…or at least, that’s the part Roger Moore played most often, as this obit notes.
I was never a huge fan of Moore, mostly because I thought his acting as a little thin — as he himself said about himself — but I generally liked the movies and TV shows he played in.
My favorite of all Moore’s roles was in The Persuaders!, where his gentleman-thug “Lord Brett Sinclair” was the polar opposite of Tony Curtis’s working-class-made-good-thug “Danny Wilde” (an inspired bit of casting, for both men). Their initial meeting, and ensuing fistfight over the correct number of olives to be put into a martini, was truly one of the more memorable scene-setters in any TV series.
Ditto their choice of cars, where Sinclair’s yellow Aston Martin DBS contrasted strongly with Wilde’s rosso Dino 246GT:
The Persuaders! show is probably responsible for my lifelong love of the Dino 246, still the most beautiful Ferrari ever made, and quite possibly the most beautiful car ever made, period. (It wasn’t that good to drive, by the way: stiff clutch and clunky gearbox, the Dino was Ferrari’s attempt at an “affordable” Ferrari, and it showed.)
But I digress.
I was never a great fan of Moore’s James Bond — mostly because I thought the later Bond movies were crap — but also because I preferred the crueler, more earthy Bond of Connery and even Daniel Craig to the witty, urbane spin given the part by Sir Roger.
Let me not quibble, however, because in the end, you could always be assured of good entertainment when Roger Moore was the star (or even the co-star), and for an actor, surely that’s praise enough.
I came across this story today.
Maybe his Bond wasn’t the best, but there was nothing wrong with the man.
I think I saw some of Moore’s Bond movies on TV in later years. I quit seeing 007 Bond movies in theaters in the early 70’s because they had, in my opinion, turned into Road Runner cartoons with live people. I enjoyed reading the books in the early 1960’s when I should have been spending more time studying my college courses. I loved the idea of the man of adventure who went out to right the world for God, Queen and Country and all that sort of stuff. Fleming put in all sorts of lifestyle details, preferences of food and drink and women along with giving him a PPK which was the coolest gun ever made in the whole wide world, I like the Bond in the books but the later movie Bonds not so much.
What I do recall of Moore’s presentation was a rather cool, tongue in cheek humor while everything around him was chaos. So, 89 years on the odometer is not too bad and what appears to be a life well lived.
A few of the late 60’s/early 70’s Ferrari’s like the Dino and the Daytona didn’t really appeal to me until I saw them in the flesh, so to speak. There’s something about them that didn’t really come through in two dimensions, but rectified in three.
I have to say my favorite Moore film is even split between “The Wild Geese” and “Ffolkes.” Those are the first two movies that leap to mind whenever I think of a Moore film. I think I more enjoy the genre of films he did, including Bond, more than his acting skills.
Sean Connery. Always.
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