Follow TV Tropes


Awesome / Moonraker

Go To

The Film

  • Bond manages to survive getting thrown out of a plane without a parachute by fighting the villain in mid-air and stealing his. And note that this was 1979, meaning you're actually seeing a pair of stuntmen fighting in freefall with a cameraman falling beside them.
    • As great as that sequence is (and it is generally regarded as one of the best stunts ever committed to film!), the behind-the-scenes aspect is even more awesome:
      • Stunt supervisor Don Calvedt and skydiver BJ Worth invented a new parachute that was only an inch thick and could be concealed under a suit jacket (which had Velcro seams to allow the parachute to open).
      • The skydive cameraman found lightweight plastic lenses and built a helmet camera around them to shoot the sequence. Calvedt and Worth invented a way to stop him suffering whiplash when opening his parachute.
      • Stuntman Jake Lombard tested all of this new equipment, then they shot the final scene, with Lombard as Bond, Worth as the pilot and Ron Luginbill as Jaws. It took 88 skydives to shoot, and everything except the closeups of Roger Moore and Richard Kiel are from the real skydive footage.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bond, M and the Minister of Defence walk in to Drax's laboratory wearing gas masks and find it has been entirely refurbished with a "surprised" Drax waiting for them, utterly humiliating Bond in front of his bosses. Magnificent Bastard indeed.
  • Drax's New Era Speech.
  • Space Marines. Before it was cool!
  • Jaws biting the cable to the cable cars.
  • The river chase in Brazil where Bond drives his sleek, silver speedboat loaded with weapons as he is pursued by Jaws and then makes a grand getaway on a hang-glider built into its roof...just as he launches off a waterfall.
  • The pheasant hunting scene. Hugo Drax hands Bond a rifle to take a shot at some pheasants, all while one of his snipers is sitting in a tree and aiming for Bond. Bond fires... and misses.
    Drax: You missed, Mr. Bond.
    (Drax's sniper falls out of the tree, dead)
    Bond: Did I? (Beat) As you said, such good sport.
  • Advertisement:
  • The scene where Bond disables the station's gravity is truly impressive when you bear in mind this was filmed pre-CGI. The scene features the largest number of weightless actors ever filmed (on wires).
  • The space special effects. Holy shit. Even nowadays, on the Blu-Ray version, those model shots and laser guns look really damn good. If they stole from Star Wars, they at least stole one of the things Star Wars did right.
    • Of course, they had one of the greatest model-effects artists ever in Derek Meddings, who was nominated for his first special effects Oscar for this film (which they lost to Alien, in a year that also included The Black Hole and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, so a good year for space effects.)
  • The fight scene between Bond and Chang is excellent.
  • Bond and Goodhead destroying the globes. No hint of the corniness and cheesiness that has marred much of the movie, just deadly seriousness.
  • Anything intimately involving Jaws and Dolly, really.
    • And Jaws assisting Bond by zonking two former allies on the way out.
    • Bond getting Jaws to his side in the first place, despite being one of his most formidable recurring opponents, without even using any deception or dirty tricks: he simply points out a single detail in Drax's plan that clues Jaws in that Drax doesn't plan on keeping Jaws or his girlfriend alive after his mission is done.

The Novel

  • The entire Blades scene, with Bond successfully cheating Drax out of a colossal sum.
    • The final bridge game deserves special attention. Courtesy of Bond rigging the deck beforehand, Drax gets what looks like an incredibly strong hand, consisting mostly of Aces, Kings and Knaves. Meanwhile, Bond makes a "grand slam" bidnote . At first it appears that Bond has no chance of winning whatsoever... then it's revealed that Bond has cleverly rigged everybody's hands in such a way that it's Drax who has no chance of winning, no matter what he does.
  • Bond's plan for averting the Moonraker launch if they can't successfully redirect it away from London before it takes off. He's going to get Gala to safety, head out into the dangerously fume-filled silo under the rocket, and... light himself a last cigarette. Gala knows her chances of survival are slim anyway, and declares if it comes to that they'll do it together.
    • Gala Brand actually ends up being the one to save the day. After stealing Drax's notebook and doing rocket science in her head, she determines the true target of the Moonraker and also how to prevent it without a sacrifice. Bond is simply needed to free them from captivity and adjust the gyros.