The Living Daylights

1987

The Living Daylights

Critics Consensus

Newcomer Timothy Dalton plays James Bond with more seriousness than preceding installments, and the result is exciting and colorful but occasionally humorless.

71%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 52

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 53,758
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Movie Info

Assigned to facilitate the defection of a Russian agent, secret agent James Bond soon discovers that the situation is much more complicated than it appears. This entry in the popular action series finds 007 battling drug smugglers, international mercenaries, arms dealers, and a beautiful markswoman.

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Cast

Timothy Dalton
as James Bond
Maryam d'Abo
as Kara Milovy
Jeroen Krabbé
as Gen. Georgi Koskov
Joe Don Baker
as Brad Whitaker
John Rhys-Davies
as Gen. Leonid Pushkin
Art Malik
as Kamran Shah
Walter Gotell
as Gen. Anatol Gogol
Caroline Bliss
as Miss Moneypenny
John Terry
as Felix Leiter
John Bowe
as Colonel Feyador
Geoffrey Keen
as Minister of Defence
Julie T. Wallace
as Rosika Miklos
Virginia Hey
as Rubavitch
Nadim Sawalha
as Tangier Chief of Security
Alan Talbot
as Koskov's KGB Minder
Carl Rigg
as Imposter
Tony Cyrus
as Chief of Snow Leopard Brotherhood
Sumar Khan
as Kamran's Man
Peter Porteous
as Gasworks Supervisor
Antony Carrick
as Male Secretary, Blayden
Derek Hoxby
as Sergeant Stagg
Bill Weston
as Butler, Blayden
Richard Cubison
as Trade Centre Toastmaster
Leslie French
as Lavatory Attendant
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Critic Reviews for The Living Daylights

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (15)

Audience Reviews for The Living Daylights

  • Feb 08, 2016
    Undeservedly shouldered with a bad reputation that still wrongly scares The Living Daylights out of Bond fans, Timothy Dalton's thrilling 007 debut ushers in a much more serious secret agent whose biggest foe proves to be a noticeable lack of humor. Getting jiggy with the (then) modern age in which AIDS scars the landscape and misogyny is way beyond passé, Bond becomes monogamous and improbably shows less emotion than Daniel Craig's earliest adventures. Still, the excitement and intrigue hit full throttle and rarely let up, allowing for a better-than-average 007 adventure where the explosions suit the story and not vice-versa. If the audience laughed more, this would be one for the ages. In this PG-rated spy thriller, James Bond (Dalton) crosses all seven continents in order to stop an evil arms dealer from starting another world war. Though docked some of Bond's aforementioned defining trademarks, Dalton emerges as more of an action hero in one movie than Roger Moore did during his entire run. His iteration simply wants more for Bond's razor-sharp wit. Thankfully taking the spy game more seriously than eyebrow arching Moore years, The Living Daylights ultimately takes itself too seriously, in need of lightening up during a time when filmgoers were used to intelligent but fun espionage in the pre-9/11 form of The Hunt for Red October as opposed to the deathly intensity in the post-9/11 form of The Bourne Identity. Bottom line: Roll of the Dicey
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 30, 2015
    For awhile, the Bond films lost the spy elements to the series. Not that there weren't some great installments, there were. But I feel as though The Living Daylights brought the franchise back to its spy roots. The last time a film delved into that was probably The Spy Who Loved Me. And as much as I loved Roger Moore in the role for so long, Timothy Dalton did a fine job as 007. You immediately buy into him as Bond which is something Lazenby really struggled with years before. I also appreciated the pacing of this film. A lot of Bond films over 2 hours are noticably 2 hours. But this film speeds by, and if it weren't for a rough middle act, this would be one of the best of the series. Obviously I'm watching this nearly 30 some odd years after it's release, but I couldn't help but notice the story resemblances to this years Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Both being spy movies is a given, but it's opera house scene, along with the leading lady, and its twists and turns all seem to call back to The Living Daylights. But believe me, that's a good thing. I did like Maryam d'Abo as the main Bond girl with something else up her sleeve, but I thought the writing pushed the romance too much with James. Sometimes a women's role in a film doesn't need to feature a romance with the lead character. Other than that, she provided an interesting dynamic with Bond and the rest of the characters. It was nice to see John Rhys-Davies show up although I wish his role would have had more significance. His character tended to get lost in the jumble a bit with all the other secret intelligence that appear here. But again, I think this film benefited from its surprises and unpredictability. Having so many characters keeps us on the edge of our seat as to who makes it and who doesn't. I was also impressed with the writers decision to included certain lines about why this person wasn't going to be killed or why this person needed to be killed. So often in Bond films, I feel as though characters are killed off without real necessity or explanation. That's not the case in The Living Daylights. As if Bond didn't have enough Ski/snow chase sequences, there is yet another one in this film. We have to be nearing double digits at this point. But the action overall is quite impressive. Besides the explosive finale, there wasn't unnecessary special effects or explosions as there usually are. The middle to third act veers off a little bit for about 20 minutes but other than that, it's a well put together film. Maybe it's because it's a different actor, but I feel like this Bond film was much more modernized and didn't seem as dated as previous installments. +Dalton +Great finale +Unpredictable for the most part +Pacing & timely action -Veers off in the middle -Pushed romance 7.3/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 03, 2015
    Timothy Daltons first Bond is just what the series needed after some terrible entries from Roger Moore, Dalton takes a more serious approach to the role and it works pretty well, It has some good action scenes but they are far few between, The story is much easier to follow and the last half hour was very good, My main fault with the older Bond movies was the silly one liners and corny action, This one had hardly any humour and made the film Better, It's better than most if not all previous instalments, This was a make or break film for Bond and it passed the test.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 17, 2013
    The worst actor to play Bond rescuing the saga with two underrated action-packed adventures. John Glen assumes the responsibility properly and amazes with excellent shooting locations and a surprising cinematography like Gilbert used to do in the past. Fans today argue that the reasons why Timothy Dalton was criticized and ignored in box office terms back in the 80s are the same reasons that people love about Craig's modernized "angry Bond". I say <i>maybe</i>, but Craig is more convincing in his aggressive personification. 70/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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