Ahead of the release of SPECTRE this autumn, the Bond Reloaded series takes a weekly look back at each film in the iconic James Bond franchise. This week, a new Bond arrives with voodoo-inflected thriller Live and Let Die.
In the era of blaxploitation cinema, Bond screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz decided that the notion of a black villain in the series would be an interesting one. With that in mind and director Guy Hamilton back on board, Fleming’s second novel – Live and Let Die – was chosen to mark the debut of a new man in the leading suit, in the shape of Roger Moore.
Live and Let Die is a wildly entertaining film, which thrills despite its slightly dodgy racial politics and even dodgier gender politics. In the world of 1970s Bond, in which everything is delivered with tongue firmly in cheek, it pays not to take stuff too seriously.
Aided by terrific villains and some of Bond’s most memorable stunts, Live and Let Die is a great introduction to arguably the most purely entertaining of the James Bond actors.
Ahead of the release of SPECTRE this autumn, the Bond Reloaded series takes a weekly look back at each film in the iconic James Bond franchise. This week, Sean Connery returns for Diamonds Are Forever.
After George Lazenby declined to return to play James Bond following On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the search began for a new lead. TV’s Batman – Adam West – was considered, along with Michael Gambon, but United Artists were insistent upon enticing Sean Connery back to the role that made him famous.
A hefty sum and a hell of a deal brought Connery back into the fold for Diamonds Are Forever, which is a fun ride that brings the campy humour that would become the trademark of the franchise under Roger Moore.
It might not be as polished as Goldfinger and it lacks the emotional heft of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but Diamonds Are Forever is certainly a really good time.