It`s worth repeating that a first draft is just that: a first draft. As such, they form the foundation for what other writers, almost without exception, will always revise. A rewrite is only one new writer away, and like every other Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies had it`s share of them. The first writer is like the starting pitcher of a baseball game. The next writer, who does the rewrites, is like “the closer”. What might Tomorrow Never Dies have been had it been strictly translated from script to screen with no revision? Most of it sizzles (like Sidney Winch) with a few places fizzling (like any scene with Paris Harmsway in it).
Summary: A solid first stab at a script. The basic elements of the movie are in the script, but the sequencing is rearranged and the locations are replaced. It`s clear from the outset that media baron Elliot Harmsway has been thoroughly thought out, and as such, retains much of the flair and wit on the screen as in the script, even if the last name is changed. Lead Bond Woman, Sidney Winch, is nowhere to be found in the film. Completely cut out in subsequent rewrites, she is replaced by Chinese Agent Wai Lin. We will discuss Sidney Winch, her banter with Bond, a scene involving her frisking Bond that would`ve brought the theater to it`s knees in laughter, and the merits of her showing up in a future film later in this article. The plot concerned Elliot Harmsway`s desire to level Hong Kong, an element that was excised in later drafts. Paris Harmsway shows up, with fewer lines that her screen counterpart Paris Carver, but both meet the same fate. Paris Carver is actually an improvement over Paris Harmsway, as we will show.
The movie starts off with a precredit sequence much like the script, expect one crucial element is missing: the frozen waterfall sequence.
Fierstein crafts the opening scene by having Bond need to climb an icefall, the only way to stealthily infiltrate the arms bazaar and escape the detection of two radar dishes. The icefall is 600 feet tall, but 400 feet up, the ice begins to melt, and every stab of the pick and blow of the hammer begins to shatter the ice. Bond eventually swings himself like a pendulum until he`s able to swing to the top or near top of the fall, and climb the rest of the way; and just in the nick of time to, as the fall completely shatters, and running water pours out from underneath it.
Bond then skis down the slopes and positions himself to spy upon the arms bazaar. Tanner, not in the film, begins conferring back and forth with Bond. Admiral Roebuck, the blowhard in the film who challenges “M” every step of the way, is in the script as well.
After going through a list of identities at the explosive swap meet, Admiral Roebuck gives authorization to fire a cruise missle. Bond refuses to leave the area though. He`s spied something else: Kim Dae Yung, a North Korean nuclear specialist. Fearing there may be nuclear weapons in the bazaar, “M” orders Admiral Roebuck to abort the missle but he tells her it`s too late, that the missle is out of range. The difference here with the film is that in the film, Admiral Roebuck at least tries to abort the missle.
Bond then sees Yung holding weapons grade Uranium in a red box. Note: In the film, this little red box contains the GPS (Global Position Satellite) Tracking System. This GPS is less of a factor in the script than the major deal it is portrayed as in the movie.
The rest of the teaser sequence follows the film closely. Bond escapes by piloting a MIG. The major differences in the scripted version as opposed to the film are: Bond inverts his MIG so that he is looking down into the cockpit of the enemy (like Top Gun). He then presses the rear ejection button, sending his garrotte wielding enemy slamming into the MIG below. Bond peels away, allowing two heat seeking missles, launched by the other MIG, to slam into the wounded MIG. In the film, Bond flies up underneath the other MIG, ejects the rear copilot, causing that plane to explode. Fierstein`s original conception is actually the better of the two versions.
After the credits, the movie then opens with Stamper and Carver sinking the Devonshire. In the script, this sequence actually doesn`t take place until the beginning of the second-third of the story. Instead, after the precredits sequence, Fierstein takes us right to Oxford, where Bond is taking Chinese/Mandarin lessons from Professor Jenny Wu. This scene plays out almost identically to the film, except there they replaced Jenny Wu with Professor Ingstrom.
Moneypenny tells Bond to get into the office at once, calling him a “cunning linguist”. Professor Wu puts on her bra, panties and graduation-type gown. Wu asks Bond is he`s sure he can`t stay for her lecture, to which he replies: I can`t. But I did enjoy the dress rehearsal.”
