Movies

Weekend Read: Moore In Winter

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For your reading pleasure, I recommend Roger Moore's 2008 memoir My Word Is My Bond. The celebrity dish is pretty mild. (Tony Curtis smoking pot outside 10 Downing Street; dying David Niven getting brutalized by his drunken wife; Frank Sinatra proving himself a mensch; Moore's presenter's-eye view as Sacheen Littlefeather fights the last of the Apache Wars.) But it's a reliable index-reader's delight thanks to Moore's amiability and vigorous self-deprecation. Sample sentence: "I had a pretty intense—or as intense as I get, at least—scene with Lois in the final reel of the film."

And I got this one for Spice World

I should disclose that I loathe James Bond in pretty much all his instantiations. But as a thoughtful host, I like to know at least one person's having a good time. Moore and the Moore-ish Pierce Brosnan at least delivered that. (The current guy is the reductio of the lousy fad for hard and edgy reboots: a Bond who seems to be suffering even more than the audience.) Here, Moore remembers his duty to put the F.U. in fun. Observe the combination of pity and showbiz brio Moore brings to his remembrance of Hervé Villechaize, the beloved, tragic little-person scene-stealer from Fantasy Island, Forbidden Zone, and other classics:

When we were leaving Hong Kong,  I asked him how many girls he'd had during our stay.

'Forty-five,' he replied in his squeaky French voice.

'It doesn't count,' I replied, 'if you pay for them.'

'Even when I pay, sometimes they refuse," he told me, sadly.

Hervé tried it on Maud Adams one day, in the lobby of the hotel. He walked over to her, his head only reaching the bottom of her skirt, looked up and said, 'Tonight, Maud, I am going to come into your room, climb under your sheets and make wild passionate love to you.'

'Yes,' said Maud, without missing a beat, 'And if I find out you have, I'll be very angry.'

Hervé told me another sad, funny thing. 'I can never stay on the second floor or above at a hotel,' he said.

'Why?' I asked.

'Because I cannot reach the buttons in the lift!'

Some surprises too: Moore actually opposed the one scene I have ever truly loved in a 007 film: The Margaret and Dennis Thatcher lookalikes at the end of For Your Eyes Only. Moore fears they tended to "devalue the seriousness of the film," but I'm pretty sure this scene did more than medium-range nukes to convince the Russians they couldn't compete with NATO:

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  1. Tim, that scene is the best of all the Bond denoument scenes. Even though I have watched For Your Eyes Only at least two dozen times and can recite the majority of its dialogue, almost verbatim, I just had to play the video of the scene. Obvioulsy, with the passage of time and events, the scene is ever more rich than it ever could have been in July of 1981.

  2. I’ll ask it if nobody else will: Is H&R libertarianism or Entertainment Tonight?
    Or does it even matter any more?

  3. Sean Connery IS James Bond

  4. Jebus, ed is a whiny little bitch; someone needs to slap him.

    Oh and when you’re done pouting, it’s called a scroll wheel. Learn to use it and you’ll spare yourself, and much more importantly the rest of us, a lot of grief.

  5. Sean Connery IS James Bond

    He was ok, but George Lazenby was by clearly the best Bond just as Telly Savalas was the best Blofeld.

  6. I always thought that the best impersonation of Thatcher was from the movie Water (1985). I couldn’t find the part of the movie where that happens (see IMBD for some quotes), but I did find this.

  7. FYEO was the best Moore film. Next to no gadgetry, a semi-realistic plot, plus ice cream and pistachios. The Thatcher part was silly.

  8. I’m an unabashed Bond fan, though Moore is my least favourite Bond actor. I do like the bloke, however, he seems to have a great sense of humour.

  9. Jebus, ed is a whiny little bitch; someone needs to slap him

    Bring it on, stfu (if that is your real name).
    Reason: Free minds and “celebrity dish.”

    Anyway, serious aficionados of James Bond as a figure of romantic literature should
    check out Bootleg Romanticism, Chapter 8 of Ayn Rand’s 1966 collection of essays,
    The Romantic Manifesto. Well worth it.

  10. Is H&R libertarianism or Entertainment Tonight?

    Like there’s a dif?

  11. I think it was the lack of a sense of humor that turned me off on randians. Shame, she was brilliant.

  12. LOL I think Roger Moore’s alleged heterosexuality (or lack thereof, wife or not) did more to undermine the Bond films than anything else.

  13. For those who don’t want ET, this is pretty funny, with the same loon who thought Bush was going to lead a coup now confusing a group sending out press releases with that group pulling strings.

    Meanwhile, here’s my Sonia Sotomayor coverage (mostly clip posts), and here’s my extensive coverage of the National Council of La Raza. The last has information that you’ll never, ever hear from Reason.

    P.S. Anyone got any prog?

    P.P.S. Any replies to this comment will most likely consist of ad homs, as libertarians concede my points and show their childish, anti-intellectual nature.

  14. I agree with matth. Jesus, ed, it’s the goddamn weekend thread. Don’t get your panties in a bunch.

  15. After re-watching many of the films over the past few years, I’ve come to the conclusion that Timothy Dalton’s era was the best: serious without being brutually un-fun like Daniel Craig, and without depending on gadgetry or excessive action like the Pierce Brosnan era. And Dalton was actually convincing as a secret agent, unlike Connery or Moore.

