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LIVE AND LET DIE, 1973
Movie Review


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LIVE AND LET DIE MOVIE,  MOVIE POSTERLIVE AND LET DIE, 1973
James Bond Movie Review

Directed by Guy Hamilton
Starring Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Seymour and Bernard Lee.
Review by Jesse Ryder Hughes


SYNOPSIS:

Three agents are killed mysteriously and black magic has something to do with it. Bond is sent in and finds a Caribbean island called San Monique, which has a large belief in voodoo. Bond runs into a man with a metal arm, the voodoo God Baron Samedi, a beautiful Tarot card psychic and a field full of heroin. Could the voodoo and heroin be connected?

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REVIEW:

Moore's first outing as Bond introduces a calm suave Englishman with a witty sense of humor and a creepy kisser. Live and Let Die continues the camp value that Diamonds are Forever started. Live and Let Die explores the blaxploitation genre in full gear with pimp mobiles, slang and a bad guy who is a drug trafficker. My friend watched the film with me and asked me if this was the most racist James Bond and I agreed it was. That being saidm the film is a lot of fun with a lot of memorable moments.

A great boat chase scene through the Louisiana bayou. A classic rock song by Paul McCartney. Bond hops across 7 or 8 snapping crocodiles to get to safety and one of the most beautiful Bond girls, a young Jane Seymour whom Bond seduces through her trust in her tarot cards.

The plot is simple. Dr. Kananga, a rich politician of the fictitious island of San Monique is hiding a heroin field and using voodoo to scare off trespassers not to overstep their bounds in the realm of black magic or else they would probably be murdered. Kananga plans to distribute the heroin through his chain of jazz clubs, called Fillet of Soul, through Louisiana and Harlem. There is a death scene in the opening where a whole orchestral parade partakes in a murder and I always hate how this orchestra gets away with it. Kananga is unbelievably powerful if he is getting townsfolk to partake in not one but two murders in the film, which I always chuckle at.

Moore's Bond suits the film's tone. I can imagine it would be hard to step into Connery's shoes. Moore's playfulness and confidence work quite well with the silliness and fun of the film. He actually grows on you the more you watch him. His fighting may not be as cool as Lazenby's or Connery's, but he has a lot of charm. You almost forget sometimes he's blatantly womanizing.

Overall with all the camp value that Diamonds are Forever and You Only Live Twice start, Live and Let Die continues. To enjoy the film you have to enjoy the cheesiness of it all and you will get your thrills. The stunts in the film start a trend which lead to some of the most groundbreaking stunts in history. The crocodile scene Where Bond runs across a slew of crocodiles is amazing. Moore has a lot to live up to by this point, but he does a fine job in my opinion. He is the Bond that I have the most belly laughs with, I am not sure if that is a compliment or not. With the Moore films its all about the fun ride through completely far fetched movies.

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