Bond then goes to MI6 Headquarters, where NATO Colonel Dominique Everhart is addressing the staff, analyzing for them what the video Bond took in the Khyber Pass all means. Here we learn Stamper`s first name: Richard. He`s also known as Rendera Sikrahm, half Nepalese, half English. It`s obvious at this point that Everhart is putting together the case that the mercenary Stamper, Harmsway and Yung are connected. It`s also revealed, later, that Dominique and Bond once were stranded on a life raft in the Sargasso Sea for two weeks. Bond and Dominique exchange numbers, information both professional and personal, and Bond then leaves to see “M”. He`s escorted by Moneypenny, who in this draft, isn`t vulgur as she was in the film.
“M” is in her office with Minister Johnstone. “M” is prepared to launch an investigation into Elliot Harmsway and the theft of nuclear material from that arms bazaar in Afghanistan, but Johnstone wants to make sure that Harmsway is given every political consideration before it may be absolutely necessary to arrest him. Johnstone reminds “M” and Bond that Elliot Harmsway is a “Sir”, descended from the Earl of Aberdeen, and out of sheer gratitude, Queen Victoria herself named the port “Aberdeen Harbor” in their honor. Harmsway was investigated once in 1988 when he tried to initiate his own negotiations with the Chinese regardomg the takeover of Hong Kong. It`s obvious Hong Kong means something special to Harmsway. But MI6 have been tipped off from an anonymous source that Harmsway is up to no good. They don`t know who the source is, but Bond is to wear a mask and cape provided to MI6 at Carnival in Venice the next day, where he will be contacted by the source.
Johnstone leaves, and here we are given our first look at Malcolm Saunders, Q`s replacement since he retired (apparently Desmond Llewleyn had been bugging the producers and Bruce Fierstein for a while about giving him a dignified exit, and here Fierstein gives it.) Malcolm comes in and equips Bond with several gadgets.
The script then takes us to San Giacomo Square in Venice, Italy whereas in the film Bond manages to get invited to Carver`s party in Hamburg, Germany. In Venice it`s night. It`s carnival. It`s festive, crowded and boisterous. A solitary figure, disguised, approaches Bond and tells him to meet him/her at the church in five minutes. Bond does, only to find that the source is none other than an old flame named Paris.
The dialogue is strained here, some of it due to the fact that Bond is very, very cold and cruel to her; even slapping her at one point. Of course, she comes across as a total dingbat, and it wouldn`t be surprising to have seen a line forming with men wielding clubs, brass knuckles, boxing gloves, etc..just waiting for their turn to strike her. She`s a clinging ninny, but she gives Bond what he needs: info that Harmsway is behind the theft of the material. He wants to know how she knows Harmsway, but seeing some of his goons coming up the alley, she breaks off conversation with Bond. She tells the goons, one of which includes Stamper, that the man she was talking with was some drunk, but Stamper doesn`t belive it, or doesn`t care. He then gives chase in a somewhat rote chase scene that culminates in a Venice Medieval Armor Museum.
The next day Harmsway is holding a new conference aboard his yacht to announce his donation to mankind of The Sea Dolphin II and it`s 6 sea bed drills, otherwise referred to as `the worm`. It`s somewhat odd that Harmsway would make such a public spectacle with the drills, since he later uses them to destroy a British ship. While Harmsway is having a press conference, Bond is coordinating efforts with Signore DiGiacomo, an Italian Intelligence officer. When Bond gives the signal, DiGiacomo will board the yacht, discover the uranium, and arrest Harmsway, who will then be sent back to London.
Because Harmsway is a media baron, Fierstein gets to make good use of the press for fun. During his long speech to the press, Harmsway has this to say: …And so, it`s somewhat fitting that we are here today…To christen this enviromental research boat in Venice-Venizia-the port where Marco Polo sailed forth to explore the world`s great uncharted oceans…(beat) That 2/3 of the earth`s surface where the sharks *are not* working members of the press.
