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Film / Live and Let Die

A fitting introduction to the wildest 007 of them all.
Bond: My name is-
Mr. Big: Names is for tombstones, baby! Y'all take this honky outside and waste him now!

The one where Bond gets called a "honky."note 

Live and Let Die is the 8th James Bond film, starring Roger Moore in his first appearance. Bond is assigned to a case involving a drug lord that utilizes "Voodoo." 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. 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 still a film about voodoo, down to including what is implied to be the real Baron Samedi. Plus, the gadgets used were further over the top than seen before. On the other hand, the theme song by Paul McCartney & 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:

  • 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?
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Bond improvises one to kill the snake released in his bathroom.
  • Agents Dating: Bond and Foxy Brown Expy Rose Carver pretend to be husband and wife on vacation. Turns out she's The Mole.
  • Amusing Injuries: Big Bad's death scene.
  • Animal Assassin: A snake, presumably venomous, is let loose in Bond's bathroom. Then later Mr. Big and/or his employees try to feed him to a bunch of crocodiles and then a bunch of sharks.
  • Artificial Limbs: Tee Hee's right arm is a prosthetic from the shoulder down; it doubles as a Red Right Hand.
  • 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.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The island of San Monique, which is neither French nor Spanish, in addition using the wrong gender for the saint herself. While the saint Monica of Hippo does indeed exist, her name would be "Santa Monica" in Spanish and "Sainte-Monique" in French. "San" refers to a masculine saint in Spanish.
  • Badass Bystander: Sheriff Pepper, actually. He nearly manages to subdue and arrest one of the major henchmen all by himself, and would have even succeeded if Bond wouldn't have, you know, nearly dropped a speed boat on him (and let another one get neatly sandwiched in his patrol car).
  • 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 shiny .44 revolver to rescue Solitaire, plus an anti-shark pistol with compressed gas bullets that make things inflate, then explode.
  • Big Applesauce: Starts at the UN, and also goes to Harlem.
  • The Big Easy: Bond takes Solitaire to New Orleans after their escape from San Monique, but are quickly captured by Mr. Big's men.
  • 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)
  • Bloodless Carnage: Mr. Big pops like a helium balloon, but there's no gore, since that would push the age rating up. Likewise, him dying in the shark tank was probably nixed by the studio.
  • Board to Death: Secret Service agent stationed in the United Nations building is killed with a contraption that kills him with sound through his translator earplug.
  • Bond One-Liner
    • "Kananga did have an inflated opinion of himself."
    • "Just being disarming." referring to Tee-Hee.
    • An unintentional one from Solitaire: "That wasn't very funny" referring again to Tee-Hee.
  • 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.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted, Bond uses a revolver at one point and fires exactly six shots before resorting to hand-to-hand combat.
  • Brown Note: The movie opens with the assassination of the United Kingdom's ambassador to the United Nations, carried out through sound piped through his translation earpiece.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The shark pellets that Bond is given.
  • The Chessmaster: Thanks to Solitaire's abilities, Kananga stands two steps ahead of Bond throughout much of the movie.
  • Closet Shuffle: Miss Caruso takes refuge in Bond's closet when M drops by unexpectedly. Moneypenny sees her, but helps her stay hidden.
  • Continuity Nod: Bond's reaction when the San Monique concierge tells him "Mrs. Bond" has already checked in would suggest that certain events still strike a nerve.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Again, Kananga when he's inflated by the gas in the shark pellets. The man eventually explodes into gobbets.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Rosie Carver, though this could be at least partially an act.
  • Dead Foot Leadfoot: Whisper kills Bond's driver not long after his arrival on New York, and he has to navigate through traffic with the dead guy's foot on the gas.
  • Death by Sex: Rosie Carver, averted with Solitaire.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: What Bond thinks Kananga was planning to do to him in the climax, before he tried to drop him in the shark pool.
  • 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.
  • The Dragon: Tee Hee and Baron Samedi both serve Mr. Big and Kananga.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Tee Hee isn't present when Bond kills Kananga and tries to kill Bond later on a train.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: If Samedi is the real deal, he's probably this.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Dr. Kananga had an underground base near one of his poppy fields in San Monique for processing the poppies' morphine into heroin.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: For Roger Moore's run, Bond wears some fairly intimidating black gloves during the scenes in Harlem.
  • Everybody Owns a Chevy: The film was 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 and is a personally charming and friendly fellow, fond of rum and cigars.
