A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Live and Let Die is the eighth official James Bond film, and the first to feature Roger Moore in the lead role. The violence includes the death of many minor characters, with a little blood shown, and some minor, scary/creepy images involving a "zombie" during a ritual dance. Bond sleeps with three women over the course of the movie, and there's some playful innuendo, though nothing graphic is shown. Language is a bit stronger than in previous Bond movies, with uses of "s--t," "bitch," "ass," "hell," and "damn." Bond drinks and smokes a bit less than in other movies, however. It has a PG rating, but today would probably earn a PG-13. The movie has some fun moments, but it's not one of the better Bond entries. Only teens looking to see the entire series will want to bother.
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What's the story?
When three MI6 agents are mysteriously killed in the same 24-hour period, Agent 007, James Bond (Roger Moore) is sent to investigate. He first goes to Harlem, where he encounters Mr. Big, a drug lord, and his servant Solitaire (Jane Seymour), who reads Tarot cards and predicts her boss's future. Escaping an attempt on his life, Bond heads to San Monique, where he seduces Solitaire and runs into the Caribbean Prime Minister Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), who is somehow connected with Mr. Big and a huge heroin business. After a trip to New Orleans, and a run in with Sheriff J.W. Pepper, Bond returns to San Monique for a showdown. But can he escape Kananga's deadly shark tank?
Is it any good?
Making his debut as James Bond, Roger Moore was gentler and more reserved than his predecessor Sean Connery, and was certainly more prone to bits of deadpan comedy. His first movie is a mixed bag. It has a strong villain in Yaphet Kotto, but Jane Seymour as the main Bond girl is perhaps a bit too helpless and passive. Secondary Bond girl, African-American Gloria Hendry, became Bond's first interracial romance.
LIVE AND LET DIE goes a bit too far over the top at times, such as a simple murder in New Orleans that somehow involves an entire funeral procession, an extended and tiresome speedboat chase, and the annoying presence of redneck sheriff J.W. Pepper (Clifton James), who returned for the next movie. On the plus side, the movie makes great use of sharks, crocodiles, and snakes, and has some fun gadgets, such as a "shark gun" that explodes its prey with a blast of air. However, the best part is definitely Paul McCartney's theme song, a highlight of the series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. How intense is it? How many characters have to die so that Bond can save the world? Are there any consequences?
- Bond is definitely a good guy, but his methods and behavior are questionable. Is he a role model? Does he seem "cool"? Is he someone to emulate? Why or why not?
- How are women portrayed in the movie? Are they realistic? Strong?
- How explicitly is heroin referred to or shown in this movie? Would it have been better to show more, or less?
- How does Roger Moore compare to Sean Connery as James Bond?