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Zorin: Intuitive improvisation is the secret of genius.
Bond: Herr Doktor Mortner would be proud of his creation.
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The one where Bond goes black...and never goes back, and teams up with John Steed.

A View to a Kill is the fourteenth James Bond film, the third to be directed by John Glen and the last to star Roger Moore. Duran Duran performed the Title Theme Tune.

After a Zorin Industries computer chip is found in Siberia, Bond is sent to investigate the company at a horse race competition. Features Christopher Walken as a shamelessly over-the-top villain and Grace Jones as "May Day", one of the most genuinely badass (and intimidating) henchwomen of the series, who jumps off the Eiffel Tower. The song by Duran Duran is, to date, the only Bond song to make it to number 1 on the US pop charts.note 

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Also notable for being the final Bond film to feature Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny.

The only thing this movie uses from the Ian Fleming short story From a View to a Kill (from the anthology For Your Eyes Only) are five words from the title and Paris as a setting.


This film provides examples of:

  • The '80s: Duran Duran doing the theme song, Grace Jones, a title sequence filled to the brim with day-glo effects and chicks with '80s Hair, the use of wailing electric guitars in the score... this is very much a film of its time.
  • '80s Hair: This was the only Bond film from the '80s to truly show this, from Stacy's feathery bangs to May Day's box cut. To say nothing of the ladies' makeup...
  • Action Girl: May Day. The Brute to Zorin and gender-flipped variation of Scary Black Man, a tall and tough Amazonian Beauty who can lift a man clean over her head and set up as a woman who could take Bond himself to the cleaners. Unfortunately, she doesn't make it to the end.
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  • Age-Gap Romance: Bond and Stacy provide the page image.
  • Age Lift: One of the movie's biggest criticisms was Roger Moore was still playing Bond at age 57 (he was 45 when he was first cast as Bond in Live and Let Die). Sean Connery himself said "Bond should be played by an actor 35, 33 years old. I'm too old. Roger's too old, too!"
  • Amazon Brigade: May Day and her group, who get killed off by Zorin. Except for May, who's so pissed off that she has a Heel–Face Turn and joins Bond to have her revenge.
  • Amazonian Beauty: May Day, played by Grace Jones.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: When Bond reveals his identity to the San Francisco police captain, the officer scoffs with, "And I'm Dick Tracy, and you're still under arrest."
  • Ankle Drag: May Day grabs Stacey by her ankle when the former tries to climb out of Zorin's mine shaft. Stacey escapes via Giving Them the Strip.
  • Artistic License – Awards: At the end of the film, General Gogol arrives to present Bond with the Order of Lenin, saying that he's the first foreign recipient of the USSR's highest decoration. In actuality, the first foreign recipient was Italian communist Luigi Longo.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: Bond pursues May Day through the streets of Paris in a Renault, and even after it is torn in half by a passing car somehow is able to maintain its momentum for hundreds of yards before skidding to a stop. It was apparently fueled by a mixture of Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny.
  • Ashes to Crashes: Double Subversion. Bond tries to — and succeeds in — avoiding knocking over the urn containing Stacey Sutton's grandfather's ashes during a fight, but later in the same fight she has to smash the urn over the head of one of the Mooks.
    Bond: All the king's horses and all his men won't do much for that.
    Stacey: That's all right. It was Granddad's ashes, but he always loved a good fight.
  • Asshole Victim: The vast majority of the people killed in the mine massacre. It's possible some of them weren't in on the plot and just thought they were mining, but some of them probably knew full well what Zorin had planned.
  • Ax-Crazy: Zorin, thanks to genetic engineering. Bonus points for him actually wielding an axe in his climactic fight with Bond.
  • An Axe to Grind: During the final fight at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, Max Zorin famously grabs a nearby fire axe and attacks the heroes in a last attempt to kill Bond and Stacey. Bond manages to get hold of it and use it against Zorin and his blimp.
  • Bad Boss: While they're completing work on the mine, Zorin orders the early detonation of some of the explosives, which will flood the mine and kill his own people. Then Zorin and his right-hand man grab a pair of submachine guns and shoot the remainder. One of Zorin's lieutenants even protests that these men are completely loyal to him, which only serves to get himself killed as well. The kicker is May Day, Zorin's own lover realizing he left her and her two female friends to die with the rest without a thought.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Stacy and May Day look beautiful throughout the final action scene, no matter what happens. Particularly glaring with May Day, who gets completely soaked, yet her hair and makeup remain immaculate.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: May Day.
    Bond: I see you're a woman of very few words.
    May Day: What's there to say?
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The German dub confused Silicon Valley with silicone.
    • The German word for silicone is Silikon while the German word for silicon is Silizium. As you may expect these words are often mixed up in translations.
    • The Spanish dub did the same. Silicon is Silicio while Silicone is Silicona.
  • Board to Death: "Anyone else want to drop out?"
  • Bodyguard Babes: May Day and her henchwoman.
