Moonraker (1979) (part 9 of 14)

Bond and Manuela walk through the alley and Bond reports the empty warehouse and the patch, so Manuela tells him Drax Air Freight runs out of San Pietro Airport. Manuela, ever the trooper, asks if Bond wants her to take him there. Bond tells her she needs some rest and drives her back home, thus ending the character’s screen time. Yeah, that was worth the time for screen tests, costume and makeup costs, and the salary for the actress. Like the rest of the Carnival sequence, it’s a lot of money thrown around with very little payoff. I only mention this because it’s actually quite the missed opportunity, and the fact that the film is played for laughs hurts it in so many other ways besides the obvious ones (lack of tension, etc.).

I don’t want to turn this into a screenwriting seminar, but this sequence, like many others in the film, could have greatly benefited from a little tweaking. Imagine the sequence starting with Bond and Manuela moving through the crowd. Bond catches a glimpse of Jaws but can’t be certain. Steering Manuela to an open area, he asks her if she’s armed. Rather than a knife, she reveals a pistol. Bond tells her to check out the warehouse as Jaws heads for them. Bond sees Jaws and tries to lose him in the crowd. Inside the warehouse, Manuela finds the place empty.

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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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