LIVE AND LET DIE
a film by Guy
Hamilton released through United Artists Pictures in 1973
Perhaps the most accessible of all Bond films, Live and Let Die
is the opposite of its title—despite some lapses into legitimate
drama, the eighth 007 adventure is a romp.
Roger Moore is a little too diffident, and Yaphet Kotto is too much
talk, too little action as Kananga. But Jane Seymour handles the
glamour, mystery, and sexual naiveté of Solitaire perfectly.
Many Bond fans hate Sheriff J.W. Pepper. But without him the boat
chase would drag on interminably. The script manages to poke fun at
him while engendering our sympathy. He's clearly out of his
league—you don't arrest James Bond! For all the '70s Bond
borrowings (kung-fu in The Man With the Golden Gun, space
battles in Moonraker), Live and Let Die managed to
inspire Smokey and the Bandit and all the light-hearted,
Southern-fried 'chase' properties that followed in its wake.
The only way to enjoy this movie is to appreciate it on its own
terms. And it would be wise for the series to attempt a return to
this film's tone—we need this confident flippancy after five
straight angst-ridden psycho-dramas.