An exclusive look behind the scenes of Licence To Kill that you`ll find only at 007Forever.
Sanchez wasn’t always the villain in this film, and his drug empire wasn’t always the centerpiece of the plot. Actually, the reverse is true. At one point in late 1987 the producers went to China and began scouting locations. Michael G. Wilson explains: “We wrote two treatments for this one in China. It involved the treasures of China and was quite a different story.”
Richard Maibaum explained further in Cinefantastique: “We had wanted to pick up on a warlord in the Golden Triangle from a previous film who was all mixed up in drugs.” Budgetary concerns played a pivotal role in changing the location, tone and scope of the storyline and the novelty of being the first major Western production to film in China was lost when Steven Spielberg filmed a movie there first.
007Forever was able to study some archived materials that Richard Maibaum had donated to a university library before his death and in those materials we found the first known treatment of BOND XVI (as it was then known at the time), along with a dozen or so story board sketches by well known Bond stunt coordinator Remy Julienne. The Bond XVI draft is a revised treatment dating back to March 4th, 1988.
The structure for the film is in place, but before it would go before the camera in late summer 1988, names would change, a few action sequences would be dropped, characters added or replaced and the last third of the script would undergo a radical redo.
The treatment begins with a Coast Guard AWACS plane on patrol over the Caribbean. Inside the crew is plotting the course of a private plane flying toward an island in the Bahamas chain. We then cut to a limousine where Bond and Felix Leiter are sitting in the back, while Jericho, Leiter’s friend, is in the front driving. Jericho would eventually turn into Sharkey by the time filming began. The three of them are on their way to Leiter’s wedding. Leiter’s bride is Della Dale, in this draft, not Della Churchill.
Hawkins, Leiter’s partner at the DEA, swoops down beside the limousine in his DEA helicopter and informs Leiter that Sanchez is en route to Cray Cay. Leiter has been trying to arrest Sanchez for five years. Maibaum describes Sanchez as …”the legendary Columbian drug kingpin, an ex-Army officer known as Colonel Crack.”. Leiter commits to arresting Sanchez now even if it means delaying the wedding by an hour or so. Bond tags along, as an observer, and the two jump into the helicopter with Hawkins, leaving Jericho to go tell Della what has happened.
Meanwhile, on Cray Cay, Sanchez’ plush private jet has landed on a deserted airstrip. Sanchez steps out of the plane first, then his bodyguards Braun and Perez, and then Lupe Lamora. Of Lupe Lamora, Maibaum notes: “…his current inamorata…a voluptuous Colombian girl, winner of the Miss Galaxy beauty contest. Once happy-go-lucky, she now feels trapped by his possessiveness.”. Dario, Sanchez’ chief bodyguard, steps out last. Sanchez tells Dario to stay with Lupe in the plane. He will only be a few minutes.
Sanchez and his men enter a low bungalow not far from the airstrip. A tough Colombian starts to get out of his chair. Perez pushes him roughly back. Sanchez says only one word: “Velasquez?” The man nods toward the near doorway. Sanchez pushes the door open. Velasquez is nude in a hot tub with two girls. His surprise turns to a smile as he recognizes Sanchez. “Hey Amigo! What’s happening?” he says. Sanchez eyes the girls coolly. “Leave us. ” They grab towels and scamper off. “I’m honored, but it’s risky.” Velasquez tells him. Braun and Perez walk around Velasquez. “Risky for you! ” Sanchez tells him. He pulls a packet of hundred dollar bills out of his jacket and throws them into the hot tub. They scatter on the surface. Velasquez looks at the money as the ink runs in the water. Sanchez, his murderous rage building, yells: “I sell real dope. I want real money.” Velasquez says he didn’t know, that it won’t happen again. Sanchez assures him it won’t happen again as Braun and Perez lift the heavy wooden insulation cover for the hot tub over and on top of Velasquez. They stand on top of it, forcing him underwater. His muffled cries gradually die out.
This scene, as described above, would be radically altered. Velasquez would become Alvarez, and instead of counterfeit money, he would be sleeping with Sanchez’ girlfriend. Either scene would have been effective, but the eventual rewrites are probably better because they show that Lupe has become disinterested in living with Sanchez. It also makes more sense that Sanchez would risk everything for a woman that he considers property than to infiltrate the Bahamas over some counterfeit money.
The Coast Guard helicopter approaches the bungalow and Hawkins and Leiter exchange gun fire with Sanchez and his bodyguards. The action isn’t fleshed out here, as this is only a draft, so the sequence where Bond jumps from the helicopter behind a line of oil barrels is nowhere to be found. Sanchez makes a quick escape in a single engine light plane. Leiter, Hawkins and Bond give chase and this time Bond gets in on the action. Leiter lowers Bond down onto the back of Sanchez’ plane just as in the film and Bond proceeds to wrap a thick cable around the tail section of Sanchez’ plane. Sanchez eventually loses throttle power and is reeled in like a fish.
The DEA gently lowers the plane to the ground at a Coast Guard Base in Key West. Leiter jumps out of the helicopter, opens the hatch to Sanchez’ plane, hands him a warrant for his arrest and says: “Welcome to the U.S., Colonel Crack. ” Then he gets into the helicopter with Bond and heads for his wedding. We then fade to the MAIN TITLES.
