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Re: Pros and Cons: Live and Let Die

http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/35200000/007-Roger-Moore-james-bond-35209952-1449-1024.jpg

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Re: Pros and Cons: Live and Let Die

So as my Bond marathon continues Live and Let Die was next on the list to watch. 

As someone who has seen every James Bond film on it's release from YOLT to the modern day, the hype around Moore's Bond started way before it's release date. 

Again you have to bear in mind what 1973 in the UK was like. 

Life was very much a struggle for most working class families.  There were constant strikes and power cuts, my father was on a three day week, fortunately my mother worked full time as a school secretary so our family was better off than most, but it was still tough. I also had two paper rounds which provided me with a little extra cash.

Going to the cinema was the only escape even though it was only for a couple of hours. 

So my Saturday routine was have a lazy lie in bed, lunch, put the sky blue and white scarf around my neck and go to Manchester to watch the football with my brother. 

After the match we would grab some fish and chips and go to the cinema.  That was my life as a teenager in 1973.

Ok everyone in the UK knew Roger Moore was the Saint, and Sean Connery was James Bond.

But I absolutely loved Live and Let Die at the cinemas back then. 

The film was groundbreaking for example showing hand gliding for the first time.  I think the film is packed with so many incredible stunts as it was just a way of keeping the audiences mind off the fact that the Saint (coughs) I mean Roger Moore was James Bond. 

This was also a landmark Bond film for me as it was the last one I saw as a school kid, by the time MWTGG came out the following year my childhood was gone, and I was out in the real World working full time.

As I now watch this for the first time in a long time I'm impressed with how good Roger looks.  He's trim, and neatly trimmed hair.  I agree with others it would have been better if the PTS had been a mini film (like Goldfinger) to introduce him to the audience.

Again there is a solid believable plot in line with films of the time such as The French Connection.  The pace of the film is good.  I found it hard to believe that David Hedison was Felix Leiter as he was on the TV at that time portraying Captain Crain in Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.

Kanaga is a great villain and I also thought his death was poorly scripted. he's backed up with some great henchmen like Tee Hee.  Bond has some good allies as well.  As Quarrell had been killed in Dr No it was sort of ok to have Quarrell Jn.  Stutter is a good ally to Bond, and it would be great to see him in a Daniel Craig (if he returns, maybe he could be played by Idris Elba)

The stunts are fantastic, and I remember reading in the news paper at the time on how they did the speedboat stunts.  I seem to recall a lot of mathematics were involved. 

Overall I enjoyed this one a lot, far more than Connerys portrayal as Bond in YOLT and DAF.

Not the best Bond by a long chalk, but it is nowhere near the worst either, and I would have this film smack bang in the middle at number 12.  I have a real soft spot for this movie, no matter how camp it is in certain parts.

FRWl, CR, OHMSS, TSWLM, GF, SF, TLD,  LTK, TND,  FYEO, OP,TWINE, GE, LALD, TB, SPECTRE, DN, YOLT, TMWTGG, QOS, MR, DAF, DAD, AVTAK.

"Do you expect me to talk?  "No Mister Bond I expect you to die"

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Such a brilliant review, UB007, the background to you first seeing LALD makes it a very personal analysis and I enjoy Roger's first outing very much too. Hedison had actually finished in Voyage quite a few years earlier to LALD but was probably being rerun around this time.

(Incidentally, I have the board game of your user name, it's a superb piece of memorabilia  ajb007/martini )

Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Live and Let Die

I too have a soft spot for LALD as it was the first Bond film I watched in the Cinema  ajb007/martini

“I remember the last thing my Nan said to me before she died.
‘What are you doing here with that hammer?’”..... Lee Mack.

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Thunderpussy wrote:

I too have a soft spot for LALD as it was the first Bond film I watched in the Cinema  ajb007/martini

Where would you rate it out of the 24 films? 

I've said 12. 

I know Bond films are all about opinions and this is why I love this site to hear what other people think.

FRWl, CR, OHMSS, TSWLM, GF, SF, TLD,  LTK, TND,  FYEO, OP,TWINE, GE, LALD, TB, SPECTRE, DN, YOLT, TMWTGG, QOS, MR, DAF, DAD, AVTAK.

