Licence To Kill

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Licence To Kill - James Bond Wiki


  • Following the crippling of Felix Leiter and the death of Della Leiter on their own wedding day at the hands of Franz Sanchez, the most powerful and ruthless drug baron in the Americas, James Bond disobeys M's orders and pursues Sanchez in a very personal and merciless quest for vengeance, with the invaluable help of CIA agent Pam Bouvier and Q. Bond's obsession costs him his licence to kill - and could cost him his life.

Release Date:

  • July 13, 1989

Box Office Results:

  • $156.2 million

Running Time:

  • 133 minutes

Issue Sidearm:

  • Walther PPK

  • 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)



  • Richard Maibaum
  • Michael G. Wilson

Title Song:

  • Licence To Kill

Title Song Artist:

  • Gladys Knight

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.

Vital Statistics:

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

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 rejects Lupe's adnaces and puts a stop to Pam's jealousy by dragging her in the swimming pool, then kisses her.

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