog continues its examination of a 1988 treatment by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson for what would become Licence to Kill. Thanks to Gary J. Firuta who provided the treatment.

Bond has gotten a lead in his quest to seek revenge against Franz Sanchez. But how will he make a key meeting?

At the marina in Key West, Bond encounters “a sportsman” who “works on a cigarette boat.”

Bond asks if he can rent the boat.

“No way,” the man responds.

Bond asks if he can buy the boat.

“More than you got, wise ass.”

Bond tells him to name his price. “Sportsman thinks Bond is a nut,” the treatment says.

“Okay. A hundred grand.”

“Does that include a full tank of petrol?” Bond asks. Bond “pulls cash out of his pockets and hands it to the astounded sportsman.”

What follows is similar to the final movie with some differences.

“Bond’s cigarette boat is tied up with small craft around the Barrelhead, a disreputable cafe. Bond enters and looks around. The place is a hangout for smugglers and other waterfront low-life. Three bored strippers go through the motions without attracting much attention.”

Bond asks to see “Bouvier,” and a bouncer “gestures toward a shadowy figure alone at a corner table behind a bottle and two glasses.” It’s Pamela, the woman Bond met at Leiter’s. She is wearing jeans, shirt and a padded vest. Her hair “is held by a headband.”

“An unexpected pleasure,” Bond tells Pamela. “For a moment I didn’t recognize you.”

“My work clothes,” Pamela responds. She gestures for Bond to sit down. She says the bottle contains, “Local rot gut.”

Bond “beckons” a waiter and orders his trademark vodka martini. “No fancy drinks,” the waiter says. “You take it the way it comes.”

Bond and Pamela compare notes. Then, as in the film, Sanchez’s thug Dario enters. Dario and his fellow thugs go up to the table where Bond and Pamela are sitting. A fight quickly ensues.

At one point, “Dario grabs the bottle of rot gut and raises it to clobber her,” according to the treatment. “Bond, who has drawn his PPK, hits him with the butt. Dario crashes to the floor.”

It’s more complicated than that, of course. The description in the treatment is very similar to the finished film. Pamela blasts a hole in the wall and she and Bond depart. Dario shoots Pamela in the back but she survives thanks to her bulletproof vest (the word “Kevlar” is not mentioned).

“What the girl who has everything needs,” Bond says.

“Mother said never to be without it,” Pamela responds. “Where are you going?”

The answer is the airport as part of the next step of his quest for Sanchez.

As in the final film, the boat runs out of fuel. Pamela complains about her clothes being wet. She changes into “a terry cloth robe too large for her.”

“I had you pegged all wrong,” Pamela tells Bond. “When you came in I thought you were a chauvinistic wimp about to get his ass kicked.”

“What do you you think now?” Bond asks.

“You didn’t get your ass kicked. I’m keeping an open mind about the rest.”

Pamela “leans over him. The robe opens.”

Bond “reaches up and draws her down to him. They kiss. He starts to roll her over.”

“Careful, I have a bruised back, remember?” Pamela says.

She “sits up and reverses their positions,” according to the treatment.

“I see I have to teach you some new tricks,” Pamela tells Bond.

“Surprise me,” Bond says.

TO BE CONTINUED