The Best and Worst of James Bond — Ranking The 007 Films

24. Live and Let Die

Original Release — June 27, 1973

Roger Moore was one of the longest running Bond actors — which is curious, given the outcome of his debut film. An example of the trend-chasing nature of the series overall, this 1973 release attempted to capitalize on the blaxploitation era of filmmaking. Narratively, audiences were perplexed seeing a super-spy like James Bond take on rudimentary street thugs and low-level drug dealers.

Nefarious doomsday villains were nowhere to be seen in favor of a gangland story that showed Bond chasing down criminals better suited to a serialized police procedural. Far more upsetting than any narrative choices were the portrayal of its African-American characters — the blaxploitation genre was created by black filmmakers to tell stories from their perspective about the characters and heroes they wanted to see on screen. Live and Let Die’s absorption of the culturally unique filmmaking utilized the most displeasing clichés possible — which is what should have been expected form a Caucasian director attempting that style.

Image Source: IMDb