"Do you expect me to talk?  "No Mister Bond I expect you to die"

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I have to admit I was such a fan of Connery's that I was very disappointed by Moore's initial foray as Bond. I found him to be a bit too much of a "dandy" compared to Connery's tough and menacing, yet still charming and witty 007. Plus, I was familiar with Moore as Simon Templar and that added to my relunctance to accept him as Bond. As for the film itself, I sorely missed John Barry although I was a fan of the title song. But there were a number of things about LALD that really struck a chord with me. First, the New York scenes, especially those taking place just blocks away from where I grew up in Harlem. I can't even describe what a delight that was for a little Black kid who been a devoted Bond movie fan since the release of Dr. No. Also, I was thoroughly impressed by the unique and interesting villains, particularly Dr. Kananga and Tee Hee. And I found the voodoo trappings to be intriguing and unique. I wasn't too thrilled with the Sheriff Pepper character (too much of a buffoonish sort who seemed really out of place in a Bond movie). All in all, LALD is lower down in my rankings of Bond films, as are most of those starring Moore, but it still contains enough delights for me to revisit it from time to time.

"Felix Leiter, a brother from Langley."

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In 2009, i bought Vol 3 of the James Bond UE set at Costco. Mainly for GE. Therefore, this is one of the first films i saw.

Pros:
.I love Roger Moore's Bond. He really is the classic, gentlemen spy.
.That theme song rocks. The score does too.
.I dig Bond's flat. If it came with Miss Caruso id buy it.
.The Jamaica locations remind me of Dr. No. I love the tropical films.
.Love Kananga and Solitaire.
.Tee Hee and Baron Samedi.
.David Hedison as Leiter.
.The bus and boat chases.
."Names is for tombstones, baby".
.Mrs. Bell.
.Sherrif J.W. Pepper. RIP and God Bless.
.The voodoo angle gives it a different vibe.

Cons:
.Rosie is annoying. Wouldn't mind her if she didn't scream so much.
.Kananga's death. It is hilarious though.

One of those films that i like to watch on a hot day with a margarita in my hand.

8.5/10 ajb007/martini

1. Connery 2. Moore 3. Dalton 4. Brosnan 5. Craig 6. Lazenby

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My favourite of Roger's Bond. For the most part the clothes are great, much better than the dire Wardrobe that Sean was saddled with. Roger also looks fitter than Sean in DAF. Theme song is a high point, Baron Samedi rocks and we'll Ms Caruso...

Of that of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence- Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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LALD is a  great first film for Moore. It's a fun romp with a great cast, fantastic score, and some of the series' best one liners. After the parody of DAF, it's a refreshing film, even if it keeps that film's lighter tone and abundance of humour. Moore plays the quips with much more style than Connery.

DAF introduced the superhero portrayal of Bond, where he could walk through just about any situation with little effort. Moore would go on to make this image of Bond popular during his run but here there are still a few moments where Bond is resourceful (the conclusion to the boat chase, for example).

After the mostly Flemingesque depiction of Bond during the 60s, LALD almost feels like a different film series. This isn't helped by the lack of his trademarks, like a vodka martini, but it allows Roger the chance to make the role his own. Nonetheless, there are still similarities to the early films. The Jamaica scenes, for example, are reminiscent of Dr No, and inspecting the hotel suite is typical 60s Bond.

Jane Seymour is the perfect Bond girl, portraying the right amount of innocence and sexiness. Her seeing abilities make her an interesting and unique character. That Bond tricks her into bed by "stacking the deck in his favour" is uncouth, but the story sets up their eventual bonding earlier in the film.

LALD's villains are classic. The entire ensemble is really quirky and interesting, making them stand out in a series full of memorable villains. Yaphet Kotto plays Kanaga with such charm and elegance, he seems almost Bond's equal. Julius Harris and Geoffrey Holder as TeeHee and Baron Samedi, respectively, are wonderful henchmen. It's as if, feeling sorry that the villains were mostly black in a time of black empowerment, writer Tom Mankiewicz ensured they all had personality. Even J. W. Pepper comes across with style here.

