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GoldenEye: A breakdown of all action in the 1995 Bond film

By: Jon Auty
GoldenEye film stunt
The new Bond for the 1990's had a new face and new enemies. Pierce Brosnan finally secured the role he’d longed for with stunt coordinator Simon Crane taking the action to new heights and used all of his experience as Timothy Dalton's double to create magical action sequences for GoldenEye (1995) (1995) which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015.

The Verzasca Dam in Switzerland was the sight for a truly awesome opening stunt. The Oxford Stunt Factory was approached about creating a huge bungee cord for a world record breaking leap of faith. Stuntman Wayne Michaels performed the leap of 750ft and was a little concerned by the crane operator who made the sign of the cross just before Wayne was given action.
The jump is beautifully executed. Wayne’s balance and poise throughout is exceptional. He must assume a swan dive position until the bungee cord takes the strain. Once this part of the jump has been completed he must reach inside his jacket and pull out a piton gun. Take the gun in both hands and hold them outstretched before he disappears out of shot behind a rock. The action then cuts to a shot of the gun being fired and the bolt landing into the rock face. It has rightly been described as one of the finest bungee jumps ever captured on film. Rightly so.

A man is seen walking into a bathroom and into a toilet cubicle. He pulls out a newspaper, sits down and gets on with his required call of nature. Whilst reading the paper he is aware of someone else in the room, which is odd based on the size of the stall he is in. He lowers one corner of the paper and finds Bond upside down hanging from the ceiling. “Beg your pardon, forgot to knock”, says Bond and he punches the man in the face causing him to fall from his throne without even a courtesy flush! The man in the stall is stuntman Jim Dowdall who was one of Roger Moore’s doubles for the train sequence in Octopussy. When I spoke to Jim about his time working with Bond he explained that after all the exciting adventures he’s been involved in being knocked out by James Bond whilst sitting on the toilet is the one he is often remembered for.

007 & 006
Bond is finally revealed as Pierce Brosnan and he meets a man who holds a gun to his head and speaks to him in Russian. Turns out its Sheffield’s very own Sean Bean who takes the role of Alec Trevelyan who is 006. Ready to save the world again they go about setting explosive charges to destroy the weapons facility. The Russian soldiers burst in open fire. Bond and Alec return fire and many soldiers are killed. Stuntman Paul Heasman is shot and killed on two separate occasions. Firstly falling from an upper gantry and the second occasion he falls down the stairs. Alec is caught and killed and Bond must escape using the only method he has left. Force. He fires his machine gun whilst lying down on a conveyor belt and hits the locks on the racking that hold many barrels. They come flying out from their housing and hit the soldiers below. Gary Powell can be seen receiving a very nasty blow on the head.
Wayne Michaels takes over for Pierce as he gets away from the main building. The soldiers come out and General Ouromov orders them to open fire. Bond fires back and kills another handful including an already dead Paul Heasman.

Bond sees a plane taxying down the runway preparing to take off. He jumps on board, but is attacked by stuntman Paul Herbert. They fight and fall from the plane. He is being pursued by two soldiers on motorbikes. One falls off and Bond takes his bike and gets after the plane. The other hits Paul Herbert and falls from his bike.
The plane is about to flying off the edge of the runway, but how is Bond going to catch it? Well with a little French/American ingenuity. Stunt arranger B.J. Worth employed the services of Jacques 'Zoo' Malnuit to ride the motorcycle off the runway after the plane. The plane dives off the cliff and Jacques fly’s after it. Incredible to see this on film for real. Then BJ Worth takes over by freefalling next to the plane. Only for a few seconds though, but many have claimed that this was special effects and not done for real. Well there is video evidence of the shooting of the sequence and its there for all to see.
Bond finally gets into the plane, takes control of it and manages to pull it out of a nose dive just before Tina Turner turns up to see reflections on the water. Bond is most definitely back.

GoldenEye film stunt
Nine years have passed and Bond is being evaluated by Serena Gordon during a high speed chase along the windy mountain roads of Monte Carlo. Bond driving the Aston Martin DB5 is having a cat and mouse chase with Xenia Onatopp who is driving a Ferrari. The great Rémy Julienne takes charge of this car chase with sons Dominique [Bond] and Michel [Xenia] behind the wheels. Timing is very important and on occasion even the pros can slip up. We all saw the footage of the Ferrari sliding and crashing into the Aston during filming, but remember a huge amount of pressure is on the shoulders of the stunt team. They must top and improve the action on the previous outing and who better than the Julienne boys. The most memorable scene from the chase is where the two speeding vehicles arrive upon a hill climb in a bicycle race. Now for many years the film’s director Martin Campbell has been credited with being the lead cyclist who falls first causing the rest to go down like a set of dominoes. Well I hate to shatter the illusion, but this cyclist is played by French stuntman Patrick Cauderlier. The whole team deliver a very tidy, fun sequence that sets up the casino sequence beautifully.

