"Keeping the British end up, sir."
-The Spy Who Loved Me-
From a very early age it seemed this writer had the good fortune to have a mother that seemed to endlessly pick a series of film classics with which to visit in cinemas. All of them seemed to capture my imagination and influence and inspire this life of mine. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)was one of those films and it was the first Bond film I had ever seen. Could all of this be why it's my favorite Bond film ever? It's undeniably a great Bond film if you're a fan of the franchise and especially Roger Moore (1927-2017).
My mother, Florence, seemingly took me to some of the best cinema ever released as a youngster. Between my desire to see a film and her own seemingly oblivious good taste we seemed to score seats in theatres for all of the very best growing up.
Richard Donner's Superman (1978), Star Wars (1977), Blade Runner (Blade Runner) and of course The Spy Who Loved Me. (Okay Warlords Of Atlantis (1978) and Godzilla Vs. Megalon fell in the mix too). These were films that remain guides in this writer's life today. And it's not simply nostalgia. These were classic, wonderful films and Roger Moore's 007 was one of those characters that seemed to speak to the man in me with a passion for justice. His interpretation of the character was an important part of my formative years.
All my life I've sat on the sidelines cheering on Roger Moore's work as 007 only to watch him be torn down as James Bond lite or as some kind of unsubstantial Bond time and again. He was considered too funny. He wasn't serious enough. He wasn't bad ass enough. He didn't have an edge. He was too old in the end. Sean Connery was the superior Bond. Timothy Dalton was a much needed replacement. Rubbish. It's all elitist Bondian hogwash I say.
Moore was a superhero for a generation. He was suave, debonair and exuded cool and class. He seemed the smartly-dressed influence of a generation of 80s pop like Martin Fry of ABC. The guy was special.
My Bond, embodied by Roger Moore, was consistently brilliant as a British agent and sturdied and fortified a franchise for years to come. Moore played the part of 007 for over ten years (1973-1985) by starring in seven James Bond pictures: Live And Let Die (1973), The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View To A Kill (1985).
Most of the aforementioned films rank among my favorites. The Spy Who Loved Me remains this writer's favorite of the franchise. Moonraker and For Your Eyes Only come in as penultimate classics.
And to further underscore the Moore's talent he brilliantly played the role Simon Templar in The Saint (1962-1969) for six season on TV.
This only scratches the surface of the man's work and his philanthropic generosity.
Sadly, three years after the death of his films' arch rival, Jaws, played by the late Richard Kiel, Moore is gone and this fan is sad to see him go. We'll be forever grateful for those seven films Moore delivered as James Bond and having such a colorful influence on this life.
Roger Moore was 89 years of age.