Black Pyjamas in Licence to Kill



In Licence to Kill, Bond wakes up in Sanchez’s compound wearing luxurious black pyjamas. They could be Sanchez’s own pyjamas lent to Bond or just extras he keeps around for guests. They are made from silk or a cotton blend in a black self-stripe. The top has four white (probably mother-of-pearl) buttons down the front and a camp collar. There are large pleats behind the shoulders for extra movement and comfort. The top is mid-hip length.

Since pyjama style hasn’t changed much over the years, this outfit is one of the most timeless from the film.



  1. Nice PJs.

    I have heard that Bob Ringwood (of Excalibur, Empire of the Sun and Batman fame) was first approached to costume designer on Licence to Kill, but turned it down to work on the 1989 Batman movie. The producers apparenly then threw together a back-up plan and got Jodie Tillen instead.

    Could Ringwood have produced a better wardobe for the film, given the budget that the film had? He certainly could have brought more of a British "feel" to Bond's clothing, rather than an American one. Interesting to speculate…

  2. Michael Keaton's suits certainly looked better than Dalton's. They may have a lot of dated late 1980's elements to them and they aren't exactly to my personal taste, but at least they fit him well, unlike Dalton's baggy, thrown-together look in Licence to Kill. At least they got the wetsuit right.

  3. For what's it worth, the listed budget for Licence to Kill was $42 million; for comparison's sake, Batman was $35 million, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was listed at $48 million. I do not believe that number includes off-budget funding such as local subsidies (which the production may have got from filming in Mexico) or product placement money. But I would think for $42 million, they could have afforded a decent tailor.

    But better tailoring was not in the cards regardless of budget. The clothing in the movie was indicative of a series that had, since 1985, lost its self-confidence and its identity (Dalton pulling the series one way, Miami Vice and Die Hard pulling it another), and lost its relevance and its ability to compete with 1980s action films. Rightly or (in my opinion) wrongly, the 1989 marketplace rejected what was put up on screen, bad tailoring included.

  4. I'm not a Dalton-hater, I think he's a fine actor, and I don't even mind the plot of Licence to Kill as it is much more realistic with it's brutal drug-dealer villain rather than a megalomaniac in outer space. I also think that disregarding his superiors and seeking revenge for the maiming of Felix Leiter is a great literary-Bond reference and quite in character for Fleming's 007. Yet the film just looks shoddy. Dalton, despite a good performance, doesn't look good. And considering that Bond is walking around with $4 million in a suitcase, he should have paid a visit to a good tailor and barber. Brosnan would have.

  5. “Dalton, despite a good performance, doesn’t look good. And considering that Bond is walking around with $4 million in a suitcase, he should have paid a visit to a good tailor and barber. Brosnan would have.”

    Actually, he had 4.9 million, but that’s just being picky.

    But lets be realistic. Leiter’s been maimed and his wife has been raped and murdered. Basically Leiter’s wife suffered the same fate as his own, dying on the wedding day. So on top of the personal demons of having Felix injured and potentially dying, Bond’s probably having Tracy flashbacks up the yin-yang (Remember when Della throws the garter? You can see on his face that the action brought the Tracy memories back in a rush.) And he’s probably feeling guilty that he left five minutes before Leiter and Della were attacked.

    With ALL that in mind, do you really think Bond gives two sh*ts about whether his clothes are tailored or not? I’ll give you the charcoal gray at the airport. I rewatched the movie tonight, and it does look like Dalton is wearing a suit that’s too big for him (But it’s adequate, and quite frankly, I didn’t pay attention to the cut of the suit until visiting this blog.)

    Other than that, the rest of the wardrobe gets a pass from me, based on the circumstances. The only reason Bond has a tuxedo is because he’s trying to get noticed at the casino. He doesn’t care if the women are checking him out or the guys are jealous, he’s trying to get into Sanchez’ office as fast as possible. He doesn’t seem to care what happens to it either, as he climbs the elevator and the walls of the building without regard to dirt or damage.

    The other factor is, Bond tells Pam he needs a flight to Ithsmus City that night. In all likelyhood, the tuxedo and possibly the suit he wears in the final sequence is clothing he bought upon his arrival, and not stuff he purchased beforehand. Ithmus seems a bit cut off from the rest of the world, so it’s possible that was the best Bond could do. Truman-Lodge wears a supposedly double-breasted tuxedo, but the lapels are plain, so it just looks like a black suit (And the collar is winged, rather than fold down. (I prefer fold down collars. I own two tuxedos, and I like the fold-down collars the best.) Also, Sanchez’ jacket looks a little off as well. Kind of wrinkled in the arms.

    Then again, really his only focus is killing Sanchez, so with that on his mind, it’s also possible he picked the first tuxedo that fit, since that’s all he needed it for, then went off on his next escapade. No, Dalton doesn’t look his best here, but I guess I’m more forgiving than others based on his psychological state at the time. We’re seeing a Bond VERY personally involved in the “Mission”, instead of up against random take-over-the-world-guy #3.

    Same with the clothes he wears when he has his confrontation with M. Bond jets from the airport without his luggage. Now, the airport may have sent it to his hotel, but if they didn’t, then Bond likely bought the outfit (And the all-blue outfit he wears when sneaking around Krest’s operation) very quickly. All he needs is something to walk around in, and a coat to cover his gun.


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