Dimitri Mishkin: “Good morning, Mr. Bond. Sit. I'm Defense Minister Dimitri Mishkin. So, by what means shall we execute you, Commander Bond?”
James Bond: “What, no small-talk? No chit-chat? That's the trouble with the world today, no one takes the time to do a really sinister interrogation anymore. It's a lost art.”
―James Bond and Dimitri Mishkin
GoldenEye is the seventeenth James Bond film and the first to star Pierce Brosnan as Ian Fleming's British secret service agent, James Bond. Made by Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions (though listed as "Albert R. Broccoli presents") it was the second official James Bond film not produced by Broccoli (although oversaw the film as Consulting Producer) himself. While undergoing heart surgery, Broccoli entrusted the making of the film and the forthcoming generation of James Bond films to his daughter Barbara Broccoli and stepson Michael G. Wilson, both of whom had been executive producers of previous James Bond films. GoldenEye was released in 1995 and was directed by Martin Campbell. Campbell also directed 2006's Bond film Casino Royale.
GoldenEye is considered an important film in the Bond series in that it was successful in reviving interest in a character that many critics had suggested had become an anachronism in the post-Cold War world.
The previous film, Licence to Kill, had been released in June 1989, before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Although it was financially successful and critically acclaimed, it was not as popular as previous Bond films, suggesting interest in the series was waning at that point.
Judi Dench, the newly cast M, describes Bond as a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War." This unusual candor, combined with a generally well-received performance by Brosnan as the new James Bond, helped to revitalize the franchise.
The story starts in 1986, in the Soviet Union. British secret agent James Bond and his fellow 00 agent, Alec Trevelyan (006), have infiltrated a secret Soviet chemical weapons production plant with the intention of blowing it up via bombs. After finding their target, a large room filled with canisters which contain chemicals. James begins to plant the charges while Alec holds off the facility's guards. Alec is then suddenly captured by a ruthless Soviet general, Ourumov, who then orders Bond to surrender by pointing a gun to 006's head. Bond resets the charge timers from six minutes to three and walks out to surrender. Just as Bond does that, Ourumov executes Alec with a shot to the head. Bond quickly takes cover behind a cart of chemical canisters and moves toward a conveyor belt that leads outside. A nervous guard is killed by Ourumov when he shoots at Bond becaue of the tension. Bond is able to escape on the conveyor belt and shoots out the locks holding hundreds of other canisters which collapse on Ourumov's men. Outside the facility, Bond, manages to obtain a motorcycle from a Soviet guard and leaps after the plane that falls off a nearby cliff. He successfully regains control of the plane and flies off as the chemical compound explodes.
Nine years later Bond is driving in the mountains near Monaco with a female psychiatrist from MI6 in his signature Aston Martin DB5. She is assigned to evaluate his mental state. He drives down a mountain road and becomes involved in a dangerous race with a beautiful woman in a Ferrari. After racing for a while the psychiatrist, citing his reckless nature, demands that he halt the game. Bond does so by pulling the handbrake, then kisses her.
Bond meets up with the girl in the car, Xenia Onatopp and wins a game of Chemin de Fer against her. Onatopp is outraged and storms off. Bond follows her and warns her of driving a stolen car, but she tells him she knows a man in motoring business. She then proceeds to go home with a Canadian Air Force captain. Bond follows her and learns, with the help of Miss Moneypenny, that she belongs to crime syndicate "Janus" which operates out of St. Petersburg and M authorizes him to follow her. Onatopp murders the captain during sex by suffocating him by crushing his chest between her thighs. The next morning, Bond proceeds to investigate the captain's yacht, finding him dead in the closet. He then rushes to the site of the Eurocopter demonstration and sees it being taken by Onatopp and a mysterious figure, who, moments before, killed both pilots and assumed their identities. Bond is arrested when he tries to stop the theft and watches helplessly as Xenia flies away.
