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 Villain and Henchmen Deaths in LALD?

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PostSubject: Villain and Henchmen Deaths in LALD?   Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:07 am

It's been said by some commentators (especially in the 2002 Virgin Books book Bond Films by Jim Smith and Stephen Lavington) that the black villains all meet their commupence in one way or other at the hands of James Bond, giving out a not-very-palatable message to black audiences at the time and even since then. Quoted below is the critical passage relevant to this thread:

"The most prominent - for some the most problematic - Bond film in this respect is Live and Let Die. Some find it inherently racist that the principal villain is black., and the hero is white. Also dubious is the presentation of Solitaire - a young white girl imprisoned by, and in the power of, these villains who is saved by Bond. This reading, however, is slightly reductive. The part of Solitaire was written for a blavck woman (screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz wanted Diana Ross cast) and a white actress was only hired because Uniited Artists made clear to Eon that it would be difficult for them to sell a picture with a white leading man and a black leadiing lady in several American states.

[...]

The key problem that many have - Bond's victory over Kananga - is easy to explain. The villain ultimately loses, like so many before him, because he is up against James Bond. Bond is the hero it's his movie. End of story."

(Quoted from 'Racism?: 'Take this honky out and waste him.', Jim Smith and Stephen Lavington, Bond Films, (Virgin Film, Virgin Books, London 2002), pp. 127-128.



I believe that this critical line could not be further from the truth if it tried to be. An analysis of all of the villain deaths in LALD will bare this out:
Dr Kananga - overinflated and then blown up with a gas pellet from a shark gun
Tee Hee - disarmed by being thrown from train window to his death due to failure of steel hook for arm
Whisper - knocked inside a heroin watertight container and then locked inside of it - demise or otherwise besides this unknown. May still be in the container some 40 years on, 1973-2013.
Rosie Carver- Rogue CIA agent shot dead by her own side's scarecrow face gun.
Adam - has petrol thrown in his eyes and dies when his speedboat hits a shipwreck
Baron Samedi - thrown into a coffin of snakes to his seeming death, but he reappears on the cowcatcher of the train Bond and Solitaire are on, laughing straight at the camera and lifting his top hat - there was talk of this character returning in a later film a la Jaws. God of Cemetaries and the Undead so his resurrection may be explained by this. (?)
Taxi Cab Driver - in Harlem and New Orleans - survives.
The Knifeman and the Olympia Brass Band Killers - all survive.

This hardly seems to be excessive - both Whisper and Baron Samedi appear to have survived - I assume this was done as a sop to film audiences who didn't want the whitre James Bond to completely vanquish the black villains that he came up against in LALD.

I'd really love to hear your views on this subject area, as always.



Last edited by SILHOUETTE MAN on Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:14 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Villain and Henchmen Deaths in LALD?   Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:07 am

SILHOUETTE MAN wrote:
It's been said by some commentators (especially in the 2002 Virgin Books book Bond Films by Jim Smith and Stephen Lavington) that the black villains all meet their commupence in one way or other at the hands of James Bond, giving out a not-very-palatable message to black audiences at the time and even since then. Quoted below is the critical passage relevant to this thread:

"The most prominent - for some the most problematic - Bond film in this respect is Live and Let Die. Some find it inherently racist that the principal villain is black., and the hero is white. Also dubious is the presentation of Solitaire - a young white girl imprisoned by, and in the power of, these villains who is saved by Bond. This reading, however, is slightly reductive. The part of Solitaire was written for a blavck woman (screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz wanted Diana Ross cast) and a white actress was only hired because Uniited Artists made clear to Eon that it would be difficult for them to sell a picture with a white leading man and a black leadiing lady in several American states.

[...]

The key problem that many have - Bond's victory over Kananga - is easy to explain. The villain ultimately loses, like so many before him, because he is up against James Bond. Bond is the hero it's his movie. End of story."

(Quoted from 'Racism?: Jim Smith and Stephen Lavington, 'Take this honky out and waste him.', Bond Films, (Virgin Film, Virgin Books, London 2002), pp. 127-128.



