Live and Let Die (film)

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A fitting introduction to the wildest 007 of them all.

When you were young and your heart was an open book
You used to say live and let live
(you know you did, you know you did, you know you did...)
But if this ever changing world in which we're livin' makes you give in and cry...

Say Live and Let Die!
Paul McCartney and Wings singing the title song

The 8th James Bond film, starring Roger Moore in his first appearance. James Bond is assigned to a case involving a drug lord that utilizes Voodoo (or at least the Hollywood version). After rescuing the drug lord's tarot fortune teller from her virginity (a controversial scene, since it involved Bond tricking her), it becomes a plot of everybody trying to kill them.

It's one of the more polarizing Bond films. Some like it for its change of pace (it's the first time Bond deals with organized crime and the supernatural), while others feel it was simply a Blaxploitation film with the 007 logo slapped on the front and were waiting for Pam Grier to show up. It is noteworthy in that amongst the things it did to try and distance it from the "silliness" of the Sean Connery era, it didn't include a scene with Q (he's mentioned though). This is a bit undermined by the fact that it's a film about Voodoo and includes Baron Samedi, implied to be the real deal. Plus, the gadgets used were further over the top than seen before, with a bit of an egregious Ass Pull of a rotary saw mode on the watch just when it was needed. On the other hand, the theme song is widely regarded as one of the series' all time best, and has achieved a good deal of success independent of the film.

Includes a boat chase in Louisiana, which resulted in at least a dozen speedboats being written off when they filmed it.