Maibaum and Wilson’s treatment calls for us to see Leiter and Della’s wedding, something we never do in the film. It also establishes that Pam is at the wedding herself. We know from watching the film that she shows up at the reception, but it was never clear whether she just dropped by or was involved in both the ceremony and the reception festivities.
Felix and Della get into a car and drive off. Bond looks for a cab and notices Pamela, standing alone further down the curb. Interested, he joins her. She glances at him, then turns away. He hails a cab. One stops. “Can I give you a lift? ” he asks her. She says no thanks and crosses the street. Meanwhile, Killifer has been put in charge of interrogating Sanchez. He is eventually transferred to Quantico, but before Sanchez gets there, Killifer changes the plans, knocks out the driver of the armored van, crashes the van into the water, and he and Sanchez are both safely picked up by underwater divers. Killifer has betrayed the DEA for two million dollars and given up Leiter’s name.
Bond goes into Leiter’s study, tries to introduce himself to Pamela, who brusquely shrugs him off and leaves. Later that night, Bond leaves Leiter’s house so that Leiter and Della can get on with having their honeymoon. Dario and his men have snuck through a back entrance into Leiter’s home and are now confronting Della and Felix. Dario knocks Felix unconscious over the head with a sawed off shotgun and takes him to the Ocean Exotica Warehouse run by Milton Krest. What happens here largely follows the same path taken by the film. Leiter is used as a counterweight to a side of beef dangling precariously over the jaws of several hungry great white sharks. Leiter, believing he is about to die, gasps: “See you in hell! ” Sanchez bends lower: “Yes, a living hell. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Leiter begins to be torn apart below the waist by the sharks. Sanchez orders the men to pull Leiter up. “I want enough left for his people to see.”
The next morning Bond is headed back to London via Key West Airport when he sees the headline on a newsstand: COLONEL CRACK ESCAPES. Knowing Sanchez’ reputation for revenge, which often includes the slaughter of innocent family members, Bond races back to Leiter’s home. There he finds Della has been strangled and Leiter barely alive. Bond picks up the phone and dials 911.
A doctor and paramedics arrive at the scene along with Rasmussen, lead homicide detective. Unlike the film, immediate suspicion falls upon a shark attack. Bond then picks up a diskette that Leiter had hidden the night before but has now fallen loose from its hiding place. Sanchez’ men were looking for something, Rasmussen points out. Bond thinks he has found what they were looking for but keeps it to himself.
He then walks out to the Harbor Master’s office and hands a message written on a telex form to a pretty girl operator. “Urgent to Universal Exports, London,” she reads back to him, then looks puzzled. “The rest is gobbledygook. What are you? Some kind of secret agent?” “Just terminating a contract. Don’t want the competition to get wind of it.” He leaves. Outside Jericho is waiting for him and the two discuss exactly where such a shark attack might occur on the island. Jericho mentions that only Krest’s warehouse is capable of holding great whites.
Bond and Jericho then infiltrate the warehouse during the daytime. This contrasts sharply with the film, where Bond and Sharkey break in at night. Bond gingerly steps on the mesh and walks toward the staircase. As he reaches it the mesh screen is hit with a mighty blow from underneath. Bond, thrown into the air, manages to grasp the staircase railing with one hand. Looking back, he glimpses the jaws of a great white shark disappearing into the water.
Bond gets inside the warehouse and examines a large tank whose base seems suspiciously solid. He’s looking for drugs when all of the sudden a moray eel leaps out from behind a rock and grabs a crow bar Bond had in his hand. The strength of the eel pulling on the bar nearly pulls Bond into the tank. He manages to wrest it out from the eel’s jaws. Then he examines the maggot incubator, four feet wide, eight feet long. He operates the controls, which turns out to be a mistake. The temperature change in the incubator sets off a series of lights in the guard’s office and one guard comes downstairs to see what’s going on. Bond has his hand inside the incubator pushing away the maggots to reveal bags of cocaine hidden underneath. A guard comes up behind him to question Bond, but 007 flings a fistful of maggots at the guard. A shootout ensues, with tanks exploding and water running everywhere.
Bond is then cornered by Killifer, who orders him over by the trapdoor. Bond manages to get Killifer’s foot caught up in a rope, which then leaves him dangling above the trapdoor. Before going all the way in, he manages to grasp an edge and hold on. Hepleads for his life, begging mercy, and even willing to split to the two million dollars with Bond. Bond just throws the suitcase at Killifer, and in a moment of natural instinct, Killifer lets go of the edge to grab the suitcase and falls into the shark tank. Jericho comes barging in, looks down, sees stacks of bills floating around, and wants to get some. “Forget it, Bond tells him. “It’s blood money”.
The next scene finds Bond at his rented beach house, putting a call in to Jericho. It seems some of Jericho’s fishing buddies have located the WaveKrest and Bond and Jericho make plans to catch up with it later in the day. There’s a knock on Bond’s door. It’s “M”. “What’s this about resigning, Double-0-Seven?” “A Personal matter, sir.” “There’s nothing personal in our business. Has it something to do with Leiter?” Bond remains silent, not trusting himself to discuss it. “What happened to him was a risk in the line of duty.” “And his wife?” M sits down wearily. “Let the Americans take care of it. You should never have become involved. We can’t have MI6 mixed up in this. I’ll keep your telex in my pocket. Your license to kill revoked. You will have no contact with Her Majesty’s government. In three months, if you’re clean, I’ll tear up your resignation. Otherwise, I’ll sack you.” “Thank you, sir.” M gets up and goes to the door. He seems on the verge of softening. Instead, he growls “Take care, James” and leaves.
