LIVE AND LET DIE (1973)
Article 5436 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Guy Hamilton
Featuring Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Seymour
What it is: James Bond movie
James Bond investigates the murder of three secret agents and how their deaths are related to a crime lord in New Orleans and a Caribbean dictator.
Seeing as how I’m not really a big fan of the James Bond series, I don’t have any strong feelings one way or another about Roger Moore having taken over the role after the second departure of Sean Connery. However, I do think it’s a bit of a shame they didn’t give him a better kickoff than this relatively listless entry in the Bond series; except for a couple of moments during the speedboat chase, the action scenes aren’t memorable, the henchmen aren’t really a whole lot of fun, and the Bond girls are a bit disappointing. Furthermore, the inclusion of a Southern redneck sheriff feels desperately out of place in a Bond movie, but he must have been popular to have been given a reprise in the subsequent entry in the series. Probably the most impressive thing about the movie is that the theme song was written and performed by Paul McCartney and Wings; given that both Bond and the Beatles were big sixties icons, this is particularly fitting. Most of the gadgetry this time surrounds an all-purpose watch which can also work as a super-magnet, and the fantastic content is further enhanced by a plot that involves voodoo and what appears to be the authentic psychic powers of Jane Seymour’s Tarot card reader. On a side note, it was interesting to note the presence of regional director William Grefe in the credits, who helped with the shark scenes. From what I gather, the series would remain in the doldrums until THE SPY WHO LOVED ME.