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GoldenEye (1995) is the seventeenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 officer James Bond. The film was directed by Martin Campbell and is the first in the series not to take story elements from the works of novelist Ian Fleming. The story was conceived and written by Michael France, with later collaboration by other writers. In the film, Bond fights to prevent an ex-MI6 agent, gone rogue, from using a satellite against London to cause a global financial meltdown.
GoldenEye was released in 1995 after a six-year hiatus in the series caused by legal disputes, during which Timothy Dalton resigned from the role of James Bond and was replaced by Pierce Brosnan. M was also recast, with actress Judi Dench becoming the first woman to portray the character, replacing Robert Brown. The role of Miss Moneypenny was also recast, with Caroline Bliss being replaced by Samantha Bond; Desmond Llewelyn was the only actor to reprise his role as Q. GoldenEye was the first Bond film made after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, which provided a background for the plot.
The film accumulated a worldwide gross of US$350.7 million, considerably better than Dalton’s films, without taking inflation into account. The film received positive reviews, with critics viewing Brosnan as a definite improvement over his predecessor. The film also received award nominations for “Best Achievement in Special Effects” and “Best Sound” from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
The name “GoldenEye” pays homage to James Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming. While working for British Naval Intelligence as a lieutenant commander, Fleming liaised with the American OSS to monitor developments in Spain after the Spanish Civil War in an operation codenamed Operation Goldeneye. Fleming used the name of his operation for his estate in Oracabessa, Jamaica.
Directed by Martin Campbell
Michael G. Wilson
Story by Michael France
Based on James Bond
by Ian Fleming
Joe Don Baker
Music by Éric Serra
Cinematography Phil Méheux
Edited by Terry Rawlings
Distributed by MGM/UA Distribution Company (US)
United International Pictures (International)
13 November 1995 (Los Angeles, premiere)
24 November 1995 (United Kingdom)
Running time 130 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Budget $60 million
Box office $355 million