Previously On The 007 Project: We bid a fond farewell to the original Bond, Sean Connery with a perfectly Meh, movie.
Who’s Our Bond?
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Roger Moore. Sir Roger is easily the most divisive figure in my familial Bond history, as I think he’s great, and my older brother says things like, “I want to rewatch the Bond movies with you but I’m skipping Roger Moore.” (Our other Bond related argument is everyone’s and revolves around Idris Elba, and how I think he is now too old for the part) After a fairly decent early career as a contract player, he was cast as Bond after losing out to Lazenby in 1969. His Bond is not quite as stoic as Connery’s, but he’s definitely funnier. All about the wit. He’s also no where near as attractive as Connery in the early goings, but he breezes along in this movie quite well, and I was happy that recollection of him as great was correct.
What’s The Plot?
Ohh KAYYY, here we go. The Prime Minister of a small carribean nation is suspected of drug smuggling and Felix Leiter and M decide Bond in the man to catch him, after the two agents who had been watching him have disappeared. Arriving in New York, 007 immediately gets into a scuffle in Harlem, where he learns of Mr. Big, a bad gangster. (There’s also a LOT of shit about 70s Harlem to dig into here, but we’ll get into it below).
Mr. Big appears to be being advised by Solitaire, an actual real psychic with a talent for reading tarot cards. She is Jane Seymour, and she is incredible. Upon seeing Bond, she immediately draws “The Lovers,” which, James cannot resist being gross about, because, James Bond.
He follows the case to San Monique, the island nation that Dr. Kanaga, said suspected diplomat, rules. There he meets Rosie Carver, another CIA agent, who’s going to help him track the villain. Turns out she’s working for him, which we learn after Bond bones her. Turns out ther’es a Voodoo cult that is protecting the poppy fields, which Kanaga uses to make heroin, and they’ve been sacrificing the missing agents. OH NO!
Coming upon Solitaire, Bond liberates her with his dick. Also, now that she’s not a virgin, she loses her psychic powers. Men ruin everything. She gets over this pretty quickly and the pair of them flee to New Orleans, where they soon learn the Mr. Big and Kanaga, SAME GUY. He plans to undermine the mafia by giving out free heroin. And then when the whole world is addicted to heroin he’ll start charging. There’s also a terrible 20 minute section where Bond is in a boat chase with a redneck sheriff and it shouldn’t be in the movie it sucks.
They catch Kanaga and Solitaire and Bond leave to have sex on a train. The end.
I’m Addressing The Problematic
Ohhh, boy. This whole movie is crazy problematic, from the voddoo cult, to the depictions of Harlem and New Orleans (the New Orleans scenes are at least cool to look at though) to Solitaire as basically the paragon of the “white slavery” trope. Rosie is black though, so that’s fun, a Black Bond girl. But the voodoo stuff is just really rough, if visually interesting.
Tell Me About The Girl
We have two, let’s start with Rosie Carter, a junior CIA agent who rendezvous with Bond in San Monique. She’s played by Gloria Hendry, and while she at first tells him to quit it with all his James Bond crap, she does eventually succumb and then it turns out she’s working with Kanaga. I think she then dies? She kind of just disappears from the movie.
Solitaire, the actually psychic tarot card reader, is played by Jane Seymour in her first film role and she is, as Seymour usually is, excellent. She is also almost impossibly lovely. She is so pretty and cool and awesome and I love her, and also she has virginity based magical powers.
The Song Is The Thing
I love love love the song “Live And Let Die” performed by Sir Paul McCartney. I also like it when performed by Guns N Roses. It is a great song and when I saw Paul McCartney perform live (Remember concerts?) he ended the show with it and lit off a bunch of fireworks when the “Dun dun dun dun, dun dun,” part kicked in and it was THE SHIT!
I think, even the horrible racism aside, this could have been a good movie. Unfortunately I think it carries on a little bit too long and is horribly racist.
Next week, we continue down the Roger Moore is delightful trail with The Man With The Golden Gun.