This sequence is nowhere to be found in the film, and has wisely been rewritten to fuse two scenes together (the writing of the telex and M’s entry into Bond’s rented beach house), to provide some action, and to give a lift to the dialogue. In the film, Bond is coerced into meeting M at the Hemingway Estate. When Bond resigns, M reminds him this isn’t a country club. When M revokes Bond’s license to kill, Bond quips: “Then I guess this really is a farewell to arms”, an inside joke about Hemingway’s novel A FAREWELL TO ARMS that seemed to have gone right over the audiences head. Bond leaps off the top floor of the estate and runs for cover, while being shot at by his own men from a light tower.
In the treatment, Bond and Jericho pose as fisherman, though in this case Jericho really is a fisherman. They spy on Krest’s yacht, the WaveKrest. Bond sees Lupe on deck in a bikini and he waves to her, though he’s not met her (as opposed to the film, where he meets her right away). Krest, on the bridge with the crewmen, trains binoculars on Bond, then looks down and sees Lupe. “Get her below”, he orders. “And keep those fishermen away.” Bond watches as Lupe is hustled into a port.
Meanwhile, in the hospital, Leiter is apparently comatose when Hawkins and an unidentified guard converse in low tones about the DEA raid at Krest’s warehouse. The fire department answered a false alarm but found drug activity going on. Five hundred kilos of cocaine were found, along with bits of Killifer inside of a great white shark, while someone else suffocated in a maggot incubator. A small smile crosses Leiter’s lips, indicating he has heard the conversation and can understand what is going on. It’s really sad that this scene didn’t make it into the film, as it adds an emotional lift to the story and connects Leiter to Bond in a way words sometimes can’t express. The smile across the lips is almost a symbol that Leiter knows Bond is out there trying to help him and Felix is silently urging him on. Telepathy, if you will.
Later, WaveKrest has launched its external probe, Sentinel, into the water and Bond rides it back into the WaveKrest. Milton Krest is busy making passes at Lupe when he’s summoned to the operations room. Bond has snuck into Krest’s cabin and sticks a knife under the neck of the body whom he believes to be Krest. When it turns out to be Lupe, he tells her: “Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you.” She stares at him for a few seconds, confused. “Who are you?” “I was at Cray Cay. Is Sanchez here?” She shakes her head. “Where’s Krest?” She finds her voice. “In the next cabin. This is his. He gave it to me.” “You’re not his girlfriend?” “No. Sanchez’.” She starts to cry. “I didn’t know what I was getting into. The drugs, killing people. I wish I never met Sanchez.” “So walk out.” “It doesn’t work that way with Franz.” Bond tells her he’ll try and help her, but then a noise outside startles them. Bond goes into the corridor and gunfire breaks out. Bond runs up the stairs and is cornered. They take away his knife. Lupe secretly sneaks into the lounge area and hides. Krest confronts Bond, who makes up a story about swimming, getting a cramp and coming on board. Krest doesn’t believe him and orders his men to beat Bond up. Seconds later, another boat pulls up alongside the WaveKrest. It’s Jericho’s boat, and he’s hanging upside down by his feet, along with two sharks that are dangling by their tails. Jericho is dead. “Friend of yours?” Krest asks Bond.
A plane roars over head and lands near the WaveKrest. Krest tells his men to put Bond into a locker until such time as he can deal with him. As Krest’s goons are about to take Bond downstairs, Lupe swings the door wide open, hitting one of the men dead on. Bond karate chops the other man, whispers “Thank you” to Lupe and takes off.
What follows in the treatment is literally what you see on film. Bond does some water-skiing behind the airplane, overtakes it, dumps the pilot out and steals the money. Later the next day Bond reads the contents of the disk Leiter had hidden away. Leiter was arranging to take someone named Bouvier into protective custody. He turns his attention to the television, where CNN reporter Anna Rack is broadcasting live from the gala party being held in Sanchez’ casino to welcome him back to Isthmus City. Bond leaves a message for Bouvier to meet “Lexington”, the code word Bouvier and Leiter agreed upon. Bouvier sends a message back through his/her service that he/she will meet Lexington at the Barrelhead Bar in Bimini at 8 PM. The treatment even shows Bond spending a hundred grand on a brand new boat to get him around the Keys.
Eventually Bond makes it to the Barrelhead Bar, where Bouvier turns out to be Pamela, from the wedding. “An unexpected pleasure,” he tells her. “For a moment I didn’t recognize you.” “My work clothes,” she replies and gestures for him to sit down and pour himself a drink. “Local rot gut.” “Thanks, but….” He looks around, sees a waiter, beckons to him. “Vodka martini, shaken, not stirred.” Waiter shakes his head. “No fancy drinks. You take it the way it comes.” Bond asks for vodka on the rocks. Pamela appraises him coolly, not overly impressed. “You wanted to see me?” “Leiter’s in a bad way.” “So I heard.” “He wanted you protected. Why?” She shrugs. “Long story,” she replies equivocally. “Sanchez has Leiter’s files,” he tells her. “He’ll know if you were working with him.” She looks at him sharply. “You’re English. Not D.E.A. How do you know that? Who are you working for?” “No one. I’m on my own.” After a beat she nods. “You were Leiter’s best man. I think I know what you…It’s Dario!” She indicates entrance.
