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Voodoo kudos: 40 years of Live And Let Die

July 13, 2013

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Harlem shufflers: Roger Moore with tarot-card-dependent dastardlies – l to r – Julius W Harris (Tee Hee), Geoffrey Holder (Baron Samedi), Yaphet Kotto (Dr Kananga) and Earl Jolly Brown (Whisper), plus Jane Seymour (Solitaire), of course, in a rare cast-group publicity shot 

A few days ago on this blog it was Octopussy‘s (1983) turn, of course, but, on the occasion of its 40th birthday, what do you get the movie that really has everything (Sir Rog making his Bondian bow; speedboat chases on the bayou; London buses losing their roofs; claw-armed hoodlums; supernatural foes rising from their sepulchres; a classic rocking theme tune; and, yes, Jane Seymour)? What, indeed. But how about this – a musical, behind-the-scenes picture- and clip-toting, fact- and dialogue-quoting tribute of a blog post? Well, that sounds just the (San Moniquian bus) ticket to me.

In which case, here it is, peeps, George’s Journal‘s nod (while wearing the hat belonging to a short man of limited means who lost a fight with a chicken, er, yes) to the one, the only Live And Let Die – or ‘The ‘Die’, as this most unique, enduringly popular and eternally terrific of Eon efforts tends to be called around these parts. For, yes, it was 40 years ago this month when the funk-tastic eighth Bond flick hit British cinema screens and brought all things 007 crashing into the ’70s. Cue Macca and his Wings then…

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CLICK on the images for full-size/ description

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Did you know?

The owner of the Louisiana crocodile farm that was used as a location in the film was one Ross Kananga, whom with great disregard for his own safety, attempted take-after-take of Bond’s crocodile-jump stunt (see clip below) before the perfect effort – involving the crocs being tied down beneath the water – was captured. For his efforts, producers Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli and Harry Saltzman named the villain after him (Dr Kananga)

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Cab Driver: “You know where you’re going?”

Bond: “Uptown, I believe”

Cab Driver: “Uptown? You headed into Harlem, man!”

Bond: “Well, you just keep on the tail of that jukebox and there’s an extra twenty in it for you”

Cab Driver: “Hey, man, for twenty bucks, I’ll take you to a Ku Klux Klan cook-out!”

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live_and_let_die_roger_moore_and_jane_seymour_anxious_pose Anwar Hussein Collection Anwar Hussein Collection

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Did you know?

On first hearing it, producer Harry Saltzman assumed the final cut of Paul McCartney and Wings’ rocking title theme was a rough demo; unsurprisingly then, he hated it. His intuitions were all wrong though, as the tune went on to hit #2 in the US charts and earned both Oscar and Grammy nominations

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Solitaire: “Is there any time before we go, for [lovers’] lesson number three?”

Bond: “Absolutely. There’s no sense in going off half-cocked”

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xl James Bond 2012

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live_and_let_die_cast_group live_and_let_die_cast_group_2

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Did you know?

Broccoli and Saltzman originally toyed with the idea of casting Diana Ross as tarot-card-reading totty Solitaire, before they reverted back to the character’s model in the book, an elegant white English beauty, in casting Jane Seymour in the role. Also, owing to M actor Bernard Lee suffering from ill-health, Reach For The Sky (1956) screen-star Kenneth More was being lined-up as a stand-in; since he made his debut in From Russia With Love (1963) this is the only Bond film in which Desmond Llewellyn (Q) didn’t appear until his death in early 2000

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Further reading:

See George’s Journal’s further behind-the-scenes and other images from Live And Let Die here

Read George’s Journal’s review of Live And Let Die here

Read George’s Journal’s take on why Live And Let Die is one of the ultimate movies of the ’70s here

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3 Comments leave one →
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