Live and Let Die was Roger Moore’s introduction to James Bond and he took a different approach to the character. More of a “lady killer” than a cold blooded killer, Moore played up the more ridiculous elements of the character, and delivered a James Bond that is loved my many yet loathed by some. This first Moore film owed a great deal to the blacksploitation films oft the time, by introducing Bond to Harlem and Voodoo.
He 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 A View to a Kill (1985).
He was a very different Bond from Sean Connery, playing up the humour in the films, always giving a knowing wink as proceedings got increasingly far-fetched. Moore was at home playing the character and audiences flocked to his films in droves.
Moore brought the Bond films through the 1970′s, a time when Hollywood was producing more serious films by younger maverick directors. 007 had the market cornered on action, with only the Irwin Allen disaster films coming close in spectacle. All that changed in 1977 with the release of Star Wars. If the world went spy crazy in the 60s then it went space crazy on he 70′s following the release of George Lucas’ space epic. Using Fleming’s Moonraker novel as a launching pad, Bond finally became out of this world. While many now see the film as one of the weakest films in the series, it has to be noted that the film grossed an amazing $200 million in 1978 (that’s more than $600 million in today’s money!).
Moore returned with the stripped-back For Your Eyes Only in 1981 and Octopussy (1983) went head-to head with Connery’s return in the unofficial Bond adventure Never Say Never Again.
He hung up his Walther PPK at the age of 58 following 1985’s A View To A Kill. Timothy Dalton followed in his footsteps, but we was never able to achieve the same success in the role.