Written by / 10/12/2012 / 1 Comment / , , , ,

YAPHET KOTTO KILLS LIVE AND LET DIE

"Names is for tombstones... Y'all take this honkey out and waste him!"
Although it's this reviewer's personal favorite James Bond venture, LIVE AND LET DIE, the 1973 spy blaxploitation throwing everything into the pot including pimp cars, voodoo, killer crocodiles, serpents, zombies, a boat chase and so much more, wasn't so beloved by actor Yaphet Kotto...

Kotto, who played the drug lord Kananga, turned in a memorable performance as a groundbreaking Bond heavy, being the first black villain in the franchise... 
YAPHET KOTTO ON LIVE AND LET DIE
There were so many problems with that script… I was too afraid of coming off like Mantan Moreland… I had to dig deep in my soul and brain and come up with a level of reality that would offset the sea of stereotype crap that Tom Mankiewicz wrote that had nothing to do with the Black experience or culture. 

It was the first Black Bond villain, I wanted to be original… but there was nothing I could draw on from Tom’s script. It was a trap. If I had played it the way it was written, every Black Organization in the world would have been on my case. I had to draw on a real life situation I was going through and that saved me…

But the way Kananga dies was a joke… and… well… the entire experience was not as rewarding as I wanted it to be. There were a lot of pitfalls that I had to avoid, and I did.

The death sequence as Kananga turns into a human balloon
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  1. I'm currently re-watching all the Bond movies by release date and now finally I get to Roger Moore, my favorite Bond. I think the first Bond you see on the big screen eventually becomes your favorite Bond. Although I hope that isn't the case with Timothy Dalton, poor buggers. Anyway this Bond movie is the least watched Roger Moore outing as Bond for me. I have only watched it once before, A VIEW TO A KILL is the only other Roger Moore Bond movie that I have seen under 10 times or more. I haven't seen LIVE AND LET DIE in over 20 years. With Paul McCartney's hard charging title song played throughout in various incarnations, super-hot young Jane Seymour, and Roger Moore looking downright young and trim - this Bond is awesome.

    Of course you gotta have the sharks, the on-the-train fights, and your super-hot Bond girls (unfortunately the first one dies off much too early).

    Yaphet Kotto is awesome in this flick. I loved him in HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET, but damn he's good here in Bond.

    Unfortunately now after watching this movie I have this on the brain: "Crisp and Clean, and no caffeine. Never had it, never will. 7-Up, the Un-cola. HAHAHAHAHAHA!" - Sigh. What is the 7-Up's commercial guy's actual name? He was darn good too, but damnit, those commercials are on my brain.

    Great movie. It definitely is now up there with my favorite Moore THE SPY WHO LOVED ME & FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.

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