Tropes used in Live and Let Die (film) include:
  • Adaptation Distillation: The portrayal of black people is much, much improved upon from the book. The villains are still evil, but they at least talk like they finished grade school. As with Goldfinger, Ian Fleming was a great author but sadly a product of his time.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Bond improvises one to kill the snake released in his bathroom.
  • Amusing Injuries: Big Bad's death scene.
  • Animal Assassin: A snake, presumably poisonous, is let loose in Bond's bathroom.
  • Artificial Limbs: Tee Hee's right arm is a prosthetic from the shoulder down; it doubles as a Red Right Hand.
  • Ascended Extra: In Fleming's novel, Tee Hee is one of three minor thugs ordered to dispose of Bond and Leiter, while the Whisper appears in one scene as the operator of Mr. Big's communications network. The film expands their roles significantly.
  • Badass Bystander: Sheriff Pepper, actually. He nearly manages to subdue and arrest one of the major henchmen all by himself, and would have even succeeded if Bond wouldn't have, you know, nearly drop a speed boat on him (and let another one get neatly sandwiched in his patrol car).
  • Balloon Belly: Kananga when he's inflated by the gas in the shark pellets.
  • BFG: Bond spends most of the film with his compact Walther PPK, but come the finale, he trades it out for a large revolver, plus an anti-shark pistol with compressed gas bullets that make things explode.
  • Big Applesauce: Starts at the UN, and also goes to the Harlem.
  • The Big Easy
  • Blofeld Ploy: Inverted. Kananga looks like he's going to test Bond's shark gun on Whisper, but he shoots the couch he's sitting on instead (then again, over the years the couch had surely served him well).
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Bond is left on a small island surrounded by crocodiles without a single guard watching to make sure he dies, after having previously escaped Kananga's traps more than once. Why they don't shoot him then feed his body to the crocodiles is a question you're just not supposed to ask.
    • A minor case: If the dialogue between Solitaire and Bond on the boat immediately after the chase sequence is to be believed, Bond and Solitaire were actually NOT going to continue chasing Kananga and were going to leave everything on Felix's hands. If he had only allowed them to leave, odds are that at worst he would've been arrested for a couple of years. However he does not. Couple of minutes later Kananga explodes.
  • Book Safe: A Bible.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted, Bond uses a revolver at one point and fires exactly six shots before resorting to hand-to-hand combat.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The shark pellets Bond is given.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Rosie Carver, though this could be at least partially an act.
  • Deadfoot Leadfoot: Whisper kills Bond driver not long after his arrival on New York, and he has to navigate through traffic with the dead guy's foot on the gas.
  • Death by Gluttony
  • Death by Sex: Rosie Carver, averted with Solitaire.
  • Deus Ex Machina: Quite unusually, Bond's magnet watch also turns out to have a serrated edge that can cut ropes when the face is spun, which comes out of nowhere in the climax. Ironically, it's perhaps the most plausible gadget in the whole series, so you'd think writing in a mention of it beforehand wouldn't be too hard.
  • The Dragon: Tee Hee, Baron Samedi.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Under San Monique.
  • Everyone Hates Hades: Baron Samedi is portrayed as a Voodoo version of Satan who has numerous zombie servants. In actual Voodoo mythology, Samedi is known for making the dead rot quicker so they can't be turned into zombies.
  • Evil Chancellor: Mister Big himself.
  • Evil Laugh: Baron Samedi, who has a single line, but lots of laughter (which even appears in GoldenEye 007).
  • Fingore: Someone threatens to cut off Bond's finger.
    • Along with some... other important parts of his anatomy.
  • Flashed Badge Hijack: Sheriff Pepper commandeers a Louisiana State Police car.
  • Gadget Watches: With magnetic and rotary saw capability.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Pretty much the whole movie.
  • How Unscientific: Big Bad's death scene.
    • Not to mention Baron Samedi surviving his "death", and appearing mysteriously laughing on the back of the train at the end of the movie, leading to a Real After All implication.
  • The Hyena / Meaningful Name: Tee Hee.
  • Instant Convertible: Done with a bus when the police force of San Monique is chasing Bond, and he drives under a tunnel.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Averted, it uses jazz funerals since Thunderball had the Mardi Gras-like Junkanoo.
  • Just Between You and Me
    • Subverted when Mr. Big says "Take this honky out and waste him!"
    • Played straight when Kananga captures Bond near the end of the movie., though only in the manner Bond villains usually play this- Bond already knows whats going on, and Kanaga is just clearing up technical details (or rather, he's letting Bond himself clear up those details), like how he plans on smuggling his drugs into America in the first place. Also subverted in that Bond has already blown his poppy fields up and his plan is (temporarily) foiled already.
  • Kick the Dog: When Kananga slaps Solitaire in the face after she sleeps with Bond.
  • Large Ham: Kananga.
    • Pepper too, even more when he returns.
  • Latex Perfection: Dr. Kananga as Mr. Big. A subversion- the actor is wearing real latex, and is playing both characters who were always the same person anyway.
  • The Mole: Rosie Carver.
  • Mondegreen: The theme song includes a line about "this ever changing world in which we're living," which has often been misheard and mocked as the redundant "in which we live in."
  • Mutilation Interrogation: Tee Hee and Bond.