In Siberia, at Severnaya, at a Russian satellite, General Ourumov and Onatopp arrive in the Eurocopter, for a surprise inspection of the facility. In the facility lies the new satellite weapons system called Goldeneye. Ourumov orders the commanding officer to hand over the activation keys and control disk for Goldeneye and give orders to Onatopp to kill everyone working at the facility. (As she finishes killing everyone, she shows signs of sexual excitement.) Onatopp and Ourumov then activate the Goldeneye satellites, which contains a nuclear warhead capable of delivering an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) over Severnaya. Unknown, however, to Onatopp and Ourumov that one of the technicians, Natalya Simonova, wasn't in the room when the others were murdered and had hidden from Onatopp. Ourumov and Onatopp escape in the Eurocopter, it being unaffected by the EMP. Two Russian fighters dispatched to the scene are destroyed by colliding with each other when the electronic components within them stop working because of the EMP. One explodes midair, the other crashes directly into the huge satellite, causing the satelliteto plunge into the ground giving Simonova a way out of the facility. Simonova survives the mass murder of the command center and is able to climb out of the underground portion by the satellite.
At MI6 headquarters, in a satellite observation room, Bond talks with Bill Tanner, a specialist, who tells him they found the missing Eurocopter at Severnaya by satellite imagery. They also witness the total disruption of images and electronics in the region resulting from the EMP. Bond spots a survivor crawling away, Natalya, and reports to his superior, M. Following a brief and tense conversation where she senses Bond doesn't trust her judgment and she tells him he is a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur" and a "relic of the Cold War", she orders him to go St. Petersburg to investigate the connections between the Goldeneye weapons system, Ourumov and a mysterious Russian crime syndicate Janus. She also warns him to complete his mission and not to focus on revenge on Ourumov for 006's murder. Bond drops by Q's lab and is given a wristwatch with a laser, a belt loaded with a cable that can support his weight and a ballpoint pen which doubles as a grenade when you click it three times.
Ourumov meets with Russia's Defense Minister Mishkin, in a hearing about Severnaya. Ourumov resignes after learning that there were two survirors in the Goldeneye catastrophy. The first was Boris Grishenko, a computer programmer who actually worked with Ourumov and Onatopp and was listed as missing, however, they didn't realize that Natalya had survived the blast. Natalya makes it to St. Petersburg and contacts Boris. Boris summons her to a chapel via email and she meets him there, promptly being captured by Boris and Onatopp.
Bond arrives at St. Petersburg airport and proceeds to meet his CIA contact, Jack Wade. Wade tells him that nobody knows about Janus except and old KGB agent Zukovzky. Wade agrees to take Bond to the hideout of Valentin Zukovsky, whom Bond had wounded and given a permanent limp years before. (Bond had also stolen Zukovsky's woman.) Zukovsky is the only known connection of meeting the leader of Janus. Zukovsky is still quite bitter about his wounded leg, nearly shooting Bond but agrees to aid Bond when 007 offers him a bribe and explosives. Zukovsky also gives Bond a bit of history about Janus' leader; who is the child of Lienz Cossack parents whose tribe had worked with the Nazis during The Second World War and were given refuge by the English government. However, they were betrayed by the English and remanded back to USSR where they were all executed under orders from Stalin.
At his hotel's pool and steam room, Bond meets Onatopp herself, who tries to kill Bond. The two start fight, with the combat being sexually exciting to Onatopp. Bond refuses to be seduced or injured and, after a struggle, trains his pistol on her and orders her to take him to Janus. They arrive at a graveyard of old Russian poitical figures. Bond punches Onatopp unconscious and walks out to meet Janus. As Bond stands alone in the graveyard, a figure appears and says, "Hello, James." The figure walks towards Bond, and comes out of the shadows, revealing that he is Alec Trevelyan, alive and well, with his right side of theface scarred because of the explosives nine years earlier that Bond had set to three minutes instead of six. He took the name "Janus" as a reference to the two-faced Roman god. Trevelyan explains his origin to Bond how his parents escaped Stalin's execution of their people and feld to England, but later killed themselves becasue of the shame. Bond gets shot in the neck with a tranquilizer dart. Bond wakes up in the pilot's seat of the Eurocopter, which has been programmed to fire its rockets at itself. In the backseat is Natalya. Bond is able to hit the emergency eject button at the last second with his head and the two are ejected away from the blast. Bond frees them both and they are almost immediately arrested by Russian army and both are taken to a holding center in St. Petersburg.
