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Laramie Movie Scope:
Sir Roger Moore, RIP

The most sophisticated, urbane Bond of them all

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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May 23, 2017 -- I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Sir Roger Moore, the actor and philanthropist who played the James Bond character in more films than anyone else, and who made it look easy and enjoyable at the same time.

To me, he was the best Bond of all. Nobody did it better. Nobody took himself less seriously while playing James Bond, or seemed to have more fun doing it. He certainly seemed the most British of all Bonds, and more charming while “keeping the British end up.” I know that many people like the tougher, more brutal Bonds depicted by Sean Connery, Daniel Craig and Timothy Dalton, but I liked the lighter, funnier, stylish Bonds played by Moore and Pierce Brosnan.

When Roger Moore played James Bond, he had that license to kill and mowed down countless evil minions, but never seemed to be a real killer. He escaped all those clichéed Bond villain death traps with ease, and never seemed to actually be in danger. He was always urbane, stylish, cool, unflappable and in charge of any situation. He exuded effortless grace and charm. He also played a kind of James Bond, with a twinkle in his eye, who was a parody of, shall we say, overly serious, self-important, dramatic versions of Bond.

My favorite James Bond movie is “The Spy Who Loved Me,” with that great opening action sequence, the best Bond song ever, “Nobody Does it Better,” by Carly Simon, the best Bond villain ever, Jaws (played by Richard Kiel) and the best Bond girl ever, played by a stunning beauty, Barbara Bach, and of course the best Bond ever, Roger Moore. There were also lots of clever gadgets, like a submarine car. It is pure escapism at its best.

While modern Bond movies are darker, with more realistic violence and drama, they are also depressing. You never get the idea, at the end of the movie, that evil has been defeated. Evil is only dealt a temporary setback. Then there are all those stupid conspiracies — it's sad. In my favorite bond films, including films like “Goldfinger,” the evil villain was destroyed, killed, dead, once and for all. No ifs, ands, or buts. That isn't realistic, but it is very satisfying.

For you Roger Moore fans out there, I'd like to mention one of his lesser known films in which he plays a quirky British action hero. You might get a kick out of it if you haven't seen it. It's called “ffolks” (1980). In this film terrorists take over an oil rig and the very eccentric independent contractor, ffolks (Moore) and his highly trained commando team are hired to rescue the hostages. There is plenty of action, and plenty of droll, British humor.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2017 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)