Guy Hamilton’s Live And Let Die is one of the finest James Bond movies. The 1973 release is also the best (and first) of Roger Moore‘s twelve year run as Ian Fleming’s super spy. The story is a blast (if a little dated) and the set pieces make it a hugely entertaining franchise entry. The film is very much a product of its time and it owes a huge debt to the blacksploitation films of the era (Shaft etc,) by introducing Bond to Harlem and Voodoo.
Famed Beatles producer, George Martin’s score is excellent and the title song by Paul McCartney and Wings is the best in the series. Live And Let Die features all the elements that you would want from a Bond movie – from memorable villains to gadgets and sharks. Yaphet Kotto‘s turn as Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big is a franchise stand-out – and one of the great villain turns in the series.
Moore would go on to play Bond in a further 6 films: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); Moonraker (1979); For Your Eyes Only (1981); Octopussy (1983) and he finally hung up his Walther PPK at the age of 58 after 1985’s A View to a Kill.
Roger Moore played James Bond onscreen more than any other actor – although Daniel Craig‘s fifteen year tenure between the release of Casino Royale (2006) and No Time To Die (2021) is the longest time an actor has held the role.
Released in 1973, Live And Let Die grossed $35.4 million at the US box office and $161.8 million worldwide.