The Moonraker Cast Deliver an Out-of-this-World Film in More Ways Than One
Moonraker, the eleventh symphony in the James Bond magnum opus, boasts a cast whose brilliance breathes life into their roles, crafting a narrative that’s nothing short of cosmic, literally.
As Roger Moore returns for his fourth celestial waltz, his Bond effortlessly swirls with a blend of wit and debonair charm. Amid the interstellar dangers, his silken threads of confidence are never astray.
For those still steeped in Bond purism, the Moonraker cast becomes a litmus test. The indomitable Jaws – that ever-lurking shadow – stages a rematch, leaving us to ponder if Moore’s Bond is a match for sheer brute force. Yet, as Moonraker often does, it pivots and transforms the towering titan into an ally – a testament to Bond’s indomitable charm.
While the film perhaps skirts the edges of critical adoration, Moore’s stellar romp – piloting spaceships, braving star wars, and the zero-gravity dalliances – certainly demands a tip of the hat.
As for Lois Chiles, who gracefully assumes the role of Holly Goodhead after a brief cinematic sabbatical, she exudes an air of fierce intelligence. From Venetian escapades to Brazilian intrigue, and then as astral partners in defense, Chiles’ Holly is a force to be reckoned with – especially when she takes the interstellar reins.
Goodhead is a force to be reckoned with, easily matching wits and wills with Bond. Even when she faces the titanic wrath of Jaws, her resilience shines through, proving she’s not just a terrestrial talent, proving there’s magnetism to her character that’s impossible to resist. Neither could Bond.
Michael Lonsdale’s Hugo Drax seems to saunter from a gothic dreamscape. With grand visions of a spaceborne utopia and a demeanor as cool as lunar ice, Lonsdale crafts a villain whose subtlety makes him ever so unsettling.
Drawing parallels with the stoic might of Non from Superman II, Drax is a masterclass in restraint: cool, methodical, and always two steps ahead. It’s Lonsdale’s nuanced subtlety that lends Drax an air of quiet terror, making him an emblematic figure in the Bond rogues’ gallery.
Richard Kiel, returning with the kind of cinematic aplomb reserved for the finest actors, graced the silver screen once again as Jaws, having previously lent his stature to The Spy Who Loved Me. Initially a mere pawn in the game, he soon finds himself ensnared in the icy grips of Hugo Drax’s ambitions.
There’s an alchemical magic to Jaws – with teeth forged in the furnaces of narrative imagination, he stands as Bond’s most formidable nemesis. Yet, for all his towering menace, there’s a peculiar innocence to him – a juxtaposition crafted to perfection by Kiel.
Watch Inside Moonraker Documentary
It’s in the spectacular cable car mishap where fate, in its most poetic form, introduces Jaws to Dolly. From that serendipitous encounter, we witness the unfolding of a more tender chapter in the life of this steel-toothed titan.
The once-feared giant, in a heartbeat, transforms into a lovestruck swain, revealing layers that make him all the more captivating, and he even sides with Bond later on…!
Blanche Ravalec plays the ethereal Dolly, a character bathed in fleeting moments but who possesses an aura that tempers the fiery rage within Jaws. In her, the film finds its soft serenade, for her presence infuses the behemoth with a warmth, redefining his erstwhile villainous silhouette.
Corinne Cléry, as the entrancing Corinne Dufour, flies through the narrative skies of Drax’s empire. She’s a woman beguiled by sweet whispers, whose dalliance with Bond becomes her tragic downfall. Radiating charm and vulnerability, she encounters one of the most brutal deaths in the Bond franchise.
Bernard Lee’s swan song as M is nothing short of iconic. Ever the pillar of British stoicism, his mortified reaction to Bond’s weightless rendezvous – broadcast to none other than the Crown – becomes the crescendo of a legendary tenure.
Desmond Llewelyn’s Q, with his delightful cocktail of sarcasm and genuine concern, once again emerges as Bond’s indispensable guide. The interplay between the gadget maestro and 007 is always a masterclass in dry wit.
Lois Maxwell, as the ever-teasing Miss Moneypenny, paints each scene with her trademark mischief. One moment encapsulates her quintessential charm – as Bond’s escapades become a tad too intimate for MI6 screens, her wry comments encapsulate the essence of of Bond’s extra curricular adventures.
