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MOONRAKER The Facts

The scene where Bond is riding to M's temporary headquarters in a South American hacienda is accompanied by Elmer Bernstein's theme from The Magnificent Seven (1960).

 
Drax' Venice laboratory has an electronic lock on it. The sequence which unlocks the door is the hailing tune from Close Encounters (1977).

Despite the previous 007 film telling us that James Bond will return in For Your Eyes Only (1981), producer Albert R Broccoli choose Moonraker as the next installment after the success of Star Wars (1977).

The role of Drax was originally offered to James Mason.

Lois Chiles had originally been offered the role of Anya in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), but turned down the part when she decided to take temporary retirement. She got the role of Holly Goodhead by chance when she was given the seat next to Lewis Gilbert on a flight.

Actor Richard Kiel has only one line of dialogue in his two Bond appearances as "Jaws" (Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)). He says, "Well, here's to us" near the end of this film.

According to writer Tom Mankiewicz there was a scene featuring Drax meeting his co-financiers in the Amazon lair; they use the room located just below the space shuttle launch pad that Bond and Holly later escape from. This scene was shot but later cut out.

Some portions of the Moonraker assembly plant were filmed on location at the Rockwell International manufacturing facilities in Palmdale, California, and at the Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

With the exception of the title, the character Drax, and a couple other minor elements, this is an original story rather than an adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel.

In his original 1955 novel, Ian Fleming describes Drax as "a Lonsdale figure." Twenty-four years later, Drax was portrayed in this film by Michael Lonsdale.

The French castle Vaux-le-Vicomte appears for the second time in a Bond movie. The first time was in the opening sequence in Thunderball (1965).

The original plot of "Moonraker", as written by Ian Fleming, features James Bond going to Germany to stop Drax, an aging Nazi who has a stolen A-bomb aimed at the UK.

Facts courtesy of Internet Movie Database and United Artists.
 

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