Bond villains of the '80s — sometimes all too real: Licence to Kill

Bond villains of the '80s — sometimes all too real: Licence to Kill

Licence to Kill had much tougher action, language, and savagery. It also suffered in that its storyline was a little too prescient, as the real-life Drug Baron, General Noriega, had been captured in a manner similar to the film (although the idea was originally from the film).


Robert Davi played Franz Sanchez with cold savagery, untempered with humanity. A completely amoral character who believed only in the power of money or bullets but who demanded absolute loyalty.


When the President of Isthmus complained about the reduced bribe, Sanchez reminded him he was only "president for life". There were rumours that there was an enmity between Timothy Dalton and Robert Davi, but strangely this worked to the film's advantage.



Benecio Del Toro played Dario in only his second feature film. He played a character just as amoral as his boss, with absolute savagery and enjoyment of the pain he inflicted. He stood out as Benecio was startlingly pretty for a man with intense eyes, which served as an effective counterpoint for his evil character.


Anthony Zerbe played Milton Krest. Krest, as a character, was greedy, venal and well aware of his position within Sanchez's organisation. The character had a genuine knowledge and love of ocean wildlife. He knew he had signed a deal with the devil, but he was loyal to Sanchez and also was willing to overstep the bounds when it came to Sanchez's latest "squeeze". 


Anthony Zerbe had long been an actor who often appeared on television in the parts of corrupt or seedy characters. He first appeared in Cool Hand Luke and then in many other films and television programmes playing morally dubious people. His death scene in Licence to Kill was one of the nastiest and violent in the film series' history, but it was a shame the censors cut it.

Martin Wright

Martin's love affair with James Bond started when he went to see On Her Majesty's Secret Service upon its release in 1969. He is trained in photography, Photoshop, and video editing.

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