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Licence to Kill - James Bond Wiki


  • Following the mutilation of Felix Leiter and the death of Della Leiter at the hands of drug baron Franz Sanchez, 007 disobeys orders and pursues Sanchez with a personal and merciless vengeance. Bond's obsession costs him his licence to kill - and will nearly cost him his life.

Release Date:

  • July 13, 1989


  • Bond seeks revenge for the maiming of Felix Leiter and the rape and murder of Leiter's wife.

Box Office Results:

  • $156.2 million

Running Time:

  • 2 hours, 8 minutes

Issue Sidearm:

  • Walther PPK


  • Q Branch Briefcase II
  • Signature Gun
  • Xray camera with laser emitting flash
  • Plastic explosive contained in toothpaste tube
  • Radio controlled detonator contained in cigarette pack
  • Broom-shaped radio (used by Q)


  • John Glen


  • Richard Maibaum
  • Michael G. Wilson

Title Song:

  • Licence To Kill

Title Song Artist:

  • Gladys Knight




Bond Girls:

Supporting Cast:

  • Robert Brown as M
  • Desmond Llewelyn as Q
  • Caroline Bliss as Miss Moneypenny
  • David Hedison as Felix Leiter
  • Frank McRae as Sharkey
  • Priscilla Barnes as Della Churchill Leiter

Filming Locations:

  • Key West, Florida, USA; fictional South American republic of Isthmus and Isthmus City; the Bimmi Islands; Olimpatec Meditation Institute; London, UK.

Best Quote:

  • Bond:"Now why don't you wait until your asked?"
Bouvier: "Then why don't you ask me?"

Best Mistake:

  • Leaving Felix's wedding, Bond puts his airline tickets in his right pocket, but when he checks in he takes them out of his left.

Distinguishing Feature:

Vital Statistics:

  • Conquests: 2
  • Martinis: 1
  • Kills: 12
  • "Bond, James Bond": 1


  • The last Bond film to have Timothy Dalton playing Bond.
  • The scene where Felix Leiter is fed to a shark is taken from a scene in Ian Fleming's novel "Live and Let Die".
  • Last appearance of Robert Brown as M.
  • Second and last appearance of Caroline Bliss as Moneypenny

Detailed synopsis:

The story opens with Bond and his friend, CIA agent Felix Leiter, on their way to Leiter's wedding to Della Churchill. Meanwhile, DEA agents spot drug lord Franz Sanchez flying near the Bahamas , and a Coast Guard helicopter collects Leiter and Bond in an attempt to capture Sanchez. They capture Sanchez by attaching a hook and cord to Sanchez's plane and pulling it out of the air with the helicopter. Bond and Leiter parachute to the wedding.
Later that day, bribed DEA agent Ed Killifer assists Sanchez in escaping and betrays Leiter. On their honeymoon night, Leiter and Della are captured by Sanchez's henchmen; Leiter is fed to sharks as his wife is raped and killed. After hearing the news of Sanchez's escape, Bond returns to Leiter's house to find Della dead and Felix alive but severely injured.

License to Kill - James Bond Wiki

Bond begins his revenge by killing Killifer, causing him to fall into the same tank with the sharks that maimed Leiter. M meets Bond in Key West's Hemingway House and orders him to an assignment in Istanbul, Turkey. Bond refuses the assignment and subsequently resigns. M accepts his resignation and immediately revokes his licence to kill. Bond quickly escapes MI6 custody and becomes a rogue agent, bereft of official backing but later surreptitiously helped by Moneypenny and Q. Bond boards a ship run by Milton Krest, Sanchez's key lieutenant, where he ruins Sanchez's latest drug shipment and steals five million dollars. In Leiter's records, Bond finds details of a rendezvous in Bimini with Pam Bouvier, a CIA agent and pilot, who accepts to help him.


Bond journeys to the Latin American country of the "Republic of Isthmus" (a fictional country loosely based on Panama, which is known for its Isthmus), where he finds his way into Sanchez's employ by posing as a freelance assassin looking for work. With the aid of Bouvier and Q, he frames Krest, making him appear disloyal to Sanchez. Sanchez traps Krest in a hyperba chamber and then suddenly depressurises the chamber, causing Krest's head to explode; meanwhile, for Bond's perceived loyalty, Sanchez permits him into his inner circle of friends.

When Sanchez takes Bond and a group of business men customers to his base of operations in the Mexican desert, Bonds cover is blown by one of Sanchez' men, Dario, who recognises Bond as he fought against him at Bimini. Bond causes a fire that destroys the drugs laboratory, but Sanchez and his remaining men escape in four loaded tanker trucks.
In the ensuing chase through the desert, with the help of Pam Bouvier, Bond manages to destroy three of the tankers - and subsequently the remainder of Sanchez' drug empire - before engaging in combat with a machete-wielding Sanchez on the back of the final tanker, which eventually crashes and rolls down an embankment. Soaked in gasoline, Sanchez prepares to kill Bond but Bond uses the lighter given to him by Felix the day of his marriage to Della to ignite Sanchez and run away. In flames, Sanchez stumbles near the wrecked tanker, causing it all to explode.

Later on during a party at Sanchez' mansion, Bond continues his romance with Pam Bouvier in the swimming pool.

If You Asked Me To, by Patti Labelle, plays in background during the end credits.

Latest page update: made by DaltonCraigRules , Tuesday, 6:34 PM EST (about this update About This Update DaltonCraigRules Edited by DaltonCraigRules

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Started By Thread Subject Replies Last Post
Anonymous A Bond Must-See 0 Jul 8 2012, 1:56 PM EDT by Anonymous
Thread started: Jul 8 2012, 1:56 PM EDT  Watch
When you watch a Bond film, the action, the curvy bikini-clad women and the trademark tongue-in-cheek one-liners are a given. What you don't expect is complexity of plot and superior writing. This film delivers all that - and much more. As the story unfolds, we are treated to glimpses of Bond's humanity - even to the level of resigning his 007 post. As M revokes his 'licence to kill' James sets out on a personal mission to settle a score against the villain who fed his friend Felix Leiter to sharks. Oh, and just happens to rid the world of its most dastardly drug lord at the same time! Dalton was great.
Anonymous License to Thrill 1 Apr 12 2012, 12:51 AM EDT by Anonymous
Thread started: Feb 21 2011, 8:49 AM EST  Watch
I missed this film in 1989 and just viewed it on DVD. I have to say I like it. Bond is fresh and the Florida scenes are nice. The ending tanker-truck chase is simply the best filmed of any Bond (or any other) action film. And those explosions aren't fake, phony CGI FX. The real McCoy. Dalton was better than Moore as Bond. Not as good as Connery but given time he would have matured the character. Oh, well. It was not meant to be.
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Anonymous Licence To Kill 1 Jan 26 2011, 2:17 PM EST by S.P.E.C.T.R.E
Thread started: Jan 26 2011, 11:25 AM EST  Watch
My favorite movie and my favorite bond actor and bond film, its so realistic with no outrageous gadgets but the only gadget bond gets is a camera gun, which is fairly realistic, unlike a Lotus Esprit that can drive, submarine, and have an arsenal of weapons is outrageous but i'm not a nitpicker and TSWLM was also a great bond flick but LTK is my favorite.
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