  • Never Smile At a Crocodile: At one point during the film, Bond is trapped on a small island in the middle of a Crocodile-infested pond. He manages to evade by jumping on the backs of the reptiles. Tee Hee points out one in particular that tore off his arm before the events of the movie.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed / Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate: Kananga, who is at least partially based on Dr Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, dictator of Haiti, who used Voodoo as the basis of his personality cult and even claimed that he was Baron Samedi. Inverted with the name- Kananga was the Real Life owner of the crocodile farm and the producers decided to use his name for the movie, so the real Kananga became a minor celebrity as a result of this film.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Kananga, after he captures Bond in his underground lair.
  • Not My Driver: Happens to Bond and Solitaire when they get a cab in New Orleans. The driver turns out to be the same guy who drove Bond back in Harlem, who then proceeds to trap them in his car.
  • Older Than They Look: Would you have guessed that Roger Moore was 45 (and three years older than Sean Connery) when he first played Bond here?
  • Pistol-Whipping: Adam, one of Mr. Big's thugs, knocks out Sheriff Pepper's brother-in-law Billy Bob when he steals his boat.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Proven when Bond uses his magnetic watch to unzip a woman's dress.
  • Precision F-Strike: The first of (currently, as of 2008) four Bond films to use strong profanity. However, only one of them gets through.
  • Rape Is Love: Bond tricks Solitaire into having sex with him and she falls in love with him, thinking it predestined because she drew the Lovers card from his hand, when every card was the Lovers. It's technically not rape--he doesn't force her to do anything and she did draw the Lovers card earlier--but it's still one of his sleazier conquests.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: One of the most unbelievable and cartoonish stunts, Bond jumping on some crocodiles to safety after being left to die on a small island was actually an authentic feat by the owner of the crocodile ranch. Yes, those were real crocodiles.
  • Red Right Hand: Tee Hee's right arm.
  • Religion Is Magic: Baron Samedi and voodoo.
  • Same Language Dub: Regular Bond voice artist Nikki Van der Zyl dubbed much of Jane Seymour's dialogue.
  • Scary Black Man: Tee Hee (the dude with the claw), Baron Samedi, Mr. Big.
  • Scary Scarecrows
  • The Seventies: More blatant here than in the others from this decade.
  • Shark Pool: Twice, once with alligators and once with sharks.
  • Shoe Shine, Mister?: While Bond is trailing Kananga's car in Harlem, he's spotted by a black shoeshine man, who calls Mr. Big on a radio inside his shoeshine kit.
  • Sound Effect Bleep
  • Standard Hollywood Strafing Procedure: By a helicopter while Bond is hiding under the poppy field net.
  • Staying Alive: Baron Samedi.
  • Storming the Castle
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Quarrel Jr., to his father.
    • Which they did to work around the fact that Quarrel first appeared in the book Live and Let Die, but they filmed Dr. No, in which Quarrel dies, first.
  • Tap on the Head: Tee Hee to Bond, and Bond to a number of Mooks.
  • Tarot Motifs: A new deck was designed for the movie.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: A lounge singer gives the title song a Motown-style reprise, and she mocks Bond from the stage as he's captured by the bad guys.
  • Traintop Battle: Though it never actually gets on top of the train.
  • Tuckerization: Dr. Kananga was named after the guy who owned the crocodile farm seen in the film. The feet you see running on top of the crocodiles when Bond escapes said farm? Those were Kananga's, and those were real crocodiles.
  • The Unintelligible: Whisper.
  • United Nations
  • Villain with Good Publicity: It would seem that every black person in New York City, New Orleans, and the fictional San Monique works for the Big Bad, or knows him enough not to be surprised when Bond's table at a restaurant is suddenly lowered into the villain's lair as the singer taunts him. This could be Unfortunate Implications considering that Big Bad is a heroin dealer.
    • Then again, they probably don't know that Mr. Big and Dr. Kananga are the same person. In the interrogation scene, Mr. Big Doc Browns Bond by pulling off his makeup and revealing Kananga underneath.
  • Virgin Power: Solitaire's tarot reading ability.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Bond's dialogue with Quarrel Jr. after the chase scene implies Bond was going to use Scarlett, perhaps one of the frailest Bond girls out there, to negotiate with Kananga, apparently even WILLING to give her back if necessary. To a man that most definitely wants her dead (or at least punished). And he says that with a SMIRK.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him: The "Unnecessarily Slow Moving Dipping Mechanism" parodied in the first Austin Powers film was more than likely inspired by the machine that Kananga uses in his attempt to dispose of Bond and Solitaire near the end of this film (Kananga wanted to give the shark a chance to get the scent of blood; ironically, Whisper was going to put Bond in fast- Kananga told him to slow down to, as he put it, "let our diners assemble").
    • Likewise the "put him in an easily-escapable deathtrap and then just walk away and assume it worked" meme is exemplified when Bond is marooned on a rock in a lake full of hungry crocodiles without even a single mook left behind to watch him.
    • Minor case: when Bond and Solitaire get captured on the Taxi, why didn't the taxi driver just SHOT Bond then and there when he had the chance?
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Shockingly, Bond implies this about Solitaire at one point. Although he says it to Quarrel Jr., not her.
  • Zip Me Up: Inverted when Bond uses a magnetic watch to unzip a woman's dress. Now that's what we call Power Perversion Potential.