“Sean Connery is the OFFICIAL James Bond! No other Bond is better or greater than Sean Connery! Forget the other Bonds, it’s ALL about Connery!!!”
Oh, shut up, Whoever You Are. Clearly, you weren’t 9 years old when you first saw Moonraker at the Topanga Twin theater in Woodland Hills like I was. Connery’s cool, not taking a thing away from Connery…but Roger Moore was MY James Bond and now I’ve just arisen to the news that he has passed away at age 89. Strapping long life, sure…but also another piece of my childhood fades into oblivion.
Of all the popular, popcorn-y cinematic franchises throughout the years, the James Bond films have always been my favorite. And when it came to Moore, who just so happened to be the MOST prolific of all the Bonds – 7 outings total as 007 – he was not only my favorite (pre-Daniel Craig), but also the most horny, arrogant, smug, mugging, and one-liner spouting of the Bonds. He was hilarious. And you don’t WANT your Bond to necessarily be funny! But Moore could also turn on a dime with those piercing blue eyes and face mole…and be dangerous and edgy enough to kick Jaws’s ass while reluctantly sky diving.
Gosh, I musta seen The Spy Who Loved Me 57 times growing up with the Z Channel as my babysitter. And Jaws was always my favorite Bond baddie. So I just loved it when Moore and Richard Kiel would go at it as those characters and would daydream about them going out after the shoot and grabbing a bucket of clams or something together. I loved playing with action figures as a kid and always lamented the fact that they never made any decent James Bond/Jaws dolls I could stage fights with on a makeshift set constructed with pieces of styrofoam. But I DID manage to take possession of the Matchbox version of the Lotus Esprit S1 submarine car. In fact, it’s resting in a tin box in my storage unit as I type this!
And finally…Roger Moore was just cool. And generous. And VERY FUNNY. I highly recommended both his 2009 memoir My Word Is My Bond: The Autobiography as well as his Bond on Bond: Reflections On 50 Years Of James Bond Movies. (Good grief, am I showing my “geek colors” here or what? How embarrassing.)
WINE PAIRING: Here’s a fabulous little Bond movie and wine pairing guide I found. Perfect for next time you take a look at, say, A View to a Kill, and decide to raise a glass of Mount Eden’s “luscious but rustic” Pinot Noir to the late, great Roger Moore.