Born and raised in France, British director Guy Harrison learned his craft as an assistant director apprenticing with the likes of Julien Duvivier (“Anna Karenina” 1948), Carol Reed (“The Fallen Idol” 1948, “Outcast of the Islands” 1951), Orson Welles (“The Third Man” 1949) and John Huston (“The African Queen” 1951). A competent craftsman, he showed early promise with “Manuela/The The Stowaway Girl” (1957) and “A Touch of Larceny” (1961), both of which he co-scripted. But time revealed him to be at his best with spy movies such as the underrated “Funeral in Berlin” (1966) and his four James Bond pictures. Hamilton helmed the superb “Goldfinger” (1964) and reteamed with Sean Connery’s Bond for “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971). In 1973 and 1974, he guided Roger Moore through his paces in Moore’s first attempts at playing 007 in “Live and Let Die” and “The Man with the Golden Gun”. Hamilton’s work in the series demonstrated clearly the director’s economy and cynical wit. Following his Bond… read more
The surrealist/horror elements that seem promised by both the premise (voodoo) and the opening credits were the only thing of real interest. When they get disregarded or dropped, I felt my interest level doing the same. Why end the film with a laughing Samedi (the film's embodied death's head, as promised in the credits) riding on the front of the train like a ghoul? What narrative purpose does that serve except as
a throwaway joke? Why show him apparently regenerating himself--either through genuine occult power or some sort of charlatan trick--and then do nothing (absolutely nothing) with that thread? Instead we get goofy crocodile jumping and Moore willing to trick a clairvoyant just so he can steal her virginity--this is a good Bond film?
Moore's entry into the series resulted in fresh breath for the Bond series with the best entry since 'Goldfinger'. Moore makes the role his own enabled by a good story, excellent stunt work, a memorable villian and a more than memorable 'Bond Girl' the film debut of the beautiful Jane Seymour as Solitaire. Though very much a product of the early seventies the film stands out more than some of the earlier outings.
Much is to be liked and maligned in Roger Moore's debut. He would eventually become far too old for the role, but he exudes charisma without having to channel Connery, and makes a very good Bond in his first few outings. This one has some memorable villains and one of the best Bond girls in Solitaire, but it is an incredibly reactionary film in style, borrowing from blaxploitation and car chase flicks from the era
Live and Let Die is a solid debut for Roger Moore and the best of the Bond films written by Tom Mankiewicz, with great villains, a memorable leading lady, and enough stuntwork and suspense to compensate for what was generally missing in Diamonds Are Forever. Hands down, it also contains one of the greatest boat chases in history.
A propulsive survey of scores focusing on the thriller: procedurals, bank heists, neo-noirs, spy films, giallos, and sci-fi mind-games.