Website last updated: 17-7-2024

40th Anniversary of Moonraker (1979) starring Roger Moore

By: Anders Frejdh
Moonraker 40th Anniversary jubileum
On this day in Bond history, 40 years ago, the film Moonraker (1979) premiered at cinemas. (Moonraker was first released in the UK on 26th June 1979, in USA on the 29th, and in Sweden on 18th August.)

British agent James Bond is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a US-British 'Moonraker' space shuttle as it is transported across the Atlantic.

Bond visits the US, where space industrialist Hugo Drax lives in a reconstructed French chateau. Drax's firm made the Moonraker, and Bond follows his company's trail to a Venetian glass factory where poison is being secretly fabricated, and to Rio, where Drax has a warehouse.

Bond teams up with the CIA's Dr Holly Goodhead and they find themselves launching into space from Drax's secret base in the Brazilian rainforest. Drax has built a space station undetectable from Earth, from which he plans to poison the human race and return with his own master race. Bond and Goodhead try to stop him.

Production notes on Moonraker

(Source: MGM / Eon Productions)
• 11 August 1978: principal photography began with scenes at Drax’s pyramid (built at Pinewood)
• 29 August 1978: Lewis Gilbert shot Bond trying out the centrifuge trainer
• 1 September 1978: the model unit shot space exteriors for the film on F Stage at Pinewood
• 11 September 1978: Lewis Gilbert filmed Bond’s arrival at Hugo Drax’s chateau at Chateau De Vaux-Le-Vicomte
• 6 March 1979: the exteriors of the space station were shot
• 30 March 1979: the scene was filmed of Drax being ejected into space, never to be seen again

A selection of filming locations for Moonraker

• BOND’s USA ARRIVAL - LAX international Airport, Los Angeles, USA
• SPACE AND FLIGHT FACILITIES (EXTERIOR) - Rockwell International facility , Palmdale, California, USA
• SPACE AND FLIGHT FACILITIES / MEETING DR GOODHEAD - Centre Pompidou (5th floor), Paris, France
• DRAX’ CALIFORNIAN MANSION - Vaux-Le-Vicomte, Melun, France
• MEETING HUGO DRAX (INTERIORS) - Château de Guermantes, Seine-et-Marne, France
• SHOOTING PHEASANTS / DEATH OF CORINNE - Hercules Statue, Vaux-Le-Vicomte, Melun, France
• BOND IN THE GLASS MUSEUM - Venini Glass Museum & Murano Glass Factory, Venice / Murano, Italy
• BOND HITS ON DR.GOODHEAD - Misericordia Nuova, Venice, Italy
• Dr.GOODHEAD’s HOTEL - Hotel Danieli, Venice, Italy
• THE BOOZER SEES THE COFFIN - Ponte Foscarini, Venice, Italy
• LOVERS’ GONDOLA GETS DEVIDED - Rio di Santa Catarini, Venice, Italy
• BOND’s GONDOLA HAS WHEELS - San Marco Square, Venice, Italy
• FIGHT WITH CHANG - Palazzo Pisani, Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello, Venice, Italy
• BOND KILLS CHANG - Torre dell’ Orologio, Venice, Italy
• BOND, M AND THE MINISTER VISIT DRAX - Ca’ Rezzonico ballroom, Venice, Italy
• ROLLS RIDE THROUGH RIO - The corner of Avenida Atlântica & Rua República do Peru, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• CABLE CAR AND CARNIVAL - Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• CABLE CAR CRASH SITE / CONTROL PANEL - Urca Mountain (Morro da Urca), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• AMBULANCE RIDE - Aterro de Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• BRITISH SECRET SERVICE HQ IN BRAZIL (EXTERIOR) - Largo do Boticário, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• BRITISH SECRET SERVICE HQ IN BRAZIL (INTERIOR) - Monastery of St.Nicolo, Venice, Italy
• MOTOR BOAT CHASE - St.Lucie, Florida, USA
• BOND HANG-GLIDING / JAWS AND THE WATERFALL - Iguacu Falls, Foz de Iguacu, Brazil-Argentina border
• DRAX’s HIGH-TECH LAUNCHING HQ (EXTERIOR) - The ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal, Guatemala

STUDIO USED FOR INTERIORS, CLOSE-UP SHOTS ETC - Studios de Boulogne, 2 rue de Silly 92100 Boulogne Billancourt, France

Vehicles used during the filming: (Source: BMT 216A: The James Bond Vehicle Library)
• Bell 206 Jet Ranger
• Glastron CV-23 HT
• Hispano-Suiza
• Jetstream Turboprop plane
• MP Roadster
• NASA/Rockwell International Shuttle Spacecraft
• Rio Ambulance
• Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
• Venezian Gondola

Over the years, FSWL has been fortunate to meet, and written articles about some of the cast and crew on LTK, below is a list with some of them:

>Albert R. Broccoli (Producer)
>Anne Lönnberg
>Béatrice Libert
>Blanche Ravalec
>Catherine Serre
>Chris Corbould (Special effects technician)
>Christopher Wood (Screenwriter)
>Colin Miller (Sound editor)
>Corinne Cléry
>Desmond Llewelyn
>Diane Thierry-Mieg
>Geoffrey Keen
>Irka Bochenko
>John Barry (Soundtrack composer)
>John Glen (Editor, 2nd unit director)
>Ken Adam (Production designer)
>Lewis Gilbert (Director)
>Lizzie Warville
>Lois Chiles
>Lois Maxwell
>Martin Grace (Stuntman)
>Michael G. Wilson (Executive producer)
>Monty Norman (Composer of 'The James Bond theme')
>Nicaise Jean-Louise
>Olga Bisera
>Richard Kiel
>Roger Moore
>Shirley Bassey (Singer of the theme song)

Official theatrical trailer for Moonraker

Photo above:
The original Swedish film poster for Moonraker (1979) from the FSWL collection.

Read more about the film Moonraker on MGM's official website.



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