GoldenEye film stunt
GoldenEye film stunt
Bond discovers a plot to steal the brand new Tiger Helicopter that can do almost everything from a warship moored in Mote Carlo’s harbour. He discovers this info after getting aboard the Manticore, a very plush cruiser that is the home for the above mentioned Ms Onatopp. Aptly named as she gets ‘onatopp’ of a passing Admiral and kills him mid flagrante. What a way to go. At least he died happy. So Bond sneaks aboard and is firstly confronted by a deck hand played by stuntman Jamie Edgell. A really great fight which probably inspired a similar fight years later involving another JB…Jason Bourne. He fought an opponent with a magazine, Bond used a towel. Short slaps, the towel wrapped around Jamie’s head he is thrown down the flight of stairs. Bond then mops his brow with said towel. Pierce isn’t doubled in this fight and he really has a proper punch. A fine job where if the actor hadn’t taken full instruction from Simon Crane he could quite easily have got himself injured. Have you ever been hit with a rolled up towel? It’s like being slapped with a bendy tree trunk!
Pierce is doubled by Simon Crane for the exit from the Manticore. He jumps down into a speed boat and powers across the harbour to try and prevent the theft. In the meantime the helicopter pilots are about to board the chopper for a demonstration flight. One is Wayne Michaels and the other is Simon Crane. Well they have to earn those Equity cards you know.
He charges up the gangplank, pushes a guard out of the way and is just about to get to the helicopter when he is bounced off the wall by Gary Powell!

The Tiger helicopter lands at Severnya, the installation where the GoldenEye is held. Ouramov and Onatopp arrive and massacre all those inside, with the exception of one computer programmer. Natalya flees to the kitchen, hides and manages to evade death, but the GoldenEye has been programmed to destroy the Severnya facility. Out in space the satellite sends the electro-magnetic pulse causing the whole place to explode and fall apart. Natalya is in the middle of this and is doubled by stuntwoman Tracey Eddon who performs brilliantly by throwing herself all over the set trying to avoid the explosions. Once again she steps into Natalya’s shoes when the remains of the dish crash through the roof. Brilliant stuff.

The highlight for many a fan is watching the scene between Q and Bond. Here we see stunt artists working in the workshop, the first time since Goldfinger. While Q is explaining how the special issue belt and tea-tray work a member of staff, stuntman Sean McCabe, is seen getting into a phone box. Yes back in 1995 phone boxes were still a very important part of the British countryside. Unlike today, where unless you have one in your front garden or have to use one when caught short, the cell phone has taken over as the number one form of communication. Anyway Sean steps inside and picks up the phone only to be ‘cut off’ mid conversation by an enormous air-bag going off inside the box pinning him to the window.
Then as Bond picks up a rather suspicious looking ham salad baguette another member of staff sits down in a comfy looking chair and puts a telephone to her ear. Within a split second the chair is fired across the room and along with the occupant is propelled out of shot. Stuntwoman Tracey Eddon was injured during this scene and sustained whiplash and bruising to her arms and legs. Once the shot was completed Pierce Brosnan rushed over to see if Tracey was okay. He was as concerned as everyone else. She walked from the set and was checked over at a local hospital. Pierce sent her flowers and made her day.

GoldenEye Q workshop
GoldenEye Q workshop
Bond arrives in St Petersburg and after listening to the dulcet tones of Minnie Driver and Valentin Zukovsky he checks into his hotel and enjoys a dip in the pool. Decides to get out and walks along the side of the pool where he finds Xenia. He spins her around and throws her into the sauna. Now before we go on I need to tell you about British stunt performer Eunice Huthart. She arrived on the stunt register in 1997, but back in 1994 had won the ITV Television series Gladiators. It was as a result of this that the Bond production people called her and asked if she’d like to be involved in GoldenEye. Eunice is a wonderfully charming girl from Liverpool and it isn’t every day that the Bond production office calls you at home and asks if you’d like to double Famke Janssen. So she assumed somebody was playing around and continually hung up every time they called.
This went on for about a week until finally her husband answered the phone and suggested that she should speak to them as the call seemed very genuine. They had seen her success on the Television show and thought she would be ideal for the upcoming sauna sequence.
So Eunice doubles Xenia and Wayne Michaels doubles Bond in this fight in the hotel sauna. What is significant about the fight is the way the doubles were used in close up. Often the editor will cut away at the last minute to the stunt double, but as Bond walks into the sauna Wayne Michaels can be clearly seen. Then Eunice charges at him, leaps and kicks him to the floor. They struggle and this is where Pierce and Famke return. Finally after Bond has his lip bitten by the dressing gown clad Georgian he swings her over his head and onto the floor, Eunice again doing the tricky part. Bond reminds Xenia that he has had enough foreplay and she should take him to Janus.

