Last week Roger Moore passed away. Admittedly not my favorite “James Bond,” he gets nothing but props for holding down the franchise, and taking on the role more than any other actor. Moore himself, expressed that Daniel Craig is the “Best Bond,” in his opinion. I’ve enjoyed Craig’s performances as well. His delivery in “Casino Royale” solidified the re-boot of the franchise and I think “Skyfall” is the best Bond feature of all.
“I enjoy being a highly overpaid actor” and “There is nothing glamorous about death,” are two quotes, Moore has been noted for. In 2014 Moore told NPR in an interview, ‘that he thought his version of the spy who never met a foe he couldn’t conquer or a woman he couldn’t seduce, was the most humorous. “I look like a comedic lover, and Sean [Connery] in particular, and Daniel Craig now, they are killers,” Moore said.’ Later that year, Moore’s autobiography “One Lucky Bastard: Tales from Tinseltown,” was published. On his funeral services this week…
Unquestionably the majority of Bond fans believe Connery was the best Bond, and he’s probably the only one, I can actually do a decent impersonation of. I had the fortune and pleasure to meet Sir Roger Moore when attending the first annual Jamaican Film Festival. It’s since taken on variations of the name. They were featuring movies of, and paying homage to the James Bond genre, due to how many of the spy films were shot there. We did a short interview after brunch, poolside, at the onset of the event. He had recently wrapped the comedy “The Boat Trip” with Cuba Gooding Jr., and was giddy about taking it easy, in a post-Bond era of his career.
The three flicks that benefited from the tropical paradise were the first of the franchise officially, “Dr. No,” and two that starred Moore, “Live and Let Die” and “The Man with the Golden Gun.” I remember my dad being excited about Moore’s debut in ‘Let Die.’ A fan of the TV show “The Saint,” he thought Moore had the chops to pull it off, as good as if not better than Connery. Young and impressionable, having now seen Connery in “Dr. No,” “From Russia with Love,” “Goldfinger” (forever a favorite – saw it at the Drive-In w/ my dad and sister – triple feature w/ ‘Dr. No’ & ‘From Russia’), “Thunderball,” and “You Only Live Twice,” I thought how can he think Moore will even come close. Despite that opinion, meeting the man later on in life, was definitely a media career highlight.
My greatest appreciation for “Live and Let Die,” is without a doubt the title song, by Paul McCartney & Wings. The first among the Bond films to feature black people in lead roles was cool, as well as it being shot, in Harlem and New Orleans. Geoffrey Holder’s role (another I’ve met) as “Baron Samedi” was a small one but a tour de force. Christopher Lee (“Dracula”), and Herve Villechaize as “Nick Nack,” were stand outs for me in ‘Golden Gun.’
Roger Moore’s James Bond Releases include: ‘Let Die,’ ‘Golden Gun,’ “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “Moonraker,” “For Your Eyes Only,” “Octopussy,” and “A View to a Kill.” I can still see my sister’s popcorn go in the air from being startled by the score, when we went to see “The Spy Who Loved Me,” with my mom. It was during the scene when Moore and Barbara Bach, were being pursued by Richard Kiel’s character “Jaws,”in the desert ruins of Egypt. There were people sitting on the floor in the aisle, in hindsight definitely a fire hazard, that night it was fans enjoying a movie.
To be clear, Connery is my favorite Bond, followed by Craig, then Moore. As much as a vast majority of Bond fans loved Pierce Brosnan on TV in “Remington Steele,” he never quite pulled it off as 007, but you were glad he got the shot and he didn’t suck (like the other two who’s names we won’t print). In closing, I had to dig this photo up in lieu of being a lifetime Bond fan, and having had the privilege of meeting him. It had to be my brother Jeff Cornell and fellow Bond enthusiast that took the shot – “Diamonds Are Forever” and so are pictures.
On the next James Bond contenders – GQ magazine did an item… http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/new-james-bond
I like Luke Evans if Craig decides to opt out… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxHoObDQXIo
The New York Times did a nice piece – some cool photos here… https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/movies/roger-moore-dead-james-bond.html?_r=0
Get a commemorative T-shirt for Moore here… http://teenicorn.com/limited-edition?s=hanes-5250&c=Black&p=FRONT
for the LOVE of Bond, James Bond