  • Bond, James Bond. Parodied in the music video for the title song. "The name's Bon. Simon Le Bon."
  • Bond One-Liner: Max Zorin gets in on the action when he throws a guy out of a zeppelin:
    Zorin: So, does anyone else want to drop out?
  • Bond Villain Stupidity:
    • Zorin decides to kill Bond by rolling his car into a lake. One could guess he wanted to Make It Look Like an Accident, but once awake it was probably his easiest escape ever.
    • The car case actually downplays this as Zorin does try to get it done while James is still unconscious and even stays at the lake long enough to make sure James didn't survive (James managed to survive by spotting that Zorin was watching and using the air from the tire to stay underwater until Zorin left).
    • Later Zorin has Bond at his mercy but decides to kill him by locking him in an elevator and setting it on fire. In this case at least he has the excuse that he wants to frame Bond for the murder of someone else and make it look like he failed to escape after setting the building on fire himself.
  • Book-Ends: For Roger Moore's entire run. His first outing had him crashing a wedding, and he does the same here.
    • The first scene of Roger Moore's first Bond movie showed him sleeping with a woman when he was interrupted by M and Miss Moneypenny, who had a new mission for him. The final scene of his latest movie shows him making love to Stacey in the shower when they are interrupted by a gadget of Q and M, who are looking for him ... but this time, he completely ignores them and comes back to have fun with Stacey.
  • Bowdlerise: Some network stations playing the film jarringly omit the fates of the investor who wanted no part of the deal, Pola Ivanova's comrade, the official, May Day, Max Zorin and his minions, along with Zorin and Scarpine shooting loyal workers with submachine guns. Nine Network, for example, notably made the last omission by immediately moving to a commercial break and merely showing the aftermath following the break.
  • California Collapse: Zorin's plan to corner the microchip market involves using explosives to flood the San Andreas Fault, destroying Silicon Valley.
  • The Cameo: Dolph Lundgren in an early role as Venz, one of the KGB agents accompanying General Gogol.
  • Captain Ersatz: Achilles (pronounced "a-SHEEL") Aubergine may be a parody of Hercule Poirot. The man seems to be a bit of a Miles Gloriosus; he dies shortly after proclaiming himself "on the case." Also Sir Godfrey is possibly a retired John Steed.
  • Cat Scare: There's a very good cat scare when Bond is creeping up the broad stairway of Stacey's house.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: During a horse race, Zorin uses remote-controlled obstacles to trip up Bond's horse, then has thugs jump onto the track and attack Bond. Bond fights them off and still pulls ahead. However, when Bond decides he's had enough and abandons the race, Zorin declares himself the winner.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Zorin, Zorin, Zorin. He murders the Obstructive Bureaucrat in his pocket to frame Bond for the crime, machine guns his own men to death and blows up and floods the mine they were in to kill anyone else who escapes his massacre, as well as two of his assistants and his own girlfriend. He's supposedly a KGB agent but after they helped set him up as a millionaire industrialist, he abandoned them too, and they hated him so much they gave Bond the Order of Lenin for foiling his scheme and killing him.
    • If anything, the only person he has even a semblance of loyalty or genuine affection for is Dr. Mortner and possibly also his main dragon, Scarpine.
  • Clothing Damage: It happens quickly with Stacey at the climax when May Day tries to grab her and rips her disguise and part of her dress, showing her legs.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: The final scene is of Bond and Stacey in the shower together when a robot with a remote camera on it piloted by Q homes in on them. Q makes a face and reports back to M that Bond is alive; Bond turns and sees the robot, throws a towel over it, and then turns back to Stacey as if nothing happened.
  • Comforting Comforter: Bond covers Stacy Sutton after she fell asleep on her bed.
  • Complexity Addiction: First time, Bond is held at gunpoint, knocked out, and left in a car as it sinks into a lake. Second time, he's left in a lift in a burning building. The second one, at least, is somewhat justified by Zorin wanting to Make It Look Like an Accident.
    • The first was too, he just didn't bother explaining it. In both cases For the Evulz is probably in play- he wants Bond to drown / burn to death, rather than just shoot him. To be fair, by the end he's resorting to a fire axe.
  • Continuity Porn: A deleted scene involved cameo appearances of numerous Bond gadgets from previous movies.
  • Convenient Replacement Character: Anya Amasova (played by Barbara Bach) from The Spy Who Loved Me was originally to be in the film, but was replaced by Pola Ivanova (played by Fiona Fullerton.)
  • Cool Airship/Dread Zeppelin: Max Zorin's airship may look like a boring old blimp, but does yours unfold from a construction shack and come with an integrated deathtrap? Max even gets to make a Bond One-Liner.
  • Cool Guns:
    • Soviet troops are seen using CZ v. 58s.
    • Zorin, alongside Scarpine, use full-size Uzis to brutally machine-gun his workers in the infamous mine massacre.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Max Zorin. How do you effectively corner the microchip market? Destroy Silicon Valley with a massive man-made earthquake. And if much of the West Coast has to go with it? So be it.
