October 23, 2012

LIVE AND LET DIE At Moma's "Bond 50" Retrospective

Over the weekend, I went to the Moma "Bond 50" to see one of my favorite Bond movies LIVE AND LET DIE. This is one of the more unusual films in the 50 year franchise for a number of reasons. Where Bond usually finds himself in exotic and fancy locales, in this one....not so much. It starts off in gritty 1970s NYC actually with a FRENCH CONNECTION-style chase on the FDR (in big honking Caddies) and ends up with detour to Harlem. From there we go to New Orleans, a fictional Carribean island with poppy fields, and then the Louisiana bayou.  Not exactly Monaco and Munich!

However, one reason I like this film is the great sense of humor to the film, mainly due to the presence of Roger Moore. He had a way with the Bond one-liners that hasn't been matched. There is also some great 70's fashion (yes, 007 wears a leisure suit!) and hairdos (Afro-rama!) not to mention the hot Wings title song, "Live and Let Die". This was the first Bond song to be nominated for an Academy Award (it lost to "The Way We Were") and I've found the opening titles on YouTube, which you can watch below.  Also,  I believe this is the only Bond movie in which the song is actually sung as part of the story...in a dive bar in New Orleans by Brenda Arnau.

Anyway, after years of seeing it on TV in the 70s, it was great fun seeing this on the big screen in a gorgeous print at Moma. Next up; the camp classic VIEW TO A KILL (with Grace Jones) on Friday.

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