Let me be clear: I like Roger Moore. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, he is a good actor, and he's quite rightly assumed the position of National Treasure for his resolutely British self-deprecation, his charity work for UNICEF and his heady days as an ambassador for knitwear. He's also about the only actor who could get away with something like this:
Moore isn't entirely to blame: following the "disaster" of George Lazenby, producers Broccoli and Saltzman deliberately steered their new star away from the Connery model by making him drink bourbon instead of Martinis and smoke cigars instead of cigarettes. They even had M and Moneypenny inexplicably pop round to his questionably decorated flat to brief him on his new mission, which is unforgivable. The obvious consequence of all this is that not only is the new guy not Sean Connery but he's also not James Bond, despite what his ludicrous monogrammed dressing gown says. He's just Roger Moore.
Live And Let Die's least welcome legacy, though, is the villain's staggering inability to successfully assassinate James Bond, which would feed legions of awful parodies and Bond haterz for decades to come. It's one thing to leisurely explain your diabolical scheme to the hero while he unties himself from his sloppily-tied clove hitch, but it's another thing entirely for you and your asinine assassins to balls up his murder on no fewer than ten occasions in one film. It's enough to make you wonder if they've been taking lessons...
How To Die And Let Live:
A Ten-Step Guide To Being A Bad Bad Guy
If your human minions are proving useless, give the job to a dumb animal. Snakes are ideal: they're slow, easy to spot and made of highly flammable rubber.
The musicIt's not all bad. Live And Let Die immediately atones for the series' weakest pre-title sequence with the series' greatest theme song. Wings - "the band The Beatles could have been" (Partridge, 1997) - cruelly rocket expectations for a world-class Bond film to the moon with their blistering title track, and George Martin delivers an archetypally seventies score with more flare-flapping funk than a pimpmobile full of Isaac Hayeses.
The clothesthese / three / posts at the massively-collared Clothes On Film.
Trust Roger Moore to take the series' best running double entendre and give it a new twist for the female-empowering new decade:
Rosie Carver, an inexperienced CIA agent, is terrified by the sight of a dead snake. She rushes into Bond's arms for comfort.
Oh, I should have never gotten into any of this!
I'm going to be completely useless to you.
Oh, I'm sure we'll be able to lick you into shape.
BlogalongaBond will return with The Man With The Golden Gun
What the hell is BlogalongaBond? I'll tell you.
Further BlogalongaBondareading here