31/08/2011

BlogalongaBond: Live and Let Die (1973)


Since the BlogalonaBond marathon is becoming a more tedious monthly exercise than the shedding of my uterine lining, I've got into the habit of leaving things til the last minute and August is no exception. My limited Bond knowledge begins with the Moore years and since I'm a sucker for an expressive eyebrow or two the next couple of months should be a hoot. So without further ado, here's painfully analysis-free look at Live and Let Die.

And Here Begins The "Bond Does..." Series


After Sir Sean Connery rightly turned down the chance to return and play Bond again the hunt was on to find a new star, and who better than honorary south Londoner and cardigan-enthusiast Roger Moore. Desperate to survive without Connery and wash the "failure" of HMSS (I haven't seen it) off, Bond stopped being Bond and took influence with what was hot at the time (see also: Moonraker - Bond does Star Wars, and Casino Royale - Bond does Bourne) and since the likes of Shaft was released just a few years earlier, blaxploitation was the order of the day. Now, I understand the Bond purists don't appreciate the change of pace and are missing ole' baldie Blofield but the blaxploitation element, complete with afro'd cliches, casual racism and flagrant uses of the word 'honky', was far more entertaining than some Hank Scorpio wannabe. Also, check out these beauties:

[Strutter is pursuing James Bond through Harlem]
Harold Strutter: Can't miss him. It's like following a cue ball. 
-
Cab driver: You know where you're going?
James Bond: Uptown, I believe?
Cab driver: Uptown? You headed into Harlem, man!
James Bond: Well you just stay on the tail of that jukebox and there's an extra twenty in it for you.
Cab driver: Hey man, for twenty bucks I'd take you to a Ku Klux Klan cookout! 
-
[Bond sees a possible weapon]
Black Man: [to Bond] Keep your hands up, honkey! 

 Where Have All The Good Bond Girls Gone?


It's ridiculous that only eight films in the producers have lost interest in casting actresses who possess a spark as well as beauty or creating characters who can do more than just let Bond take their knickers off but alas, Live and Let Die replaces the likes of Pussy Galore and Honey Rider with useless bikini-clad black women and naive virgins. Or well, at least Jane Seymour jaw-dropping gorgeousness stops her from being completely pants.

James Bond Has A Better Wardrobe Than You

Image lovingly stolen from Clothes On Film

Chesterfield coats, string vests, double denim...James Bond has never looked so unbelievably amazing. While Connery could wear a suit and a baby blue playsuit, Moore takes his legacy a step further with outfit after outfit. Swoon.

Paul McCartney Finally Does Something Decent*


*Locks doors

A change of pace meant a change of sound for LaLD and the throaty divas of yesteryear were thrown out in favour of Paul McCartney and his Wings. The title song is an odd one but at the same time completely brilliant. So brilliant in fact that it was probably the first Bond theme song that works out of context whether it be within the film it was written for or in a TV show like Life On Mars. Unfortunately its popularity and success led to covers by Guns N' Roses and, dear God, Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. Be warned dear readers, clicking on that last link may cause you to rip your ears off.

Next Month

The Man With The Golden Gun; I haven't seen it.