Bond and Natalya are captured and brought by Ouramov to be interrogated, which according to Bond is a lost art. The guard standing in the room is stuntman Graeme Crowther who is then shot by Ouramov. Gary Powell then bursts in and is set upon by Bond. Bond and Natalya escape the room and head off down the corridors shooting as they go. One of these casualties is stuntman Lyndon Hellewell who is shot in a doorway and the force of the blast sends him through an adjacent office window. Another stuntman caught up in the fire fight is Andreas Petrides. Paul Heasman returns from the dead to appear again on the staircase during the gun battle and Marc Cass and Nick Powell are on the receiving end of Bonds gun fire in the library. Natalya falls through the floor of the upper walkway and is caught by….yes you guessed it, Paul Heasman. Bond must escape and uses one of Q’s gadgets to assist him. The belt with the repelling cord is fired into the roof space and Bond or Wayne Michaels swings from one side of the library to the other where he kicks a guard in the face on the way that is played by….yes, Paul Heasman. Paul really is a match for Bond on his own! Then the previously dead Graeme Crowther opens fire on Bond as he leaves the shot via the window. We cut away outside to see Bond crash through the window and fall 20 or so feet onto the roof of an armoured personnel carrier. He is doubled here by Simon Crane and the landing is made easier by having a huge crash pad placed under the roof covering of the vehicle.

Bond gets hold of a T54 Tank and sets off after Natalya who is in the back of Ouramov’s car hurtling through the streets of St. Petersburg. The tank is driven by Gary Powell and in order for it to get up to speed to crash through the wall Gary took a half mile run up and was travelling at 40mph. Timing is everything. Jim Dowdall coordinated the action during the sequence. His military background playing a crucial part. In St. Petersburg the tracks of the tank were replaced with rubber ones to prevent the pavements from crumbling under the weight. Gary Powell was the best man for the job as he can power-slide anything, a tank is easy when you’ve mastered the lever controls and the forward backwards motion of the gear ratios, but Gary did just that and this huge killing machine glided across the ground with style and grace before crashing through the side of a building that is!
The stunt at the end of this chase through the side of a building is incredible. The car comes out at the river’s edge and turns left. The tank does the same leaving behind water pipes and drainage pipes on the pavement. Two jeeps carrying soldiers come out from the hole created by the tank and crash into the wall by the river causing the occupants to be thrown into the water. This jeep has three stuntmen aboardJulian Spencer, Gary Powell and Ray de Haan. Another jeep comes racing out, doesn’t see the first jeep and crashes into it causing the stuntmen inside to be flipped over and out of the vehicle into the water. Stuntmen Stuart Clark, Andreas Petrides and Paul Heasman perform this awesome crash. Just brilliant. Many of the car crashes in this sequence are mechanical. By that I mean that they are crashed without stuntmen driving them. Do please the censor and make the violence acceptable to all the production crew opted for the ‘keystone cops’ approach to action. Horrific car crash, explosions and carnage followed by both occupants of the car emerging unscathed and able to walk away fit to die another day…so to speak.
Many of the soldiers seen emerging from the mangled wreckage are stuntmen. Paul Heasman for instance shows once again how versatile he is by donning a new overall and hat and climbing from a vehicle or two. My favourite stunt on the whole picture is just about to happen. Ouramov’s car races across the bridge and is knocking people over along the way. One poor pedestrian is hit by the car, rolls up the bonnet, up into the air and over the bridge into the water. Its breath-taking and only on screen for a split second. The stuntman is Julian Spencer. Peter Pedrero jumps off the bridge just in front of him.

GoldenEye film stunt
GoldenEye film stunt
GoldenEye film stunt
Bond arrives in Cuba with Natalya and the BMW Z3. Whilst enjoying playing banter with Natalya Bond is aware of a small plane nearby. Piloted by Tom Danaher the Cessna lands feet in front of the BMW and makes for a brief but entertaining sequence.