We then realize that Valentine Zukovsky is in Venice as the newly elected President of Ukraine. Together with Harmsway, Zukovsky managed to buy his election.
Bond sneaks on board the yacht, verifies the uranium slugs are there, and goes back topside, only to run into Zukovsky.
Bond: Valentin. What an unpleasant surprise.
Zukovsky: What is it that brings you to Venezia, Mr. Bond? Business…(sly glance to the thugs) Or *somebody else`s business?
Valentine then introduces Bond to Harmsway…
Harmsway: Always nice to meet one of her Majesty`s fellow subjects…(a nod to Valentin) Especially one with such distinguished friends.”
Bond: You might say I`ve always been one of Mr. Valentin`s biggest followers.”
Valentin: `Biggest followers?` He`s practically made a career out of it.`
He laughs. Bond decides to pull Harmsway`s chain.
Bond: It`s a beautiful boat, Sir Elliot. Practically glows in the dark.”
This type of interaction closely mirrors the scene at Carver`s Hamburg party, where Bond rattles Carver`s chains with comments about being “lost at sea”.
Harmsway introduces Paris to James, but then remarks how they have already met. Before Bond can respond, police sirens blare and DiGiacomo storms on board ready to arrest Harmsway.
Paris clings to Bond, telling him that Elliot didn`t want anyone to know they were married. That a third wife would look bad. Then she tells him “Leave me alone! He`s going to kill me!” Inexplicably, she then tells him only 5 seconds later: “You`ve got to protect me!” Well, which is it? Does she want James to leave her alone, or protect her? Paris is just…better off dead, and mercifully Fierstein deep sixes her very shortly.
Apparently Harmsway was expecting Bond, so he had put depleted uranium in the ship so Bond would find it. Harmsway explains to DiGiacomo that the depleted uranium ores were a gift from the Russian goverment. Tools to be used to help fund their aquatic research. DiGiacomo offers his most profound apologies and leaves. Bond smells a rat, suspecting that DiGiacomo was paid off from Harmsway from the beginning in an attempt to humiliate British Intelligence and warn them to keep away. As Harmsway tells Bond: “A piece of advice, Mr. Bond. Don`t screw with a man who buys ink by the ton. (Beat). It`s deadlier than uranium.”
Bond rushes back to his hotel where he has told Paris to wait for him. When he gets there, he can`t find her. He calls out her name and then checks the balcony. When he looks down, he sees her floating face down in the canal. Either Paris is trying to win a world`s record for holding one`s breath, or she`s dead. DiGiacomo bursts in and arrests Bond for Paris` murder. Flashbulbs go off; Bond`s arrest will become front page news. Harmsway has engineered the whole thing.
Everything in the Venice sequences were transferred to Hamburg, Germany which is unfortunate, as Venice is a much more beautiful city. However, it`s been used before in Moonraker. Did Fierstein allude to Moonraker when he had Bond tell his gondolier: “The Danielli. Presto!”?
Even though the overall sequence was transferred to Hamburg for the film, the details become completely different. In the film, Carver is set to launch a satellite network and holds an international party to do it. The Sea Dolphin II is scrapped, only to be replaced/morphed into a stealth boat for the film. Paris and her relationship are handled much better in the film than the first draft, but still, it would`ve been nice for Teri Hatcher to get a few more scenes to help nail the character. Bond is framed for drowning Paris in the script, just as he is in the film, but in the film, he`s able to turn the tables and get out of the situation in a very Flemingesque way. In the script, he has to have MI6 rush in and clear up the matter. There is no Dr. Kaufmann in the script.
The script then takes us to The South China Sea, where the HMS Indomitable (Devonshire in the film) is clearing Hong Kong Harbor with a ton of gold secretly stashed away. The course is set and the ship powers down, only able to receive electrical communications. Microwaves are shut off. Electric shavers unplugged. The ship is maintaining silence as it heads back to London.
We are now at page 42 of 131 pages. The scene is a manor house on the coast of Scotland. It`s the funeral for Paris. This scene was, of course, completely scrapped for the film. But the setting of a funeral in Scotland wound up in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH.
