That's No Moonraker: Live and Let Die

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They really do say '007' on the backs!

Date

July 11th, 2020

Summary

Pete and Alex are back for Moore, this time to discuss the 8th James Bond film.

Duration

1:18:30

Notes

Film

  • 8th movie based on the 2nd book.
  • Second film in a row that takes place mostly in America. They also brought Tom Mankiewicz back to write it.
    • They did scout around in Haiti a lot and thought about filming there but it was too politically unstable at the time.
    • They were also scouting in Jamaica where they found a crocodile farm with a sign that said "Warning:trespassers will be eaten" and they loved that.
      • It was owned by a man named Ross Kananga. That name should sound familiar.
  • Q does not appear in this film. Only film without Q until the new Casino Royale (2006).
  • First African-American love interest for Bond.
  • Solitaire (Jane Seymour). Also played Dr. Quinn and was on "Battlestar Galactica".
    • She is partially dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl!
  • The bald sheriff guy who gets knocked into he canal played a very similar role in the last movie.
  • Another new Felix Leiter (yet again).
  • The boat jump stunt accidentally broke the Guinness world record.

Podcast

  • Google brief.
  • The producers tried to throw even more money at Sean Connery to get him to come back but he said no.
    • If he had been game, how long would they keep going with him?
    • What else was Sean Connery doing around this time.
      • In addition to his truck load of money for doing Diamonds are Forever Connery was also promised that he could to do two films all his own.
  • Other actors considered (besides the ones mentioned last movie):
    • Michael Billington (front-runner) if Roger Moore couldn't do it (recall they wanted Moore since at least On Her Majesty's Secret Service if not as early as Dr. No, though he would have been a little too young for that one).
      • They screen tested him for this, Moonraker, and Octopussy. He was there every time Roger Moore was thinking about asking for more money.
      • He does actually appear on screen in a later film in the series.
    • United Artists still wanted an American but the producers said "no has to be British".
    • Also considered: William Gaunt, John Ronane, Simon Oates Jeremy Brett (TV's Sherlock Holmes), John Gavin (mentioned last time) and Julian Glover (General Veers).
  • Prior to this project, Roger Moore was definitely Pete's James Bond of record.
  • Kananga is very guilty of the James Bond trope of letting him escape from an elaborate execution. Flash forward to Octopussy.
    • The way that Bond escapes from the Crocodile Island was suggested by and performed by the real Kananga. Referenced: Pitfall.
  • Cold open: the best way to introduce a new James Bond is in bed with a woman.
    • Contrast with how they introduced George Lazenby Bond.
Recall that, for Diamonds are Forever, Moneypenny wanted more pay but they didn't give it to her and she ended up relenting and filming her scenes later. During the filming of this movie, a technical error resulted in them having to delay shooting two days and that amount of pay was more than the increase she was asking for in the last movie.
  • This movie suffers very badly from the xenophobia we see in other James Bond movies and exoticism of black people.
    • Blaxploitation was huge at the time.
    • The movie is very "of the time" – it's James Bond in: blaxploitation.
    • Yaphet Kotto in particular was not pleased with his portrayal in the movie.
  • Solitaire's tarot reading skills.
    • The "King Kong vibe".
    • Her power and her virginity.
  • American CIA agent is very incompetent. It's bad both racially and misogynistically. Reference to Police Academy.
    • Gloria Hendrix (Rosie Carver).
    • Progressive and reductive at the same time in a weird way.

The title sequence.