I believe that this critical line could not be further from the truth if it tried to be. An analysis of all of the villain deaths in LALD will bare this out:

Dr Kananga - overinflated and then blown up with a gas pellet from a shark gun
Tee Hee - disarmed by being thrown from train window to his death due to failure of steel hook for arm
Whisper - knocked inside a heroin watertight container and then locked inside of it - demise or otherwise besides this unknown. May still be in the container some 40 years on, 1973-2013.
Rosie Carver - Rogue CIA agent shot dead by her own side's scarecrow face gun.
Adam - has petrol thrown in his eyes and dies when his speedboat hits a shipwreck
Baron Samedi - thrown into a coffin of snakes to his seeming death, but he reappears on the cowcatcher of the train Bond and Solitaire are on, laughing straight at the camera and lifting his top hat - there was talk of this character returning in a later film a la Jaws. God of Cemetaries and the Undead so his resurrection may be explained by this. (?)
Taxi Cab Driver - in Harlem and New Orleans - survives.

This hardly seems to be excessive - both Whisper and Baron Samedi appear to have survived - I assume this was done as a sop to film audiences who didn't want the whitre James Bond to completely vanquish the black villains that he came up against in LALD.

I'd really love to hear your views on this subject area, as always.


I don't know. What's there to say? The people who criticize the Bond films as racist are never going to be satisfied, no matter what you do or what concessions are made. It's not as if 007 was an unknown quantity in 1972 when the film was being put together. The villains of LALD weren't singled out for any special treatment or consideration. They weren't hung from a tree. Kananga got one of the more memorable villain send-offs ever; far better than what Raoul Silva got. And Mr.Big's dialogue: "Take this honky out and waste him" is entirely appropriate, realistic, and plausible given that he's black, he's a gangster, and he's working the drug trade up in Harlem. What was he supposed to say? "Kindly take this gentleman outside and eliminate him"? That wouldn't have rung true.

Prior to LALD the main villains and henchmen were drowned in boiling water inside of a nuclear reactor, sucked out of an airplane, fed to sharks, strangled with telephone cords, impaled with a spear gun, electrocuted in a bathtub, set on fire with a shish kabob and given a wedgie with a time-bomb attached. Subsequent villains were blown into outer space, dropped from a ledge into a piano bar and dropped 400 feet into a chimney stack.

It's rather unclear how LALD's villains somehow met their demise in a more personal way than any other set of villains.

The film was a product of the early 70's. People spoke like that then. They speak like that now. There's nothing racist about the movie. The only people who have any sort of credible complaint would be the Louisiana Police Department, which was savagely (but hilariously) parodied by Manckiewcz and Clifton James' Sheriff J.W. Pepper. And you know what? People talked like Sheriff J. W. Pepper then and they do now. People still chew and spit tobacco down in The South and they still speak with a strong, hick accent.
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PostSubject: Re: Villain and Henchmen Deaths in LALD?   Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:29 am

SILHOUETTE MAN wrote:
Some find it inherently racist that the principal villain is black., and the hero is white.

These people honestly need to go fuck themselves since the overwhelming majority of Bond villains are white bread.

Fucking idiots.
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PostSubject: Re: Villain and Henchmen Deaths in LALD?   Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:10 am

Yes, I know and I don't agree with them but I wanted to make you all aware of this critical line, that's all. Please don't shoot the messanger. I don't think you were, anyhow?!
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PostSubject: Re: Villain and Henchmen Deaths in LALD?   Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:35 am

Mrs Aural Sects wrote:
SILHOUETTE MAN wrote:
Some find it inherently racist that the principal villain is black., and the hero is white.

These people honestly need to go fuck themselves since the overwhelming majority of Bond villains are white bread.

Fucking idiots.

But when you don't include them in the Bond series you are called "racist". When you do include them they are referred to as "tokens" and the Bond series should be ashamed of itself for patronizing and marginalizing minority actors.

You can't win either way, which is why I say: don't bother playing the game.
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PostSubject: s   Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:45 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Mrs Aural Sects wrote:
SILHOUETTE MAN wrote:
Some find it inherently racist that the principal villain is black., and the hero is white.

These people honestly need to go fuck themselves since the overwhelming majority of Bond villains are white bread.

Fucking idiots.

But when you don't include them in the Bond series you are called "racist". When you do include them they are referred to as "tokens" and the Bond series should be ashamed of itself for patronizing and marginalizing minority actors.

You can't win either way, which is why I say: don't bother playing the game.