  • Covers Always Lie: See that image up there? Grace Jones is just 2 1/2 inches - 6 cm - shorter than Roger Moore.note  The fact that she's wearing high heels makes it more unrealistic. The poster does convey Jones' long legs, however. However, this is because "May Day" on that poster was actually modeled on another, somewhat more muscular (if that holds up to Willing Suspension of Disbelief) woman than Grace Jones.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Pola Ivanova's partner is shoved into a water turbine head first.
  • Curse Cut Short: Zorin demands to know why Stacy won't accept his bribes. She says, "You can take your offer and shove it up your-" James Bond tells her not to bother talking to Zorin because he's a psychopath.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Stacy Sutton.
  • Cut Phone Lines: Zorin's mooks cut Stacy Sutton's phone line before invading her house and attacking her. After James Bond fends them off, he repairs the line.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: May Day murders Tibbett and Chuck Lee this way (separate attacks), resulting in Bond not getting the support/reinforcements he expected.
  • Death by Sex: May Day (after her Heel–Face Turn, she pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to take Max Zorin down and avenge the deaths of her workmates, whom he killed when they weren't useful anymore).
  • Death Glare: May Day gives an effective one just before she dies in her Heroic Sacrifice aimed at Zorin.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Subverted. May Day helps Bond not because she had sex with him, but because Zorin betrayed her and killed her friends. But Bond already has Stacey at this point in the plot, so the script makes May Day sacrifice her life to ruin Zorin's plans.
  • Designer Babies: Max Zorin was apparently one of these, it has been noted that such experiment has resulted in amazingly bright children, who are also somewhat insane.
  • Deus Ax Machina: Max Zorin grabs a fire ax on board of his zeppelin in the climax.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Max Zorin is a billionaire industrialist, as well as a rogue KGB agent and the product of Nazi genetic engineering. He's hit the Bond trifecta!
  • Disney Villain Death: Max Zorin falls off the Golden Gate Bridge after trying to hack Bond to death with a fire axe.
  • The Dragon: May Day.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Dr. Mortner comes to and tries to kill Bond and Stacey after Zorin falls to his death.
  • EMP: The MacGuffin for the first part of the movie is a computer chip that can withstand EMP, built by Zorin Industries — Bond is investigating how one of these chips ended up in the Soviet Union.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: When Zorin tells General Gogol he's going to go ahead with his Evil Plan instead of working for the Soviets, a KGB mook pulls a gun and is promptly lifted up in the air by May Day.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect:
    • Bond's first port of call is Paris, so naturally the Eiffel Tower is put to great effect.
    • Since the last third takes place in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area, it's perhaps inevitable that the film climaxes over the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Elevator Failure: Bond and Stacey stuck in one of these — made more dangerous as Zorin has just firebombed the thing.
  • Evil Counterpart: Bond and Max Zorin. Both have a startling line/connection between sex and violence and are highly skilled. The key difference? While Bond remains loyal to MI-6, Zorin is a rogue KGB agent who even goes so far to betray May Day and kill his own mooks out of pure, bat-shit sadism.
  • Evil Plan: Max Zorin's ultimate plan is to detonate explosives along the Hayward and San Andreas Faults, causing them to flood. The other major bomb was set to destroy a "geological lock" that's in place to prevent the two faults from moving, causing a double earthquake that would destroy Silicon Valley, leaving his microchip company with a monopoly.
  • Elevator Escape: Bond and Stacey have to do this after Zorin traps them inside and sets the whole place on fire.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Zorin prepares to flood the fault line, knowing full well he will be leaving his lackeys to die. One of his henchmen blasts him for this, citing the men's loyalty to him. Unfortunately for him, he becomes a victim as well. What's more, May Day is devastated at the death of her friends and the realization that Zorin left her to die is what makes her turn on him.
  • Facial Recognition Software: Suspecting Bond isn't the Upper-Class Twit he's pretending to be, Zorin invites Bond to his office for a private discussion, where a hidden camera is linked to a KGB database. Zorin even gets Bond to look to the side (at a nearby painting) so the camera can get a profile shot of his face.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The infamous scene where Stacey doesn't notice a blimp approaching her, even when Bond yells at her to look out.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: Bond swaps a tape recording Pola Ivanova made of Zorin's plans with a tape of Japanese music.
  • Famous Last Words:
    • "Later this month, Zorin will hold his annual sales at his stud near Paris. Security is formidable, but the key to the mystery is there. And I, Achille Aubergine, intend to find it!" He is soon killed by May Day's poisoned butterfly.
    • "But that means I would have to be..." W.G. Howe, being led to think Bond and Stacy were there to kill him, before being shot by Zorin, who says "Dead" in response.
    • "Mr. Zorin, those men are loyal to you!" Bob Conley, before being killed along with hundreds of other workers by Zorin.
    • "Get Zorin for me!" May Day to Bond, before heading out of the mine with Zorin's bomb.
