Moonraker (1979) (part 3 of 14)

Bond arrives at LAX and is met by Corrine Dufour (Corrine Clery), Drax’s helicopter pilot. Bond turns the charm to roughly 7.0 on the Shag Scale as they take off by helicopter for Drax Industries.

Caption contributed by Ed

—”Bonjour, I will be your brainless bimbo for the evening. Just let me know when you would like to have a quick roll in the hay and I will be available for you whenever you need me.” —”Merci.”

During the flight, we get background info on Hugo Drax. He’s a fabulously wealthy man, and according to Corrine, “What he doesn’t own, he doesn’t want!” This sequence is a long one, but not obnoxiously so. Unlike the interminable driving sequences encountered in some of the films recapped on this site, this scene actually has a point.

2012 Comments: Ah, back when Night of Horror was one of the most read articles on the site. Folks should really go back and study that one; it’s frigging awesome. I still think horror can work on this website, damn it!

We pass the training compound and shuttle construction area which, improbably enough, is just a short drive from Drax’s house. Man, that morning commute has got to be a breeze.

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Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: Moonraker (1979)

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  • Maggie19991

    Drax does not have dobermans. Those are Beaucerons. A french hunting/herding dog

    • BuddyPup

      Though in fairness, the Beauceron is one of the precursor breeds used to breed the Doberman, so the resemblance is going to be very close.

  • SteveWD

    Hi.  Been lurking at The Booth for a long time but this is my first post.  I love the traction table from Thunderball.  The settings go from mild stretching to DEAD.  I’m guessing it’s not UL listed.  If 20 Gs is fatal then why does the machine do 20 Gs?  I love Bond movies!

    • CDiehl

      Maybe they don’t just put people in this device. They could use it to test equipment or materials to see how much force they can take. Also, this was developed during the Cold War, so maybe it was built in repsonse to the Soviets building a similar device that produces 15 Gs, and the U.S. didn’t want to have a “G gap”.

  • edharris1178

    One thing I forgot to throw in that really makes this a part of the action film series tag: 7 out of 10 double-taking pigeons.

  • Tim

    One thing I always found weird was that they gave Richard Kiel that ridiculous little MAC-10 in the boat chase. It looked so damn tiny in his hands they might as well have had him chucking handfuls of bullets at Bond while shouting “bang!”

  • Xeethra

    I, for one, look for to the 2020 “Riffing on the Riffing of the Re-cap”. And, using similar forward-gazing logic, will not type that joke comparison between Future Ed and Captain Pike.

    Though images of what horrific film could do that to such a brave explorer of cinema is a mystery…

    Thanks, Ed, and keep up the good work.

  • Ed wrote, on page 4: “I guess this would work a lot better if the actress (Corinne Clery) had a personality.”
    You might want to seek out the DVD of the French art-house flick “The Story of O”, in which Clery played the title role – a woman who enjoys bondage (no pun intended) and sado-masochistic sex. I’ve never seen the movie, but I’m old enough to remember its theatrical release back in 1975. In fact, seeing Clery in this movie back in ’79 made me think of her earlier role. The “O” DVD is twenty bucks at Amazon. Maybe you could recap the movie here; I’m sure it would give new meaning to the term “action flick”.

  • Guest

    It’s funny how big-budget action movies insist on using fake rubber snakes while quaint movies like “Swiss Family Robinson” and B-movies like “Death Curse of Tauta” actually use the real animals.

  • Patrick Little

    Moonraker will always have a special place in my video collection, because it was the first Bond movie I ever saw (and I was quite young when I saw it, 6 or 7 I think). 

    • edharris1178

       It was one of my first too.

    • Jonathan Becker

      “moonraker” was the first and only bond movie that i’ve ever seen (in the sense of watching a film through until the end). and i didn’t even see “moonraker” in it’s entirety. i entered the theater after the opening skydiving scene. as i’ve said, “moonraker” is enjoyable in it’s own way. nonetheless it’s a hunk of junk and it poisoned me against the entire “bond” series. spy films (and action films in general) should be shot on low or moderate budgets. that way they have a shot at retaining some of the charm that is oftentimes possessed by “b pictures.” from an aesthetic point of view, albert broccoli got it all wrong. you don’t take a low budget kind of project and inflate it by pouring tens of millions of dollars into it. some of the best film making (even in the action field. perhaps especially in the action field.) is done by directors struggling with low budgets and at the same time attempting to shoot films with style.

  • Paul Eros

    “Blatantly disregarding the First Rule of Movie Planes™, the cabin does not instantly depressurize. Instead, Bond and the pilot manage to stay on their feet for the remainder of the fight.”

    Enh, I’m going to give the film a Mulligan on this one. The baddie at the controls emerges from the cockpit all ready for a bit of sky diving, suggesting he had the plane at 10,000 ft or less, which means the decompression wouldn’t be as violent as if they were really at altitude. Plus, you never know, bad guys around the world may have discussed the Goldfinger Incident at their AGM and passed a resolution: if you’re going to shoot a secret agent aboard your private plane, be sure to descend to a sensible altitude in case you shoot out the window and find yourself squeezed out of the plane like so much ‘Gert Froebe’ flavoured toothpaste.

  • BuddyPup

    I especially love that the Asian henchman who wears a kimono, fights Bond in Japanese Kendo gear while wielding a shinai (the bamboo practice sword) and played by a Japanese actor has a name which CANNOT be spelled in Japanese characters. “Chang” isn’t a Japanese name. For one, the only consonant in Japanese without an attached vowel sound is “n/m” (same character, can be pronounced either way). There is no “cha” and no standalone “g” or “ng” sound. The closest you could come is “Chi-a-n-gu”. But hey, all Asians look and sound alike, right, Albert Broccoli? Chinese, Japanese…what’s the difference?

  • Paul Pelkonen

    My favorite continuity error in Moonraker is that Corinne Clery somehow removes her headphones and hangs them up neatly without crashing the helicopter.

    • jonbecker03

      “moonraker” was one big continuity error. or one big error, at least. a huge hunk of junk. yes, the movie keeps your attention focused. it throws one idiocy after another at you. it’s trashy fun. however, “moonraker” is a big hunk of junk. a thirty four million dollar hunk of junk, to be exact. if it had been made for less money (much less), the film might have exuded a kind of low budget charm. as it is, the movie is like a collection of all the sh*t that money can buy. and i mean sh*t……..

  • Katie W

    The look on Bond’s face when he is passing out from the centrifuge is priceless.
    One of the rare times Bond seemed seriously rattled, Q saved the day because another few seconds and Bond would have been out.