While waiting to be questioned, Bond tells Natalya that he is aware about her role in Severnaya who she is, by pointing out that her watch is permanently stopped which is a sign of the EMP that destroyed Severnaya. She tells him she knows little else besides Ourumov's theft of the Goldeneye control disk and that Boris is working with the general. Minister Mishkin walks in the room and threatens Bond with execution. Bond tells him that Ourumov is a traitor. Natalya quiets them both and tells Mishkin why Ourumov would steal Goldeneye. Natalya lets him know that there is a second satellite with a nuclear weapon.
Ourumov suddenly bursts into the room and protests that Mishkin is interfering with his investigation. Mishkin quiets down Ourumov but Ourumov seizes Bond's Walther PPK and kills a guard and Mishkin, intending to then shoot Bond and make it look like he tried to "escape". Bond is able to knock Ourumov unconscious, then a few guards and he and Simonova escape into the archives. Bond escapes after Natalya is captured by Ourumov. Bond steals a Russian tank and chases after them, destroying most of St. Petersburg. He finally tracks them to a train yard where Ourumov and Natalya board a large, black Russian missle train that serves as Trevelyan's HQ. Further down the tracks, Bond is able to derail the train by driving the tank into the train. He then continues to confront Trevelyan, holding him and Onatopp at gunpoint. Alec calls Ourumov into the room with Natalya whom he holds hostage. Causing a minor Ourumov to question Alec's orders by telling Ourumov of Trevelyan's Cossack heritage. Bond is able to shoot Ourumov but Trevelyan escapes with Onatopp. Trevelyan locks the train remotely, trapping Bond and Natalya inside, and tells Bond that he's planted explosives on the train with timers set for the same six minutes Bond gave him years before (which means he's actually set them for three minutes). Bond cuts through the floor with a laser planted in his watch while Natalya, on a computer console, finds Boris Grishenko's location in Cuba. The two escape the train before it explodes. After sitting on the tracks Bond kisses Natalya.
Bond and Natalya travel to Cuba to meet Jack Wade, who gives Bond a plane. Bond and Natalya spend a romantic night together, Natalya is angered on the fact of Bond's cold nature. Bond answers by saying that he must kill his old friend in order to stop him. The two fly over the approximate location where Natalya had traced Boris's computer signal, a seemingly idyllic lake. A missile is fired from under the water which cripples their plane and they crash in the jungle. At the crash site, Onatopp rappels down from a chopper and attacks Bond. He starts to squeeze Bond with his legs but Bond is able to grab her gun and shoot the chopper down, pulling her into a tree and killing her. Bond and Natalya discover that the lake really hides a giant satellite dish. Trevelyan and Boris have activated the second satellite's nuclear bomb to have it to explode over London. Trevelyan's plan is one of revenge against England's betrayal becasue of his parents and the EMP will destroy every computer system causing nation-wide chaos. The blast will also erase all financial records, but not before Alec has had Boris break into the Bank of London and steal billions of pounds.
Bond and Natalya find a way inside. Bond starts to place explosive charges near fuel pipes and Natalya finds a computer terminal to block Boris' programming of the Goldeneye satellite. A brief gunfight ensues and the fuel pipes are punctured, causing the fuel to leak from the pipes nearby Alec's and Boris' computer terminal. Bond is captured, as is Natalya, and both are brought to Trevelyan, who quickly and easily disarms the bombs Bond planted by pressing on his watch. Boris discovers that Natalya has changed his access codes for the satellite and Trevelyan threatens to kill Bond if Natalya doesn't undo her work. Boris begins playing with Bond's grenade pen, pressing the button and activating the charge. Bond knocks the grenade into the pool of leaking fuel where it explodes, causing a fire which threatens the entire facility to blow up. Alec orders Boris to take back the control of the satellite or be shot. Trevelyan run off to kill Bond and follows him to the satellite dish's large antenna meanwhile Natalya takes control of a helicopter by holding the pilot at gunpoint. On the antenna, Bond and Alec start fighting. During the fight, Bond is able to block the gearing mechanism with a pipe, which prevents Boris from regaining control of the nuke in orbit. The nuke falls into orbit and blows up in the atmosphere causing no harm.