Dario sits down and talks to Pam. He tells her he’s got a proposition for her, but that they can’t talk here. A short fight breaks out, but nothing along the lines of what happens in the film. Pam grabs Dario’s gun and she and Bond take off in Bond’s boat. Pam goes downstairs and changes into a terry cloth robe too large for her. When she comes back upstairs she realizes the boat has stopped. “What’s the problem?” He grins. “We’re out of gas.” “I haven’t heard that one since high school.” “Did it work then?” She eyes him with amused skepticism. She sits next to him. “I had you pegged all wrong. When you came in I thought you were just a chauvinistic English wimp about to get his ass kicked.” “What do you think now?” “You didn’t get your ass kicked. I’m keeping an open mind about the rest.” She leans over him. The robe opens…and you can figure out the rest.
At dawn Bond is still asleep when the engines roar to life. Pam has found the reserve tank. Pam confesses: “Driving cigarette boats is my profession. It’s the vessel of choice for short haul smuggling.” What about long haul?” “Planes. I used to fly Air America for the CIA. Guns, people, money, whatever was needed. That’s how I met Leiter. When contra funding dried up I went free lance. Dario hired me for Sanchez to fly what he said were Mexican illegals into Texas. They turned out to be Colombian hit men. I got indicted. I helped Leiter while he was trying to nail Sanchez. He said he’d get me off if I did.” “Where are we going?” he asks her. “The airport. We’ll charter a plane and I’ll fly you to Sanchez.” “Last night you said I was nuts if I went after him. What changed your mind?” She smiles but doesn’t reply. He grins. “Let’s just say you slept on it.”
Sadly, this exposition is missing from the film. It’s much wittier than what actually gets shown, and also develops Pam’s character more. It also might explain what Dario was hinting at in the film when he tells Pam he believes she’s done some charter favors for some of his friends.
Moneypenny gets one quick scene in the treatment, where M berates her for five typing errors in her memo. She explains that she’s just worried about James. M leaves, Moneypenny calls Q and says: “Q, Moneypenny here. Are you free for lunch?” It’s odd to think about, but very rarely have Q and Moneypenny ever had any scenes together.
Pam flies Bond into Isthmus, and as they arrive in the airport, they see a large contingent of international visitors, many from South East Asia here to visit Sanchez’ casino. They get to the hotel room, where Bond hands Pam a wad of cash and tells her to look the part of his new executive secretary. Bond tells her: “Say ‘Yes, Mr. Bond’”. She gives him a dirty look, saying, “I should always trust my first impressions,” and then exits. She meets Bond at the bank, where he has come to create an account, and is now a stunning blonde.
We now cut to the casino scenes, where Bond is in tux and Pam in an exquisite evening gown. Bond grabs the attention of a foreign delegation, particularly two individuals, Kwang and Loti, whom we will later discover are Hong Kong narcotics agents. Upstairs, on the top floor of the casino, Sanchez and Skelki are watching a television broadcast from the Oaxaca Bible Institute, hosted by evangelist couple Joe and Deedie Butcher, whom Maibaum notes in the treatment: “remind us of you know who.” In case you don’t know who the “you know who” refers to, Maibuam is making an obvious reference to Jim and Tammy Bakker, whose financially corrupt and troubled organization, PTL (which stood for Praise The Lord) was still making news at the time of the writing. When information about the script began to leak out in the summer of 1988, special emphasis was placed on the evangelists, as Tammy Bakker, and Jim to a lesser extent, were such larger than life characters that they were ripe for mockery as villains. Sadly, this aspect is downplayed in the film. Deedie Butcher gets cut from the script altogether, and John Glen directs Joe Butcher’s scenes (played by Wayne Newton) as though he were part of some mystical, cryptic, alternative New-Age religion.
Deedie cries and pleads and begs for money, then mentions that she has a special prayer blessing for everyone this week. “Please read Matthew, Chapter 1, Verse 2” she says. Chapter One, Verse 2 actually means 12 bucks a gram, and Sanchez’ dealers aren’t at all happy about the boost in price but have no choice other than to agree to the new terms. It’s quite obvious now that Joe and Deedie Butcher are using their Bible College in Oaxaca, Mexico to serve as a front for a cocaine smuggling ring.
Meanwhile, Bond has been playing the casino Pit Boss for a fool. After coming off as a chump, initially losing several hands in a row, Bond has taken the lead over the dealer. The Pit Boss calls up to Sanchez to see if he wants the action stopped. Sanchez tells him to let the man (Bond) play. Shekli (later to be renamed Truman Lodge in the film) is elated to see that all the “chapels” accepted the new price. The Pit Boss calls Sanchez back and lets him know that not only has Bond recouped his money, but now he’s 200, 000 dollars ahead. Sanchez calls Lupe, who is in the room next door, bored, leafing through a magazine (no mention of Sanchez’ pet iguana in the treatment, by the way). She comes in and Sanchez points to the man on the screen. She recognizes Bond but conceals her reaction. Sanchez tells Lupe to go downstairs and chat the man up. Get to know him better. Shekli tells Sanchez that that was the man who came into the bank today and opened up an account with $5 million dollars.