    • "Go get him! Go!" Max Zorin, who later falls off the Golden Gate bridge.
    • "Get back!" Scarpine, killed in the blimp explosion.
    • "Ne-ne-ne-nein!" Dr. Carl Mortner, also killed in the blimp explosion.
  • Fatal Family Photo: A posthumous version when Bond opens the locket worn by his dead predecessor. Of course the wife and child shown could just be part of the man's cover identity, but this trope is implied.
  • Fatal Flaw: Max Zorin and his Ax-Crazy sociopathic behavior. Part of this is because he is the end result of a Nazi eugenics project in which pregnant women were injected with massive quantities of steroids in an attempt to create "super-children" for the Nazis. While most of these pregnancies failed, the few babies that survived became extremely intelligent later in life — but also totally insane psychopaths, partly because of the drugs administered to create these "super-children". And by the end, whatever remaining sanity he had has been completely whittled to the point of literally wielding an axe, trying to hack Bond to death during the climatic final battle at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Max Zorin. He gives a knowing wink to his Femme Fatale when she's killed someone. Completely coldly guns down her associates later. Laughs when he realises he's about to die. Is played by Christopher Walken, with all the hamminess it brings.
  • Fetish: Unlike most Bond villains, Zorin seems quite turned on at the thought of May Day sleeping with 007.
    • Given her reaction to Zorin besting her in a fight and her reaction to Bond's initial attempt at lovemaking, it may be more that Zorin enjoys manipulating her into a position he likes but that she does not.
  • Fire Ax-Crazy: Zorin goes after Bond with a hatchet in the final confrontation. He also seems to be having waaay too much fun gunning down his employees in the Main Strike mine. Justified since he's may well be the result of Nazi experiments to make a super soldier Gone Horribly Right.
  • Furo Scene: James Bond and KGB agent Pola Ivanova share a bath together at an Asian bathhouse in San Francisco.
  • Gay Paree: There's a scene in the Eiffel Tower, for cripes sake.
  • Girl of the Week: Stacey Sutton, the main Bond Girl of this movie.
  • Giving Them the Strip: Stacey sheds her coveralls to escape from May Day while climbing out of Zorin's mine shaft.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Bond and Stacey at the end of the film.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Bond has glasses that allow him to see through polarized glass.
  • Good vs. Good: James Bond vs Pola Ivanova. They are both secret agents with the same goal (stopping Zorin). The only reason they find themselves at odds is because they happen to work for enemy countries.
  • Go Out with a Smile:
    • May Day begins to laugh just before she gets blown up.
    • So does Max Zorin lets out a small laughter just before he does an Oh, Crap! face as he falls to his death.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The car wash brushes block the view of the Rolls Royce just as May Day gets up from the back seat and strangles Tibbett.
  • Grand Finale: This film serves as the final entry in the Roger Moore-era Bond series.
  • Groin Attack: Bond smacks his crotch against a building's antenna. He manages to hold on - and it doesn't stop him from having Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex with Stacy at the end of the film.
    • It's even funnier when you realize that Roger Moore spent most of his Bond tenure either dealing out crotch shots or narrowly avoiding them.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The film starts out with an investigation of Max Zorin and his sale of EMP resistant microchips to Soviet Russia. James Bond investigates by attending a horse sale, where he finds out that Zorin is also trading in illegal augmentations. Neither of these plot points make much of a difference in the end because right after Bond escapes, the real plan to destroy Silicon Valley is introduced and a relatively minor clue (a check made out to a woman from San Francisco) brings Bond to California.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Bond and May Day's sex scene.
  • Heel–Face Turn: May Day was Max Zorin's main henchwoman, but she eventually foils his plans to flood Silicon Valley after he kills her own two henchwomen as part of his plan and reveals that he always thought of another guy, Scarpine, as his true right-hand man.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After the Zorin double-crosses his men, including May Day (his Dragon and lover) she tries to help Bond move the detonator he intended to use to set off the explosives that would destroy Silicon Valley out of the mine; when it gets stuck, May-Day leaps onto it and manually moves it out of the mine, dying when it explodes. Her last words to Bond: "Get Zorin for me!"
  • Hey, Wait!: James Bond and Stacey Sutton are using a stolen truck to enter Zorin's mine, when they're pulled up by a security guard. Not because there's a beautiful woman in the cab with Bond, but because he's not wearing a hard hat as required.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: May Day. It's worth noting that it wasn't Bond's charms that won her over. He was just her posthumous instrument of revenge against Zorin.
  • History Repeats: CIA Agent Lee is killed the same way Sir Tibbett is: Strangled by May Day from the back seat of the car they're driving.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Zorin himself; obviously his disloyalty towards his own girlfriend comes at a cost, as she was all too eager to help Bond foil his plans when he left her to die along with everyone else in the mine.
    • Really, Dr. Mortner, what did you think was going to happen when you tried to blow up Bond with dynamite in a disabled blimp?