Still fighting hand-to-hand, Bond and Alec fhave reached the bottom stalk of the antenna. The fight ends with Bond throwing Alec over the side, holding onto his former friend's boot. Alec asks if Bond intends to drop him "for England?" Bond replies "No. For me." and lets go. Alec falls to the bottom of the dish and is still concious. Natalya brings the helicoter close to Bond. Bond then leaps to safety from the burning antenna onto the helicopter and flies off just as the antenna collapses, landing directly on Alec. An unharmed Boris rises out of the wreckage; stunned to be alive, he declares himself invincible one last time, before being ironically frozen to death by a wave of liquid nitrogen. The pilot leaves Bond and Natalya in a nearby field where they are met by Jack Wade and a small unit of U.S. Marines.
While GoldenEye is technically the third original James Bond movie that doesn't contain any reference to an Ian Fleming novel or short story, the title comes from Fleming's Jamaican estate he dubbed "Goldeneye" where he wrote all the Bond novels. The estate could have been named "Goldeneye" for a number of reasons. The first is that the estate is located in Oracabessa, which is Spanish for 'golden head'. Fleming is also reported to have read Carson McCullers' novel Reflections In A Golden Eye around the time he had his house built in Jamaica. More notably, Fleming was in charge of the defence of Gibraltar during the Second World War; the operation dubbed by Fleming, Operation Goldeneye.
In the film, "GoldenEye" is the code name of a secret Russian military satellite, which uses a nuclear explosion's electromagnetic pulse to disable electronic devices.
Cast and Characters
Before Pierce Brosnan was cast as James Bond, Liam Neeson, James Purefoy, Mel Gibson, Sam Neill, Hugh Grant and Lambert Wilson were all rumoured to be in the running for the role. Actresses considered as Bond girls were Elizabeth Hurley and Elle Macpherson. Paulina Porizkova and Eva Herzigova were offered the role of Natalya but turned it down.
- Directed by: Martin Campbell
- Produced by: Albert R. Broccoli (Consulting Producer), Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
- Written by: Jeffrey Caine, Bruce Feirstein
- Story: Michael France
- Cinematography by: Phil Meheux
- Composed by: Éric Serra
- Production design by: Peter Lamont
Vehicles & gadgets
- BMW Z3 — A convertible, it comes fully loaded with all the usual Q refinements including a self-destruct system and stinger missiles located behind the headlights. In the movie, Bond uses none of the car's gadgets (except for the covert receipt-like printer disguised as a mobile CD player). He ends up trading it for Jack Wade's plane in the Caribbean region.
- Grappling Belt — Q gives Bond a size-34 belt containing a 75-foot rappelling cord and a piton-shooting buckle. When fired, it shoots a grapple attached to high-tensile-strength wire designed to support Bond's weight.
- Aston Martin DB5 — Registration BMT214A. Note this is not the same car as seen in Goldfinger and Thunderball (that car was registered BMT216A). This appears to be Bond's personal car and re-appears in the next film Tomorrow Never Dies (its appearance at Castle Thane in The World Is Not Enough did not make it into the final film). The car is equipped with a refrigerator in the centre arm rest to hold champagne and two glasses, and also a communications system including fax and voice commands.
- Explosive Pen — Q-Branch gives Bond a pen that doubles as a "class four" (fictional designation) grenade. Three clicks arms the four-second fuse, another three disarms it.
- Omega Watch — This watch, standard issue of MI6, has a built-in laser that can cut through steel and iron, and can also remotely detonate mines.