Lupe passes by Bond’s table; he gets the hint, and follows after her. Pam stays at the table and plays the game, picking up on what she observed Bond doing. Bond tells Lupe he wants to see Sanchez now. She tells him he is “loco” and to please go home. When she sees he is not going to listen to her, she gives in and escorts him upstairs.
Bond meets with Sanchez, who is enraptured by the image of Deedie and Joe Butcher’s telecast. Wonderful work these people do. I always watch them. It is good for the soul,” Sanchez remarks. Sanchez switches off TV and motions for Shekli to make an anonymous donation of $10,000. Sanchez then compliments Bond on his skill at blackjack. He indicates closed circuit screen where the plaques in front of Pam are considerably diminished. “Your companion is not so fortunate,” Sanchez remarks. “It’s only money” Bond counters. Sanchez laughs. “I like your style. Your credit rating is impressive. What business are you in?” “Your business, Senor Sanchez. I distribute pharmaceuticals in London. That’s why I asked your beautiful, charming Senorita Lupe to introduce us. I have a proposition that could be mutually profitable.” Again Sanchez laughs. “Your direct approach is refreshing, but I do not discuss business in front of women.” He turns to Lupe. “I will see you later, muchacha.” She leaves. “What is this proposition?” “I want the East Coast business.” Sanchez turns to Shekli. “Have we business there?” he asks him ironically. “Let’s not play games, Senor Sanchez. I’m interested in Milford Krest’s operation. Krest is finished. The DEA turned over his warehouse in Key West. They took everything. Krest’s so desperate he’s ripped someone off.” “How do you know this?” “He’s put 500 keys on the London market at bargain prices. It’s hot. I wouldn’t touch it.” “I must look into this, Senor Bond. It will take a few days.” “Be careful, Senor Sanchez. It is dangerous to corner a desperate man.” “Don’t worry. I’ve known Krest for many years. We are hermanos, like brothers.” Bond gestures toward TV “Ask your favorite evangelists to tell you about Cain and Abel.”
Bond returns downstairs, where Pam asks him: “Where did you go with that hot tamale?” “Up to Sanchez’ office.” When Bond and Pam return to the hotel, Bond discovers his “Uncle” there, whom he then introduces to his cousin, Pam. Q admits to Bond that Moneypenny has kept tabs on him, was worried about him, and reveals that Moneypenny has been mad about Bond for years. “Really?” Bond asks with feigned surprise? Much like the film, Q brings along enough gadgets to convince Bond to let him stay in the field.
The next night we find Bond, Q and Pam at the casino. Q is in his chauffeur’s uniform. Bond uses the service elevator to reach the top floor, swing over the side, and lay a line of plastic explosives along Sanchez’ heavily armored window. Bond spies a group of Orientals in conference with Sanchez. They are discussing how to bring the cocaine trade to South East Asia. Rios (to be renamed Heller in the film), another one of Sanchez’ bodyguards, gets suspicious and looks out the window but sees nothing. Bond gets off the building, crosses the street, and gets into position to assassinate Sanchez. In the treatment, Pam does not show up in Heller’s office to offer him an immunity agreement to get the Stinger Missiles back. In fact, there is no mention of Stinger Missiles at all in the treatment.
As Bond attempts to fire, he’s attacked by two gray clad ninja’s until he’s knocked unconscious. The two ninja’s take Bond to a remote location outside the city. They remove their hoods. One of them is female and was at the casino the night before. Fallon, a British Hong Narcotics Agent, accompanies Kwang. They are furious MI5 would attempt to kill Sanchez without informing them. Bond tells them he’s not on an official assignment. In the film, Fallon doesn’t mistake Bond for an MI5 agent, but instead tells Bond he’s there to make sure Bond is taken back to London. Meanwhile, General Rios has corralled a tank and some soldiers and surrounded the bungalow. Sanchez is on hand. Rios gives the command and they destroy the bungalow. Rios walks inside and is about to kill Bond, who is strapped to a chair, when Sanchez stays his hand. “He tried to warn me,” he explains.
The next morning Bond awakens in the bedroom of the casino penthouse, not in the seaside mansion as shown in the film. Lupe sits beside him and tells him she prayed for him. And for herself, too. She heard Sanchez tell Shekli that Krest is arriving on the WaveKrest that night. Sanchez enters with his personal physician, Doctor Mendez, who wears a voluminous camel’s hair coat, a broad brimmed fedora and dark sunglasses. NOTE: This character does not appear in the film. Sanchez expresses his gratitude and now that they are hermanos, friends; the East Coast territory might soon be his. Dr. Mendez accompanies Sanchez into the hall. Sanchez tells Mendez to give Bond a sedative to knock him out for six hours. Sanchez heads to the elevator and tells Dario to keep an eye on Bond.