  • Mentioned Alphabeatical. Pete doesn't hate Paul McCartney.
    • Pete: "Live and Let Die" is not a good James Bond song but it is a good Paul McCartney song.
    • This song kind of breaks the mold, it seems like they are trend-chasing
    • No John Barry.
    • McCartney doing the song was controversial at the time.
    • This song used to scare Alex as a kid when he would hear it on the radio.
    • Still Maurice Binder. Referenced: the Roll Call of Heroes.
    • Paul McCartney on writing the opening theme: <Pete paraphrasing> "Yeah it was really hard. I wrote it one day and went in next week and did it".
      • Hired B. J. Arnau to record it. But Paul wouldn't let them use it unless they had him sing it.
        • The Arnau version is in the movie in the nightclub – the theme song is sung diegetically in the movie.
    • They blew all their money on McCartney, so they got George Martin to score the film. It's a producer's soundtrack not a composer's soundtrack.
  • TeeHee and Whisper, themed henchmen.
    • Fake arm is terrible.
  • Lengthy discussion of Geoffrey Holder (7up guy) and his varied and prolific career and many honors.
  • Mr. Big and his fake face make no sense.
  • Women are generally not the Macguffin in James Bond movies.
  • The book was more rooted in the Cold War.
  • Establishing shot of the U.N. Building, and our hosts' personal connections to the area.

Potpourri notes

  • The whole "hillbilly sheriff" subplot kind of derails everything.
    • Feels like a J. W. Pepper backdoor pilot.
    • Clifton James plays a very very similar character in Superman 2.
    • He will be back.
  • James Bond sticks out like a sore thumb in Harlem. The audience is supposed to sympathize with Bond, but he's being an uncharismatic jerk.
  • Ground plane chase scene. An old lady cursing is always hilarious.
  • Referenced: Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  • 007-branded tarot cards. Product tie-in.
  • They added in more jokes once they knew they had Roger Moore and his dry wit.
  • Car chases vs. motorcycle chases.
  • Casting note: Tom Mankiewicz thought about having Solitaire (who is white in the book) be played by a black woman and they wanted Diana Ross. Producers decided to stick to what's in the book.
  • Quarrel Jr. (remember Quarrel from Dr. No).
    • The man who shares my hairbrush?
  • Kananga balloon: Dumbest ever villain death and nothing about it works physically or the way it was filmed. Referenced: Jaws.
  • The stunts determining the scripts and not the other way around. Call back to the ski chase in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
  • Rankings.
    • Before starting this project, Pete would list this movie as one of the ones that he likes, but this time watching he was so bored. It is his least favorite one so far.
    • Alex ranks it as bottom third+ (the bottom of the middle). The blaxploitation angle, though cringe-worthy, was at least something different.
  • Up next: The Man with the Golden Gun ("The Droid with the Red Arm").
    • Alex and Pete are separated by four Bond movies.
    • Pete has see it a lot, Alex has never seen it.

Meta Notes

  • There is a ton of disagreement in English about the plural of "octopus". According to Wiktionary.org, it depends a lot on which dictionary you're using, but the general agreement is that "octopuses" is the most correct, with "octopi" and "octopodes" being less-accepted forms.
  • Oyster Bay is a mere 10 minutes from Pete's hometown of Bayville, Long Island, New York.
  • Skin is surprisingly resistant to tearing; the ultimate tensile strength of human skin has been calculated at approximately 30 MPa[1]. From experiments (and a few accidents) by NASA that exposed test animals and astronauts to vacuum, the resulting difference in pressure between the inside and the outside of the body caused the subjects' skins to blow up to nearly twice their normal size (much like a Kananga balloon) without bursting. Nearly all subjects were completely fine once they were returned to normal atmospheric pressure[2].
  • Pete is on record as not loving "A Day in the Life".
  • According to Wookieepedia, the plural of "Dianoga" is Dianoga.

Quotes

  • Alex: Farewell to my bad Sean Connery impression, say hello to my bad Roger Moore impression.
  • Pete: Whatever principality was willing to supplicate themselves the most, they get it.
  • Pete: "Go Ahead and Die": that's the 17th film, I think.

Star Wars names

Star Wars pun names for Live and Let Die 
Alex
  • Live and Let Die wanna wanga.
  • (With inspiration from Pete) Live and Let Dianoga.
Pete
  • Revan Let Die
  • Live and Let TIE

Link (Patreon supporters only)

https://www.patreon.com/posts/thats-no-live-38826834


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