Mankiewicz's script is full of great quips and of his three official contributions, is definitely his strongest entry (even if I prefer TMWTGG). The voodoo and tarot themes are interesting and give the film a certain charm.

The set design, especially of Kanaga's underground lair, is magnificient, proving the series didn't need to rely on Ken Adam's genious all the time.

George Martin's score is fantastic, suiting the film's lighter tone and is even reminiscent of Barry's scores, without the brass, of course. The title song is one of the series' best too.

Overall, LALD is a wonderful film, and one of Roger's best. Apart from Kanaga's comical death, there is little to fault here. The tone and style might have shifted from 60's films, but LALD establishes this is the series' direction for the next decade or so and does so in such a fun way that we don't mind because it's so enjoyable.

Last edited by IcePak (27th Apr 2017 23:47)

1. CR 2 OHMSS 3. TSWLM 4. TLD 5. SF 6. FRwL
7. GE 8. FYEO 9. LtK 10. TMwtGG 11. AVtaK 12.OP
13. DN 14. GF 15. TND 16. SP 17. TB 18. TWiNE
19. MR 20. YOLT 21. LaLD 22. QoS 23. DAD 24. DAF

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Re: Pros and Cons: Live and Let Die

rewatched this over the weekend in tribute to sir Rog

pro: the introduction of MooreBond in his apartment, it serves to show how he is unique from Connery's version, definitely he is a man of comfort, with that posh pad and the espresso machine ... he's irritating M from the getgo, much more than conneryBond ever did, and I don't think we would have learned so much so quick about this new version of the character if the scene had taken place in M's office ... plus, note that Moneypenny is a co-conspirator in Bond's affairs ... she might not ever get him to herself, but she gets a vicarious thrill out of facilitating his bedroom adventures

con: Bond actually disappears fro much of the third quarter of the story ... the neverending speedboat chase is seen from Sherriff Pepper's point of view and we only see Bond from a distance for about twenty minutes ... were they testing Sherriff Pepper for a spinoff series like they threatened to do with Jinx? plus the airport chase prior to that is completely unnecessary, and just makes three chase scenes in a row, also it is where the stoopidity factor really sets into this movie

something to think about: the whole Harlem sequence, I remembered it as being every last little old lady in Harlem being in communication with Mr Big, but in fact the way the communications go, at least some of those messages are being passed to the CIA agent that's tailing Bond. You'd need a flowchart to determine exactly who's informing the good guys and who's informing the bad guys, but the filmmakers intend for us in the audience to assume everybody in Harlem is in league with Mr Big, deliberately exploiting our prejudices

the hotel Bond checks into later must be one of Mr Bigs properties though, Baron Samedi, Whisper and Rosie Carver are all working there ... Moneypenny messed up in booking that hotel room


__________________________________
EDIT: Pros and Cons revised below.

Last edited by caractacus potts (6th May 2020 03:12)

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^ Live and Let Die is a psychedelic mish-mash of all sorts. It's kind of a shame that it isn't more stylish - if it was - the film could be more iconic.

LALD is quite well received by non-fans from what I've found.

This image to me is brilliant, really demonstrates something "young" and "cool" about LALD and a great representation of the de-shackling of the Connery 60s: https://www.facebook.com/JamesBond007/p … mp;theater

1. TWINE  2. FYEO  3. MR  4. TLD  5. TSWLM 6. OHMSS  7. DN  8. OP  9. AVTAK  10. TMWTGG  11. QoS 12. GE  13. CR  14. TB  15. FRWL  16. LTK  17. GF  18. SF  19. LaLD  20. YOLT  21. TND  22. DAD  23. DAF.

"If you'll forgive me, that's a little too scented for my palate."

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45 today  ajb007/martini    ajb007/bond

UK premiere was July 5th

Mother saw this x-mas '73.......

