July 12, 1973 in UK cinemas: Live And Let Die, Battle For The Planet Of The Apes, and Sleuth

“See 007’s Leap for Life in a GLASTRON!”

Live and Let Die is the eighth spy film in the James Bond series to be produced by Eon Productions, and the first to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, it was the third of four Bond films to be directed by Guy Hamilton. Although the producers had wanted Sean Connery to return after his role in the previous Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, he declined, sparking a search for a new actor to play James Bond. Moore was signed for the lead role.

The film is adapted from the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. In the film, a Harlem drug lord known as Mr. Big plans to distribute two tons of heroin free to put rival drug barons out of business. Mr. Big is revealed to be the disguised alter ego of Dr. Kananga, a corrupt Caribbean dictator, who rules San Monique, the fictional island where the heroin poppies are secretly farmed. Bond is investigating the deaths of three British agents, leading him to Kananga, and is soon trapped in a world of gangsters and voodoo as he fights to put a stop to the drug baron’s scheme.

Live and Let Die was released during the height of the blaxploitation era, and many blaxploitation archetypes and clichés are depicted in the film, including derogatory racial epithets (“honky”), black gangsters, and pimpmobiles. It departs from the former plots of the James Bond films about megalomaniac super-villains, and instead focuses on drug trafficking, a common theme of blaxploitation films of the period. It is set in African American cultural centres such as Harlem and New Orleans, as well as the Caribbean Islands. It was also the first James Bond film featuring an African American Bond girl to be romantically involved with 007, Rosie Carver, who was played by Gloria Hendry. The film was a box office success and received generally positive reviews from critics. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Live and Let Die”, written by Paul and Linda McCartney and performed by their band Wings. [Wikipedia]

When Bond investigates the murders of three fellow agents, he soon finds himself a target, evading the vicious assassins as he closes in on the powerful Kananga (Yaphet Kotto). Known as “Mr. Big,” Kananga is coordinating a globally threatening scheme using tons of self-produced heroin. As Bond tries to unravel the mastermind’s plan, he meet Solitaire (Jane Seymour), the beautiful Tarot card reader whose magical gifts are crucial to the crime lord. Bond, of course, works his own magic on her, and the stage is set for pulse-pounding action sequences involving voodoo, hungry crocodiles and turbo-charged speedboats. [IMDb]


“THE FINAL CHAPTER in the incredible Apes saga. The most suspenseful showdown ever filmed as two civilizations battle for the right to inherit what’s left of the earth!”

Battle for the Planet of the Apes is a science fiction film directed by J. Lee Thompson. It is the fifth and final entry in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs, following Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. It stars Roddy McDowall, Claude Akins, Natalie Trundy, Severn Darden, Lew Ayres, Paul Williams and John Huston. [Wikipedia]

After conquering the oppressive humans in “Conquest for the Planet of the Apes”, Caesar must now keep the peace among the humans and apes. Gorilla General Aldo views things differently, and tries to cause an ape civil war. In the meantime, other human survivors learn of the ape city, and decide they want to take back civilization for themselves, thus setting the stage of warring ape factions and humans. [IMDb]


“If it was murder, where’s the body? If it was a woman, which woman? If it’s only a game, why the blood?”

Sleuth is a 1972 British mystery thriller film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. The screenplay by playwright Anthony Shaffer was based on his 1970 Tony Award-winning play. Both Olivier and Caine were nominated for an Academy Award for their performance. This was Mankiewicz’s final film. Critics gave the film overwhelmingly positive reviews, and would later note similarities between it and Caine’s 1982 film Deathtrap. [Wikipedia]

In England, the Italian English hairdresser Milo Tindle (Caine) is invited by the successful writer of detective stories Andrew Wyke (Olivier) to visit his isolated house. The lower class Milo is the lover of Andrew’s wife, who is used to have a comfortable life, and he intends to marry her. Andrew proposes Milo to steal his jewellery simulating a burglary. Milo would make a fortune selling the jewels to an intermediary; and Andrew would be reimbursed by the insurance company and would not pay alimony. [IMDb]

 

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