Posts Tagged ‘roger moore’

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A View To A KillDuran Duran’s theme song is the most memorable aspect of A View To A Kill as Roger Moore finally departs in an ill-judged swan song.

In Roger Moore’s final outing as 007 any credibility that may remained for the actor at the close of Octopussy had been lost. More than ever he was merely a stand in when close-ups to cover the stunt men were required. Due to poor camera angles and editing choices it is blatantly obvious in numerous scenes that Martin Grace is on film and not Roger Moore. Such doubling is most obvious during the car chase in Paris when the back of Bond’s Renault is sheered off and through the fight in Stacy’s house. Whacking great close-ups of Grace occur.

When Harrison Ford participated in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom and the Crystal Skull he was 65, nearly 10 years older than Moore in A View To A Kill, yet he remained entirely convincing as an action hero despite being of pensionable age. Granted advances in safety technology and digital editing made Ford’s presence in several stunt sequences far more possible than even a few years before, but quite clearly he undertook a huge amount of his own action and had remained very fit in the near two decades that had elapsed since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In A View To A Kill Moore required doubles to run yet the audience is expected to believe he is leaping around glaciers and hanging from airships! (more…)

OctopussyWhilst not an all time high thirteen is not an unlucky number for Octopussy despite the spectre of the original James Bond looming over proceedings.

As Octopussy entered pre-production in late 1981 Roger Moore was undecided in the extreme about signing on for his sixth outing as James Bond. His reticence was not simply a negotiating tactic for a higher fee. Aged 54 he increasingly felt that he was no longer the right man for the job and was increasingly frustrated by the limited acting opportunities afforded by the part.

Faced with Moore’s reluctance to commit to the thirteenth entry in the series Cubby Broccoli gave serious consideration to casting American actor James Brolin as a replacement. Brolin even carried out three screen tests for the role, including the now-traditional From Russia With Love Bond/Tatiana seduction scene. There are not enough words in the English language to describe how unsuitable Brolin is for the mantle of 007. One can only presume Brolin’s involvement in the Octopussy project was a surreal negotiating tactic on the part of the producers. For the brave, foolhardy, drunk and/or plain masochistic the awfulness of the screen tests can be viewed on the Ultimate Edition DVD of Octopussy. (more…)

For Your Eyes OnlyJames Bond returns to his roots as a Cold Warrior in For Your Eyes Only as a tougher Roger Moore turns in his best performance as the British secret agent.

All expectations were for the twelfth James Bond film to be another outing in the tradition of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. An outlandish gadget-laden and globe-trotting extravaganza packed to the gunnels with outrageous stunts and quips. For Your Eyes Only wrong footed cinema goers completely by returning 007 to his roots as a Cold Warrior in the conflict between the superpowers.

A major influence in the unexpected change of direction was Michael G Wilson, Cubby Broccoli’s stepson and now Executive Producer. An avowed fan of From Russia With Love Wilson wanted to evoke the spirit of Ian Fleming in a realistic thriller concentrating on plot, character and tension. Taking inspiration from two Ian Fleming short stories: For Your Eyes Only and Risico, Wilson penned the script in conjunction with Connery era veteran Richard Maibum. At the behest of Broccoli the screenwriters also inserted the keel hauling sequence from Live And Let Die which had gone unused in the film adaptation. (more…)

With any attempts at gravitas overwhelmed by inane humour, spectacular backdrops and outlandish gadgets Moonraker attains but ultimately fails to emerge as a classic Bond film.

Look after Mr. Bond… see that some harm comes to him.

Moonraker

Essentially a remake of The Spy Who Loved Me with Lewis Gilbert and Christopher Wood returned as director and screenwriter respectively, Roger Moore’s fourth outing as 007 once again featured a megalomaniacal billionaire intent on the annihilation of humanity as part of a master plan to repopulate the world according to his vision of perfection.

