Thursday, July 8, 2010

Moore becomes Bond in 'Live and Let Die'

Live and Let Die (1973)
Starring: Roger Moore, Jane Seymour, Yaphet Kotto, and Geoffrey Holder
Director: Guy Hamilton
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

British secret agent James Bond (Moore) is dispatched to find and eliminate the leak that's caused the death of several of Her Majesty's secret agents in the Americas. He soon finds himself pitted against Mr. Big (Kotto), a powerful drug lord who has more than just thugs and weapons at his disposal: He is allied with a sexy Tarot-reading psychic (Seymore) and draws upon the seemingly very real voodoo powers of Baron Samdei himself (Holder)!

With "Live and Let Die", Guy Hamilton helmed yet another of my favorite James Bond movies. It's a little darker than most, the horror/ overtones are incorporated with great skill into the high-tech world super-spy world of Bond, and it's got one of the all-time classic Bond chases that has all the humor, action, suspense, and stunts that we've come to expect. It also delivers one of the most interesting Bond Girls to appear in the series, the may-or-may-not-be psychic, Solitaire. For final icing on the cake, the usual Bond-with-the-girl denouement even has a little bit of a horror twist to it.

Acting-wise, I think everyone made a fine show of themselves, even if I would have liked to see more of Seymour as Solitaire(in both senses of that). I also prefer the somewhat grimmer portrayal of Bond that Moore gives here than the increasingly good-humor-glint-in-eye Bond that we get in later films; it really seemed more in keeping with the character. In fact, that the humor was kept somewhat restrained in this film compared to the Roger Moore vehicles that were to come is one of the reasons this movies is so effective.


M. L. Martin said...

At the risk of being a pedant, Steve, it's Jane Seymour.

Steve Miller, Writer of Stuff said...

Whoops. All fixed.