Inside Bond’s room, Dr. Mendez prepares to inject Bond with a sedative when Bond grabs the needle and injects Dr. Mendez with it instead. Mendez stumbles, staggers and then falls down. Outside the doorway, Dario hears the crash and comes in to investigate. He sees Bond in bed asleep and pulls back the covers, only to reveal Mendez. Bond takes Dario from behind and smashes a lamp over his head, which only makes him angrier. A hand-to-hand combat fight ensues, while Lupe prepares another injection. Bond jabs Dario in the butt with the needle, putting him to sleep. “What was in that?” he asks. He reads the label, “Equine tranquilizer”. Dr. Mendez was a veterinarian. Bond drags Dario into the closet and locks it. He then tells Lupe this is her last chance to get away from Sanchez and Krest. Will she come with him? She is still shaken but agrees.
Bond calls Pam and Q, dressed in Dr. Mendez’ camelhair overcoat, hat and dark glasses. Bond tells Pam to make sure a plane is ready for a quick getaway and to meet him later at the Harbor Master’s office. He and Lupe slip out of the casino. Taxi stops at bank. Bond gets out of taxi with two suitcases and informs bank manager he is making a withdrawal.
At the airport, Pam asks to file a flight plan. She is handed the logbook and looks down to see that Sanchez is taking the Asians to Oaxaca, Mexico. Later that night, as the WaveKrest approaches the harbor entrance, a pilot boat comes along side it. Surprisingly Q is at the wheel and Bond is in the stern as he lifts bulky fenders (bumpers) and ties them over the table. The pilot climbs aboard the WaveKrest via the Jacob’s ladder. It’s Pam, who greets the mate in Spanish. Pam crashes the bow of the ship into the docks, then runs off. She runs down to the well area and helps Bond haul in the cash, which they throw into the decompression chamber.
Sanchez meets with Krest to discuss the dough he owes him. This scene also differs from the film. In the movie, Sanchez takes Lupe with him to the WaveKrest, sure that Krest won’t dare lie about what happened to his money in front of Lupe. Perez and Braun search the ship while Krest pleads his case that the money was stolen. Braun finds the cash in the decompression chamber and alerts Sanchez. Enraged, Sanchez throws Krest into the chamber, increases the pressure, and then just as suddenly decreases it, causing Krest’s head to explode. In a scene not in the film, Shekli comes in with two other men and a groggy Dario. Shekli explains that Bond drugged Dario and took off with Lupe, before withdrawing four million dollars in cash. Sanchez realizes he has been duped into killing Krest. He thinks for a moment. “He came in a private plane. The airport!” blazes Sanchez. Of course, none of this ends up in the film. In the film, Bond tells Q and Pam to go home. He wants to finish Sanchez off and goes back to Sanchez’ estate to do it.
In the treatment, Bond, Lupe, Pam and Q are stopped at the airport gate. Sanchez has called ahead and warned them to be on the lookout. Inside the van Q is putting the finishing touches on a new passport for Lupe. Sirens behind them blazing make the airport guard cautious. He refuses to let Bond through the barrier, so Bond guns the engine and crashes through the gate. Sanchez’ limo and Rios’ police car finally catch up to the Bond’s van. It is parked near Bond’s private plane. The plane begins to taxi down the runway. Dario comes up alongside the plane as it is speeding down the runway and pulls out an Uzi. He begins firing away mercilessly at the fuselage. The plane veers off the runway and crashes. Sanchez grabs the Uzi, walks up to the crippled plane and unloads another round of bullets into the cockpit, only to realize the cockpit is empty. Everyone turns around to hear the noise of an oncoming plane. Sanchez’ private plane. Pam is flying Sanchez’ private with Q, Bond and Lupe in the back. (exactly how Maibaum planned to explain a pilotless plane taxiing down the runway is unclear, and was later abandoned anyway). Sanchez orders for the plane to be shot but the gun is empty.
Pam and Bond are at the controls. Q is in the back, worn out, but still enjoying himself. He never knew fieldwork was so much fun. Pam says it’s too bad they didn’t have the chance to kill Sanchez, but Bond tells her the plan is on ice until they find out where Sanchez was taking the Orientals when they got to Oaxaca. Bond tells Pam he needs a two-hour nap, then he’ll come in and relieve her.
He heads to the rear of the plane and finds Lupe taking a shower. She sees him over the top of the glass shower door and asks him for a towel. He attempts to hand it to her over the door but she simply opens the door and takes it from him. Bond turns away; realizing Lupe has made a not so subtle play for him. In the cockpit, Pam looks concerned. She turns on the intercom to “listen”. Lupe, now in a silk robe, asks Bond “What will we do? Franz will follow us. Kill us.” “Not if I get him first.” She’s frightened. She sits on the edge of the bed with him and asks him to please hold her. She then starts kissing Bond. Pam is still listening to them on the intercom. She jerks the controls. The plane bumps a little, but not enough to distract Lupe. She is moving her body against Bond. Her ardor becomes more vocal. Pam scowls. She switches intercom from LISTEN to TALK. “Please fasten your seat belts. We’re about to go through some air turbulence.” She turns the steering wheel to its chuck stop. The plane does a barrel roll. Lupe is tossed off the bed onto the floor. The plane rights itself. Bond is amused but Lupe shouts “Beetch!” at the top of her lungs.
Back at the casino penthouse, Shekli is distraught. He’s afraid Bond has uncovered the entire operation. Sanchez tells Shekli to put the Oaxaca people on alert for Bond.
