Tuesday, 23 May 2017

ROGER MOORE REPOST: SHARING A BOND...



ROGER MOORE:
October 14th 1927 - May 23rd 2017

******

Sad news today of ROGER MOORE's passing, so here's
an amended repost from a while back in tribute to Big Rog's
portrayal of BOND... JAMES BOND (007).


Much has been made of the 'differences' between SEAN CON-
NERY's and ROGER MOORE's portrayals of BOND... JAMES
BOND over the years.  In my view, the way they look and talk aside,
there really wasn't much difference at all.  Depending on what you read
first, some reports said that the producers 'toughened up' Roger's Bond
because he didn't look quite so ruthless as Sean's, hence him slapping
women and  generally being mean to them.  (MAUD ADAMS in
The MAN With The GOLDEN GUN for example.)

Other reports claim the writers geared the movies towards Roger's
strengths as a 'light comedian' and that there was more humour in them.
Absolute tosh in my opinion.  Bond slapped women on occasion regardless
of who was playing him and there have always been fairly large dollops of
humour in 007 movies.  These so-called differences tend to be retroactive
rationalizations applied after the fact in answer to reporters' enquiries.  If
you ask someone what the difference is in something, the mere suggest-
ion that there is one will probably produce an answer that meets the
requirements of the question rather than the facts of the case.


The truth is, the role of Bond is merely a suit of 'clothes' which
the actor slips into and holds up in the shape of himself (more or
less) - but the 'suit' (i.e. - the part) is the character rather than any
actor playing him.  Had Sean continued as Bond in the movies Roger
appeared in, there would've been very little difference in the finished
product.  Any evolution in the style or content of the films is more
down to the requirements of being bigger and better than the
one before than it is in the actor playing the part.

The tone of Roger's first Bond movie in 1973 had been set by
its predecessor, DIAMONDS Are FOREVER, which was largely
shaped by the participation of the late TOM MANKIEWICZ, who
was also involved in LIVE & LET DIE and The MAN With The
GOLDEN GUN.  To my mind, Roger's Bond never did anything that
I couldn't imagine Sean's Bond also doing, so the only difference be-
tween the two actors' portrayals was not in the character of
007, but in the way they looked and sounded.


By the time Connery appeared in Diamonds Are Forever, he
was tired of the role - but the role was also tired of him.  He was
41, but looked at least ten years older.  Sean was definitely the right
man for Bond in the early to mid-'60s, but it's the lean, mean, hungry-
looking Sean we must remember - not the rather puffy, bloated, weary-
looking Sean of the later movies.  Moore is actually older than Connery
by at least two years, but back in '73 he looked a lot younger than 45,
his age when receiving the licence to kill.  Roger was the right Bond
for the '70s, just as Sean had been for the decade before.

So, regardless of the actor playing him, Bond is the same
man;  suave, charming, debonair - and a ruthless killer when
required.  In my view, Roger was every bit as good in the role
as Sean.  So - here's to Bond... James Bond.  I say again -
"Nobody does it better!"
      

25 comments:

paul Mcscotty said...

More sad news on an even sadder considering recent events. I have to say I loved Roger Moore as 007 (although Sean is still my favourite) and as a person ( he always seems such a nice gentleman to me) . I agree that in "Diamonds are forever" Sean was starting to look his age (and dare I say was looking a tad haggard ). Your probably right that both Bonds were similar and both were suave and calm but for me sat least, Roger seemed a bit more suave. Although Sean is my favourite Bond my favourite Bond film is probably “Live and let die” At this rate I will be the only person left on Earth that I remember why is everyome "leaving" us!

Kid said...

Roger really pulled off more than he was given credit for with Bond, PM. George Lazenby, due to his acting inexperience, made it look even more like Sean was impossible to replace, but Roger did it, as well as shaking off the shadow of The Saint. So he achieved a double goal in that respect, I think. And Live & Let Die really is one of the best Bond movies of all time. Talking of which, it seems to me like only a few short years ago that Rog first took on the part, yet it's 32 years since he gave it up after 12 years in the role. He played Bond longer than anyone, in 7 films. Sean only did 6 official ones, plus one unofficial one, which doesn't really count as it was a remake of Thunderball. Ah, the world seems a poorer place without Roger in it.

John Pitt said...