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caractacus potts wrote:

con: Bond actually disappears fro much of the third quarter of the story ... the neverending speedboat chase is seen from Sherriff Pepper's point of view and we only see Bond from a distance for about twenty minutes ... were they testing Sherriff Pepper for a spinoff series like they threatened to do with Jinx? plus the airport chase prior to that is completely unnecessary, and just makes three chase scenes in a row, also it is where the stoopidity factor really sets into this movie


Agreed. This is one of my main issues with LALD is losing sight of Bond with the chases sequences. At least in TMWTGG Bond is right there alongside JW rather than a spec on the horizon. 

heartbroken_mr_drax wrote:

This image to me is brilliant, really demonstrates something "young" and "cool" about LALD and a great representation of the de-shackling of the Connery 60s: https://www.facebook.com/JamesBond007/p … mp;theater

Wow, that is a super cool photo!  ajb007/martini

My current 10 favorite:

1. GE 2. MR 3. OP 4. TMWTGG 5. TSWLM 6. TND 7. TWINE 8.DN 9. GF 10. AVTAK

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By the way, the Live and Let Die milk advert that was mentioned right at the start of this thread was filmed by my Dad (Production Manager) and his film crew. He was on the set for the boat chases and car crashes (he was in the boats for some of the filming).

He took several behind the scenes photos. I have put a description on a separate thread I posted from 2012. The link is https://www.ajb007.co.uk/post/559089/#p559089. Hope that works. The thread also provides links to some of the photos he took.

I have still not got around to selling them yet. He keeps asking me if I have  ajb007/confused

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I absolutely love the film.

I read that Jane Seymour was dubbed over with most of her lines? I could have sworn that was her speaking! I don't get why they do this with Bond girls..

Anyways, besides that and the outlandish way Kananga dies are my really only problems.
I guess the film wouldn't fly in nowadays times, but I think that's it's charm.

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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=W05WA4rmhLs

A yr overdue , italian 1sh sgd by Moore , Kotto and many others.......you see a few repro posters sgd by Moore but how many originals (prolly 1st issue too)

ajb007/bond

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An 8/10 for me.  My criticisms:

- Moore, while decent, doesn't quite own the role here.
- Too many henchmen.  I could prob do without Samedi in particular.  They probably dilute Kananga's impact for me.
- Rosie Carver (good thing her screen time is low).
- Small nitpick here, but I could do without J. W.'s spitting.

However, this is a highly entertaining and well-paced film.

"Hostile takeovers.  Shall we?"
New 2020 ranking (for now DAF and FYEO keep their previous placements)
1. TLD  2. TND  3. GF  4. TSWLM 5. TWINE 6. OHMSS 7. LtK 8. TMWTGG 9. L&LD 10. YOLT 11. DAD 12. QoS 13. DN 14. GE 15. SF 16. OP 17. MR 18. AVTAK 19. TB 20. FRWL 21. CR 22. FYEO 23. DAF (SP to be included later)
Bond actors to be re-ranked later

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Agent Purple!
you forgot to do Diamonds are Forever!

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caractacus potts wrote:

Agent Purple!
you forgot to do Diamonds are Forever!

I'm doing the Bondathon in 2 rounds, I'll rewatch DAF in the 2nd round.

"Hostile takeovers.  Shall we?"
New 2020 ranking (for now DAF and FYEO keep their previous placements)
1. TLD  2. TND  3. GF  4. TSWLM 5. TWINE 6. OHMSS 7. LtK 8. TMWTGG 9. L&LD 10. YOLT 11. DAD 12. QoS 13. DN 14. GE 15. SF 16. OP 17. MR 18. AVTAK 19. TB 20. FRWL 21. CR 22. FYEO 23. DAF (SP to be included later)
Bond actors to be re-ranked later

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Re: Pros and Cons: Live and Let Die

PROS
- They finally found a replacement for Connery who could act, and who would stick around.
- I like Roger Moore. He was my first Bond, and I enjoy him as The Saint.
(but it would take him a few more films to persuasively become James Bond)

- new Bond introduced in his apartment, allowing more focus on this specific interpretation of the character. We would have not gotten to know him so well in a few brief minutes if he had been first seen in M's office.


