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Live and Let Die (1973)
UK / Hungarian
"Roger Moo7re is James Bond "
007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader.
Roger Moore James Bond
Yaphet Kotto Kananga/Mr. Big
Jane Seymour Solitaire
Clifton James Sheriff J.W. Pepper
Julius Harris Tee Hee (as Julius W. Harris)
Geoffrey Holder Baron Samedi
David Hedison Felix Leiter
Gloria Hendry Rosie Carver
Bernard Lee M
Lois Maxwell Miss Moneypenny
Tommy Lane Adam
Earl Jolly Brown Whisper
Roy Stewart Quarrel Jr.
Lon Satton Harold Strutter
Arnold Williams Cab Driver
Director: Guy Hamilton
Producer: Albert R. Broccoli,Harry Saltzman
Writer: Ian Fleming,Tom Mankiewicz
Moore action than usual!
Although Sean Connery had decided to leave the James Bond-series for good after having played the British secret agent five times, he came back one more time in 1971 to star in the film "Diamonds are forever". It must have been the huge amount of money they offered him that eventually changed his mind. But after having done this film, he got really fed up with it and the producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had to go and look for a new Bond. They thought about getting George Lazenby back (who had played James Bond in 1969 when Sean Connery had left), but eventually they selected an actor who had been described as the "ideal Bond" by no one less than Sean Connery himself.

British actor Roger Moore, who had become famous with the television show "The Saint", proved to be more than an excellent choice for the part of 007. Ultimately he would appear in as many James Bond-movies as his forerunner Sean Connery; a total of seven! The reason why Roger Moore truly deserves his title as 'second best Bond-actor' is because he's nearly as good as Sean Connery ... who himself, of course, has always been the absolute number one.

Still, there's a clear difference between a Sean Connery-007 and a Roger Moore-007 movie. Overall, the first one has a better storyline with more interesting dialogues and very good acting whereas the latter provides you with more action and better villains. Also, Bond-films with Roger Moore have always been a bit more of a comedy, because the actor has added his own share of irony.

Roger Moore's first appearance as the British secret agent is just as good as any of the others that were about to follow in the years to come. His first Bond-film is a good one despite the unusual, almost 'non James Bond-like' atmosphere. This film has no beautiful locations whatsoever, but instead they decided to maintain a rather eerie tone throughout the entire picture. To make it as real and creepy as possible, they only picked colorless, seemingly uninteresting locations: Harlem in New York and some deserted places in Jamaica; not particularly the sort of environment where you'll normally find James Bond adventuring. Practically all of the characters are simply too weird for a James Bond-film; especially when throwing in a voodoo culture with its own bizarre way of life ... and death! The weakest scene of the film is a tribe of dancing body-painted Africans who join a ritual. Fortunately, wacky moments like these are very rare.

Naturally, Roger Moore-007 movies are full of many great action scenes. There are quite a few interesting ones such as the car chase at the beginning of the film through the streets of New York or the speedboat chase that looks really good at first, but unfortunately tends to get a little boring after a while. The very best scene of "Live and let die" is, beyond any doubt, Bond's remarkable escape from a dozen ravenous crocodiles. If it weren't for the brainless script, this film may have been somewhat better.

But that is where the many interesting characters come in. After having used the same evil character Blofeld in the last three Bond-films, they thought about creating a new, fresh enemy for James Bond. In "Live and let die" the big boss goes by the name of Mr. Big and he's not only a black person, but he also happens to be a normal guy with no side effects whatsoever. Typically he tells everyone what to do, but does not get anywhere the action is. I didn't quite like this Mr. Big although I do have to admit that he died an awesome death. What the point of his other character Kananga was, is beyond me.

As usual there's always an intriguing, seemingly indestructible henchman around the corner sent out by the big boss to kill James Bond. This time we're treated with a guy who has a steel hook for a hand. Of course, he doesn't die until the very end of the film; even after the big boss has been killed. James Bond-films always seem to be using the same pattern over and over again. But Bond's toughest opponent is the card-reading girl Solitaire who's aware of every single step he takes. With her in the film, we get the only yet very beautiful Bond-girl.

Last but not least: despite Q's absence in this film, there are still quite a few of his handy tools he's left behind.

All in all, "Live and let die" is a pretty good film with some nice features (such as the great title track written by Paul and Linda McCartney), but it's a pity that the atmosphere is so dark and alternative and also that Roger Moore doesn't play in a more jokey way since this suits him best.

Seen it:Nej
Nr of disks/tapes:1
Storage device:Divx 4
Imdb rating: 6.8
Musician: George Martin
Running time: 121 min
Everything else:
Last modified: 2007-07-18 22:31:3