MI6 tracks the legacy of Live And Let Die, from
Ian Fleming's novel, to the comic strip adaptation,
feature film and computer game...
Live And Let Die - The Legacy
In 1954, Ian Fleming’s Live And Let Die was released.
The second Bond novel delved into the world of Harlem mobsters and
smuggling - and behind it all a secret SMERSH plan. The Fleming
legacy was next revived by the Daily Express comic strip,
first printed in 1958. In 1973 Roger Moore took over the role
of Secret Agent 007 and starred in the movie adaptation of
Live And Let Die. The controversial story was amended for
the modern audience but one pivotal point remained –
all the villains were black. Finally, in 1988, Live And Let
Die was revisited in a Domark computer game of the same
Fleming’s second novel, Live And Let Die was first published
on the 5th of April, 1954 by Jonathan Cape (Hardback, UK) who’s
cover Fleming himself had a hand in designing.
"Live And Let
Die" Literary Coverage
Mr Big is a Harlem gangster, who controls his empire with
superstitious fear. He has discovered a lost treasure beneath
a Jamaican Island and is smuggling the gold into America.
Bond's mission to stop him is made more urgent by the suspicion
that he is also an agent of SMERSH.
“Mr. Ian Fleming is without doubt the most interesting
recent recruit among thriller writers. The second adventure
of his Secret Service agent fully maintains the promise
of his first book. . .containing passages which for sheer
excitement have not been surpassed by any modern writer
in this kind.” – Times Literary Supplement
"Why it's just a hat, darling, belonging to a smallheaded man of limited means who lost a fight with a chicken"
Above: First edition cover art
The Comic Strip
First printed by the Daily Express (UK), Live and Let Die
ran for 15 weeks between 15th of December 1958 and 28th
of March 1959. Drawn by John McLusky and with the story
by Henry Gammidge, Live And Let Die continued the trend
set by the Casino Royale adaptation, whereby James Bond
narrates the story himself. Beyond the title and a loose
plot outline, the strip was not that faithful the Fleming’s
creation and much of the story was cut or trimmed to fit
it into the 15-week period.
"Live And Let Die" Comic Coverage
Above: The opening panel of
"Live And Let Die"
"He disagreed with something that ate him.
P.S. We have plenty more jokes as good as this"
Directed by Guy Hamilton, and written by Bond veteran Tom
Mankiewicz, Live And Let Die introduced Roger Moore as James
Bond 007 in 1973. Much of the story was adapted for a modern
audience, including the dropping of the SMERSH back-story.
The principal cast also included Yaphet Kotto as the villainous
Mr. Big and Jane Seymour as the clairvoyant Solitaire.
And Let Die" Movie Coverage
In Live And Let Die, James Bond is on a manhunt from Harlem
to the Caribbean to find and defeat the evil Dr. Kananga
before he can flood the world with massive shipments of
"Tee-Hee, on Solitaire's first wrong answer,
you will sever the little finger of Mr Bond's left hand.
On the next wrong answer, you will move on to more... 'vital'
parts of his anatomy.'”
Above: Special Edition DVD cover art
Pre-Order - Live And Let Die
Triva: Moore had been one of Ian Fleming's personal choices for the
role of 007, but when the film series went into production in 1962, he
was committed to his starring role in TV's "The Saint".
Above: Roger Moore as James Bond
As the first non-Barry Bond score, the film soundtrack was
arranged by Beatles ledged George Martin and the Beatles
theme continues with Paul and Linda McCartney’s “Live
And Let Die” theme sone. This rocky number made No. 2 on the
US charts, higher than any Bond theme that had gone before.
And Let Die" Music Coverage
Live And Let Die premiered on US television’s ABC
in January of 1976 and then in the UK on the 20th of January
1980, on ITV.
Moore's film got soul
Spy versus voodoo villains
Who wants alligator shoes?
"Names is for tombstones..."
"Live And Let Die" was released on October 20th, 1988
by a company named Domark - named after it's founders whose names
were Dominic and Mark. The company no longer exists after it was
bought out along with United States Gold & Core design and
became part of the Eidos video game company which still exists
today. The multi-platform game
featured four levels, all of them boat racing/shooting 3rd
Dr. Kananga or "Mr. Big" as he is known in the
underworld, is a shrewd operator who conceals his dealings
from prying eyes. His headquarters, which are well hidden
beneath a cemetery on San Monique, ships all of the un-refined
heroin to processing factories in remote and inaccessible
locations. James Bond, 007, the world's top secret agent
must undertake a series of dangerous missions to overcome
the covert operations of Dr. Kananga. As James Bond you
must carry out the orders of "M", traveling by
the only accessible means.
"Live And Let
Die" Game Coverage
"Live And Let Die" is a classic example
of the weak movie tie-in games that were released around
the late 80's / early 90's. Fortunately, better - original
- titles lay ahead for Domark, and "Live And Let Die"
can only be looked back upon as quick fix stop-gap between
their more robust outings. Although rated by many as Domark's
best 007 title at the time of release, fortunately Bond
fans had much better things to come.
Above: Game cover art