- Paul McCartney's title song and George Martin's score.
I always like that thing McCartney does where he stitches seemingly unrelated song fragments into a three-minute whole, and this is one of his all-time best.
Martin's score quotes the big hooks for the action scenes, and also gets respectably fownkay for the Harlem scenes.
- once upon a time, Help! paraphrased the Bond theme. You got to have the American version of the Help! soundtrack or 1962-1966 to hear it, but theres a quick variation of the surf guitar and horn breakdown before Lennon begins singing. So Paul had demonstrated relevant experience.
- I like the vocal version that is performed in the restaurant later in the film. Diegetic use of song within the narrative I think that is called? Anyway, Paul's song translates to soul music very well.
- For the first official non-Barry score since Dr No, this is mighty good stuff, and better than just about any nonBarry to come.

- The plot actually uses more Fleming than did YOLT or DaF. Even if they are barely recognisable, the scenes in Harlem and the finale where Solitaire is rescued are basically the first and last sections of the book, and other scenes, like the train trip, or the breaking of Bond's finger, are also there but in different places.

- The scene with the hang-glider is almost identical to a scene from the comic strip adventure Double Jeopardy two years earlier, by Lawrence and Horak. Would this be the first adaptation from a non-Fleming source?

- Bond taking Solitaire's virginity. Not in the book, but this begins the trend of MooreBond getting into much sexier situations than ConneryBond ever did.
This also leads us back into the Occult angle of the film.


- The alligators. Fleming would have approved of this addition to his plot.


- All that Blaxploitation and the voodoo content. This movie has great style.

- Baron Samedi is very cool. Check out whats going on at the hotel entertainment, it's a theatricalised version of the ritual sacrifice that begins and ends the film.

- The neverending boat chase shows off some spectacular bayou geography.



CONS
- Moore plays Bond as a posh toff, and makes himself look silly and obsolete in contrast to these hep Blaxploitation gangsters.
Basically, he's a stereotypical old school gentleman spy out of his element in the middle of a modern day streetsmart action movie, making this film a cynical deconstruction of the property EON has responsibility for.
Thats not Fleming's Bond, and for contrast watch how easily ConneryBond fit into the crowd at Pussfellers, nobody called him Honky.

- "I shan't be long", "I do hate to be a bother, but...". ConneryBond would never have used such phrases, nor would Fleming's Bond.
- Moore was tougher as Simon Templar, and more worldly, why is he playing Bond so soft here?

- ConneryBond would not have had that espresso machine, or that shaving kit either. MooreBond is very affected,
(Fleming's Bond might have had such gadgets, he was "faddish")


- The neverending boat chase is all about Sheriff Pepper, and our new Bond actor virtually disappears for twenty minutes straight.
- The airport chase is completely stoopid and a waste of time.
- Too many chase scenes in a row, replacing the Felix-gets-fed-to-the-sharks scene they were too scared to film.

- Solitaire was a much braver, more resourceful character in the book. It was her idea to escape with Bond, Bond didn't need to trick her.
And the white slavery angle was more explicit in Fleming's version too.

- Mr Big. The mask is ugly and the dual identity never fits persuasively into the plot, since both characters are always seen with the exact same retinue and yet are never seen together. They should have just dropped Mr Big altogether, and/or changed Kananga's name to Buonaparte Ignace Gallia and not mentioned the Big thing.
- Kananga's character changes abruptly in the final scene when suddenly he's smiling and offering his prisoners a glass of wine. Like they spliced together different versions of the script and nobody noticed.


- Rosie Carver.
Why does the first ever black Bondgirl have to be such an annoying character? (and she's too skinny)

- The informer network in Harlem, in which seemingly every black person is on the bad guy's payroll. Even though exactly one of them turns out to be a good guy, so that's a clever trick because we don't notice or suspect, the very trick relies on our prejudicial assumption that They are all united against Us.

- I talk to people who find this film Racist. They don't get the context of the Blaxploitation genre, or appreciate the black villains are much smarter than the stoopid white folk. But that perception makes this movie more difficult to discuss these days.


- this film repeats a lot from Dr No.
examples: the assassinations that start the story, the icky poisonous critter in Bonds hotel room, a scene in Bonds apartment.
This could almost count as a pro, cuz its kind of cool how they do it.
But the lengths they go to remake the very first film with the new actor betrays a lack of confidence. As if original ideas would be too risky at this time.