The closing credits of The Spy Who Loved Me had announced the return of James Bond in For Your Eyes Only. However Cubby Broccoli changed his plans following the massive financial success of Star Wars in the summer of 1977 and instigated the development of a science fiction orientated eleventh film utilising Ian Fleming’s third novel Moonraker as its basis. Science fiction was gold at the box office once again and Broccoli decided to leap on the bandwagon.

Armed with an astronomical budget of $32 million (over twice what was allocated to the previous film) Moonraker proved to be a globe-trotting adventure unlike no other Bond up until then with location filming undertaken in Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, France, Italy and the USA – as well as interiors at all the largest studios in Paris and on the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios. (more…)

The Spy Who Loved MeReleased during the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II The Spy Who Loved Me restored the James Bond franchise to levels of adulation and profitability unexperienced since the mid-1960s.

Shot at Pinewood Studios, and on location in Egypt, Sardinia, Scotland, Malta, Switzerland, Japan, and Canada, The Spy Who Loved Me is generally regarded as the best film of the Roger Moore era and one of the very best films in the series overall. 1980s director John Glen considers it the best of the series and producer Cubby Broccoli cited it in his top three, together with From Russia With Love and Goldfinger.

Lacking the depth of characterisation that graced the early Connery films and coming close to self-parody at times The Spy Who Loved Me is essentially a tongue-in-cheek compilation of all that had gone before retooled to play to the strengths of Moore’s lighter and more comic Bond. Set pieces and scenes from many previous outings are plundered wholesale, recycled and presented afresh for a new generation of filmgoers. The train fight of From Russia With Love, the car chase and henchman from Goldfinger, the vast villain’s lair of You Only Live Twice, and the ski chase from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. All re-imagined for Roger Moore’s 007. (more…)

The Man with the Golden GunCubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman reach a parting of the ways as the franchise reaches an all-time low with The Man with the Golden Gun.

With the success of Live And Let Die at the box office and the acceptance of Roger Moore as the new James Bond, producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman immediately entered production on the ninth film in the series The Man with the Golden Gun. The result was a critically derided mess that is generally regarded as the absolute creative nadir of the entire series.

For inexplicable reasons Harry Saltzman had been keen to film Ian Fleming’s posthumously published final James Bond novel for quite some time. Originally mooted as the 1969 release to follow You Only Live Twice with plans to film in Cambodia and invite Roger Moore to assume the role of 007. Ultimately production was cancelled due to the the outbreak of war in the region and its place in the schedule was taken by On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with George Lazenby performing the lead role.

Whilst Live and Let Die had borrowed heavily from the blaxploitation genre, The Man with the Golden Gun would reap wholesale from the popular 1970s martial arts genre. Once again Bond was following trends and not setting them – another clear indication of the decline in inventiveness of the series. The martial arts theme influenced the choice of Hong Kong and Thailand as settings for the film after initial location scouting in Iran and Lebanon. (more…)

Live And Let DieRoger Moore’s reign as Jimmy Bond commences with Live And Let Die.

During the filming of Diamonds Are Forever screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz proposed adapting Ian Fleming’s second Bond novel Live And Let Die as the eighth James Bond film. His reasoning being that it would be daring to use black villains in an era of racial movements such as the Black Panthers. Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman acted upon Mankiewicz’s proposal and appointed Guy Hamilton to the director’s chair for a third time. As Hamilton was a jazz fan Mankiewicz suggested filming in New Orleans, though the director decided not to use the city’s famous Mardi Gras festival as he felt it was too similar to the Junkanoo event staged in Thunderball. Instead Hamilton decided to utilise two other well-known features of the Louisiana city: the canals and jazz funerals.

In common with the previous film most of Ian Fleming’s original story was junked in favour of new material created by Mankiewicz and the production team. Given that it was written in 1954 Fleming had a rather “old fashioned” view of African Americans (one chapter was entitled “Nigger Heaven”) and some of his concepts would likely be labelled racist if transferred to the big screen. Fleming was not a racist, simply a product of his time in common with authors such as Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie. (more…)

50 Years of James Bond