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Moonraker (1979): 11th Bond Movie

Moonraker is the eleventh official James Bond movie and the fourth in which Roger Moore played the role of James Bond, Agent 007. The storyline revolves around space. The producers responded to the success of Star Wars, which was released around the same time. Agent 007 was originally supposed to appear in the film For Your Eyes Only, but its production was postponed until 1981.

Plot of the Film

Moonraker is a space shuttle manufactured by the California company Drax Industries, owned by Hugo Drax. During the aerial transport on the upper deck of a Boeing 747, the shuttle is hijacked while en route to the UK. The hijackers take off with Moonraker directly from the plane, and the jet's flames destroy it. MI6 finds the wreckage of the plane, but there is no trace of Moonraker, suggesting that it may have been taken during the flight.

James Bond is thus called from a mission in Africa to thoroughly investigate the matter. On his return via a small plane, Bond is attacked by an attractive stewardess and a pilot who shoots out the cockpit and parachutes out of the plane after a scuffle.

Before Bond can figure out what's next, he is confronted by a giant killer named Jaws (previously seen in the previous Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me), who was hidden on board. However, Bond keeps his cool and manages to glide toward the pilot. In the scuffle in the air, he disarms the pilot of his parachute and safely lands, while the indestructible Jaws, whose parachute fails to open, falls onto a circus tent.

Bond heads to the Drax Industries manufacturing complex, where he meets the company's owner, Hugo Drax, and his henchman Chang. Hugo Drax pretends to cooperate but orders Chang to take care of Bond after his departure.

Bond also meets with Dr. Holly Goodhead. Bond agrees to try out a centrifuge simulator that simulates the gravitational force during liftoff into space. During this, Chang tries to kill him by setting the device to a very high speed.

Bond, with the help of Corinne Dufour, Drax's personal pilot whom he seduces, discovers production plans for small glass ampoules being produced in Venice. Drax invites Bond to a hunt, during which he's supposed to be shot by a sniper. Bond seemingly misses and shoots the sniper with a shotgun from a tree. Drax then orders Dufour to be killed by his dobermans after discovering that she helped Bond.

In Venice, Bond encounters Dr. Goodhead again and discovers a secret biological laboratory. Interrupted while exploring the lab, he leaves one of the ampoules on the table, which is accidentally knocked over by one of the arriving scientists and breaks, poisoning him. Bond discovers that the vials are to be filled with a nerve gas that is lethal to humans but harmless to animals.

Chang, dressed as a kendo fighter, attacks Bond, but Bond kills him by tossing him with something resembling a Venetian version of a clock. During a brawl with Chang in the warehouse, he notices boxes destined for shipment to Rio de Janeiro.

Bond meets Dr. Goodhead in the evening, and based on their toys (which even Q wouldn't be ashamed of), he understands that she is a CIA agent deployed on Drax. They agree to cooperate, but their agreement soon falls apart, although they later get back together.

Fortunately, Bond manages to save at least one glass ampoule as evidence for M, the head of the British Secret Service, who, like the minister, was embarrassed by the discovery of the cleared laboratory in which only Drax was found. M allows Bond to go to Brazil.

In Rio, Bond meets his Brazilian contact, Manuela. Meanwhile, Drax hires Jaws to finish what Chang couldn't handle and kill Bond. Bond and Dr. Goodhead meet at the top of a mountain called Pao de Acúcar – Sugarloaf Mountain, where Jaws ambushes them on a cable car.

They manage to escape while Jaws with the cable car crashes. They are helped out of the rubble by a small blonde woman named Dolly, and they both fall in love with each other at first sight.

Bond and Dr. Goodhead are captured by Drax's men, but Bond manages to escape and report to the local base of the British Secret Service MI6, where he learns that the toxin comes from a rare orchid that grows in the Amazon jungle.

Bond sails down the Amazon River and searches for Drax's research facility. Drax's men and Jaws start chasing him. Bond manages to leave the boat just before the Iguazu Falls and later discovers Drax's base, which, according to its occupants, must remind Bond of paradise.

Bond is again captured by Jaws and taken to Drax, where he watches the launch of four Moonrakers. Drax explains to him that Moonraker was hijacked because another of the machines had a production defect. Bond and Dr. Goodhead escape and later successfully pilot the sixth space shuttle.

Drax plans to destroy humanity on Earth by dispersing fifty vials of poison in the Earth's atmosphere. However, before he can do so, he transports several dozen genetically perfect men and women of various races to his space station, where they are to live until the Earth is safe again, and whose descendants are to be the new super race.

Bond cleverly persuades Drax to say that anyone who doesn't meet his standards will be eliminated, convincing Jaws and Dolly to join his side.

Bond and Dr. Goodhead, with the help of the shuttle, manage to destroy three poison vials that had already been sent to Earth and also deactivate the anti-radar system that concealed the space station from being detected from Earth.

The United States sends in a strike team, and during the laser battle, both Drax's guards and representatives of his new super race are destroyed. During the battle, Bond hits Drax with a cyanide dart and shoots him into open space.

The space station, hit by the battle, breaks apart, and Bond and Dr. Goodhead escape with the help of Jaws in Drax's shuttle.

Bond Song

The title song with the same name, Moonraker, was performed by the legendary Shirley Bassey, adding her iconic voice to the illustrious lineage of Bond theme singers. Bassey's powerful vocals, paired with the grandeur of John Barry's orchestration, elevate the theme to iconic status within the Bond franchise. With its haunting melody and evocative lyrics, Moonraker captures the essence of the film's themes of space exploration, intrigue, and romance. Bassey's emotive delivery imbues the song with a sense of drama and sophistication, making it a standout in the Bond musical canon. As one of the most celebrated Bond theme songs, Moonraker continues to captivate audiences with its timeless allure and unforgettable performance by Shirley Bassey..


Role Actor Role Description
James Bond Roger Moore Main character, British MI6 secret agent.
M Bernard Lee Head of the British secret service MI6.
Moneypenny Lois Maxwell Assistant to M.
Q Desmond Llewelyn Technical expert of MI6, who equips Bond with special inventions.
Dr. Holly Goodhead Lois Chiles Astronaut and American CIA agent who collaborates with Bond.
Corinne Dufour Corinne Cléry Assistant at Drax's scientific research center.
Jaws Richard Kiel Giant criminal, Drax's right-hand man, and personal bodyguard.
Hugo Drax Michael Lonsdale Main antagonist. Millionaire and criminal planning to destroy humanity and create a new human race based on his chosen ones.
Chang Toshiro Suga Drax's personal pilot and agent.
Manuela Emily Bolton Attractive woman whom Bond meets on his way to Brazil.
Dolly Blanche Ravalec Asian waitress at Drax's mansion who befriends Jaws.
General Gogol Walter Gotell Russian KGB general.

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Based on the original Czech article: Moonraker (1979) – 11. bondovka.