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Showing posts from July, 2017

Roger Moore's 10 Most Memorable Characters

As a follow-up to the post on The Spy Who Loved Me, and in tribute to the late Sir Roger Moore, here are 10 of Roger Moore's most memorable film and TV roles.


10. Beauregarde Maverick in Maverick  (1960-61)

Westerns and Roger Moore go together like … well they don't really. But that didn't stop the producers of the TV series Maverick from hiring him as their new leading man. James Garner had played Bret Maverick for 5 years before he left the series over a contractual dispute. So Roger Moore moseyed into town as Bret's cousin Beauregarde Maverick, with a back story to explain his oh-so-English accent. Moore starred in 15 episodes but, unsurprisingly, no one else ever thought to hire him to play a cowboy.


9. Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe in Ivanhoe  (1958)

The historical costume adventure series was a mainstay of British commercial TV in the 1950s. The most successful was The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Richard Greene, but Roger Moore got in on the act with this 1958 s…

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

In the mid-1970s the James Bond series was in trouble. Harry Saltzman, one half of the original Bond producing partnership, was embroiled in financial difficulties with his outside business interests, and left the series following 1974's The Man with the Golden Gun. That film had been the least successful in the history of the Bond series, rushed into release the year after the more successful Live and Let Die. The first two Roger Moore films had latched onto popular trends in contemporary cinema, Blaxploitation in the case of Live and Let Die, and the kung fu craze in The Man with the Golden Gun, but the Bond series was looking increasingly like a 1960s hangover on its last legs.

The next Bond film then, the 10th in the "official" Eon Productions series, was something of a make or break effort for Bond. Albert R. Broccoli was now the sole remaining producer of the series, and he gambled that audiences were ready again for a dose of grand escapism. The next film would b…

Did Doctor Who Just Jump the Shark?

You may have seen the news last week that the new Doctor Who is going to be played by a woman. 35 year old Jodie Whittaker, of Broadchurch, Venus and Attack the Block, has been chosen to replace Peter Capaldi in the BBC sci-fi series, taking over in this year's Christmas special.

This raises some important questions for the future of one of the world's longest running TV series. Can the Doctor be played by a woman? Should the Doctor be played by a woman? And will this lead to a glorious new pangender future for the series, or will it sound its death knell?

In the original series of Doctor Who, running from 1963 to 1989, seven actors played the character in successive regenerations, and each was male - William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. An eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, appeared in an ill-fated 1996 TV movie designed to revive the series and aimed uneasily at audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Some pe…

The Pride and the Passion (1957)

The Pride and the Passion has four stars – Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren, and a massive cannon. And it's the cannon that gives the best performance.

Based on the 1933 novel "The Gun" by C.S. Forester, The Pride and the Passion is set in Spain in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars. As the French Army advances, the retreating Spanish put their massive prize cannon out of action by pushing it into a ravine. Spain's British allies come to take possession of the cannon, and when their representative, Royal Navy officer Captain Anthony Trumbell (Cary Grant) arrives, the Spanish guerillas agree to help recover the gun, on condition that it's first taken to the town of Avila to use against the French. This sets into motion an epic trek, taking the enormous cannon overland without the French discovering or intercepting it. Because this is 1950s Hollywood, it also sets into motion a love triangle between Grant, the leader of the Spanish guerilla forces (Frank Sinat…