- Grapple and Laser Gun — In the intro sequence Bond bungee jumps off of a dam. To ensure he doesn't bounce back up he uses this gun to latch on to the complex below using its grapple function. Once down, Bond uses the laser built inside the gun to infiltrate the venting system that leads into the bathroom.
- T-55 — Bond steals it from a Russian military building.
Firearms of GoldenEye
- Main article: List of James Bond guns
- Walther PPK — James Bond's standard issue pistol. Shown in the poster below with silencer. Chambered for the 7.65mm x 17 Browning (or .32 ACP) cartridge.
- Makarov PM pistol — Standard-issue pistol of the Soviet/Russian armed forces. The pistol was prominately used by General Arkady Grigorovich Ourumov in a number of scenes in the movie. Natalya Simonova was seen using a Makarov PM when she commandeered one of the Janus helicopter gunships to rescue Bond from the satellite dish's antenna before it exploded. Chambered for the 9mm x 18 Makarov cartridge.
- Browning DA (double action) pistol — Alec Trevelyan's pistol of choice. In the beginning during the facility infiltration he is seen with a Browning Hi-Power Standard, but the ending battle scene at the antenna cradle he is seen with a Browning DA. Both guns are chambered for the 9mm x 19 Parabellum cartridge.
- Kalashnikov AK-74 automatic rifle — Standard-issue assault rifle of the Soviet/Russian armed forces and has been in Soviet/Russian military service since 1974/1975. Chambered for the 5.45mm x 39 Soviet M74 cartridge.
- Kalashnikov AKSU-74 carbine— Standard-issue carbine of the Soviet/Russian vehicle crews and certain internal security forces. The AKSU-74 is a SMG (SubMachine Gun) version of the AK-74 for issue to vehicle crews and people operating in confined spaces, it uses the same ammunition as the AK-74. The AKSU-74 (or AKS-74u) was prominently used by James Bond at the Arkangel Chemical Weapons Facility in 1986 and in St. Petersburg in 1995 when he and Natalya were escaping from the Russian military base. The AKSU-74 was also used by Xenia Onatopp when she used the weapon to kill the personnel at the Severnaya satellite control centre after General Ourumov got control of the two GoldenEye satellites. Bond can be seen wielding it on Trevelyan's Train. Also chambered for the 5.45mm x 39 Soviet M74 cartridge.
In the movie GoldenEye, a number of the AK-74 rifles that were used were not real AK-74s but non-Russian made Kalashnikov rifles that were made to look like the AK-74 rifle. The folding-stock variant AK-74 rifles that were seen in GoldenEye were Chinese-made Norinco Type 56/AKM rifles that were fitted with AK-74-style muzzle brakes and Russian-make red bakelite plastic magazines that were made for the AKM rifle in the 1970s. The rifles that were fitted with fixed buttstocks were real, Russian-made AK-74 rifles.
- Arkangel Chemical Weapons Facility, USSR
- Southern France
- Severnaya, Russia
- London, UK
- St. Petersburg, Russia
- Leavesden Aerodrome, Herts
- Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico
- Monte Carlo
- St. Petersburg, Russia
- Verzasca Dam, Switzerland
Comic book adaptation
In late 1995 Topps Comics began publishing a three-issue adaptation of GoldenEye in comic book format. The film script was adapted by Don McGregor with art by Rick Magyar. The first issue carried a January 1996 cover date. For reasons unknown, Topps canceled the adaptation after only the first issue had been published, and to date the adaptation has never been released in its entirety.
GoldenEye was adapted into a highly regarded video game for the Nintendo 64 by Rareware. At the time of its release, it was considered a flagship game for the new N64 console, and was considered revolutionary in its use of the first-person shooter format which led to many imitators; it is still widely regarded as one of the best games of all time.
