A fitting introduction to the wildest 007 of them all.
When you were young and your heart was an open book You used to say live and let live (you know you did, you know you did, you know you did...) But if this ever changing world in which we're livin' makes you give in and cry... Say Live and Let Die!
The one where Bond gets called a "honky."Live and Let Die is the 8th James Bond film, starring Roger Moore in his first appearance. James Bond is assigned to a case involving a drug lord that utilizes Voodoo (or at least the Hollywood version). After rescuing the drug lord's tarot fortune teller from her virginity, it becomes a plot of everybody trying to kill them.It's one of the more polarizing Bond films. Some like it for its change of pace—it's the first time Bond deals with both organized crime and the supernatural—while others feel it was simply a Blaxploitation film with the 007 logo slapped on the front and were waiting for Pam Grier to show up. It is noteworthy in that amongst the things it did to try and distance it from the "silliness" of the Sean Connery era, it didn't include a scene with Q (he's mentioned though).This is a bit undermined by the fact that it's a film about Voodoo and includes Baron Samedi, implied to be the real deal. Plus, the gadgets used were further over the top than seen before, with a bit of an egregiousAss Pull of a rotary saw mode on the watch just when it was needed. On the other hand, the theme song by Paul McCartney & the Wings is widely regarded as one of the series' all time best, and has achieved a good deal of success independent of the film, being covered by Guns N' Roses and still played by McCartney today in his concerts. It's so famous that many younger people don't even know that it came from a Bond film.Includes a boat chase in Louisiana, which resulted in at least a dozen speedboats being written off when they filmed it.
This film contains examples of:
Adaptation Decay: Great liberties were taken when adapting the book (less than Diamonds Are Forever, but that's not saying much) — Kananga and most of his troupe are invented for the movie, and the keelhauling scene was left out (and reintroduced in For Your Eyes Only).
Adaptation Distillation: The portrayal of black people is much, much improved from the book. The villains are still evil, but they at least talk like they finished grade school. As with Goldfinger, Ian Fleming was a great author but sadly a product of his time.
Adorkable: Miss Caruso for the few minutes of screen time she has early on. With a smile like hers, how can anyone not like her?
Ascended Extra: In Fleming's novel, Tee Hee is one of three minor thugs ordered to dispose of Bond and Leiter, while Whisper appears in one scene as the operator of Mr. Big's communications network. The film expands their roles significantly.
Balloon Belly: Kananga when he's inflated by the gas in the shark pellets.
BFG: Bond spends most of the film with his compact Walther PPK, but come the finale, he trades it out for a large revolver, plus an anti-shark pistol with compressed gas bullets that make things explode.
Blofeld Ploy: Inverted. Kananga looks like he's going to test Bond's shark gun on Whisper, but he shoots the couch he's sitting on instead (then again, over the years the couch had surely served him well)
Bond Villain Stupidity: Bond is left on a small island surrounded by crocodiles without a single guard watching to make sure he dies, after having previously escaped Kananga's traps more than once. Why they don't shoot him then feed his body to the crocs is a question you're just not supposed to ask. Of course, it's possible they did it For the Evulz. Being eaten alive is a pretty scary death.
Although averted pretty early in the movie, when Mr. Big tells his men to "take this honky out and waste him!" within three seconds of meeting Bond.
Deus ex Machina: Quite unusually, Bond's magnet watch also turns out to have a serrated edge that can cut ropes when the face is spun, which comes out of nowhere in the climax. Ironically, it's perhaps the most plausible gadget in the whole series, so you'd think writing in a mention of it beforehand wouldn't be too hard.
Everybody Owns a Chevy: Sponsored by the Chevrolet Division of GM. Rather egregious, since practically every (non-taxi or pimp) vehicle in New York seem to be a Chevy.
Everyone Hates Hades: Baron Samedi is portrayed as a Voodoo version of Satan who has numerous zombie servants. In actual Voodoo mythology, Samedi is known for making the dead rot quicker so they can't be turned into zombies.
Gilligan Cut: Felix Leiter: "He must have gotten tied up somewhere."
Groin Attack: Bond may or may not have kicked Tee-Hee in the nuts during their climactic fight, but judging by the way Tee-Hee squeals when Bond gets the advantage it seems a good indicator that he did.