Exactly. If enough people opted out of this idiocy, it would die on the vine. Unfortunately, there are a great many people, perhaps most of them white, who have a vested interest in ensuring that this manufactured grievance continues to fester and suppurate.
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PostSubject: Re: Villain and Henchmen Deaths in LALD?   Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:24 am

Perilagu Khan wrote:

Exactly. If enough people opted out of this idiocy, it would die on the vine. Unfortunately, there are a great many people, perhaps most of them white, who have a vested interest in ensuring that this manufactured grievance continues to fester and suppurate.

Correct. The premise that racism is a major influence in the lives and decisions of people in this country is big business for plenty of people, not the least of which is the NAACP and the Democratic Party. They simply cannot and will not let that go. Racism isn't even a minor part of what people face on a daily basis. But if you take that argument out of the equation, if nullifies the entire existence of the NAACP, and it greatly reduces an effective fighting tool the Democrats wield on a consistent basis. They're not about to kill that golden goose while it is still laying eggs.

The accusations being made about LIVE AND LET DIE by different people over the years sound suspiciously like the complaints people make every day about the latest Tyler Perry movie: it's buffoonery. It stereotypes people. It's racist. It sets us back 200 years. I also remember the counter-complaints made about THE COSBY SHOW: it wasn't realistic. It didn't show how the real black family unit was suffering at the time (1984-1992) with the unemployment, illiteracy, drop-out rates, crime statistics, unwed teenage moms, etc....Strange thing is, that I *thought* The Cosby Show was meant to portray a middle-America family with a successful, loving, married Mother and Father who loved each other and helped raise their kids together in a warm environment. Yet even that show didn't satisfy critics, who previous to that show complained that there were too many shows about black poverty (Good Times, What's Happening) and not enough shows that gave hope to future generations of black kids.

But I digress.

Here's a new article about the state of "diversity" on the new slate of television network shows slated to debut this Fall:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/pilot-season-network-casts-gain-427052

Here's what I found really interesting:

“It’s becoming less about filling a quota and more about why this person is amazing for the part,” Fox senior vp casting Tess Sanchez tells THR. The network has boosted diversity thanks in part to hosting “opportunity” forums, where showrunners, casting directors, agents and organizations like the NAACP have gathered.

It used to be that as long as there was one diverse member in the ensemble, that was enough,” says Sanchez. “But in the Andy Samberg comedy, there are two African-Americans, two Latina actresses and one white guy. That makes me happy.”

:roll: Notice that the definition of "diverse" has now moved from having at least one representative of a minority group in an ensemble show (or lead role) to having a show where only 20% of the cast is white (which, to me, is the perfect encapsulation of what the true "diversity" push by liberals is all about these days: reducing and/or eliminating the influence of whites, particularly males, and Christians). Blacks are 12% of the population, but these days being accurately reflected in the media, entertainment, and sports industries is not enough: they want to be over-represented. That's why when you had 2 years ago 8 out of 32 NFL head coaches being black (25%), nobody had a word to say; but when that number dropped to 11% this year (with the non-hiring of any black coaches to fill the 8 open positions), the NFL got its panties in a wad. Black athletes are 70% of the NFL, 85% of the NBA. As soon as The Minnesota Timberwolves dropped down to about 33% black players on their roster this year, the press went buck-wild! Because the push for diversity is about more than simply being represented these days.

So, from 1973 to 2013, 40 years have passed. The players may have changed, but the complaints stay the same. And in the meantime we've had a black Felix Leiter (twice), a black Moneypenny, the first black lead Bond Girl (Halle Berry), a black villainess (arguably one of the best in the entire series: May Day) and a black Supporting Bond GIrl (Rosie Carver). But TRUE EQUALITY won't be enough until Idris Elba takes over the role of 007 and the healing process can finally, truly begin :roll:

But I digress. Here's a simple suggestion for people wishing to avoid being accused of writing parts for actresses and actors that lead to stereotyping: don't hire minority actors and actresses. It's that simple. It's a win/win for everybody. You won't stereotype them and they can't accuse you of stereotyping them. Let them do it the Tyler Perry way: make your own movies for your own audiences.


Last edited by Gravity's Silhouette on Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:55 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Villain and Henchmen Deaths in LALD?   Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:48 am

Mankiewicz did a great job to avoid any racial stereotyping in by making the villains worthy adversaries, presenting them as sometimes being a couple of steps ahead of Bond and even having the same wit. Those who claim the book has racist elements may have valid complaints but the film is largely progressive in ways.
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PostSubject: Re: Villain and Henchmen Deaths in LALD?   Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:53 am

Python wrote:
Mankiewicz did a great job to avoid any racial stereotyping in by making the villains worthy adversaries, presenting them as sometimes being a couple of steps ahead of Bond and even having the same wit. Those who claim the book has racist elements may have valid complaints but the film is largely progressive in ways.

