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Live and Let Die [1973]

Director:Guy Hamilton
Writer:Tom Mankiewicz
Composer:George Martin
Length:121 minutes
(2 hours 1 minute)
MPAA Rating:PG
Sorting Category:Action
IMDB Rating:6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:66%
Amazon Rating:4.0/5 stars
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Synopsis: 007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader.

Reaction: A bit problematic from a racial sensitivity standpoint, but overall, it works well enough as a Bond movie. A ridiculous end to Mr. Big, though.

Personal Rating: 6/10

Guy Hamilton => Director
Tom Mankiewicz => Writer
George Martin => Composer
Ian Fleming => Novel
Bernard Lee => 'M'
Clifton James => Sheriff Pepper
David Hedison => Leiter
Dennis Edwards [I] => Baines (uncredited)
Earl Jolly Brown => Whisper
Geoffrey Holder => Baron Samedi
Gloria Hendry => Rosie
James Drake => Dawes (uncredited)
Jane Seymour => Solitaire
Joie Chitwood => Charlie
Julius Harris => Tee Hee (as Julius W. Harris)
Lance Gordon => Eddie, State Trooper (uncredited)
Lois Maxwell => Moneypenny
Lon Satton => Strutter
Michael Ebbin => Dambala
Nikki Van der Zyl => Solitaire (voice) (uncredited)
Robert Dix => Hamilton (uncredited)
Roger Moore => James Bond
Roy Stewart => Quarrel
Ruth Kempf => Mrs. Bell
Shane Rimmer => Hamilton (voice) (uncredited)
Stephen Hendrickson => Mr. Bleeker (uncredited)
Tommy Lane => Adam
Yaphet Kotto => Kananga / Mr. Big

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • At 33, Yaphet Kotto (Mr Big) is the youngest actor to play a main Bond villain.
  • According to Paul McCartney, after the director heard the title song, complete with orchestra and all, he said "Yeah, that's good for a demo but when are you going to do the real record!"
  • The producers made a conscious decision to make Roger Moore's Bond significantly different from Sean Connery's. For example, Bond never orders a vodka martini but drinks bourbon whiskey instead; the mission briefing occurs in his flat, not the office (only the second time Bond's apartment is featured in the films after an appearance in Dr. No); Bond does not wear a hat; and he smokes cigars instead of cigarettes.
  • According to Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto was difficult to work with but Kotto denies this. Kotto maintains that though he may have been quiet, he was courteous to everyone on the film.
  • Geoffrey Holder hated working with snakes. As he was playing Baron Samedi, he was called upon to handle lots of them. He was particularly against having to play the scene where his character falls into a coffin full of them. However, he was obligated to perform the scene without raising too much of a complaint because [?] Princess Alexandra was visiting the set the day the scene was being filmed, and he didn't want to lose face in front of royalty.
  • Roger Moore suffered an injury during the boat chase. The engine cut out and the momentum carried him into a boathouse. He cracked some of his front teeth and twisted his knee. He had to walk on a cane for days afterward, but he was still able to complete the scene because all he had to do was sit in the boat.
  • Roger Moore was 45 when he made his debut as 007, making him the oldest actor to do so. The youngest was George Lazenby who made his debut at age 29.
  • [?] Ross Kananga (credited as "stunt coordinator") was the owner of the crocodile farm in which Bond escapes some hungry reptiles. Kananga did this stunt by himself wearing Roger Moore's clothes and shoes made of crocodile skin. The crocodile shoes was a fun idea of Roger Moore. It took five attempts to complete the stunt. During the fourth attempt, one of the crocodiles snapped at one of the shoes as it went by. The producers (while scouting locations) first took notice of [?] Ross Kananga's farm from the sign out front which read: "WARNING; TRESPASSERS WILL BE EATEN." This sign can be seen in the finished film. They liked [?] Ross Kananga so much that the movie's villain, Dr. Kananga, was named after him.
  • Sean Connery turned down the then astronomical sum of $5.5 million to play James Bond. Connery gave Roger Moore his personal seal of approval for inheriting his role, calling him "an ideal Bond".
  • On his DVD audio-commentary, Roger Moore considers Live and Let Die to be his second best Bond picture after The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • According to Yaphet Kotto, he was not allowed to to do any press for the film nor was he allowed to attend the premiere. Kotto states that the producers told him that they were afraid of the public's reaction to the villain being black.
  • The producers offered Clint Eastwood the role of James Bond, fresh from his success with Dirty Harry. He was flattered, but declined, saying that Bond should be played by an English actor. Notably Bond uses a Smith and Wesson 44 Magnum in this film, the gun made hugely popular by the [Dirty Harry] movies.