A love affair with the James Bond series is like a marriage; it's for life, and it's definitely a "richer or poorer, better or worse" proposition. Some days you get Casino Royale (2006) or Goldfinger (1964), where everything is bliss, but then other days you get Grace Jones or a cameo from Madonna or someone named "Christmas Jones." Some days are Connery and some are Lazenby. Some days your director is Guy Hamilton or Martin Campbell, and some days your director is John Glen or Marc Forster. But, like a diamond, the imperfections are what make it all worthwhile. From among the dregs, then, here are a few of my favorite things:
1. The entire supporting cast in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
I confess it's one of the weakest Roger Moore entries, but come on! Motherf---in' Christopher "Dracula/Dooku/Saruman" Lee is the bad guy! And Hervé Villechaize as his diminutive villainous sidekick! And sex-goddess Britt Ekland as the Bond girl! In a bikini! And Swedish model Maud Adams, who would return as "Octopussy"! And Lois Maxwell and Desmond Llewelyn! And Soon-Tek Oh as Lieutenant Hip. The only drawback is that the goldurn redneck sheriff returns (see #2)...
2. The Paul McCartney Theme Song in Live and Let Die (1973)
Some fans like this early Roger Moore entry, but Moore hadn't yet settled into the role yet, and I call it "the one with the redneck sheriff and the idiotic boat chase." But conversely, it has one of the best -- if not the best -- song of the series, with its slow build, peculiar tempo changes and odd lyrics ("in this ever changing world in which we live in.") This was McCartney at his crazy out-there best, and it brings much goodwill to the rest of the film.