  • Horned Hairdo: One of May Day's many, many styles is a red outfit and hairdo shaped like devil horns. Subtle.
  • Hot Scientist: Stacey, a young, blonde haired geologist.
  • Idiot Ball: That one investor who didn't want to be involved in Zorin's criminal scheme. Seriously, you know the whole plan and you think he's going to let you live knowing about an activity you think is wrong?
    • The investor didn't know the whole plan and Zorin wasn't proposing any criminal scheme. The investor was there for exactly that reason- to invest. Zorin wanted to out-compete Silicon Valley and didn't let slip that he was planning to do so by destroying it utterly (he nearly did, but he didn't); all he was saying at that meeting was that he wanted them to invest in his company so he can do that. The problem was that he wanted them to invest an obscene amount of money ($100 million each); the fact that they thought Silicon Valley would still be there only makes the financial risk sound worse. The investor had no idea he was dealing with a murderous psychopath and acted accordingly. Alternatively, it can be assumed that Zorin expected- perhaps even wanted or engineered- the meeting to be designed so that at least one person would choose to back out and planned from he start to make an example of them.
  • Implausible Boarding Skills: Bond uses the front ski from his wrecked snowmobile as an improvised snowboard to escape from the Russian ski troops pursuing him.
  • In Name Only: Besides the Paris setting, the short story has nothing to do with the movie.
  • Indy Ploy: Zorin claims to be one: "Intuitive improvisation is the secret of genius." Of course, given that he has two jerry cans full of gasoline with him at the time, Zorin is probably actually more of a Xanatos Speed Chess kind of guy.
  • Instant Convertible: This is one of the many mishaps that happen to Bond's Renault.
  • Interrupted Bath: Bond and Stacey are making love in the shower at the end of the movie when they are interrupted by one of Q's inventions, that was looking for him. Bond quickly dumps the device and kisses Stacey again.
  • I'll Take That as a Compliment: Zorin's smugness always disappears whenever someone reminds him of his Designer Babies nature. However when Bond gives the page quote, he's apparently enough of a "Well Done, Son!" Guy to agree with it.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: We are treated to a scene of Zorin sparring with May Day.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Max Zorin, the psychotic Corrupt Corporate Executive who, in one scene, sets off a bomb inside a mine with hundreds of his own workers still inside, and then shoots down those trying to escape all while laughing his head off. The Lighter and Softer Moore era was over, indeed.
  • Lack of Empathy: Max Zorin is one of the worst examples of this in the franchise, as he's willing to corner the microchip market by triggering an earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area, without regards to the collateral damage he's about to create, given that he's an Ax-Crazy and unhinged brute to begin with. He's also a Bad Boss, as he gleefully mows down his henchmen and casually tries to kill May Day, all without a shred of remorse.
  • Large Ham: Christopher Walken as a Bond villain. Need we say more?
    • The part was originally offered to David Bowie. It's really not too difficult to figure this tidbit out without even knowing about it, just by watching how Walken acts.
    • Also, Grace Jones as May Day.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: "The bubbles are tickling my... Tchaikovsky!"
  • Lemming Cops: The cops in the San Francisco Police Department making the unwise decision to try to chase Bond through downtown when he's driving a stolen fire engine. The commanding officer makes the foolish mistake of stopping where his car gets crushed by the counterweight when the bridge is lowered.
  • The Load: Stacey Sutton and how! She is constantly getting into danger due to her own stupidity (at one point failing to notice Christopher Walken on a GIANT ZEPPELIN coming up behind her), and Bond always ends up rescuing her. She did intentionally distract Zorin on the Zeppelin, though, and takes Scarpine right out of nowhere.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr Mortner.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Zorin, playing a bit of Xanatos Speed Chess, takes advantage of a break-in by Bond and Stacey into City Hall. Zorin kills her ex-boss and forces the pair into an elevator before setting the building on fire, making it look like they were responsible but were killed by the flames trying to escape.
  • May–December Romance: Roger Moore was older than actress Tanya Roberts' mother. This was actually one of the major factors that caused him to step down from the role.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Turned into a Running Gag, as Bond uses a variety of fake names.
    • Also played with in the Duran Duran video for the theme; toward the end of the video, the band's lead singer identifies himself as "Bon. Simon LeBon."
  • Mean Boss: "St. John Smythe" to his "valet" Tibbet. When Bond and Tibbet need to sneak off for a private discussion, they leave a tape recording of Smythe complaining constantly about Tibbet's work.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: Zorin Industries is engaged in a horse race-fixing scheme where steroids are secretly administered to horses via microchip to win races, as well as a scheme to flood Silicon Valley and dominate the microchip industry.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: A shady system of using steroids to win horse races —> destroying Silicon Valley
    • In-Universe too; as Gogol reprimands Zorin for his horse fixing, which could draw attention to the KGB's involvement in the theft of silicon chips.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: May Day stays loyal to Max until he decides he doesn't need her any more and leaves her to die with the rest of his minions who have outlived their usefulness. After that, she's out for revenge.