After the funeral, Harmsway gets down to business, calling a meeting to get caught up to date on what`s going on around the world. He`s still got an empire to run. Harmsway refers to the gentlemen in his presence as Number One, Number Two and so on; almost Blofeld-like. After getting reports from Number 1 and 2, Harmsway receives a disturbing report from Number Three. Here, Fierstein makes an ingenious, funny, and not so subtle jab that there may have been more to The Gulf War than a fight for oil: that ratings may have manipulated it from the very start.
NUMBER THREE: I regret to inform you, sir, that Saddam Hussein is still demanding a bonus for his role in the Gulf War.
HARMSWAY: …Haven`t we already paid him for his services?
NUMBER THREE: Yes, sir. But he still feels his people should share in the increased profits of our news division. He has proposed an additional 500 million dollar payment.
HARMSWAY: …And there`s no truth that 10% of that money will go into your Swiss bank account?
Number Three denies the charge vehemently. Harmsway dismisses the meeting, but #3 is frightened to death that Harmsway just does not believe him. He`s relieved when Stamper puts him on a private plane to go home. Stamper even gives him a newspaper to read on the long flight back. #3 tucks the paper under his arm, boards the plane and takes off. When he unfolds the paper, he is stunned and scared to see his full color picture on the cover of Tomorrow (Harmsway`s paper) with the headline screaming ISRAELI AGENT REVEALED. He turns white as a ghost, two Arab gentlemen then sit down beside him, we hear a blood curdling scream and the script then cuts to The Straits of Malacca and The HMS Indomitable.
What follows here is a loose variation on what we see in the film, except here there are no Chinese MIG`s and no stealth boat. The Sea Dolphin II (Harmsway`s luxury yacht) is now in The Straits of Malacca and it sends `the worm` straight for the ship to sink it. The HNN satellite has quietly been sending the Indomitable off course. In the script, GPS technology is an afterthought. In the film, it`s a major plot point.
The worm bores through the sunken ship and eats it`s way through the cache of gold stored onboard. It laters sucks the nuggets up like an anteater, depositing the gold in the hold of the Sea Dolphin II. The script then immediately cuts to MI6, where a furious Minister Johnstone is berating British Intelligence for losing the Indomitable, even though it belonged under the auspices of the Royal Navy. Bond chimes in, and is ordered to go observe what Johnstone hopes will be a successful recovery mission in 36 hours outside of Hong Kong. Herein lies a problem though. The script feels as though it`s two different movies. The first movie was set in the Kyhber Pass and Venice. Now a new movie is beginning. There`s a disjointed feeling here, and wisely, the scene involving the worm destroying a ship is reworked and placed at the beginning of the film.
Bond tries tomake a connection with Harmsway: …Didn`t Elliot Harmsway just move his headquarters to Kuala Lampur?
M: Contrary to what you may believe, 007, the world is not filled with mad-men who can hollow out volcanoes, stock them with big-breasted women, and threaten the world with nuclear annihlation. The case is closed. The Italian authorities ruled the girl a suicide. We had enough trouble keeping your name out of the media. For everyone`s sake-(beat) Your job is to find the gold. Not settle some personal score with Elliot Harmsway.
This effectively, in M`s eyes, ends their investigation into Harmsway. So her next assignment to 007, is, in effect, a new mission which, to her knowledge, has no connection to Harmsway. This is a problem, as it gives the readers, and would`ve given the viewers, the feeling of loose ends not being tied up, nor giving Bond sufficient reason to pursue Harmsway any further.
The script now cuts away to Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, where Harmsway is selling his interest in the Bank of Hong Kong to General Li of The People`s Revolutionary Army (a foreshadowing of General Chang?). Elliot sells the building, goes to the roof to get in his helicopter. The General goes to the rooftop to wave goodbye. The pilot has attached a cable between the skid of the copter and a towering ventilation shaft. When the copter lifts off, it pulls the shaft over, falling onto General Li, killing him. This sequence does not appear in the film, nor General Li.