I have completely different memories concerning Roger Moore. Firstly, my dear old Uncle Bill used to be his double in his younger years ( not only that, but his wife, Auntie Joan was a double for Ursella Andress in Doctor No!!'). Not only did he look like him, but he sounded like him, still does, in fact! Needless to say, he was very popular with the ladies in his single days!
Secondly, I am SO ancient, I actually remember watching him in Ivanhoe! I used to love this, along with Robin Hood and William Tell. When The Saint came on, he was Ivanhoe in a new programme!
Besides his excellent work as James Bond and in The Persuaders, I particularly remember him as a cantankerous old sea captain in a film for this line, "I like cats! - And I don't like people who don't like cats!"
Well, same here, Rog!
Finally, I remember him on a chat show in his later years, when he brought a huge pork pie on with him to share! " I love pork pies!", he told the host.
Well, so do I!
AND when our daughter's boyfriend brought us a special one up from Bakewell, I told him, "You know, Roger Moore would love one of these!" ( It WAS a beauty! )
So, next one I have, guess who I'll be thinking of?

Kid said...

I also remember Ivanhoe, JP, and Robin Hood, and William Tell, so I must be pretty ancient as well. Thing is, although I remember watching Ivanhoe, I didn't remember when later watching The Saint that it was the same actor. Same with Peter Purves - when I saw him on Blue Peter, I didn't realise that it was the same guy I'd watched as Dr. Who's assistant. Roger was really good in 'The Man Who Haunted Himself', and proved he really could act. I've got his autograph three times over.

Colin Jones said...

My father was only two days older than Roger Moore but Sir Rog lived 18 years longer.

Kid said...

That 18 years probably seemed like only a couple to Rog at the most, CJ. I base that on the fact that the last 18 years of mine only seem like that.

Phil S said...

I'll miss old Rog. I enjoyed his acting, he had an excellent sense of humor. Unfortunately I thought he made two of the weakest Bond movies, Man with the golden gun and A view to a kill. He was great on tv in the persuaders and the Saint.

Kid said...

I agree about 'A View To A Kill', but that wasn't Rog's fault - the direction was tired and uninspired. 'The Man With The Golden Gun' was okay I thought. The two worst movies in my estimation were the two Timothy Dalton ones ('though they had good bits in them). And 'You Only Live Twice' and 'Never Say Never Again' were hardly Sean's finest Bond movies. Even parts of 'Thunderball' are quite tedious.

spirit of '64 said...

Another icon gone....
Although Roger is not my favourite Bond, Live and Let Die is my favourite Bond film, by far. His Bond would be better remembered if he had let the role go by the 80's. Of his other work I thought the Persuaders was good television, and remember it with affection. I know of his Saint and Ivanhoe, but to young (!!!) to have experienced these first hand.


Kid said...

Live & Let Die is a belter of a movie sure enough, '64, and it's one of my top Bond films. I AM old enough to remember Ivanhoe and The Saint first hand, and I still enjoy Simon Templar today whenever there's a repeat on one of the Freeview channels. Haven't seen Ivanhoe since the early '60s 'though. In fact, now that I think of it, it might've been repeats of Ivanhoe I saw, but they were fairly recent repeats just as Roger would be starting (or had not long started) starring in The Saint.

TC said...

The 1970's Bond films did get sillier and campier, but I would agree with you that it was due to each film needing to out-do the one before, rather than who was playing the lead. And the series was already heading in that direction when Connery was the star.

Moore co-starred in Maverick for one season. Warner Brothers assured him that he wasn't just a substitute for James Garner, but he later quipped, "Oh yeah? Then why did all of my costumes have 'Jim Garner,' partly scratched out, on the tags?" Maybe that experience helped him in 1973, when he replaced another star in a popular series.

He seemed to think that he had been miscast in North Sea Hijack (aka ffolkes, aka Assault Force), but I thought he was very good as the eccentric naval officer/security consultant, who loved cats, hated women, hated smoking, and who ended up leading a Special Boat Service-type unit to rescue hostages aboard an oil platform. And, for some reason, I loved the scene aboard a train near the beginning: "Madame, this is the NON-smoking compartment. The sign clearly designates this compartment as a non-smoking compartment. I chose this compartment because I wanted a non-smoking compartment. That gentleman sitting next to you presumably chose this compartment because he wanted a non-smoking compartment..."

RIP, Mr. Templar, Lord Sinclair, and Commander Bond. And, as corny and cliched as it sounds: When it came to playing a suave, cool action hero, nobody did it better.

Kid said...