  • Evil Chancellor: Mister Big himself.
  • Evil Laugh: Baron Samedi, who has a single line, but lots of laughter (which even appears in GoldenEye 007).
  • Eye Scream: Shortly before his death, Adam is blinded when Bond throws paint thinner into his face.
  • Everybody Did It: Everybody in Harlem is in on this conspiracy. Hop in a taxicab? Its the last mistake you'll ever make. (The driver works for Mr. Big.)
  • Fingore: Dr. Kananga threatens to have Tee Hee cut off Bond's finger, along with some... other important parts of his anatomy.
  • Flashed Badge Hijack: Sheriff Pepper commandeers a Louisiana State Police car after a speedboat crashes onto his.
  • Fortune Teller: Solitaire has the ability to see the future by reading tarot cards.
  • Gadget Watches: Bond's latest watch has magnetic and rotary saw capability. Also notable in that this is his first proper Q-watch in the series; previous watches were either owned by the villains (From Russia With Love), or didn't really look that much like a watch at all (Thunderball).
  • Gainax Ending: The final scene is the voodoo priest apparently resurrecting himself for real.
  • Gilligan Cut: While waiting for Bond to return to Quarrel jr.'s boat, Leiter comments "He must have gotten tied up somewhere", followed by a cut to Bond and Solitaire tied to a death trap.
  • 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.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: Bond takes Rose's Smith & Wesson Model 19, then claims the serial numbers were filed off, yet he glances at the right side; the serial number on S&W revolvers is always on the butt plate. Later, when she finds another Model 19 on Quarrel Jr.'s boat, Quarrel tells her the safety was on, despite revolvers generally not having safeties. Possibly qualifying as Fridge Brilliance, as a real CIA agent would have known about such basic things herself and challenged them. Bond and Quarrel were testing her.
  • Hand Signals: While Bond and Solitaire are tied to the dipping device Kananga gives a hand gesture to Whisper, commanding him to activate and move it out over the Shark Pool.
  • Hollywood Police Driving Academy: Arguably turned Up to Eleven as several police cars are wrecked during a boat chase.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Dr. Kananga uses voodoo as means to scare the populace of San Monique to stay away from his poppy fields.
  • How Unscientific!
    • The Big Bad's death scene.
    • Not to mention Baron Samedi surviving his "death", and appearing mysteriously laughing on the back of the train at the end of the movie, leading to a Real After All implication.
  • The Hyena: Most of the time, Baron Samedi just laughs at things.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Miss Caruso in the post-credits opening. Solitaire herself.
  • Instant Convertible: Done with a bus when the police force of San Monique is chasing Bond, and he drives under a tunnel.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Averted, it uses jazz funerals.
  • Just Between You and Me
    • 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 what's 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 and loses her psychic powers.
  • Large Ham
    • Dr. Kananga, particularly while showing Bond around his underground lair.
    • Sheriff J.W. Pepper too, even more when he returns in the next film.
    • Baron Samedi and Tee Hee are both larger than life.
  • 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.
  • Machete Mayhem: As he is rescuing Solitaire, Bond shoots a guy who is about hit him with a machete, and later uses it against Baron Samedi in a very brief Sword Fight.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Baron Samedi and his apparent resurrection powers.
    • Solitaire's tarot powers.
  • Meaningful Name: Baron Samedi, since he might be the real deal.
  • The Mole: Rosie Carver.
  • Mondegreen: The theme song includes a line about "this ever changing world in which we're living," which has often been misheard and mocked as the redundant "in which we live in."
  • Mutilation Interrogation: Tee Hee and Bond.
  • 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.
  • Necessary Weasel: Yaphet Kotto's "Mr. Big" is Blofeld in all but name, something the actor is clearly enjoying. There’s no real reason for Mr. Big to have a top-secret underground cave-system headquarters, but most Bond villains do, so why not? There’s no obligation for him to keep a shark tank in his headquarters, either. In fact, it was this movie which inspired the “Unnecessarily Slow Dipping Mechanism™!” from the first Austin Powers movie.
  • 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 escape 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.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Kananga, after he captures Bond in his underground lair.
  • 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.
  • Not with the Safety on, You Won't: Rose Carver holds Bond and Quarrel Jr. at gun point, only for Bond to point out that Quarrel Jr. is a friend and Quarrel to point out she has the safety on... despite the revolver not having a safety.
  • 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.