We now cut to the Strait of Malacca, where Bond and the British Military are looking for sonar traces of the Indomitable. They have to wave away an HNN (Harrmsway News Network) boat trying to cover the story.
Harmsway is now in his Kuala Lampur office, which is inside the Petronas Towers, two towering 1500` structures which are the tallest buildings in the world and were used in ENTRAPMENT (we will discuss that later). In an insightful exchange here, Fierstein shows us the “if it bleeds, it leads” attitude in news media today. Harmsway calls a meeting to order:
HARMSWAY: Morning all my golden retreivers. What kind of havoc shall we create in the world today?
NEWS EDITOR #1: A ferry sank and burned in Pakistan; 457 dead.
NEWS EDITOR #2: American jetliner down in Omaha.
NEWS EDITOR #3: Economic summit ends in Tokyo.
NEWS EDITOR #1: Riots broke out at the World Cup Soccer Finals-
HARMSWAY: Dog bites man. (explains) Man bites dog is a news story. Riots at the World Cup soccer finals is a social announcement. Next?
Elliot feigns innocent disbelief when told that HNN is working on a story about a missing British ship carrying gold. Bond returns to the airbase only to find Jack Wade waiting for him; Wade and Bond take a look at a gruesomely disfigured body which appears to be the victim of a shark attack. It`s the body of one of the ship`s survivors, who was then eaten up in the blades of the sea drill/worm. This isn`t spelled out precisely in the script, nor why Bond would be interested in this body as if he were Captain Brody. The thinking here is that Bond can trace the body backwards to the ship by examining the currents at the time the ship sank. But again, it`s never spelled out that this was an Indomitable sailor.
Bond gets in Jack Wade`s boat. They`ve decided to contact the harbor master for charts and graphs showing currents and tides. As Wade is piloting his boat through the harbor, they are nearly run over by a much larger cigarette boat piloted by a beautiful woman who pays them no attention as she keeps boating onward.
WADE: I think I`ve just seen my next future ex-wife.”
It`s not a future ex-wife, but we will meet up with her later.
WADE: By the way, Jimbo – whatever happened to that girl – in Cuba?
WADE: Yeah, Russian Minister of Transportation.
BOND: She married a hockey player.
(Note, Izzabella Scorupco herself moved to Boston and married a hockey player.)
Bond and Wade talk with the HarborMaster, asking him if anything unusual had happened the night before. A few boats came in late or got lost, but nothing besides that. Bond checks out some graphs and charts and the HarborMaster tells Bond he`s the second person today to check out these materials. Bond looks at the name on the checkout list: Sidney Winch.
Bond arranges to meet with Captain Cheong later that night at the Kuala Lampur Yacht Club. There he gets some more information that could prove vital to where the Indomitable sank. Captain Cheong tells Bond that perhaps he should speak with Sidney Winch. Winch owns a marine salvage company in the area and knows more about the Strait than anyone else. Bond asks where he can find Mr. Winch. Captain Cheong tells him Winch is no man. Bond looks over at the bar and realizes Sidney Winch is a woman, and the same woman that nearly ran him over earlier in the day.
Here is where the script really begins to kick in with some sizzle. The banter and one upsmanship between Sidney and Bond alternates between hysterical and dynamite.
BOND (TO SIDNEY): I wonder if you handle your liquor more carefully than you handle your boat.
Very slowly, Sidney turns to Bond. She looks him up and down as if deciding whether this specimen is worth her time. Her conclusion: a definite – though skeptical maybe. She gives him a sultry smile:
SIDNEY: Sometimes, you just have to plunge into things. Be reckless.
BOND: And I bet you always leave turmoil in your wake.
SIDNEY: (thinking: `not bad`) Have we met?
BOND: This afternoon. Our boats practically kissed in the harbor. (holds out his hand to shake) James Bond.
Sidney then introduces Bond to this big, hulking man out of the corner of his eye: Taro, Sidney`s chaperone. She`s waiting on her date.
SIDNEY: So, what brings you to Kuala Lumpur Mr. Bond? (beat) Wait, don`t tell me. Unhappy marriage? Running from some poor little girl with two kids and a Chanel pocketbook in London?