In the Autumn of 2004, Electronic Arts released GoldenEye: Rogue Agent for Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube and later the Nintendo DS. This is the first game based on the 007 franchise in which the player does not take on the role of James Bond himself; rather they control an aspiring 00-agent (named GoldenEye) who is recruited by Auric Goldfinger, the villain in the movie and book Goldfinger. The game has little to do with either the film GoldenEye or the N64 game, and was released to mediocre reviews and was criticised for using the "GoldenEye" name in an attempt to sell the game by riding on the success of Rare's game.
In 2010, Activision and Eurocom produced a re-imagining of the N64 Goldeneye game, albeit with major changes to the plot and graphics (Rare had been acquired by Microsoft). Some changes include the likeness of Daniel Craig as Bond instead of Pierce Brosnan, the removal of Boris, and different level layouts. Originally a Wii/DS exclusive, it was later released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 as Goldeneye: Reloaded. It was moderately well-received, though not to the extent of the original game.
- While this is the first appearance of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, he was actually picked to replace Roger Moore in the film The Living Daylights, but due to his contract with the television show Remington Steele he had to drop out of the film.
- For a time it was a rumored that Brosnan's contract specifically stated that he was not allowed to wear a full tuxedo in other films and that Brosnan had apparently worked around this in the film The Thomas Crown Affair by leaving his tie untied during a black-tie ball, thus not wearing a full tuxedo. This rumor turned out to be false.
- GoldenEye features the highest bungee jump from a structure in a movie, performed by British stuntman Wayne Michaels. The drop was more than 722 ft.
- Reportedly, the script had to be rewritten as it was found to be too similar to a plotline in the James Cameron film True Lies.
- Joe Don Baker returned as CIA agent Jack Wade in the sequel Tomorrow Never Dies: his previous appearance in the Bond films was as the villain Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights. Baker had played a similar character, also a CIA agent, for GoldenEye director Martin Campbell in the 1985 BBC television drama Edge of Darkness.
- Maurice Binder, the title sequence designer for most of the James Bond films since Dr. No, died in 1991. The job of title designer for GoldenEye as well several future James Bond films was then passed to Daniel Kleinman.
- "Cubby" Broccoli died shortly after the film was released. He had been too ill but could visit the Pinewood studios by being Consulting Producer. The next Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies, was dedicated to his memory.
- One of the tanks used in the filming of the St Petersburg chase sequence was later used in the Beyond A Joke episode of Red Dwarf.
- During the tank sequence, the tank can be seen running over a Russian vehicle, clearly crushing the driver (presumably a mannequin). This depiction of "collateral damage" may have been unintentional as it is followed by a quick shot of the driver getting out of the car.
- When Bond meets Wade for the first time, Wade asks "Are you a gardener or something?" after Bond says his name. In reality, Ian Fleming based Bond's name in gardener James Bond.
- The uniform of the Canadian admiral was incorrect. The admiral was shown with two bars and an executive curl on the cuffs of his tunic. As this was filmed in 1995, the admiral's uniform should have one solid bar on the cuffs, and three maple leafs on the shoulders, and without the wings on the sleeve. The Canadian Navy would have these restored in 2010.
Opening Title Sequence
|Tanking through St. Petersburg||Bond introduces himself to Xenia Onatopp|
|M gives Bond a piece of her mind||Bungee jump off the dam|
- GoldenEye (1995) at IMDb
- MGM's official GoldenEye website
- Movie Tour Guide.com - Maps and directions to GoldenEye Filming Locations
|James Bond films|
Dr. No (1962) - From Russia with Love (1963) - Goldfinger (1964) - Thunderball (1965) - You Only Live Twice (1967) - Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
| George Lazenby |
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Live and Let Die (1973) - The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) - The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) - Moonraker (1979) - For Your Eyes Only (1981) - Octopussy (1983) - A View to a Kill (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987) - Licence to Kill (1989)
GoldenEye (1995) - Tomorrow Never Dies (1998) - The World Is Not Enough (1999) - Die Another Day (2002)
Casino Royale (2006) - Quantum of Solace (2008) - Skyfall (2012) - Spectre (2015) - Bond 25
Casino Royale (1954) - Casino Royale (1967) - Never Say Never Again (1983)