  16. I confess ignorance of the entirety of the rules, but I am drinking once for ed, who treads dangerously close to a ‘for a magazine called Reason’ comment, and once for lonewacko’s impugning of the libertarian movement.

  17. My site really needs funding, so any one who sends me a dollar I will send a pic of me performing auto fellatio. I only have hundreds of them.

    P.S. Any replies to this comment will most likely consist of ad homs, as libertarians concede my points and show their childish, anti-intellectual nature.

  18. For two dollars more he’ll also send you a pic of him vomiting his own semen onto an 8×10 glossy of Jimmy Smits.

  19. I can no longer recall which movie my favorite Roger Moore story comes from. But his co-star was apparently being very difficult and rude to everyone on the set. Moore approached him privately and told him there was no need to behave that way. The man said “I’m striving to be a great actor. I don’t have time to be a nice guy.” To which Moore said, “Well, you are never going to be a great actor, so why not try being a nice guy.”

  20. Never cared much for Moore in the Bond films, but liked him in Cannonball Run. He seems like a nice, well adjusted guy, let’s hope they don’t find him hanging naked in a closet in Shang-Hai one day…

  21. ed you ignorant slut –
    If you were to click on About Us at the top of the page, left hand side you would see something like

    Reason is the monthly print magazine of “free minds and free markets.” It covers politics, culture, and ideas through a provocative mix of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews. Reason provides a refreshing alternative to right-wing and left-wing opinion magazines by making a principled case for liberty and individual choice in all areas of human activity.

    Reason Online is updated daily with articles and columns on current developments in politics and culture. It also contains the full text of past issues of the print edition of Reason. Reason Online is entirely free. [emphasis added for the slow children]

  22. While I don’t have anything against Moore as such, he was my very, very least favorite Bond. Or maybe it’s just that the slapstick plots of the Moore era made them my least favorite Bond flicks.

    Personally I’ve always rather guiltily felt that Dalton was the best Bond, because I could actually believe his Bond could be a secret agent. Connery remains my favorite, though. Connery is Bond. James Bond.

  23. Well said, J sub D. Comments like ed’s always make me mad, and your smackdown was on the money.

  24. Roger Moore was quoted once saying he left Bond films because he was tired of guys coming up to his table in restaurants wanting to fight him presumably to say they had kicked James Bond’s ass.

  25. he was tired of guys coming up to his table in restaurants wanting to fight him presumably to say they had kicked James Bond’s ass

    I hope none of those guys were sober.

  26. “Well said, J sub D…your smackdown was on the money”

    That was a smackdown? I thought a gnat landed on my neck. “It covers politics, culture, and ideas…in all areas of human activity.” Even celebrity gossip memoirs? So much for selectivity. It’s this dumbing-down of reason over the past few years that was the point of my original comment, but the peanut-gallery crackpots here should not feel threatened by one lone opinion.

  27. ed-

    You are just jealous that you did not have the steamy love scene with Dr. Goodhead.

  28. It’s this dumbing-down of reason over the past few years that was the point of my original comment, but the peanut-gallery crackpots here should not feel threatened by one lone opinion.

    Wait a second, Ed. Ayn Rand writes a seriously intended manifesto about James Bond as a figure of romantic literature, I write a blog post about James Bond as a figure played by an actor in big-budget B movies, and I’m the one wot’s dummin down Reason?

    Drink up, everybody: That doesn’t sound very objective to me!

  29. After re-watching many of the films over the past few years, I’ve come to the conclusion that Timothy Dalton’s era was the best:”

    Ah the Welsh bond!
    As a matter of national pride, in public, I have to vehemently agree!

    The Best Thing about the English Bond was all the crazy characters, The redneck sheriff jaws etc

    Its gotta be said I’m forever indebted to Bond for hugely increasing my appeal to foreign chicks which sort of helps out alot with my main raison d’etre which would be shagging them. 🙂

  30. Tim,

    According to Horatio Sanz, who suffered through the “Boat Trip” shoot with Moore, Sir Roger was an ass-grabbing homo. Dunno if that busts your bubble or inflates it.

  31. I’m the one wot’s dummin down Reason?

    Nah, Tim, I enjoy most of your posts here. Don’t blame yourself for reason‘s decline. It’s a collaborative effort, like the decline of our culture. But as a subscriber from the olden days, I’ve always hoped for something a little better from reason. And there are contributors here who consistently deliver top-notch analysis. I wouldn’t bother with the site if it weren’t so.

  32. Isn’t Horatio Sanz some ugly fat dude? How could Roger Moore have such bad taste?

  33. Alan, it may have been for the role. According to Moore, he was playing an “ageing queen” who “takes a shine to Horatio’s character.” Maybe it was method immersion; you know Moore likes to give 110% to every performance, minus about 100%. Moore says he’s not a tootyfrooty, but if I were that goddamn handsome I’d definitely want to make love to myself.

  34. Tim – I don’t think that comparison @11:59 works. You and Rand are writing about COMPLETELY different characters and works.

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