Certainly agreed on that one!
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PostSubject: Re: Villain and Henchmen Deaths in LALD?   Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:58 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Perilagu Khan wrote:

Exactly. If enough people opted out of this idiocy, it would die on the vine. Unfortunately, there are a great many people, perhaps most of them white, who have a vested interest in ensuring that this manufactured grievance continues to fester and suppurate.

Correct. The premise that racism is a major influence in the lives and decisions of people in this country is big business for plenty of people, not the least of which is the NAACP and the Democratic Party. They simply cannot and will not let that go. Racism isn't even a minor part of what people face on a daily basis. But if you take that argument out of the equation, if nullifies the entire existence of the NAACP, and it greatly reduces an effective fighting tool the Democrats wield on a consistent basis. They're not about to kill that golden goose while it is still laying eggs.

The accusations being made about LIVE AND LET DIE by different people over the years sound suspiciously like the complaints people make every day about the latest Tyler Perry movie: it's buffoonery. It stereotypes people. It's racist. It sets us back 200 years. I also remember the counter-complaints made about THE COSBY SHOW: it wasn't realistic. It didn't show how the real black family unit was suffering at the time (1984-1992) with the unemployment, illiteracy, drop-out rates, crime statistics, unwed teenage moms, etc....Strange thing is, that I *thought* The Cosby Show was meant to portray a middle-America family with a successful, loving, married Mother and Father who loved each other and helped raise their kids together in a warm environment. Yet even that show didn't satisfy critics, who previous to that show complained that there were too many shows about black poverty (Good Times, What's Happening) and not enough shows that gave hope to future generations of black kids.

But I digress.

Here's a new article about the state of "diversity" on the new slate of television network shows slated to debut this Fall:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/pilot-season-network-casts-gain-427052

Here's what I found really interesting:

“It’s becoming less about filling a quota and more about why this person is amazing for the part,” Fox senior vp casting Tess Sanchez tells THR. The network has boosted diversity thanks in part to hosting “opportunity” forums, where showrunners, casting directors, agents and organizations like the NAACP have gathered.

It used to be that as long as there was one diverse member in the ensemble, that was enough,” says Sanchez. “But in the Andy Samberg comedy, there are two African-Americans, two Latina actresses and one white guy. That makes me happy.”

:roll: Notice that the definition of "diverse" has now moved from having at least one representative of a minority group in an ensemble show (or lead role) to having a show where only 20% of the cast is white (which, to me, is the perfect encapsulation of what the true "diversity" push by liberals is all about these days: reducing and/or eliminating the influence of whites, particularly males, and Christians). Blacks are 12% of the population, but these days being accurately reflected in the media, entertainment, and sports industries is not enough: they want to be over-represented. That's why when you had 2 years ago 8 out of 32 NFL head coaches being black (25%), nobody had a word to say; but when that number dropped to 11% this year (with the non-hiring of any black coaches to fill the 8 open positions), the NFL got its panties in a wad. Black athletes are 70% of the NFL, 85% of the NBA. As soon as The Minnesota Timberwolves dropped down to about 33% black players on their roster this year, the press went buck-wild! Because the push for diversity is about more than simply being represented these days.

So, from 1973 to 2013, 40 years have passed. The players may have changed, but the complaints stay the same. And in the meantime we've had a black Felix Leiter (twice), a black Moneypenny, the first black lead Bond Girl (Halle Berry), a black villainess (arguably one of the best in the entire series: May Day) and a black Supporting Bond GIrl (Rosie Carver). But TRUE EQUALITY won't be enough until Idris Elba takes over the role of 007 and the healing process can finally, truly begin :roll:

But I digress. Here's a simple suggestion for people wishing to avoid being accused of writing parts for actresses and actors that l lead to stereotyping: don't hire minority actors and actresses. It's that simple. It's a win/win for everybody. You won't stereotype them and they can't accuse you of stereotyping them. Let them do it the Tyler Perry way: make your own movies for your own audiences.

