Private Hudson -> In Defence of Roger Moore, OO7! (20/11/2006 8:35:36 PM)
Is it just me or is there a total campaign to slag of dear old Roger Moore's Bond years?
Now I don't know about you, but how can you not love Live and Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun and The Spy Who Loved Me?
I like his other ones also, but I know some people don't like the more jokier aspects of Octopussy or the fantasy of Moonraker.
He was too old for A View To A Kill, but that movie is still a lot of fun.
And here's the rub:
Bond is about fun and escapism.
What made Bond great was villain's with white cats, volcano lairs, heroes who flew jet packs, had cars that could go underwater and of course the ladies!
In almost all of these Bond nostalgia programmes they seem to give Roger a hard time, which is unfair. In fact I would argue our vision of Bond as super smooth, suave an debonair is in fact due to Roger Moore's screen incarnation.
Here's my opinion on his movies:
LIVE AND LET DIE
A delicious mix of vodoo and blaxpoitation, with some series high equalling moments: the boat chase, the alligator farm, and the lovely Jane Seymour. An indignified end for the villain though.
"Don't want to go off half-cocked."
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN
Perhaps the most underrated Bond of all. This has Karate, boat chases, Nik-Nak and the titular three nippled star, Francisco Scaramanga!
This has the feel of a book adapted adventure, yet it is far removed from Fleming. It even has semi-contemporary stuff in it, with the Solex and the Energy Crisis.
The car roll over the broken bridge is Bond at its best.
Britt Ekland and Maud Adams must be the two lovliest Bond girls in the one movie.
"She's just coming sir."
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
My personal favourite, a re-rerun of You Only Live Twice, but this time updated and with the indestructible Jaws as possibly the best henchman ever.
It also has the best Bond theme song sung by Carly Simon, and has a decent score by Marvin Hamlisch (sorry John Barry!).
This has the coolest car in the series... the Lotus Espirit... it looked futuristic then and still does. Oh and it can go underwater!
Roger Moore looks the part in this movie spending most of his time in a tuxedo or navy uniform (something that helps us define Bond, I feel.)
But it also has my favourite Bond girl, the fragile, beaufiful Barbara Bach as the USSR's answer to OO7, XXX. She is stunning and in fact is a great foil for Bond.
It also has the legendary Rick Sylvester ski-off a cliff (in a hideous banana coloured outfit) only to open a Union Jack parachute. Bad guys all over the world go: "Shit!" and little would be Bonds think it is the coolest moment in cinema history.
"Bond! What do you think you're doing?"
"Keeping the British end up."
They had to top The Spy Who Loved Me, and with the success of Star Wars into space Bond went.
It is hugely enjoyable if you buy into the premise.
Jaws is back and becomes a good guy (I never agreed with that, or letting him fall in love, or even letting him talk: "Well... here's to us." Noooooooooooooooooo!)
Venice and Rio make great locations and the climax in space is fun. "Space marines... EVA!"
It also has the funniest line in the Bond movies delivered by Q:
"I think he's attempting re-entry."
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
One of the efforts to produce a low key Bond is actually a decent enough movie, and has all the usual ingredients with snow and water taking centre stage.
This is in the mould of the serious Bonds, but to be honest, Roger Moore is better at the Bond Event Movies.
Octopussy is always derided, but what a cracking family entertainment it is. It has panache and humour. Yes it is a pantomime, but it rips along at great pace.
India makes a stunning location, and Octopussy's bevvy of beauties are spectacular.
We have a mad Russian general, a golf cart chase through New Delhi, a Train fight in East and then West Germany and then a dramatic sky high climax.
The little mini-jet during the pre-title sequence is cool!
A VIEW TO A KILL
Roger was too old by this time, but we have Grace Jones and the ever brilliant Christopher Walken as strange Bond villains.
The plot is pure hokum, though no more daft than Goldfinger's, with the destruction of Silicon Valley.
We do have a great car chase through Paris and a crazy fight on top of the Golden Gate.
Stacey Sutton played by Tanya Roberts is the type of heroine who gives Bond a bad name, but to be honest I can't think of one as useless as her throughout the series as they all seem to be pretty spunky before and after her.
She does look good though, but far too young for dirty old Roge!
So come on, let's embrace Roger Moore as THE definitive screen Bond.