Moonraker – 1979 | 126 mins | Action, Thriller | Colour
James Bond (Roger Moore) is assigned to discover why there is no wreckage of a Moonraker space shuttle at the site of the crash of the RAF plane which was transporting it over to Britain. His first port of call is Drax Industries in California, run by Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), a billionaire obsessed with the conquest of space. Attempts on Bond’s life make him suspicious and, with the help of Drax’s assistant Corinne (Corinne Clery), he breaks into Drax’s safe, where he discovers blueprints for custom-made glassware from Venini Glass in Venice. He also meets Dr Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles), an attractive scientist who doesn’t take much of a shine to Bond. Bond leaves, and Drax has Corinne killed.
In Venice, Bond finds containers that match the blueprints being made, and runs into Holly Goodhead again. Another attempt is made on Bond’s life on the Venice canals, which he survives, and that night he returns to the glass factory, where he discovers a scientific laboratory manufacturing a chemical and placing it in to globes. In his hurry not to be caught, Bond leaves out a phial of the chemical, which one of the scientists knocks over, releasing a gas, which proves fatal to humans, but not to the laboratory animals and plants. Drax’s henchman, Chang, attacks Bond, but 007 defeats him and goes to his rendezvous with Holly. She admits that she’s CIA, also concerned about Drax, and they agree to join forces.
Bond calls in M, and Frederick Gray, the Minister of Defence, but when they go into what was a laboratory its been transformed into a palatial room, with Drax awaiting them. Bond is given two weeks’ leave by M to pursue the case unofficially, and goes to Rio de Janeiro, home of C & W, whose packing cases he had found in Venice. Investigating C & W’s warehouse that night, during the carnival, Bond finds it empty save for an air-freight sticker – and runs into Jaws again (Richard Kiel), Stromberg’s henchman has replaced Chang, but 007 and local agent Manuela escape.
Monitoring Drax Air Freight’s planes from a vantage point, Bond runs into Holly yet again, and this time they agree to team up properly. Jaws attack the cable car they ride down on, from whom they escape again, although Drax’s men then capture them in a phoney ambulance. Bond escapes, but Holly is still a prisoner.
Q has analysed a phial of the toxin that 007 took from the laboratory and traced it to a black orchid in the upper reaches of the Amazon. Bond finds it guarded by Drax’s men, as well as Jaws. Using a hang-glider, Bond evades them and follows a beautiful woman into an ancient temple – Drax’s headquarters. Bond is brought before Drax, whose Moonrakers are lifting off. Drax intends to fire globes of the toxin in orbit around the world to destroy the world’s human population, and then repopulate the planet with perfect genetic specimens he has gathered together. Bond and Holly are reunited in the blast chamber of Moonraker 5, from which they escape and hijack Moonraker 6.
Blasting off, they are brought on automatic pilot to Drax’s space station, built high above the Earth, invisible because of radar jamming. Bond and Holly destroy the radar jammer, allowing the US and USSR to see it, and the US launch the Space Marines. The agents are meanwhile brought before Drax, who orders Jaws to expel them from the airlock. Bond persuades Jaws that there won’t be a place for him or his new girlfriend in this genetic paradise, and he changes side. The marines attack, although Drax has managed to launch three of his deadly globes. Bond eliminates Drax; then he and Holly use the laser in Moonraker 5’s nose to destroy the three globes before they can release their toxin.
Lewis Gilbert: Director
Charles Bishop: Art Direction
Max Douy: Art Direction
Jean Tournier: Cinematography
Jacques Fonteray: Costume Design
John Glen: Editing
Paul Engelen: Make-Up Dept
Mike Jones: Make-Up Dept
Pierre VadĂ©: Make-Up Dept
Monique Archambault: Make-Up Dept
John Barry: Music
Albert R Broccoli: Producer
Ken Adam: Production Design
Christopher Wood: Script
Graham V Hartstone: Sound
Nicolas Le Messurier: Sound
Daniel Brisseau: Sound
Dino Di Campo: Sound
Jean-Pierre Lelong: Sound
Gordon K McCallum: Sound
GĂ©rard de Lagarde: Sound
Jean Labourel: Sound
John Richardson: Special Effects
RenĂ© Albouze: Special Effects
Charles-Henri Assola: Special Effects
John Evans: Special Effects
Serge Ponvianne: Special Effects
Shirley Bassey: Title Song