Live and Let Die

Tagline : Bond is back. Back in action. Back with excitement.

Runtime : 121 mins

Genre : Adventure Action Thriller

Vote Rating : 6.5/10

Budget : 7 million $ USD

Revenue : 126.4 million $ USD

Movie Website

Plot : James Bond must investigate a mysterious murder case of a British agent in New Orleans. Soon he finds himself up against a gangster boss named Mr. Big.

Cast Members


Roger Moore’s fun and colorful debut as 007 Agent 007 (Roger Moore) travels from Harlem to the Caribbean to Louisiana to stop a black heroin mogul (Yaphet Kotto) fortified with a multifarious organization and a lovely tarot card reader (Jane Seymour). This was Moore’s dynamic debut as Bond. He did 7 films for the franchise in 13 years from 1973-1985. The tone of “Live and Let Die” is similar to Sean Connery’s final canon Bond flick, “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971). Moore’s stint is my favorite run in the series with all seven films being kinetic, amusing, scenic and just all-around entertaining. There’s not one stinker in the bunch and they were all profitable at the box office. Aside from the picturesque globetrotting, “Live and Let Die” features several colorful characters beyond those already noted: The metal-armed Tee Hee (Julius Harris), the chortling voodoo minion Baron Samedi (Geoffrey Holder) and redneck Sheriff JW Pepper (Clifton James). On the female front, Seymour is young & cute while Gloria Hendry is impressively fit as Rosie. The head-turning Madeline Smith has a small role. In addition, there are several memorable thrilling parts, like the amusing airport sequence, Bond using crocogators as stepping stones, the great bayou boat chase and the closing train cab brouhaha. As far as the movie being “racist,” as SJW’s whine, the character Agent Quarrel Jr. (Roy Stewart) blows that whole eye-rolling idiot-theory. The film runs 2 hours, 1 minute and was shot in Manhattan, Jamaica and Louisiana (New Orleans & the bayous) with additional work done in England. GRADE: B+

By my clock, this era started with Diamonds are Forever... the era of the Silly Bond. But Diamonds are Forever was a Connery Bond and it kind of sucked because of it. So... Live and Let Die is the first of the GOOD silly Bond movies. Now don't get me wrong, I'm on team Connery. Team Connery all the way... but Live and Let Die is still a GREAT 007 film despite the total change in mood and persona. It moved away from the heartless assassin to pick up a more comedic and Fx driven fair that worked better for Moore. And because it is a new 007, the fish out of water setting works to drive it home. It's not the first time 007 set foot in the United States, but it is Harlem in 1973 and it is The Big Easy, and these are places that a white British man with an Oxford education would be a HORRIBLE person to act as a spy in. He's going to stick out like a sore thumb, and he does... ... and that is probably why they choose it as a setting to usher in Moore's era Bond. Because Moore was going to be different. He was the fish out of water in the franchise, and the setting helps drive it home. But, who cares, it was silly Bond, but it was FUN Bond. It was just fun in a different way than Connery was. But it was still fun, and fun is still entertaining.

This 007 film aged very well. 007 follows in the footsteps of three prior agents who were assassinated. There's a lot of "jive" in this one, since this is the one where the villain is black, and he uses mostly black helpers, so the white James Bond really sticks out. And thus we get a lot more comedy here. There's a bit of a condescending attitude towards Harlem here, and too much respect for the few who are the criminals of Harlem, but this is a "comedy" 007 adventure. The beautiful Solitaire is the love interest, and there's a lot of belief in the supernatural here. That's part of the "condescending" part. This movie was very bad in 1973, but it aged well, because in 1973 the "red neck sheriff" was such a trite cliche that one had to groan in 1973. But today, after all the movies that have tamed down the image of the red neck lawman, it's a fresh bit of comedy, and that's why this movie has aged well. It comes close to breaking into the top ten 007 films of all time due to its lack of negativity that has been the Hollywood formula since about 1965.

When I first watched this opening outing for Roger Moore in the "007" role, I wasn't very impressed. Now, when I watch it though, I appreciate more the sophisticated and subtle approach that the star brought to the role. Gone is much of the chauvinism of the Connery days, replaced by a more subtle, humorous, playful style whilst still delivering a good adventure film. This time, following the deaths of three other agents, "Bond" finds himself investigating a dodgy Caribbean ruler "Katanga" (Yaphet Kotto) who is using the prophetic skills of his tarot reader "Solitaire" (a rather beautiful but simpering, charmless, Jane Seymour) and a great deal of heroin to dominate the global narcotics market. It's got it's fair share of gadgets and one of the most memorable opening (funeral) scenes of any movie I've ever seen. Geoffrey Holder is crackingly menacing as "Baron Samedi" - the master of voodoo; and Julius Harris as the almost indestructible "Tee Tee" - complete with a basic, but dangerous artificial hand. It's dark, gritty and sinister and well worth watching. Can't say I'm the biggest fan of the Wings theme tune, though - I prefer the knock 'em dead power ballads...

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