The next morning Bond and crew arrive in Oaxaca. All filming for scenes in Isthmus were done in Mexico, but unfortunately, none of it’s beauty or flavor was captured, and instead, John Glen goes for a non-descript, plain, hodge-podge of Hispanic culture. Thus, Mexico is barely distinguishable as the location in this film, save for some brief glimpses of Acapulco Beach when Bond is staying with Sanchez. This was not what Maibaum had in mind. He writes: In Oaxaca the next morning the streets are crowded with tourists shopping or sightseeing. Music is audible from cafes and a strolling mariachi band in colorful native costume moves.”
Bond tells Q to take Lupe to Miami to be with Leiter. Lupe is reluctant, but Bond insists she’ll be safe if she goes, so she does. Bond and Pam see a bus filled with American students in Oaxaca to visit the Bible Institute run by Joe and Deedie Butcher. They start handing pins, buttons, and pamphlets to people in Oaxaca. Bond takes one, gives it to Q and tells him to call Felix and tell him that the Institute may be a front for Sanchez’ smuggling ring. Bond remembers that Sanchez was watching the program in his casino the other night. Bond and Pam head to the Institute to arrange a tour.
Dario is now in Oaxaca, accompanied by Colonel Rios and a dozen men dressed as civilians. Sanchez is in town to. “I had to come”, he tells Dario. “The Chinese are having second thoughts. They’ve heard rumors about Krest. That Kwang business upsets them. Then Bond taking Lupe and my plane. I have to show my face to prove everything’s alright.”
At the Institute, an appropriately dressed Bond and Pam attempt to register for a seat to listen to The Butcher’s sermon, as well as take a tour. The woman behind the desk has to inform them that they are not on the guest list and since the tour is overbooked, they can’t come in. Bond tells her that they came all the way from England. That this suitcase is full of their life savings. Deedie, who has been in the lobby greeting visitors, has her ears perk up when the suitcase is opened to reveal thousands of dollars (where this money comes from is unclear, as it is assumed Bond dumped all the money into the decompression chamber). She comes over to personally greet Bond and Pam. “Leave it, you dear people. There is always room at our inn for the faithful.” The receptionist gives Bond and Pam a badge to tour with. When Bond and Pam are out of earshot, the receptionist calls Shekli and tells him that the man and woman they are looking for are here and are on tour.
On the tour Bond visits the mailroom. It is an assembly line operation. Mail is dumped on a table to then be split by a machine. The opened letters are delivered to computer operators who remove the cash and checks. These are placed on one conveyor belt. The tour guide explains that it’s impossible for Joe and Deedie to read each piece of mail, but assures the group that each letter is read by someone on staff. However, Bond closely follows the route of the conveyor belt after the money has been removed and notices that the prayer letters are put on a conveyor belt that lead directly to an industrial shredder. No one is reading them!
Meanwhile, Sanchez and Shekli are conducting a private tour of the Institute, showing the Chinese how the counterfeit money operation works in conjunction with the institute. Bond’s tour group is led back to the lobby. Bond sees Dario enter a restricted access area. He tells Pam to give him her gun. He’s going after Dario. Bond dons a mask and heads after Dario. Inside the restricted area are several white-coated technicians with masks, a locker room and a guard near the door. Bond karate chops one of the technicians and takes his labcoat and badge, which identifies him as Jose Pico.
In the lab, Sanchez has just been informed that Bond is on the loose. Sanchez continues to show the Chinese how the cocaine can be smuggled via gasoline tanks (just as in the film) and converted back into cocaine. Bond, now dressed in mask and lab coat, is instructed in Spanish to grab a flask by one of the other technicians. Bond grabs the wrong flask and the technician becomes impatient, while Sanchez becomes suspicious. The Chinese are given a conversion demonstration and enthusiastically accept Sanchez’ invitation to join the cartel. Sanchez tells them there is a helicopter outside that will take them to Acapulco to observe the loading operation. At the door, Sanchez whispers to Rios to hold Jose.
During all of this, Pam has worked her way into the auditorium and is ready to take a seat to listen to Joe and Deedie. She spots Dario scanning the audience looking for her. She ditches her seat and sneaks backstage, grabs a gown, and goes onstage to pose as a choir member right behind Joe and Deedie (wisely, this whole section is cut, as it borders on Naked Gun style parody. On a side note, Leslie Nielsen did a spoof of Jim and Tammy Bakker in a film called REPOSSESSED which costarred Anthony Starke, who played Truman Lodge aka Shekli in License to Kill).
Rios and two henchmen walk towards Bond. Realizing he’s been made, Bond edges backward. Rios draws gun, but Bond grabs Erlenmeyer flask and throws contents into Rios’ face. He instinctively flinches and drops his gun. Bond tries to draw his, but henchman throws his arms around him. Sanchez returns to the lab. He strides up to Bond arrogantly. “What is this vendetta, Senor Bond?” “Felix Leiter” “The American Drug agent? What is he? Nothing!” “My friend. A man you couldn’t buy.” “Too bad for him. So, where is he now? Selling pencils in the street?” “No, Sanchez. He’s after your head. You can’t stop men like him.” “Bravo! Big talk from a dead man.”