I'd say that the comedy level in 'Diamonds Are Forever' was at least as extreme as that in any of Rog's Bond films, TC, so you're right. He inherited a series that was not only heading in that direction, but had jumped feet first over the doormat. I enjoyed 'North Sea Hijack', as well as the film he did with Lee Marvin, 'Shout At The Devil'. Rog was always entertaining in any movie he was in. Even 'Gold' wasn't a bad little movie. It's a shame he was never offered anything substantial after Bond.

moonmando said...

Suave,charming and debonair!..,why you could almost be talking about me Kid.
Accurate assessment,though.

Arfon Jones said...

My first, so I guess my Bond, RIP :(

Colin Jones said...

Connery and Moore were the best Bonds and when Moore retired they should have retired the Bond franchise too.

B Smith said...

I am second to none in my admiration for the talents of illustrator Bob Peak, but for some reason his artwork for the "Spy Who Loved Me" poster looked somehow inappropriate for the Bond films. Whereas Bob McGinnis was so good that it didn't matter that the women in them didn't in the least resemble the actresses they were supposed to be. And check out that "Live And Let Die" one - it even features a cannon-type gun that didn't make it to the final cut (it appeared in several publicity stills, though IIRC).

Kid said...

Always had a hard time telling the difference between you and Rog, Moony, truth be told.

******

I was lucky enough to see all the Connery Bonds in the cinema before they were sold to TV, AJ, but he'd already given up the role before I saw my first one. Therefore, Roger was my first 'current' Bond - and I thought he was great in the part.

******

That'd never happen, CJ - too much money to lose. Besides, I thought Pierce Brosnan was good as Bond - a mixture of Sean and Rog.

******

The thing that gets me about the Live & Let Die poster, BS, is that Rog's hair is too long at the sides. He had a typical civil servant haircut for his first outing as Bond. I wish the 007 movies had posters as good as that now.

Arfon Jones said...

My earliest memory of Bond was seeing the Man with the Golden Gun on TV, so he was my first. it also it seemed that Moore got the most air time during Christmas and Easter...

Kid said...

Which was the first Bond film you ever saw at the cinema, AJ? I think you mentioned it before, but I forget.

Arfon Jones said...

Despite being a long term fan, never missing them on the telly Tomorrow Never Dies was my first in the cinema! Then after watched all the Pierce Brosnan ones as they came out. Wish they would rerelease all the classics, I would go and see each one in the cinema!

Kid said...

Goldfinger was given a cinema reissue a few years back, AJ, so it would be good to see all the Connery and Moore movies receiving the same honour. I'd go, even 'though I've got them all on cleaned-up DVDs.

B Smith said...

One cool thing I recall from the pre-home video days was that a local cinema would have a week-long Bond Marathon, with double bills of all the Bond films made up to that point. Good value for money, and guaranteed entertainment.

And Kid, you raise an interesting point about the first Bond one sees at the cinema....my favourite is You Only Live Twice....just happened to be the first one I ever saw (on first release at the cinema). It's surely bound to colour one's opinion.

Graham said...

While Sean Connery was my favorite Bond, I enjoyed Roger Moore in the role. I think he stayed a couple of movies too long. I didn't watch The Saint until later, but I really liked him in that role.

Arfon Jones said...

I also have them on dvd (complete sets dedicated to Connery, Moore and Brosnan frustratingly they never did a Dalton one) missed the Goldfinger re release by the sounds of it, Id gladly go to all of them if they re released them theatrically

Kid said...

BS, I saw my first Bond films in Saturday morning double bills at my local cinema in 1972. I remember when the Bond back catalogue was sold to TV in 1974 ('though they weren't shown until 1975), it was reported that cinema managers weren't happy, because they could always rely on a Bond movie (even an old one) to bring in the punters when things were quiet on the hit films front. And I'm sure the first Bond film (and therefore the first Bond) that one sees, no doubt colours your opinion, just as whoever is the first Dr. Who when you see the show for the first time.

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It's strange, G, that Roger Moore could successfully take on the mantle of Bond, but no one's ever been able to play The Saint as successfully as he did. He must have been doing something right, eh? On the point of staying on too long as Bond, I think that might be the perception because his last film in particular wasn't all that great, whereas, if it had been an absolute belter, I think people wouldn't have minded his age as much.

******

I didn't get the individual actor sets, AJ, I got the complete set from Dr. No up to Die Another Day, so the Dalton movies are included.

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