  • Molotov Cocktail: Zorin sets fire to the San Francisco City Hall by using molotov cocktails everywhere.
  • Monumental Battle: Bond fight a major minion or two at the Eiffel Tower. The final confrontation takes place over the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Monumental Damage: A rare instance in the series, as Zorin attempts to murder Bond and Stacy by setting fire to San Francisco City Hall.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Zorin goes ahead and floods the mines fully aware that the workers and May Day are down there. May Day and Bond survive. Upon discovering she was betrayed, and seeing her dead friends as well, she helps Bond remove the bomb and sacrifices herself, taking it out when it explodes.
  • Mr. Smith: Bond plays with this trope, introducing himself with the alias of St. John Smythe, although not before the person checking his invitation misreads it as Smith.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Grace Jones and Tanya Roberts have several scenes wearing revealing dresses, short skirts or naked (although only their backs are shown).
  • Mugged for Disguise: Bond does this to one of Zorin's mooks so Stacey can have his coveralls and hardhat.
  • Murderer P.O.V.: At least two shots of Stacy's house make it clear that the bad guys are lurking in the bushes, watching her.
  • Nazi Grandpa: Dr. Mortner. Ironically, Max Zorin, the (now-grown-up) Aryan test-tube baby he raised, is no racist (but still very, very evil).
    • It's a bit more complicated as Doctor Mortner was experimenting with what he considered inferior bloodlines to make them super-soldiers. In the script, Zorin's Amazon Brigade is composed of his other experiments.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Subverted by Bond and Zorin, who both hook up with her. In fact, it's her who seems a bit reluctant of them.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Christopher Walken plays Zorin with his usual accent, even though he's supposed to be the product of Nazi "experimentation". In the film, it's handwaved by saying he speaks several languages "with no accent".
    • Well he is a KGB agent. And Zorin would have left Germany after 1945 anyway.
    • The cops in San Francisco have East Coast accents.
  • Not My Driver: Bond is being chased on horseback through the woods by Zorin and his mooks, but then sees his car being driven along a nearby road. As the chauffeur is a fellow British agent, Bond rides desperately towards it, only to find the chauffeur has been murdered by May Day, who's now driving the car.
  • Now You Tell Me: When mooks attempt to ambush Stacey Sutton at her home, Bond grabs her shotgun and starts to gun them down, only to get right up afterwards.
    Bond: What is this loaded with?
    Stacey: Rock salt.
    Bond: Now she tells me.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: During the Paris car chase, it is very obvious that a stunt double is being used for Roger Moore. Also, in the climax on the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: The unusual "Zorin is not a real company" blurb at the beginning — it seems there's at least two Real Life companies named Zoran, one of which is actually a chip maker.
  • Pre-emptive Declaration: Zorin informs a corrupt official on his payroll how he intends to fake Bond and Sutton's deaths. They murdered him and started a fire to destroy the evidence, only to die after being trapped in the elevator.
    Howe: But that means...I would have to be...
    Zorin: Dead! (shoots him in heart)
  • Preppy Name: James Bond briefly takes the name "James St. John-Smith" (pronounced Sinjin-Smythe) while undercover as an Upper-Class Twit.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: Played with. Bond and Stacey go through the familiar "don't-break-the-vase" fight scene, but after she ultimately uses it to knock out a Mook, she reveals it actually contains her grandfather's ashes.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Max Zorin is an extremely impulsive and mentally unstable brute. Part of this is because he is the end result of a Nazi eugenics program — while the surviving babies were intelligent, they grew up to become psychopathic. General Gogol criticizing Zorin over (seemingly) killing Bond almost plays like a parent scolding a young child.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Zorin, while taking an Uzi to scads of his own men.
  • Ramp Jump: Bond driving across the Third Street drawbridge in the "opening bridge" variety. In a fire truck.
  • Random Events Plot: This is the quintessential cheesy Bond film, perhaps even more so than Moonraker. It's as if the production team had to make a Bond film and were given a list of random elements that had to be arranged into one. Blimps! Christopher Walken as a Nazi, baby! Grace Jones as a Bond girl! A KGB subplot for some reason! Horses!
  • Ready for Lovemaking: After snooping around Zorin's estate, Bond is unable to get back to his bedroom before they check if he's there (blowing his cover as just another rich idiot guest). So, he uses this ploy to explain his absence: when May Day returns to her room she finds Bond naked in her bed. She ends up going along with it in order to not blow her cover.
  • Real Men Cook: James Bond prepares a fairly presentable quiche for Stacy Sutton in order to gain her trust.
  • Reality Ensues: Turns out hiring an insane sociopath like Max Zorin is not a good idea. He's the end result of Nazi eugenics experiments that the KGB raised, trained, and sent to the West as a deep cover agent. Once he becomes successful enough, he decides to screw them over and take a shot at global financial domination himself.