GoldenEye film stunt
A missile is fired from the satellite and the plane containing Bond and Natalya crashes in the jungle. Bond, dazed, drags Natalya’s limp body from the wreckage. Places her on the ground and passes out. He is woken by the throbbing sound of mechanics. He hears the sound of a helicopter, and then see’s the helicopter hover overhead. He sees a figure step onto the skid and leap off. Abseiling down to the ground. It’s Onatopp doubled by Eunice Huthart. She crashes into Bond, now doubled by Wayne Michaels and generally beats him silly. Natalya wades in to help, but only gets a head butt for her trouble. Bond seizes his opportunity and attaches Onatopp to the helicopter winch line once again, fires his machine gun at the helicopter and watches Onatopp fly backwards ending up in a tree.
The sequence was done by using a ‘jerk harness’. This is attached to Eunice who tries to make her body as limp as possible. She is propelled up and back into the rubber tree. Yes it’s a rubber tree, but she’s still crashing into it at 20mph. Some impact and an excellent sequence. Eunice really is a wonderful addition to the Stunt Register.

GoldenEye film stunt
The rat-a-tat of gunfire causes Bond and Natalya to fall into the dish and slide down it at great speed and will little control. Wayne Michaels doubles Brosnan falling into the dish, but the remaining slide is provided by Jordi Casares. Natalya is doubled by Tracey Eddon.

GoldenEye film stunt
Many of the soldiers seen in the sequences are played by stuntmen. Gary Powell is one of the guards who brings Natalya from the main frame computer and stands with her whilst Bond and Janus chew the fat.
When the explosions start going off they’re big and the heat must have been extreme. Stuntman Joss Gower is working as a technician at his desk when the explosion goes off behind him. Marc Cass is blown up and thrown violently on an air-ram. Two stuntmen are caught on the stairs and are set alight due to the explosion. One is Nick Gillard the other is Stuart Clark. Joss Gower then puts on a military uniform and is seen kicking a blazing soldier to the ground to try and put him out. Incredible stuff. Simon Crane truly excels at this type of action. Safety is so important and making sure the performers are safe is one thing, but he must also take those behind the camera into consideration too. The result is in itself a result. Nobody injured.

007 vs. 006
Bond runs along the satellite trying to get away from the fast approaching Alec Trevelyan. Alec fires his machine gun and Bond dives for cover down a ramp walkway. Once again Wayne Michaels steps up and really gives his all. This leap of faith is a belter. He’s running quickly and when he takes off he moves into a headlong dive position diving some 15ft through the air before tucking his head down and rolling over onto his feet before running on. Wayne Michaels really was an excellent double for Pierce Brosnan.
They catch up with each other in the engine room. The room that powers the movement of the dish. A fight breaks out; both Pierce and Sean Bean have been briefed by Simon Crane and Sean McCabe about the type of fight and the type of punches they can get away with in such a small space. Both actors fight very well and ultimately there has to be a loser. Sean Bean is doubled for the real stunts by….yep Paul Heasman. A true Bond all-rounder. He is thrown over a rail and down a flight of stairs and doubles Bean as Bond and Trevelyan crash through objects in the nearby vicinity. Finally on the antenna itself Bond and Trevelyan fight to the death. And for this final battle a change of double for Bond. Understandable as Wayne Michaels is probably exhausted. Pierce is doubled by Jamie Edgell and Trevelyan by Paul Heasman.

GoldenEye film stunt
GoldenEye is truly a very special moment in the history of Bond. Pierce Brosnan took the character and reinvented him for the nineties audience. Simon Crane took the action to new heights and gave the Bond films another edge.

After such a long wait between Licence to Kill and GoldenEye it was so exciting to be a fan in 1994. The anticipation was almost too much to cope with. When I saw the film for the first time my heart leapt with joy assured that this Bond would be one that everyone would remember and rightly place high on the list of all time greats.

Written by Jon Auty © 2015 From Sweden with Love

James Bond stuntmen/women featured on FSWL:
>Belle Williams (stuntwoman)
>Bill Weston (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Bob Anderson (stuntman/sword master)
>Doug Robinson (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Eunice Huthart (stuntwoman)
>Gary Powell (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>George Leech (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Greg Powell (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Jim Dowdall (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Lars Lundgren (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Malcolm Weaver (stuntman)
>Martin Grace (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Mickey Baker (stuntman)
>Nick Gillard (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Nick Wilkinson (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Nosher Powell (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Paul Weston (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Remy Julienne (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Richard Graydon (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Rocky Taylor (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Roy Alon (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Sarah Donohue (stuntwoman)
>Terry Cade (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Terry Richards (stuntman)
>Trevor Steedman (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Vic Armstrong (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Wendy Leech (stuntwoman)



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