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Live And Let Die | James Bond Fim | Hollywood Movie Reviews

Live and let die is the eighth film in James Bond spy film series. Its is the first one to star Roger Moore as the protagonist. The previous film Diamonds Are Forever is the last one to star Sean Connery as James Bond.

In order to make audience continue the bond with the series, the clips of the previous films are shown before the title. So people can feel a link between Roger Moore and Sean Connery (as they were playing the same role). The production team was cautious and willing to make all efforts so people can accept this new actor as James Bond. Because Sean Connery will not be playing the role any more. People accepted Roger Moore as James Bond and he have worked in may Bond films that we will see later.

Movie : Live And Let Die
Director : Guy Hamilton
Producers : Harry Saltzman, Albert R. Broccoli
Screenplay : Tom Mankiewicz
Based On : Live And Let Die by Ian Fleming
Cast : Roger Moore (James Bond), Yaphet Kotto (Dr. Kananga and Mr. Big), Jane Seymour (Solitaire), Julius Harris (Tee Hee Johnson), David Hedison (Felix Leiter), Gloria Hendry (Rosie Carver), Clifton James (Sheriff J.W. Pepper), Geoffrey Holder (Baron Samedi), Bernard Lee (M), Roy Stewart (Quarrel Jr.), Earl Jolly Brown (Whisper), Tommy Lane (Adam), Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny), Madeline Smith (Miss Caruso) and others…

It all starts with three murders which took places at three very different areas of the world. First fellow was killed at the conference room of United Nations in New York City. He was killed by passing a large amount of electricity power to him via his earphone. Second fellow, when standing on the roads of New Orleans, Louisiana. He see and funeral passing by. When funeral came near, he was killed and taken into the coffin. And suddenly the mood of people in funeral is changed! Third person was killed by giving him snake bite at San Monique, an island in the Caribbean. This is first (and probably the only) Bond film where we see all the sad figures and faces during the title song! So its all different mood being setup for the viewer.

It was early morning when M went to meet Bond, where he informs Bond about these 3 murders happened in the short span of just 24 four hours. They all were agents of British Secret service and Bond has to find if there is any relation between those murders (and of course the cause for the same too). It was the time Bond was sharing with the Italian secret agent Miss Caruso!!

One of the agent killed was monitoring the operations of Dr. Kananga, the dictator of a small Caribbean island, San Monique. The investigation is started from NYC and fortunately Kananga was also there. When Bond arrived to NYC he took the taxi sent for him by his CIA colleague Felix Leiter. On the way he was attacked by some assassins but Bond was able to survive anyway but his driver was killed. Following the trace on the killer’s license plate Bond runs into Mr. Big, a ruthless gangster. He runs a chain of restaurants in USA titled Fillet of Soul. It is one of those restaurants where Bond met Solitaire – a lady who is known to have the ability to see the remote events happening at the time. In addition she could see the future via tarot cards. It is worth to note that she was virgin (and as per myths she has to be in order to keep the powers she have). Later we got to know that her mother was also possessor of such powers and was killed when she lost them.

Mr. Big ordered his men to kill Bond. He also took advise of Solitaire for the same. She confirmed that she could see the death. However Bond overpower the goons and did escape. Mr. Big then doubts the ability of Solitaire’s power. She however played the game of words that she had seen the death but not of Bond but the assassin. Bond flies to San Monique, where he meets Rosie Carver, a CIA agent (we later got to know that she was a double agent). Here also Bond was attacked several times but was able to survive.

In the due course of events they meet Quarrel Junior (son of Quarrel – the fellow who helped Bond in Dr. No). Rosie promise Bond that she knows the place where one of the agent (for whom Bond was investigating) was killed. She asked Bond to visit a strange place where normal people of the are was fear from going. The place belong the fortune teller lady and no one else but Kananga can go there.

Will James be able to go there and find the truth about the murders of British Secret Service agents? Will he be able to find out that Rosie was a double agent? Will any other agent got killed in the course of events? What is the connection between Mr. Big and Dr. Kananga? What is all this conspiracy about? Does the fortune teller lady (Solitaire) actually have the powers to see the future? What will be her fate? Is she involved in the conspiracy by any means? Will Bond be able to resolve the matter? So many questions… All can be answered by watching the movie.

The boat chase is one of the high points of the movie. Roger Moore is a Bond who relies on gadgets at a certain extent, but didn’t use them much (in this film). The Bond is more womanizer now. Bond runs into more trouble by his not so intelligent act in this movie. He seems being more human (who is prone to make mistakes). Though he was able to bring ahead the legacy of Sean Connery. The crocodile theme was famous and some Bollywood movies also have used it (I remember one movie starring Rajesh Khanna having very similar sequence with crocodiles). Overall a good movie with its highs and lows.

Facts:

  • This film holds the record of “most viewed broadcast film on television in UK”. It is claimed to be seen about around more than 23 million people watched it when aired in 1980.
  • The character of Solitaire was thought be a black woman at one point.
  • The title song was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Song.
  • The title song was also nominated for Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture.
  • Guy Hamilton won the award for Evening Standard Best Picture for the movie.
  • The book and the movie have remarkable differences, for example when the crew was searching for the movie shooting locations, they came across a Crocodile farm in Jamaica where the warning signboard was saying “Tracepassers will be eaten”. The farm’s owner was Ross Kananga. You can see the explicit scene in the film with the same signboard and the name of the main antagonist is also inspired by his name.

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