A very good post. Thanks for the links to that article. As you say, this argument goes beyond merely Bond. It is as old as time itself. There wil never be a Final Word on this one, so why bother engaging it? Though it is interesting to air these views on LALD, however much I tend to disagree with their conclusions...
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PostSubject: s   Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:33 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Perilagu Khan wrote:

Exactly. If enough people opted out of this idiocy, it would die on the vine. Unfortunately, there are a great many people, perhaps most of them white, who have a vested interest in ensuring that this manufactured grievance continues to fester and suppurate.

Correct. The premise that racism is a major influence in the lives and decisions of people in this country is big business for plenty of people, not the least of which is the NAACP and the Democratic Party. They simply cannot and will not let that go. Racism isn't even a minor part of what people face on a daily basis. But if you take that argument out of the equation, if nullifies the entire existence of the NAACP, and it greatly reduces an effective fighting tool the Democrats wield on a consistent basis. They're not about to kill that golden goose while it is still laying eggs.

The accusations being made about LIVE AND LET DIE by different people over the years sound suspiciously like the complaints people make every day about the latest Tyler Perry movie: it's buffoonery. It stereotypes people. It's racist. It sets us back 200 years. I also remember the counter-complaints made about THE COSBY SHOW: it wasn't realistic. It didn't show how the real black family unit was suffering at the time (1984-1992) with the unemployment, illiteracy, drop-out rates, crime statistics, unwed teenage moms, etc....Strange thing is, that I *thought* The Cosby Show was meant to portray a middle-America family with a successful, loving, married Mother and Father who loved each other and helped raise their kids together in a warm environment. Yet even that show didn't satisfy critics, who previous to that show complained that there were too many shows about black poverty (Good Times, What's Happening) and not enough shows that gave hope to future generations of black kids.

But I digress.

Here's a new article about the state of "diversity" on the new slate of television network shows slated to debut this Fall:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/pilot-season-network-casts-gain-427052

Here's what I found really interesting:

“It’s becoming less about filling a quota and more about why this person is amazing for the part,” Fox senior vp casting Tess Sanchez tells THR. The network has boosted diversity thanks in part to hosting “opportunity” forums, where showrunners, casting directors, agents and organizations like the NAACP have gathered.

It used to be that as long as there was one diverse member in the ensemble, that was enough,” says Sanchez. “But in the Andy Samberg comedy, there are two African-Americans, two Latina actresses and one white guy. That makes me happy.”

:roll: Notice that the definition of "diverse" has now moved from having at least one representative of a minority group in an ensemble show (or lead role) to having a show where only 20% of the cast is white (which, to me, is the perfect encapsulation of what the true "diversity" push by liberals is all about these days: reducing and/or eliminating the influence of whites, particularly males, and Christians). Blacks are 12% of the population, but these days being accurately reflected in the media, entertainment, and sports industries is not enough: they want to be over-represented. That's why when you had 2 years ago 8 out of 32 NFL head coaches being black (25%), nobody had a word to say; but when that number dropped to 11% this year (with the non-hiring of any black coaches to fill the 8 open positions), the NFL got its panties in a wad. Black athletes are 70% of the NFL, 85% of the NBA. As soon as The Minnesota Timberwolves dropped down to about 33% black players on their roster this year, the press went buck-wild! Because the push for diversity is about more than simply being represented these days.

So, from 1973 to 2013, 40 years have passed. The players may have changed, but the complaints stay the same. And in the meantime we've had a black Felix Leiter (twice), a black Moneypenny, the first black lead Bond Girl (Halle Berry), a black villainess (arguably one of the best in the entire series: May Day) and a black Supporting Bond GIrl (Rosie Carver). But TRUE EQUALITY won't be enough until Idris Elba takes over the role of 007 and the healing process can finally, truly begin :roll:

But I digress. Here's a simple suggestion for people wishing to avoid being accused of writing parts for actresses and actors that lead to stereotyping: don't hire minority actors and actresses. It's that simple. It's a win/win for everybody. You won't stereotype them and they can't accuse you of stereotyping them. Let them do it the Tyler Perry way: make your own movies for your own audiences.

What cracks me up is the illiterate use of the adjective "diverse." It has come simply to mean non-white. I suspect in time--if not already--it will mean black/hispanic because, you know, Asians aren't "diverse" enough.

laugh
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PostSubject: Re: Villain and Henchmen Deaths in LALD?   Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:12 pm

I've just added to the LALD henchmen list the Knifeman of the Olymbia Brass Band that kills Hamilton and Harold Strutter. They all survive.
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