BOND: (trying to rattle her) Actually, I`m here on business. You might say it was a…golden opportunity.
SIDNEY: (a chill in her voice) And exactly what business are you in, Mr. Bond?
BOND: Insurance. Lloyds of London.
SIDNEY: (daggers in her voice)The Strait can be a very dangerous place, Mr. Bond. A few words scribbled on a piece of paper in London doesn`t carry a lot of value out here. Including life insurance.
BOND: I`ll keep that in mind.
SIDNEY: (looking off) I see my date is here. (to Taro) And I think Mr. Bond is ready to leave.
BOND:Nice to run into you again.
SIDNEY: Let`s not make it a habit.
Taro then puts his arm on Bond`s shoulder, trying to nudge him out of the club. Bond sees Sidney`s date. It`s Uncle Elliot Harmsway. Seething with rage because of what Elliot did to Paris, he spins Taro around, wraps his tie around his neck, and takes an ice pick from the bar and nails Taro`s tie to it.
Wade comes upon the scene and asks Bond what happens:
BOND: He tied one on.
The next morning Bond and Wade prepare to look for the Indomitable when they climb aboard this sleek search vessel. Out pop`s Q from his retirment and immediately proceeds to arm Bond with plenty of gadgets. Q is surrounded by a bevy of beautiful women…
BOND: I must say, Q, you seem to be doing rather well in your retirement.
Q: Don`t even think about it, 007. They`re my granddaughters!
(Note: Desmond Llewelyn had been wanting an exit scene for a while. Here it was written, but for some reason was not implemented until the next film, The World Is Not Enough.)
Bond and Wade take off and eventually find the Indomitable, on the sea floor, miles from where she gave off her last known location. Bond dives in and examines the wreck, noting that the gold is gone except for one half chewed bar. He puts it in his diving sack and also picks up a broken uranium grinding tooth from the `worm`. On his rise back to the surface, he gets into a tangle with three divers and has to avoid being decapitated by a falling anchor. He`s eventually out muscled and he and Wade are taken to the ship`s Captain, who turns out be Sidney Winch. Here is the highlight of the script, a scene guaranteed to have brought the house down in fits of howling laughter had it been film. We can only hope that not only Miss Winch, but this entire sequence gets placed in another film:
SIDNEY: Just give me one good reason-Mister Bond, from Lloyds of London- why I shouldn`t kill both of you, burn your boat, and use your bodies for shark bait?
WADE: (chirping up)So you two know each other? Small world, ain`t it? What happened? Commitment problems?
SIDNEY: Who is he?
BOND: Sidney Winch, meet-
WADE: Jack Wade. Citibank. Commercial loan division. IF you`re ever lookin` for a sweet refinance on the boat-
SIDNEY: Shut up!
BOND: (to Wade)You have to excuse Miss Winch. She thinks she`s on a `seduce and destroy` mission through life (pauses)…But she won`t kill us.
BOND: No. First, because I don`t think it`s in your nature. And second, because there`s no gold down there.
SIDNEY: So charming. So suave. (beat) Don`t insult me. I`m not one of your `little London girls` who falls for the lies.
WADE: So it *was* commitment.
SIDNEY: Every wharf-rat from here to Hong Kong knows what`s on that boat and i`m claiming it. One third of that gold is mine.
BOND: That`s fine – but- even a little London girl knows that one third of nothing is still nothing.
There`s a flicker of doubt in her eyes. She turns to Taro:
SIDNEY: Was he carrying anything?>
Taro holds up Bond`s diving belt, indicating `nothing`. Angrily:
SIDNEY: Search him.
The men look at Bond, wearing only swim trunks. Nobody moves.
SIDNEY: Do I have to do everything around here?
BOND: I hope so.
Frowning, Sidney moves to Bond. As she REACHES INTO HIS TRUNKS, we cut to THEIR FACES. THEIR EYES ARE LOCKED ON EACH OTHER.
BOND: I hope you`ll be gentle.