    • Zorin's death. Standing on a very narrow bridge cable while wildly swinging an axe around trying to kill 007 does not do wonders for one's physical or mental health.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Zorin, while delivering the page quote, taps his temple with a loaded pistol.
  • Redemption Equals Death: This is the ultimate fate of May Day. After her boss and lover Max Zorin leaves her behind to die in the mine where he's setting off explosives in order to create a massive earthquake that would lead to the flooding of Silicon Valley. After she realizes this she decides to help Bond stop him. When they try to get the bomb out, May Day is forced to go with it in order to transport it to a place where it wouldn't cause the damage. Being caught in the explosion in the process.
  • Red Herring: Max Zorin's genetically modified racehorses have nothing to do with the plot and serve only as an excuse to get Bond involved in Zorin's business.
  • Renegade Russian: Not a literal example of this trope, but in the same spirit — Zorin is a KGB agent who ditches his employers to carry out his mad scheme for world domination of the silicon chip industry.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: General Gogol tells Zorin that no one leaves the KGB alive. Zorin is not impressed.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The writers had noted the explosion in available computer technology and the public's fascination / concern with all things hi-tech so decided that their story should centre around the planned destruction of America's Silicon Valley.
  • Scary Black Man: May Day is a female example of this trope. When she's not throwing scary Death Glares, she kills people ruthlessly.
  • Scenery Porn: San Francisco is shown in all its glory (as is Paris to a lesser extent). The end credits are basically a series of shots of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • See-Thru Specs: Bond has a pair of glasses with adjustable polarization, which allow him to see through one-way mirrors.
  • Sex–Face Turn: Subverted. Bond does sleep with Zorin's main henchwoman (and lover) May Day, but when she eventually turns against her boss, it's because Zorin knowingly left her to her death, not because she's smitten with Bond's manly ways. In fact, May Day could be said to be manlier than Bond himself.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Subverted. Stacey's shotgun ammo is rock salt, so that it stuns, not kills.
  • Shout-Out: At the Ascot derby, Moneypenny yells "Move your arse!" at her losing horse.
  • Shower of Love: Between Bond and Stacey at the end.
  • Skeleton Key Card: Parodied. Bond pulls out a credit card to unlock a window, but after flipping it over we see that it's an electronic lockpick from The Sharper Image.
  • The Sociopath: Max Zorin is one of the worst examples of this, as he's willing to cause an earthquake to corner the microchip market, even gleefully mowing down his minions. Part of this is because he's the end result of a Nazi eugenics project, in which pregnant women were injected with massive quantities of steroids in an attempt to create "super-children" for the Nazis. Though most of these pregnancies failed, the few that survived became totally insane psychopaths, partly because of the drugs administered to create these "super-babies".
  • Soft Water: Averted twice. The first is when one of the executives gets Thrown from the Zeppelin, and second is the scene where Max Zorin falls off the Golden Gate Bridge. Though that's the last the audience sees of him (ie. no body), it's pretty clear he is killed. Naturally, since many San Franciscans will tell you that simply falling from the street level is fatal (the body is immediately pulverized and the victim — if still alive somehow — drowns in their own blood); Max fell from the very top of one of the towers.
  • Soviet Superscience: Averted. General Gogol brings a medal to the Universal Exports office for Bond in recognition for his efforts in saving Silicone Valley. M wonders why, as he thinks that the destruction of Silicon Valley would be a cause for celebration in the Soviet Union. Gogol explains that the KGB has been stealing technologies from companies there for years.
  • Spy Cam: One of Bond's gadgets is a ring containing a miniature camera. Bond uses the device at Zorin's party to covertly take photographs of each of his guests.
  • Statuesque Stunner: May Day, of course. (Grace Jones herself was one at the time.)
  • Stock Scream:
    • The poor mook Thrown from the Zeppelin right before he hits the water. This scream is frequently heard in all of the Moore-era Bond films at one point or another.
    • Another butchered Wilhelm Scream can be heard when Zorin throws the KGB mook into the propeller of his oil pumping station near the midway point of the film.
  • Sue Donym: James Bond at one point poses as a Financial Times reporter named "James Stock".
  • Surprise Slide Staircase: Max Zorin does this to a stockholder who declines to take part in his plan to destroy Silicon Valley. It's worth mentioning that this staircase leads to an open trapdoor in the floor of an airship's cabin.
  • Taking You with Me: Dr. Mortner attempts this with Bond after Zorin's death, brandishing a roll of lit dynamite atop the bridge. It doesn't work, and instead he ends up taking Scarpine with him.
  • Theme Tune: With guitar riffs!
    • More notably, the only Bond theme tune to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The theme song is played by the band at the wedding Bond accidentally crashes.
  • Thrown from the Zeppelin: Trope namer, though not the most famous example. The meeting is taking place on board Max Zorin's blimp, and one of the investors is literally thrown from a Zeppelin: as he climbs down the stairs to the lower level of the cabin, a trapdoor opens at the bottom — revealing that the Zeppelin is airborne — and May Day activates a Surprise Slide Staircase.
