Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!
It must be noted that Live and Let Die was released during the height of “blaxploitation” and contains some cringey references and stereotypes.
Regardless, it may be my favorite Bond movie. This 1973 film (Eon Productions) is the first time Roger Moore stars as Bond, and, while I realize there are differing opinions, I think he does a fantastic job! The story is about the drug trade, with Mr. Big planning to distribute tons of heroin for free to put his rival drug lords out of business, thus giving himself a monopoly. While investigating the deaths of fellow British agents in New York and New Orleans, Bond discovers that Mr. Big is from the fictional island of San Monique. Naturally, Bond must visit the island, which is teeming with poppies (where heroin comes from). Complications ensue! It’s a super fun film with loads of gangsters and voodoo and of course a beautiful girl whom Bond must save. Yaphet Kotto, who recently passed away, stars as Mr. Big and his alter ego Dr. Kanaga, a corrupt Caribbean dictator who rules San Monique. For a Bond film, the plot is quite straightforward!
Jane Seymour plays Solitaire, the main love interest in this movie. She is a virgin priestess who tells the future via tarot cards and Mr. Big needs her help as he continues with his scheme. Bond seduces Solitaire with a fake deck of cards and she loses her magical abilities, consequently putting her on the bad side of Mr. Big. She now must join forces with 007, or else.
I haven’t mentioned Felix Leiter much ~ he’s Bond’s counterpart in the CIA and has a recurring role in many of the 007 films. In this one, he’s played by David Hedison, who also portrays Leiter in License to Kill (1989). He has funny lines in LALD, in particular a dialog with a southern sheriff, J.W. Pepper (played by Clifton James), as the sheriff tries to figure out what’s going on. As Bond escapes from the baddies on a wild speedboat ride, Pepper is outrageously hysterical. “Humorous” may not be the adjective first to mind when thinking of Bond films, but I find myself laughing throughout these movies.
Watch the following video for my favorite scene from LALD!
The title song, “Live and Let Die,” was written by Paul and Linda McCartney and performed by their band Wings. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!
Information and images from Wikipedia, Cultbox, PopSugar, and IMDB.
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