SIDNEY: Think about mom.
BOND WINCES. She`s goosed him.
Returning to the wide shot, she opens the sack. SHOWS THE GOLD:
SIDNEY: And what do you call this?
BOND: The family jewels?
A British Naval Cutter breaks up the action, arresting Bond and Wade and forcing Winch`s smaller boat off the area. She protests that the ship is in international waters, abandoned, and as such, she has a legal claim to it. But it`s to no avail, Wade and Bond are transferred to the British Cutter leaving Winch behind, vowing to get even with the men.
Wade and Bond are returned to the mainland. Their “arrest” was a ruse, designed to get them away from Winch. Bond tells Wade he has someone he wants to press for answers in Kuala Lampur.
Bond comes to Harmsway`s recently relocated headquarters, which reside in the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lampur. Harmsway knows Bond is in town and calls him on his cell phone, requesting a meeting. This scene is reworked and in the film, Carver calls Bond in Hamburg, a call that worries Bond, so he heads back to his hotel.
Bond meets Harmsway and takes a tour of HNN.
HARMSWAY: It`s funny Mr. Bond. Of all the things I own, nothing gives me as much enjoyment as my newspapers. Ironic isn`t it? In the age of TV, I still can`t get the ink out of my veins.
BOND: Yes, a man with ink in his veins and blood on his hands.
HARMSWAY: We print 31 newspapers here; another two hundred and seventy at satellite plants around the world.
BOND: And how many of those newspapers carried Paris Harmsway`s obituary?
HARMSWAY: All of them….Before I became involved with Paris, she was always involved with the most inappropriate men…Playboys. Thrill seekers. Middle aged Peter Pans who only brought out the worst in her.
Harmsway then shows Bond portraits of his ancestors, who built up a fortune smuggling opium in old China. Harmsway then leads Bond into his office, where Sidney is waiting in a chair. Bond and Sidney are surprised to see each other because, up to this point, neither knew the other`s connection to Harmsway.
Elliot goes on to tell Bond that Sidney had this fantastic story about a ship being sunk and it`s gold stolen, but that there was no evidence. Then Sidney protests, telling Elliot that he ran out of the room so quickly earlier that she didn`t have time to show him the evidence. Elliot is stunned that Sidney has proof, and Bond tries to nudge her to shut up, realizing that Carver will kill them both if Sidney reveals how much she knows. She pulls out the gold bar and uranium tooth. Harmsway looks at it and tells them he`ll have his news division look into it. He keeps the evidence and wishes them a good day. Sidney and Bond are escorted to an elevator.
Bond tells Sidney they are in great danger, to which she scoffs. He tells her he`s really British Intelligence and that Elliot is about to kill them.
SIDNEY: Elliot Harmsway is my Uncle!
BOND: Blood or Dutch?
SIDNEY: He was my father`s best friend!
BOND: He`s killed closer.
SIDNEY: You are seriosly deranged.
BOND: Maybe. But why are we going up instead of down?
The elevator stops on the 70th floor. Sidney gets out of the elevator to get away from Bond. She sees Stamper and runs up to him, glad to see him, and tells him that the deranged Mr. Bond is in the elevator. Stamper then spins her around, puts a gun to her skull and marches her back toward the elevator.
Stamper and his men unleash a hail of bullets into the elevator car. When they get closer, they realize Bond is not in the car. He had climbed up into the roof and has now swung down and knocks the gunmen down. Bond grabs Sidney and pulls her through the escape hatch.
The action includes gunfire, explosions, and lots of running before Bond and Sidney eventually find a window washer`s rig on the 72nd floor. It has two leather safety harnesses and runs on a track and cable. Sidney is reluctant to go, but Bond tells her “sometimes you just have to take the plunge.” And off they go, escaping Stampers bullets as the rig begins to plunge.