  • Tim Taylor Technology: After Zorin's dirigible gets snagged on the Golden Gate Bridge, he yells for "More! More power!" It doesn't break them free. "More power! Do it!" When they remain stuck in place, he yells, "Full throttle!"
  • Title Drop: An impossibly awkward one.
    May Day: [overlooking San Francisco bay from the zeppelin] Wow. What a view!
    Zorin: To a kill!
  • Token Romance: Roger Moore is 30 years older than the film's lead actress Tanya Roberts, something that had already occurred to him and Carole Bouquet in For Your Eyes Only. And just like in that movie, the hero and the lead Bond Girl, Stacey, have almost no romantic moments before having sex in their final scene, except for a brief flirt that comes between them when they dine at her house. Their relationship seems more like father and daughter, and it doesn't help that in their first scene at Zorin's mansion, Stacey rejects all of his brazen flirtations, looking like she thinks he's a creepy old man.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Mr. Howe.
  • Toplessness from the Back: May Day when she takes off her robe and throws it on the floor, and then lies in bed to make love with Bond.
  • Trapped in a Sinking Car: Bond had to escape one of these. He is able to open the car door once the cabin is flooded with water. Bond then realizes that he cannot surface immediately because the baddies are waiting ashore, so he opens the wheel valve and inhales the out-rushing air.
  • The Trickster: Bond survives only by playing with Zorin's head.
  • Turbine Blender: Max Zorin throws a Russian spy into an underwater turbine headfirst at Zorin's power plant.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Bond and Sutton in the shower.
    • And earlier on, Bond and Pola in a hot tub.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: About to be arrested by police in San Francisco, Bond steals a firetruck to escape. At one point he takes out the ladder which wrecks a lot of the environment, including taking the top off a truck with a sleeping couple inside.
    • Earlier in the movie, as Bond follows May Day from the ground as she parachutes down from the Eiffel Tower, the subcompact he commandeers is smashed, crashed, and ultimately chopped in half - yet it remains drivable to the end.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: James Bond pulls this off before he blasts a few fellows away with a shotgun. It's loaded with rock salt, though.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The mine foreman just looks confused at the sight of a female truck driver in heels (despite Bond being pulled up earlier for not wearing a hard hat - proper footwear should also be a safety requirement). No-one pays attention to her form-fitting jumpsuit after they change outfits either.
  • Upper-Class Equestrian: Zorin, a wealthy Corrupt Corporate Executive, owns a horse ranch where he routinely breeds and sells quarter horses. It is at this ranch that Bond notices a private deal between Zorin and Bond Girl Stacey Sutton.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Bond poses as one to infiltrate Zorin's estate, with the hilariously English pseudonym "James St. John Smythe". Unfortunately it turns out to be a Paper-Thin Disguise as Zorin has access to the KGB database.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Pola Ivanova smuggles away an incriminating tape down the front of her robe.
  • Villainous Breakdown: While Max Zorin was already an insane psychopath to begin with, he slowly loses his grip on sanity as the film progresses. By the end of the movie, he's batshit Ax-Crazy to the point of wildly swinging a fire ax against Bond on top of the Golden Gate Bridge in the final fight after gleefully killing his henchmen left and right.
  • Watch the Paint Job: A police captain bawls out some hapless officers for having wrecked their squad cars during a chase, and says the cost of the cruisers will come out of their salary, unaware that behind him his own cruiser is being crushed by the counterweight of a drawbridge.
  • We Have Reserves: After gunning down his own men, Zorin simply looks at his watch and says "Good. Right on schedule.".
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: After May Day bitterly pains over her henchmen being killed (moaning, "Jenny!" when her corpse floats by), Bond takes the time to look around at the cost in human life and states that Zorin betrayed a lot of people. One of the few times that Bond actually pauses to mourn the deaths of henchmen. Then again, most of the men who were killed weren't even henchmen. They were just working for the henchmen who were working for Zorin. All of May Day's girls were definitely henchwomen.
  • Woman Scorned: May Day. "And I thought that creep loved me!"
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: A meta-example. A few critics at the time pointed out that May Day's Heel–Face Turn conveniently allowed Bond to avoid having to fight and kill a woman (even one that physically outclassed him).
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Unlike many villains, Max and May Day actually bother to see if James drowns after being dumped in the lake. Fortunately, Bond opened a tire and used it to breathe and create the illusion that he's drowned, causing M & M to leave the scene. At least they tried.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Jenny Flex and almost everyone else in the mine, under Zorin's orders. May Day is the only survivor - and boy, is she angry at Zorin.
  • You're Insane!: Bond to Zorin, calling him a "psychopath." Zorin harshly chuckles.


 
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Zorin Kills Mine Workers

To make sure their plan to trigger an earthquake in the Bay Area to corner the microchip market is kept quiet, Max Zorin brutally mows down his mine workers like cattle out of pure sadism while .

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