Live and Let Die (1973)

Live and Let Die (1973)

“Any cost — any: Bond must die.”

Special agent James Bond (Roger Moore) pursues Harlan drug dealer “Mr. Big” — a.k.a. Dr. Kananga (Yaphet Kotto) — who is actually dictator of the Caribbean island San Monique, and who relies heavily on the support of a claw-armed henchman (Julius Harris), a voodoo magician (Geoffrey Holder), and a virginal tarot card reader named Solitaire (Jane Seymour).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Drug Dealers
  • James Bond Films
  • Spies
  • Voodoo

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that “Roger Moore made an unimpressive debut as James Bond in [this] unimaginative adaptation of Ian Fleming’s second novel”:

“set in New York, New Orleans, and a Caribbean island.” He notes that the “movie stumbles along most of the way”, and it’s “hard to remember Moore is playing Bond at times — in fact, if he and Seymour were black, the picture could pass as one of the black exploitation films of the day.”

He adds that “there are few interesting action sequences”, that the “motorboat chase is trite”, and that it’s all made “worse by throwing in some stupid [and racist] Louisiana cops, including pot-bellied Sheriff Pepper (Clifton James).” I mostly agree, but will admit to enjoying Bond’s nifty footwork across a pond of alligators and crocodiles, and finding the motorboat sequence appropriately exciting. The colorful sets and costumes are also a plus, as is the title song by Wings, and Geoffrey Holder’s charismatic supporting performance as Baron Samedi. But ultimately, this one is only must-see viewing for fans of the franchise.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Colorful cinematography and on-location shooting

  • Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi
  • The Wings’ catchy theme song

Must See?
No; this one is only must-see for Bond completists.


2 thoughts on “Live and Let Die (1973)

  1. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    A solid opener for Moore with plenty of great action and colourful characters. It’s not top drawer but it’s grown on me over the years. I saw it a few years ago in a revival screening and it played very well on the big screen.

    As a film in and of itself, not must see. But a case could be argued that as the first film for Moore who remains the longest serving EON Bond, then it is must see.

  2. Agreed; not must-see.

    Moore is not an ideal Bond and (personally) this entry overall is on the sluggish side. Still, Bond fans are likely to be (a bit) more forgiving towards it.

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