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23. Moonraker (1979)
Box Office: $70.3 million domestic/$210.3 million worldwide*
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Theme Song Performed By: Shirley Bassey
Fun Fact: The opening aerial sequence required 88 skydives.
Plot: Longtime Bond producer Albert R. ”Cubby” Broccoli’s cash-in on the late-’70s resurgence of sci-fi spliced the narrative DNA of 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me with a space battle straight out of Star Wars. With the help of CIA agent/astronaut Dr. Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles), 007 crosses laser pistols with billionaire Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), who seeks to destroy all life on earth save for a genetically perfect few. Drax intends to start a new master race that doesn’t even include his own iron-dentured henchman Jaws (Richard Kiel, reprising his role from The Spy Who Loved Me). So guess who becomes Bond’s ally? Played for broad comedy and featuring bizarre pop culture references (the Magnificent Seven theme plays when Roger Moore dresses like a gaucho), Moonraker finds the franchise parodying itself. C-
Box Office Grosses: The-Numbers.com
Image Credit: Everett Collection
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