Sir Frederick Gray, breathed to life by Geoffrey Keen, remains a consistent figure of authority, albeit occasionally ruffled by Bond’s brazen escapades. His stern demeanor, coupled with a sly smile, cements him as a cherished component of Bond’s world.
Emily Bolton’s Manuela is a burst of intrigue in her brief on-screen moments. Her apparent attraction to danger, passion, and Jaws casts a long shadow for a character with such fleeting screen time, but another of the keys in the cog of the cast of Moonraker.
With a touch of rueful honesty, while Moonraker might not etch itself as many people’s favorite, but the Moonraker cast undeniably breathed remarkable depth and flair into their characters. The film does have its moments of sheer brilliance, and it’s largely the arresting performances that salvage it from obscurity rather than its cinematic orchestration.
Moore, ever the quintessential Bond, dazzles with his familiar charm, a figure both revered and debated. His entanglements with the trio of Bond sirens bring unexpected turns and adrenaline to the screen.
Meanwhile, Hugo Drax emerges as an antagonist of grand ambitions, nearly realizing his cosmic dreams, particularly with the once unyielding Jaws in tow. Yet, as fate would have it, even Jaws finds love’s transformative power.
Watch the official Moonraker Trailer
Trivia: There was almost a Moonraker made, which was set for Bond 7. Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson wrote a version of Moonraker that was more grounded, and not set in space. His version never came to light.
The Full Moonraker Cast
- Roger Moore – James Bond
- Lois Chiles – Dr. Holly Goodhead
- Richard Kiel – Jaws
- Corinne Cléry – Corinne Dufour
- Michael Lonsdale – Hugo Drax
- Blanche Ravalec – Dolly
- Anne Lonnberg – Museum Guide
- Emily Bolton – Manuela
- Irka Bochenko – Blonde Beauty
- Bernard Lee – M
- Desmond Llewelyn – Q
- Lois Maxwell – Miss Moneypenny
- Geoffrey Keen – Sir Frederick Gray
- Toshiro Suga – Chang
- Béatrice Libert – Drax’s Girl #6
- Catherine Serre – Drax’s Girl #5
- Christina Hui – Drax’s Girl #2
- Nicaise Jean Louis – Drax’s Girl #4
- Chichinou Kaeppler – Drax’s Girl #1
- Françoise Gayat – Drax’s Girl #3
- Lizzie Warville – Russian Girl
- Kim Fortune – R.A.F. Officer
- Walter Gotell – General Gogol
- Douglas Lambert – Mission Control Director
- Brian Keith – U.S. Shuttle Captain
- Alfie Bass – Consumptive Italian
- Jean-Pierre Castaldi – Pilot Private Jet
- Mike Marshall – Col. Scott
- Georges Beller – Drax’s Technician
- Leila Shenna – Hostess Private Jet
- Claude Carliez – Gondolier
- George Birt – Captain
- Guy Di Rigo – Ambulanceman
- Denis Seurat – Officer
- Chris Dillinger – Drax’s Technician
- Arthur Howard – Cavendish
- Peter Howitt
- Irina Kireeva
- Sergey Kolesnikov
- Nikita Prozorovsky
- Rudolf Pankov
- Bob Simmons
- Gilles Kohler
- Eddie Eddon
- Bob Sherman
Who directed Moonraker?
Moonraker was directed by Lewis Gilbert.
Who produced Moonraker?
Moonraker was produced by Albert R. Broccoli.
Who wrote the screenplay for Moonraker?
The screenplay for Moonraker was written by Christopher Wood.
Is Moonraker based on any literature?
Yes, the film is based on the novel Moonraker by Ian Fleming.
Who was in charge of cinematography for Moonraker?
The cinematography for Moonraker was done by Jean Tournier.
Who edited Moonraker?
Moonraker was edited by John Glen.
Who composed the music for Moonraker?
The music for Moonraker was composed by John Barry.
Who sung the theme song for Moonraker?
The theme song for Moonraker was sung by Shirley Bassett.
When was Moonraker released?
Moonraker was released on 26 June 1979 in the UK and on 29 June 1979 in the US.
What was the budget for Moonraker?
The budget for Moonraker was $34 million.
How much did Moonraker earn at the box office?
Moonraker grossed $210.3 million at the box office.