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Live and Let Die [1973)

Dr. Quinn:  Bond Girl.  It’s true.  And it’s also true that when I was a kid Roger Moore was James Bond for me.  Connery seemed like a hairy-chested old fart.  No doubt it was all of the Bond reruns and Bond-a-thons I was exposed to which seemed to, without fail, feature mostly the “newer” Bond films which starred Moore.

This film marks Moore’s debut and it is quite a good one.  From the opening credits we know we are in for a quality time as the voice of Macca and the deft production of George Martin bring us into the film proper.

Guy Hamilton turns in another fine film here.  True, this film is rife with Blaxploitation clichés, but it transcends the era nonetheless.

I’m not sure why there are crocodiles in a Louisiana bayou, but perhaps my four years in a Cajun band didn’t thoroughly verse me in the ways of south Louisiana.  Bond makes one of his most daring escapes yet in the series when he uses the creatures (there’s at least one gator) as stepping stones in a nimble-footed exit from certain death.

The series indeed adds a new dimension of local color to its history thanks to priceless performances by such as Clifton James.  Of all the henchmen, Earl Jolly Brown is strangely the most frightening (but character Tee Hee Johnson is a close second).

Perhaps I fell asleep mentally, but the crocodile farm is said to be on the fictional island of San Monique.  I will assume it is my error (though we have seen continuity mistakes in past Bond films).

All in all, this was a fortuitous start to a brilliant career for the second true Bond.  And I will never look at Jane Seymour the same way again 🙂

 

-PD

 

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