Archive: Live and Let Die (1973) A Review

One of my personal favourites, and the best of the Roger Moore Bond films, this film has some of the best imagery and costume design of any of the Bond films.  A strong recommend.

Certificate: PG

Director: Guy Hamilton

Screenwriter: Tom Mankiewicz

Starring: Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Seymour

Genre: Action, Thriller

Runtime: 121 Minutes

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

James Bond is back, and thankfully, without an aging Sean Connery to be seen.  In the first of Roger Moore’s exploits as 007, Several British agents have been murdered and James Bond is sent to New Orleans, to investigate these mysterious deaths. Mr. Big comes to his knowledge, who is self-producing heroin. Along his journeys he meets Tee Hee who has a claw for a hand, Baron Samedi the voodoo master and Solitaire a tarot card reader. Bond must travel to New Orleans, and deep into the Bayou. – IMDB

It may not be the most technically advanced of the Bond films, but it does have some of the most famous scenes and characters of the whole franchise.  From the speedboat chase through the Louisiana bayou, to the voodoo ceremonies in the Caribbean and the unforgettable character of Solitaire, all of these things have made this one of the most unforgettable films in the Bond Franchise.

Roger Moore brings a very seventies kind of suave to the character of James Bond and while he comes across just a little bit too cheesy for my tastes, meaning he will never rank as my favourite incarnation of the character, he does have some of the better storylines.  Jane Seymour gets the “privilege” of being the main romantic interest in this story, and unlike a lot of the women before her, she has a genuinely interesting character and a well rounded back story.  Her change of heart half way through the film after spending what must have been quite the night with our hero, is of course a little problematic by todays standards, but goes along with the James Bond ethos perfectly.

The beautiful voodoo and occult imagery in this film make it one of the most stunning to watch.  Along with the amazing costumes in this film mean that this film is a genuine feast for the eyes all round.

Unlike a lot of storylines that will come up in future films, and ones that have been done previously, this is one of the more believable ones, if you take out the voodoo of course.  There’s no world domination story, no space exploration or dreams of a world under the sea (the most ridiculous to me to be sure.) just a good old fashioned drug war.  Some of the later plots in Moore’s films do get a little ridiculous.

On the off chance that you are a Bond fan and haven’t gotten round to seeing the entire back catalogue yet, this is definitely one of the highlights, and with the newest Bond film being released in November, now is a great time to schedule a rewatch.

1 Comment

  1. Yup, I keep meaning to actually review this, but it’s the best of the Moore Bonds for me; I like the supernatural sub-plot, and there’s some cool stuff in NYC and with voodoo. Not keen on the way that Samedi explodes, but what a boat chase!

    Liked by 1 person

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