Too bad this exchange wasn’t used in the film. The ending, where Bond shows Sanchez the cigarette lighter from Felix and Della, falls flat. It’s more emotionally searing to hear Bond say the words “My friend.” It personalizes the relationship in a way the film attempts to, but never does.
Sanchez tells Braun and Perez to hold Bond. He then asks for the red key from Shekli. The red key opens a wall panel with a vault behind it. Inside the vault is a detonator. Sanchez sets it for 10 minutes. Shekli asks “Why?” Sanchez explains that if Bond knows about the Bible Institute, he’s probably told others. “When the police come, what will they find? Ashes.”
On the walkie-talkie, Dario is told to meet Bond. Pam sees Dario slip out of the auditorium and follows him. Bond, in the vault area, is tied up. Sanchez tells Bond: “Dario owes you some pain. I promised he could have you. Amuse yourself Amigo.” He exits with everyone but Dario and other henchman. Outside, Shekli asks Sanchez “Shouldn’t we tell Dario he only has seven minutes left?” “No! He has made too many mistakes lately.”
Meanwhile Leiter is watching Joe and Deedie’s broadcast on his television.
In the counting room, Dario puts Bond on the conveyor belt leading to the shredder. Bond uses his feet to grab a bucket and Maibuam alludes to Bond using the bucket to pass through the shredders unharmed. Exactly how this is accomplished is hard to imagine. Bond manages to knock one guard out but Dario comes after him in a fight to the death. They both grapple with one another on the moving conveyor belt when Pam comes in, clothed in a white robe (just as in the film). Dario looks up and says, “You’re dead” to which Pam replies “You took the words right out of my mouth” and shoots him. Dario falls through the shredder. Pam and Bond escape the mailroom. They escape to the auditorium where Joe and Deedie are “channeling” people in the spirit realm to help the audience realize who they were in a previous life. Bond and Pam leap on stage and Bond claims he was a smuggler in a past life. Leiter sees Bond on television.
Bond says he worked at the port in Acapulco. He repeats it “Acapulco!” Joe Butcher is impressed. Security guards burst into the control room and cut the program. Leiter turns to Hawkins “Get Commander Rojas of the Mexican National Police on the phone. Something’s going down at the port in Acapulco.”
Now that they are off the air, the security guards draw their guns on Bond and Pam. It looks hopeless. Suddenly there is a tremendous explosion. Pandemonium breaks loose. The audience goes crazy, rushing outside. The lab and counting room are burning. Money is falling from the sky. “Manna from heaven It’s a miracle!” someone shouts. The people rush around snatching up the money (a scene I would have liked to see filmed).
Bond sees five petrol tankers headed for Acapulco. He tells Pam to call the authorities so that they can intercept the convoy before it reaches the port. She takes off and he sneaks into a utility truck that is riding shotgun with the tankers. Sanchez, Shekli and two others are in a limo riding alongside the tankers. Bond hides in a toilet stall where some action takes place once he is discovered. He moves out from inside the stall and commandeers the truck by forcing the driver to jump. Rios and his men set up roadblocks using local farmers and their vehicles. Pam finds a crop duster, steals it, and chases after Bond.
Bond plays a game of chicken with his tanker truck and Rios’ car. He sideswipes their car. It piles up in a ditch. One of them radios Sanchez that Bond has hijacked the tanker. Bond sees upcoming roadblock and tries to slow down, but side smashes all the way through it. Rios tells Sanchez to stay put. He’ll personally kill 007. Rios’ men plant explosives along the roadside ahead of Bond and blow out a half the road. Bond tilts the rig on one side and manages to cross over the gap.
The rest of the action closely follows what you see in the film, except a scene in the treatment shows the Hong Kong group at a port gate in Acapulco in handcuffs. Bond and Sanchez duel to the death on the back of a tanker, until it goes over the cliff. The two tumble a hundred or so feet before coming to a rest. Sanchez is soaked in gasoline. Bond takes out a flare he had stolen from an emergency box inside one of the tanker cabs and aims it at Sanchez. He goes up in a ball of flames. In the film, Bond ignites Sanchez with a cigarette lighter. Also in the film, Pam’s plane is shot down. Since no Stinger Missiles are involved in this treatment, her plane does not go down. Instead, she lands it on the road and rushes up to Bond, tears in her eyes. She cares for him. Bond looks up at her and smiles.
Later, there is a Mexican fiesta in Acapulco. Pam and Q are at a table on a patio. Bond arrives at the party with Lupe, his arm in a sling. Pam is miffed to see Bond arrive with Lupe until she realizes Lupe is pushing Leiter in a wheel chair. Lupe has found her true vocation: taking care of Leiter (in the film, Bond suggests Lupe hook up with President Hector Lopez, who is nowhere to be found in this treatment). Q tells Bond that M wants him to return to London at once for re-assignment. Pam says he’ll need some R and R first. She asks him: “Why don’t you buy a yacht for a three month sail on the Caribbean with me?” Bond asks her what will they use for money. She opens one of the padded sections on her vest. It is stuffed with packets of hundred dollar bills. “You didn’t think I was going to let you put all that cash in the decompression chamber, did you? I’m a practical woman.” Bond says he won’t be much use to her with one arm. “For what I have in mind, you won’t need your hands,” she tells him.
FADE TO END CREDITS