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 Was Mr Big in the film version of LALD based on real-life American drug kingpins of the early 1970s?

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PostSubject: Was Mr Big in the film version of LALD based on real-life American drug kingpins of the early 1970s?    Wed May 15, 2013 11:29 pm

I think that Mr Big may have been based on certain drug dealers, as an update to the character from the novel, which of course did not concern drugs, but the smuggling of gold coins to finance Soviet operations in the United States.

So, my question remains, was Mr Big, as written by Tom Mankiewicz, based on real life drug kingpins of the early 1970s in America? If so, whom, would you say? A book I bought recently has given me a few possibles, but I'd like to hear from the good folks at BaB first of all.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Mr Big in the film version of LALD based on real-life American drug kingpins of the early 1970s?    Thu May 16, 2013 4:04 am

I couldn't name anyone in particular, but it wouldn't surprise me. However, I don't think any of them owned any extravagant big baddie lairs. Never know though.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Mr Big in the film version of LALD based on real-life American drug kingpins of the early 1970s?    Thu May 16, 2013 4:49 am

Toppers wrote:
I couldn't name anyone in particular, but it wouldn't surprise me. However, I don't think any of them owned any extravagant big baddie lairs. Never know though.

No, well, they didn't own any Bond villain lairs perhaps, but there may have been other similarities. I have one name in mind here, as I'm writing an article on the influences for the Tom Mankiewicz LALD script from Fleming's oeuvre and indeed beyond.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Mr Big in the film version of LALD based on real-life American drug kingpins of the early 1970s?    Thu May 16, 2013 4:53 am

Looking forward to reading it.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Mr Big in the film version of LALD based on real-life American drug kingpins of the early 1970s?    Thu May 16, 2013 5:30 am

Thanks. It'll be on The Bondologist Blog at some point.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Mr Big in the film version of LALD based on real-life American drug kingpins of the early 1970s?    Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:06 pm

Mr. Big feels more like white American culture's view of the black drug dealer. Big comes more from blaxploitation tropes than anything real.

For one thing, I'm pretty sure that in the early 1970s the big crime lords were still mostly of European extraction, with the blacks working under them, although that was starting to change.
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PostSubject: Re: Was Mr Big in the film version of LALD based on real-life American drug kingpins of the early 1970s?    

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