Where All Other Bonds End… This One Begins!
30 Years Of Moonraker
The outer space extravaganza for James Bond—1979’s Moonraker—celebrates its 30th anniversary this month. Debuting at London’s Odeon Leicester Square on 26 June 1979, Roger Moore’s fourth 007 adventure proved to be the biggest Bond film yet.
With a US release following just a few days later on the 29th, Moonraker became an unstoppable success at the worldwide box office. With a grand total in excess of $202 million, it made the most of its $34 million budget and became the highest grossing James Bond film up to that point in time (inflation-unadjusted) and remained so for almost two decades, until 1995’s GoldenEye.
Taking into account the 30th anniversary of the film, CommanderBond.net asked our forum members to recall their first (or most memorable) time seeing Moonraker…
Remembering Moonraker by… David_M
I saw Moonraker at the age of 14, which in my opinion is pretty much THE age to experience Bond in general. To say I was blown away would be the understatement of the century; I thought it was the greatest film ever made, forget those fancy pants critics and their Citizen Kane crap.
I lived in the sticks back then and it was a good drive to Richmond to do just about anything, including see a movie. My 12-year-old brother and I got in late (thanks to my parents…I still haven’t forgiven them 🙂 ), just as Roger was getting shoved out of the plane. We tried to find seats while keeping our eyes on the screen and I remember some guy yelling “Hey!” because my brother had sat in his lap!
We finally did find two seats together, and enjoyed the heck out of the film, which had everything; action, comedy, spectacle, sex, great music, spaceships and Roger Moore, who for me was the coolest guy alive. The only downside was a guy in the row behind us who’d seen the movie before and spoiled a couple of moments. When Bond and Holly are lying on the ground after their close shave with the cable car, the ambulance crew shows up and Bond says, “Thanks, but we’re in great shape” and the guy behind us said, “Not for long!” before the bad guy on screen konked Bond on the head.
I remember the other film in the theater that day was The Muppet Movie. Not sure why that’s stuck with me; maybe the folks presented it to me as another option in the vain hope of keeping me from the dark side.
That year probably wasn’t as big a marketing blitz as ’77, but there was lots of Bond stuff to go around. I collected the bubblegum cards, bought the soundtrack and the Warren magazine devoted to the film (a handy checklist in the front of that mag helped me memorize the Bond film titles in proper order), and years later acquired the “advance” poster (the one with Roger alone in orbit), which remains one of my most treasured Bond possessions and favorite Bond image.
That October I went with my folks to see Meteor with Sean Connery and thought, “Wow, THAT guy used to be James Bond? They’re lucky they dropped him when they did!”
Remembering Moonraker by… The Ghost Who Walks
My first Bond film, seen first at the age of seven. Due to my love for Star Wars, my mom taped MR for me from TV and allowed me to see it (she’d later allow me to watch all the Moore films, since she felt they were much better suited for kids than the Connery movies). Watched it with my best buddy and my younger brother, and was completely enthralled by the sheer spectacle of it. The whole pre-credit sequence was the coolest thing I had seen since Luke finally defeated Vader in Return of the Jedi.
In short, it made me a Bond fan for life, so feel I owe it a lot.
Remembering Moonraker by… zencat
Tragically, I never saw Moonraker on the big screen. I was very partisan towards Frank Langella’s Dracula in the summer of 79 and resented Moonraker‘s success (I was a Bond fan, but not yet a fanatic). But I came to love Moonraker and have always wanted to see it projected with an audience.
So for my 40th birthday, Athena007 (with help from Bryce003) rented out the club Cinespace in Hollywood and threw me a surprise party where, yes, we screened Moonraker! All my friends and family where there. Great food. Cake. Open bar. By the end of the movie we were all in outer space. A truly incredible Moonraker experience.
Life has pretty much been downhill since then. 😉
Remembering Moonraker by… singleentendre
I have to say my most memorable experience is when I popped in the Blu-Ray. What a gorgeous gorgeous film. So under appreciated.
For the life of me, I can’t remember the first time I saw it.
Remembering Moonraker by… DaveBond21
Before I had even seen the movie, my grandparents bought me two of the official toys that came out in 1979 – a Drax space shuttle and Corinne’s helicopter. I remember playing with them a lot.
I finally saw Moonraker on ITV when I was 10 years old in 1985. It was shown after the Queen on Christmas Day that year.
I always remember loving the fact that Jaws was back in this one, and was looking forward to the stunts, the special effects and the baddies. Hugo Drax didn’t let me down with his sinister voice and great lines (“Make sure some harm comes to him”).
This has got to be one of the most fun 007 adventures and there are so many great locations – California, Venice, Rio, the Amazon rainforest and space! There are probably more action scenes in this entry than any other Bond film. The free-fall opening, the centrifuge, the hover gondola chase, the fight with Chang, the cable car fight with Jaws, falling out the back of an ambulance (an often forgotten scene), a fight with a python and a space battle. What more could you ask for as a 9 year old watching a movie?!
It’s still fun to watch today, 30 years on.
Remembering Moonraker by… Simon
I organised a trip for a few friends to take the bus into the nearest town to see this. I was 13 and this was a minor treat, such independence.
Superb stuff, beginning to end.
Couldn’t have imagined anything better in life.
Remembering Moonraker by… Nicolas Suszczyk
How did I first get in touch with Moonraker…
It was in 1999, after august, so I was nine years old.
I wanted to see the Bond film with featured Jaws, since I knew him from the GoldenEye for N64. I’d just seen GoldenEye, The Man with the Golden Gun and Live and Let Die.
So my dad bought me the film in a place where you can buy second handed VHS. I watched it and I liked it very much, and has became one of my favourite films because it’s directly connected with my childhood. Obviously, it’s not a film you have to take very seriously but, besides that, I’ve loved it.
Remembering Moonraker by… BoogieBond
It was my first Bond movie and I was 5 years old. My parents took my brother and I to the local cinema. The most memorable moment was the freefall PTS, that effectively sealed the Bond deal for me inside 5 minutes. I remember liking the Amazon boat chase and the cable car fight as well. Then I persuaded my parents to take me to see The Spy Who Loved Me the following week. Great times
Remembering Moonraker by… 00Twelve
I’d have to say that my most memorable experience has to be my latest viewing. Not having seen it in a year or two because of how much I despised its silliness, I popped it in and sat in awe of the brilliantly fun movie I’d been missing for years. I was totally blown away in surprise; where had I been?? Why in the world was I lamenting a lack of grit when there was this ridiculous, damn well-made spectacle right under my nose?
I’m happy to be able to enjoy Moonraker like a kid, or at least a loosened up adult. I feel like a kid who kept refusing to go to the pool party because I got splashed that one time. Never too late to learn to swim!
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