    • Miss Caruso when Ms. Moneypenny catches her emerging from Bond's bedroom wearing nothing but her frilly blue panties and covering her topless self with his robe. Fortunately for her Ms. Moneypenny is just nice enough to stay quiet while she retrieves her clothes and hides in the closet and is then nice enough to keep M from discovering the poor Italian agent.
    • Rosie Carter gets one when she sees the Scary Scarecrows for the first time.
  • 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.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Proven when Bond uses his magnetic watch to unzip a woman's dress.
  • Precision F-Strike: The first of (currently, as of 2012) five Bond films to use strong profanity. However, only one of them gets through.
  • 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 (though their feet were tied down).
  • Red Right Hand: Tee Hee's right arm.
  • Religion Is Magic: Baron Samedi and voodoo.
  • Same Language Dub: Regular Bond voice artist Nikki Van der Zyl dubbed much of Jane Seymour's dialogue.
  • Scary Black Man: Tee Hee (the dude with the claw), Baron Samedi, Mr. Big and Dr. Kananga, and Adam, one of their henchmen.
  • Scary Scarecrows: San Monique is littered with scarecrows that have cameras and in one case, a dart gun, hidden in them.
  • Scenery Gorn: The back alley in Harlem where Mr. Big's goons take Bond out to shoot him.
  • The '70s: More blatant here than in the others from this decade. Dig those '70s fashions!
  • Shark Pool: Twice, once with alligators and once with sharks.
  • Shoe Shine, Mister?: While Bond is trailing Kananga's car in Harlem, he's spotted by a black shoeshine man, who calls Mr. Big on a radio inside his shoeshine kit.
  • Shout-Out: Bond's all-black turtleneck ensemble towards the end is in homage to Bullitt. It comes full circle in Spectre as the blond Daniel Craig is dressed similarly.
  • Shown Their Work: A minor example, but a lot of the things Tee-Hee says regarding crocodilians are accurate, such as their long lifespans, their slow appetites and the methods of telling crocodiles and alligators apart.
  • Sic 'em: The Diabolical Mastermind Kananga does it twice with his minions.
    Kananga (calm): If he finds it, kill him.
    Kananga (concerned): At any cost - any - Bond must die.
  • Standard Hollywood Strafing Procedure: By a helicopter while Bond is hiding under the poppy field net.
  • Staying Alive: Baron Samedi. He was apparently killed by venomous snakebites, then re-appeared at the end of the movie sitting on the front of a moving train (to be fair, he was very likely a god.)
  • Storming the Castle: A two-man version. Near the end of the film while Quarrel Jr. infiltrates Kananga's poppy fields and blows them up with incendiary bombs, Bond attacks the voodoo village to save Solitaire, then sneaks into Kananga's underground base below the village.
  • 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.
  • Tap on the Head: Tee Hee to Bond, and Bond to a number of mooks.
  • Tarot Motifs: A new deck was designed for the movie.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: A lounge singer gives the title song a Motown-style reprise, and she mocks Bond from the stage as he's captured by the bad guys.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Many Louisiana's citizens are part of Kananga's racket. He apparently has enough people to stage a jazz funeral in order to dispose of a target's body.
  • Traintop Battle: Though it never actually gets on top of the train.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: While on the island of San Monique, Bond and Solitaire escape in a double-decker bus while the San Monique police pursue on motorcycles and in squad cars.
  • Unfortunate Names: It works in a Fluffy the Terrible sort of way, but still... Tee-Hee?
  • Villain with Good Publicity: It would seem that every black person in New York City, New Orleans, and the fictional San Monique works for the Big Bad, or knows him enough not to be surprised when Bond's table at a restaurant is suddenly lowered into the villain's lair as the singer taunts him.
  • Virgin Power: Solitaire's tarot reading ability depends on her virginity.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Bond is surprisingly thoughtful in this movie, never killing anyone outside of self-defense. Even when blowing up the heroin lab, Bond gives the workers in there a chance to escape by luring an alligator in the building before he sets it on fire.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: The incendiary bombs that Bond uses to burn Kananga's poppy fields are set to go off at midnight.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?
    • 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 crocodiles without even a single mook left behind to watch him, though to be fair, nobody could have predicted him running across their backs to shore.
    • 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.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Shockingly, Bond implies this about Solitaire at one point. Although he says it to Quarrel Jr., not her.
  • Zip Me Up: Inverted when Bond uses a magnetic watch to unzip a woman's dress. Now that's what we call Power Perversion Potential.