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'Live And Let Die' hits the screens in the MI6Forums Bondathon film review

02-Feb-2010 • Site News

To celebrate the spate of upcoming Bond film anniversaries and the pave the way to Bond 23, we thought it was high-time the forum (Keeping The British End Up) pulled together for an official review of the whole series.

A film will be presented each month for viewing, discussion and review; running in conjunction with the main site, overall ratings and a selection of the best reviews will be published at the end of the month on mi6-hq.com.

This month, Roger Moore's down-to-earth debut, "Live And Let Die", will go under review in the MI6Forums Bondathon...


"A man comes. He travels quickly. He has purpose. He comes over water. He travels with others. He will oppose. He brings violence and destruction."

It was 1973. And on the surface, with Live And Let Die it seemed like business as usual for that man Bond. It was anything but.

The Sixties were over and it was time for a new direction. Lazenby had walked out and Connery was never coming back - well, never say never again and all that. Still, what now? Enter Roger Moore as the new 007, a man who would turn out to be a veritable saint for the Eon Bond series over the next ten years. One small problem first, though - the tricky task of getting his first flick right.

The series' producers, Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, seemingly went back to basics by turning to Ian Fleming's second 007 novel for adaptation and to Jamaica, used in the first Bond film Dr No, as the primary location. There, however, the Sixties Bond sensibilities arguably ended, with Diamonds Are Forever screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz and Goldfinger director Guy Hamilton concocting a slam-bang action adventure that riffed on the era's Blaxpoitation cinema, featuring a funk-tastic score from Beatles producer George Martin, a coterie of colourful black villains, the irresistible Jane Seymour as Bond Girl Solitaire and Paul McCartney And Wings' outstanding rock song title tune. Plus, they upped the ante of the source material's voodoo theme to lend proceedings a uniquely mystical, eerie undertone, introducing Moore's 007 to audiences by nattily turning him from a fool to a lover to a hero.

Did it work? The ringing of box-office tills around the world very much answered in the affirmative (inflation adjusted, this is the series' fifth most financially successful film) - and nearly forty years on, Live And Let Die remains one of the most unusual, intriguing and unforgettable of Bond's silver screen escapades. Sheer magnetism, indeed.

- Introduction by St. George

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