Rating: *** Threat: Lethal nerve gas
United Artists. Written by Christopher Wood based on the novel Moonraker by Ian Fleming; Photographed by Jean Tournier; Special effects by Derek Meddings (supervisor); Edited by John Glen; Music by John Barry; Produced by Albert R. Broccoli, William P. Cartlidge (associate) and Michael G. Wilson (executive); Directed by Lewis Gilbert. 126 minutes.
Roger Moore (James Bond, British Secret Agent 007); Lois Chiles (Dr. Holly Goodhead, scientist and CIA agent); Michel Lonsdale (Hugo Drax, industrialist who plans to exterminate and repopulate the world); Richard Kiel (Jaws, hired assassin); Corinne Clery (Corinne Dufour, assistant working for Drax); Bernard Lee (M, head of British Secret Service); Geoffrey Keen (Frederick Gray, British defense secretary); Desmond Llewelyn (Q, head of weapons research); Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny, M's executive secretary); Toshio Suga (Chang, Drax's henchman); Emily Bolton (Manuela, Brazilian agent assigned to assist Bond); Blanche Ravalec (Dolly, girlfriend of Jaws); Mike Marshall (Col Scott, NASA assault force leader); Michael G. Wilson (Scott's assistant); Leila Shenna (hostess in private jet); Jean Pierre Castaldi (pilot of private jet); Anne Lonberg (glass museum guide); Walter Gotell (Gen. Gogol, head of KGB); Lizzie Warville (Gogol's mistress); Douglas Lambert (Mission Control director); Arthur Howard (Cavendish); George Birt (747 pilot); Denis Seurat (747 officer); Kim Fortune (RAF officer on shuttle transport); Claude Carliez (gondolier in Venice); Guy di Rigo (ambulance guard); Chris Dillinger, George Beller (Drax technicians); Albert R. Broccoli, Lewis Gilbert (two observers in St. Mark's Square); Chichinov Kaepper, Christina Hui, Francoise Gayat, Nicaise Jean Louis, Irka Bochenko, Catherine Serre, Beatrice Lipert (Drax's harem of followers); Johnny Trabers Troupe (circus performers).
The most popular motion picture series of the last half of the twentieth century, the James Bond films, periodically has apocalyptic elements. In You Only Live Twice (1967), archvillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld tried to provoke a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, with the evil organization SPECTER on the sidelines, hoping to pick up the pieces after the conflict. In The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), madman Carl Stromberg had a similar scheme to make land masses unlivable and force humankind to set up communities under the sea. Moonraker, however, is the purest example of a total apocalyptic scenario, as the messianic Hugo Drax plans to wipe out all the human race while