____________________________________________________________

I can't do this ranking thing you guys are into.
But if I were to plot Moore's seven movies on a graph, where year of release is the x-axis and my subective opinion is the y-axis, they would plot a pattern in the shape of the letter M, where Moonraker sits on a flawed-but-enjoyable middle tier roughly parallel to ...Golden Gun and Octopussy. Which is to say this film is lower tier Moore.

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caractacus potts wrote:

CONS
- Moore plays Bond as a posh toff, and makes himself look silly and obsolete in contrast to these hep Blaxploitation gangsters.
Basically, he's a stereotypical old school gentleman spy out of his element in the middle of a modern day streetsmart action movie, making this film a cynical deconstruction of the property EON has responsibility for.
Thats not Fleming's Bond, and for contrast watch how easily ConneryBond fit into the crowd at Pussfellers, nobody called him Honky.

I quite like that Bond himself is the butt of that joke: when he walks into the club in Harlem he's completely misjudged the situation and put himself in real danger. If they'd played it different I actually think it would have made the film feel more racist, but here it's the white guy who's made the dumb move.

caractacus potts wrote:

- Rosie Carver.
Why does the first ever black Bondgirl have to be such an annoying character? (and she's too skinny)

She can look however she wants to look.

caractacus potts wrote:

PROS
- They finally found a replacement for Connery who could act, and who would stick around.
- I like Roger Moore. He was my first Bond, and I enjoy him as The Saint.
(but it would take him a few more films to persuasively become James Bond)

Yes I've been thinking recently about how OHMSS would have genuinely been better I think if Moore had been the lead in it. The opening of the film in Portugal basically is The Saint. His Bond would have connected with the audience better.

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caractacus potts wrote:

- Rosie Carver.
Why does the first ever black Bondgirl have to be such an annoying character? (and she's too skinny)

emtiem wrote:

She can look however she wants to look.

apologies for negatively objectifying the actress. That was my attempt at a variation on the Woody Allen line "the food here is terrible and the portions are too small". And I debated on including it, since it was irrelevant and rude.

but to better explain my thoughts: a woman certainly has the right to choose how she wants to look.
But these are Bondfilms, where the producers pick and choose their actresses according to how they fit an ideal of beauty, often regardless of acting talent. They are promoting an aesthetic. I was just reading recently that Julie Christie (an Oscar winner) was passed over as a Bond-girl in the 1960s because she was too skinny.

But in the early 70s, the standard has changed: we get three films in a row featuring supermodel thin actresses in bikinis for no reason acting like ditzes. Bond's dialog with Quarrel specifically invites us to objectify the character (something like "she's a lousy agent but the benefits speak for themselves"), and I must say I find this ideal of woman neither funny nor sexy.
The three early70s Guy Hamilton films I think were a lowpoint for representations of women in the Bondfilms.

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UnderwaterBattle007 wrote:

So as my Bond marathon continues Live and Let Die was next on the list to watch. 

As someone who has seen every James Bond film on it's release from YOLT to the modern day, the hype around Moore's Bond started way before it's release date. 

Again you have to bear in mind what 1973 in the UK was like. 

Life was very much a struggle for most working class families.  There were constant strikes and power cuts, my father was on a three day week, fortunately my mother worked full time as a school secretary so our family was better off than most, but it was still tough. I also had two paper rounds which provided me with a little extra cash.

Going to the cinema was the only escape even though it was only for a couple of hours. 

So my Saturday routine was have a lazy lie in bed, lunch, put the sky blue and white scarf around my neck and go to Manchester to watch the football with my brother. 

After the match we would grab some fish and chips and go to the cinema.  That was my life as a teenager in 1973.

Rudimentary pleasures to be enjoyed before popping along to see the new James Bond film.   ajb007/smile

Yet pleasures all denied to us during lockdown in 2020.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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We're planning a group watch of LALD tomorrow- https://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/52606/mo … -together/  The more the merrier!  ajb007/smile