Subverted when Mr. Big says "Take this honky out and waste him!"
Played straight when Kananga captures Bond near the end of the movie., though only in the manner Bond villains usually play this- Bond already knows whats going on, and Kanaga is just clearing up technical details (or rather, he's letting Bond himself clear up those details), like how he plans on smuggling his drugs into America in the first place. Also subverted in that Bond has already blown his poppy fields up and his plan is (temporarily) foiled already.
Kick the Dog: When Kananga slaps Solitaire in the face after she sleeps with Bond.
Sheriff J.W. Pepper too, even more when he returns.
Baron Samedi and Tee Hee
Latex Perfection: Dr. Kananga as Mr. Big. A subversion- the actor is wearing real latex (and a wig), and is playing both characters who were always the same person anyway. The attempt to change the facial features works pretty well, all things considered.
Naked People Are Funny: An almost completely naked Miss Caruso (Bond's one night stand) gets caught by Miss Moneypenny while making a dash for the closet in the hopes of not being caught with her pants down.
Never Smile at a Crocodile: At one point during the film, Bond is trapped on a small island in the middle of a pond at a crocodile farm. He manages to evade by jumping on the backs of the reptiles. Tee Hee points out one in particular that tore off his arm before the events of the movie.
New Powers as the Plot Demands: There was absolutely no mention of Bond's magnet watch having a buzzsaw function until the moment he turned it on to cut the ropes he was bound with.
No Celebrities Were Harmed / Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Kananga is at least partially based on Dr. Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, dictator of Haiti, who used Voodoo as the basis of his personality cult and even claimed that he was Baron Samedi. Inverted with the character's name; Kananga was the Real Life owner of the crocodile farm and the producers decided to use his name for the movie, so the real Kananga became a minor celebrity as a result of this film.
Not My Driver: Happens to Bond and Solitaire when they get a cab in New Orleans. The driver turns out to be the same guy who drove Bond back in Harlem, who then proceeds to trap them in his car.
The Nudifier: Bond uses his magnetic watch to strip down his one night stand, the beautiful Italian agent known only as Miss Caruso (billed as "Beautiful Girl" in the end credits).
Oh Crap: Tee Hee, when Bond cuts the cables to his prosthetic arm, locking him in place on a window handle.
Paranormal Episode: Even Bond had a run of this here, where he faces off with a henchmen claimed to be Baron Samedi. He's seemingly killed, but shown alive at the end of the film, hinting he may have been the genuine article.
Pistol-Whipping: Adam, one of Mr. Big's thugs, knocks out Sheriff Pepper's brother-in-law Billy Bob when he steals his boat..
Reality Is Unrealistic: One of the most unbelievable and cartoonish stunts, Bond jumping on some crocodiles to safety after being left to die on a small island was actually an authentic feat by the owner of the crocodile ranch. Yes, those were real crocodiles.
The Red Stapler: Solitaire's Tarot deck was a prop designed by artist Fergus Hall specifically for use in the film. It was later sold briefly as the 007 deck before being renamed as the Tarot of the Witches.
Sure, Let's Go with That: Bond's original escape from the crocodiles involved both the boat and the watch. However, after Kananga (the owner of the ranch, not the movie's villain) showed the filming crew that he could run over the the crocs, they decided to go with that one instead and just added a rope to the boat.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Quarrel Jr., to his father. Which they did to work around the fact that Quarrel first appeared in the book Live and Let Die, but they filmed Dr. No, in which Quarrel dies, first.
The "Unnecessarily Slow Moving Dipping Mechanism" parodied in the first Austin Powers film was more than likely inspired by the machine that Kananga uses in his attempt to dispose of Bond and Solitaire near the end of this film. Kananga wanted to give the shark a chance to get the scent of blood; ironically, Whisper was going to put Bond in fast- Kananga told him to slow down to, as he put it, "let our diners assemble".
Likewise the "put him in an easily-escapable deathtrap and then just walk away and assume it worked" meme is exemplified when Bond is marooned on a rock in a lake full of hungry alligators without even a single mook left behind to watch him.
As mentioned above, Mr. Big completely averts this on his first meeting with Bond — but it's still the first act, so Bond kung-fus his way out of it.
This article goes into further detail, counting a whopping 10 moments, including the two earlier mentioned attempts.