Around the 60th floor Stamper manages to loosen the rig from the tracks, and it begins to swing like a pendulum on the cables. It has now plunged down to the 55th floor and then stops 20 feet above the skybridge, which is 20 feet below. Sidney almost falls off the rig. The cower in a corner to avoid bullets. In all probability the rig is going to hit the curved ceiling of the skybridge, bounce off, and plummet 750 feet to the ground. As it begins to plunge to it`s deadly rendevous with the skybridge, Bond shoots the glass of the bridge, and it shatters, allowing the rig to come crashing through the ceiling. This whole scene was reworked for the film, and it eventually becomes Wai Lin and Bond escaping a tower in Vietnam by grabbing a banner and taking a freefall. Vic Armstrong, a stunt coordinator on Tomorrow Never Dies, reworked this sequence for Entrapment, a film he and Sean Connery worked together on.
Bond and Sidney eventually make it to safe ground and cut through the press room, where much of this sequence ended up in Hamburg. A fight breaks out and Bond dispatches thugs, including throwing one into a printing press and exclaiming: “He was bad news.”
Bond and Sidney get caught and it looks like there will be no escape for them. But Bond starts the BMW by remote control just as it looked like they were about to be shot dead. Bond and Sidney jump into the back of the car and take off on a chase involving Humvees in the parking garage of the Patronas Towers. This whole sequence is reworked for Hamburg in the film, and Sidney, nor anyone else, rides with Bond in this scene.
Eventually the car hits a garage door that Bond was sure his missles would blast through. They do not. Both Bond and Sidney are knocked unconcious. By all accounts Bond should be killed at this point, but Harmsway changes his mind. This is the weakest part of the script, for Bond and Sidney have gone through plenty of action up to this point and yet end up caught, rendering almost all of the chase pointless. Whatsmore, Harmsway has told Stamper that Bond and Sidney were not to leave the building alive, yet changes his mind in the garage. Stamper puts his life on the line and this is what happens? The plotting and sequencing of this section of the script is suspect. It needs reworking, which eventually happens in the film.
Bond and Sidney are taken to Hong Kong, where Harmsway hopes to pin a nuclear meltdown on Bond. Harmsway and his men overtake a Chinese nuclear reactor in Hong Kong and plan on creating a meltdown with the uranium he bought in Afghanistan.
Harmsway explains his rationale for this to Bond:
HARMSWAY: A hundred and fifty years ago, my ancestors took this island – a barren, lifeless rock – and turned it into the greatest city known to modern civilization. (beat) And now that i`m being forced to give it back, I intend to return it in exactly the same condition: a barren, lifeless rock. (beat) The gold is merely reparations – payment from the spineless British government who wouldn`t listen.
BOND: (to Sidney):I think Uncle Elliot is having his own melt down.
The theft of the gold is jettisoned from the film and for good reason. It`s really just a secondary plotline that comes in late into the script and feels seperate from whatever else is going on.
Sidney is taken with Elliot to his luxury yacht, and Bond is left in a vault to die when the meltdown takes place. Yung is nearby finishing the job when Bond, using his Q gadget, escapes from the vault and fights to the death with Yung, a fight Bond wins. The meltdown never happens and Bond commandeers one of Elliot`s helicopters and heads to the rendevouz point that Elliot established with Yung.
At first, the crew of the Sea Dolphin see the helicopter and assume it`s Yung. But the helicopter comes in too fast, too steep. Bond begins firing on the boat. He then hovers over the bow of the boat and tilts the blades forward, to keep the men at bay. This scene is similar to the scene where Bond and Wai Lin are being mowed down the blades of a helicopter in Vietnam. The scenes are strong enough or similar enough though to automatically assume the scripted scene was reworked for the film.
Elliot opens his bedroom window to find Bond and the helicopter aimed right at him. Eventually the helicopter comes crashing down and the boat begins sinking. Bond kills Stamper and then drowns Harmsway. Sidney has escaped the sinking of the ship by donning scuba gear and surfacing. They get into a life raft, where Sidney and Bond have the obligatory make out session. M tells Moneypenny to issue a press release announcing Harmsway`s death as a suicide.
Overall, the script`s strongest points are it`s villain, action sequences and humor. It`s plot and sequencing needed some work, but overall, it`s an interesting and fascinating script, with passages we hope to see in future films.