Roger Moore as James Bond had two on-screen sexual relationships with black women, one of them being in a film that was partially set in the historically black neighborhood of Harlem in uptown New York City. To my knowledge, the only other time a Bond character did that was when Halle Barry hooked up with Pierce Brosnan in 2002’s “Die Another Day.”
But it was Moore’s portrayal of Bond in 1973’s “Live And Let Die” that stands out when it comes to the inclusion of people of color, partially because is cast the usual suspects from that era’s Blaxploitation flicks, including Yaphet Kotto, who is (spoiler alert) killed by being literally blown up in cartoonish fashion.
One of the film’s most memorable scenes was when Bond hopped in a New York City taxi and asked the driver – a black guy with huge pork chop sideburns and a huger grin – to follow a suspect. To make a long story short, Bond ended up in a Harlem bar on Lenox Avenue, where he fell into the hands of the evil black voodoo practicing villain.
You’ll have to see the movie if you want to see how Bond gets out of it – because he always gets out of it – but the scene turned out to be an underappreciated slice of Harlem life depicted on the silver screen, complete with a back alley brawl.
Watch the scene below:
Alas, Bond ends up saving a white woman after the black women he was romancing -- and using to further his espionage efforts -- dies in his arms. But with scenes filmed on-location in Harlem, New Orleans and Jamaica, "Live And Let Die" is clearly the blackest James Bond movie of all time.
RIP Roger Moore. Your death has left many a James Bond fan shaken, and stirred.