The First Time you watched LALD...How did you feel?

While GE was the first Bond film I saw, it wasn't quite the kind the gritty style that I liked as seen in the earlier and future films a decade later with the new actor. It was easy to tell that the grit had been watered down with the techno music and the bloodless shots fired on the villains at the beginning.

It wasn't until I saw LALD that it really felt like this series was something interesting. I hadn't watched many of Conney's movies by that point. But imagine if Connery had played in LALD, it wouldn't have been a good ending for him as Baron Samedi was on the train at the end scene. Keep in mind, the funeral/casket scene was the last to be filmed in DAF as a symbol of Connery not wanting to return to the role at the time.

The music of LALD was not under-lyric-ed like SF, it was something brand new to the scene and non traditional. It had fast and slow parts to help digest the fact that a new Bond was in place. I think CR took a hint from that approach with its song which didn't worry about incorporating the title of the movie in it.

How did you feel when you first saw LALD?
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Comments

  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 29,514
    I just wrote a long piece about it over on the Originals thread. I loved it, and I took to Roger right away. I wasn’t interested in a new Bond; I was pretty young but I had already seen most of the Connery’s at the drive-in. But then my Aunt saw it and made it sound so exciting, and I became excited about it. I ended up being dropped off at the theater with my little sister. I loved every moment of it. Still in my Top Six 48 years later.
  • Birdleson wrote: »
    I just wrote a long piece about it over on the Originals thread. I loved it, and I took to Roger right away. I wasn’t interested in a new Bond; I was pretty young but I had already seen most of the Connery’s at the drive-in. But then my Aunt saw it and made it sound so exciting, and I became excited about it. I ended up being dropped off at the theater with my little sister. I loved every moment of it. Still in my Top Six 48 years later.

    With scenes like the ones with snakes and Baron Samedi hanging around oddly, were you scared when you saw it as a kid in the theater?

  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 29,514
    No. The stuff that scared me was far more intense. That was the same year that I snuck into THE EXORCIST at the age of 11. Voodoo Bond was not going to disturb me. And I grew up catching snakes.
  • Agent_47Agent_47 Canada
    Posts: 311
    First time I saw LALD, I didn't have much of an opinion on it other than "that was a fun, somewhat goofy romp of a Bond film"
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited January 30 Posts: 4,692
    I love LALD. It's Moore's best performance as Bond and his best film. It also has some of the best Villains in the whole series.....and Sharks!

    Ushering Guy Hamilton back in the director’s chair was a sound move, he had made Goldfinger, the most assured and dynamic of all 007 movies, and with a direct and fine-tuned script from old-hand Tom Mankiewicz, they did what they had to do — hit the ground running. This is good quality Bond, managing to reinterpret the classic moves — action, deduction, seduction — for a more modern idiom without breaking the mould. The film, with its rich Caribbean locations and crazy-spooky asides, manages to be more playful than before — Moore’s chosen approach — without tipping into the painful parody of his later films.

    Naturally, there’s much of the regular Bondian formula — a stoney faced M, an irascible Q, the gadgets and Jane Seymour as one of the more memorable Bond girls (Solitaire) — but delivered with a lighter touch. Moore IS BOND.

    PS. the score is also amazing.
  • Echoing some of the great comments here already, it was love at first (watch) :x . My favourite Bond film, and I grew up renting all the Connery Bond's on VHS when I was young. The score, the villains, and early 1970's era just captivated me in the late 90's when I first saw it. I feel Moore was a perfect fit for Bond after DAF.
  • Posts: 398
    Honestly I thought it was one of the greatest things I had ever seen!! And J.W. Pepper literally had me in stitches!!! To this day I can’t fathom people who have a problem with the character. I don’t even care if he doesn’t belong in a Bond film. He’s an absolute hoot in both LALD and TMWTGG and I wouldn’t have it any other way! But the film just had this great spooky and tropical vibe that I loved ! NYC, New Orleans, Caribbean, Bond in his London flat, etc. Loved it all! Jane Seymour is breathtakingly beautiful, Yaphet Kotto is one of my favorite villains, the henchmen are some of the best ensemble in the series! Snakes, sharks, alligators, underground lair, what’s not not to love?? Great stunts, fantastic theme song, excellent credits, superb PTS with the death at the United Nations, followed by 2 more in New Orleans and San Monique. “I rather liked Baines, we shared the same bootmaker” lol!

    Roger knocked it out of the park right away!! The film had all this energy that the previous ones simply lacked, and I’m saying this as a big fan of the Connery era!

    To this day my super trio is LALD, TSWLM, and OP! My 3 favorite Bond films. I never tire of them! Others I may need to be in the mood for. But these 3 I’m always in the mood for. They just have this “magic” that’s difficult to put into words. To me they encapsulate the perfect Bond entertainment, minus any of that post-Cubby angst or political correctness.

    P.S. I saw all these films on VHS first time around. I did however get to see DN, YOLT, TSWLM, and FYEO on the big screen a few years ago when they were replaying them!
  • How do you feel as the song slows down during the credits, how would you explain that?

    To me it was like an acknowledgment that yes Connery is not Bond anymore but we think this journey will not end.
  • Posts: 10,718
    I was in 5th grade when I first saw LALD. My dad had bought our first VHS player a couple months before and it was a new tradition to go to Tower Records on Friday night (or Saturday afternoon) to rent the Bond films.
    My first impression was the CBS/Fox Home Video edition squeezed the gunbarrel so the dots looked oval.
    I really loved this film and it usually remains in my top 10. At the time I would have placed it right below FYEO as my favorite Roger Bond.
    At the time OHMSS was often considered to be the one film in the series that felt different. I thought LALD was more so. It really has it's own style and tone.
    Sir Roger was great and I was surprised how young he looked compared to his later films. I had been watching OP a lot during that period.
    I loved his haircut, overcoat, and overall style in the film. I also loved Tee-Hee who rivaled Oddjob and Jaws as my favorite henchman.
    Damn. This puts me in the mood for this one. i may just pop it in later today.
  • matt_umatt_u better known as Mr. Roark
    Posts: 2,348
    First time I didn’t like it. I thought it was one of the worst in the series. Now I really appreciate its qualities and I rank it #2 among Rogers entries.
  • Max_The_ParrotMax_The_Parrot ATAC to St Cyril’s
    Posts: 2,044
    I can’t remember when I first saw it, although I would have been at school and watched it on terrestrial TV so most likely around 10 give or take. It’s always been one of favourites, and along with TMWTGG, TSWLM and MR it was one of the Bond films I was most excited to see appear on TV. I loved all the voodoo references, Tee Hee’s hook, Mr Big’s face rip, the crocodiles, the scarecrows, the boat chase, Pepper, Mrs Bell’s scene, basically all the kid-pleasing scenes. Although I do remember Kananga’s over-inflated exit was even as a kid a bit too ridiculous.

    At secondary school this film became the one I loved to quote from, with so many teenage-boy-snigger-inducing lines, I could quote more lines from this than any other, and did a mean Sheriff Pepper impression.
  • Posts: 369
    I despised it when I first saw it. I was probably about 13 or 14 and first saw it on TV, as a I was too young to see in the cinema. But I remember thinking it was terrible. Utter tosh. Thought the boat chase went on too long, walking-across-the-alligators was awful, Jane Seymour was bland, the voodoo stuff was cheesy and Baron Samedi on the train at the end was ridiculous.

    But I have slowly changed my mind, step by step, over the decades, and it’s a firm favourite now.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    edited January 30 Posts: 11,735
    Loved it! I was in high school. Overall, I liked it a whole lot and left the theater very happy and quite satisfied with Roger as the new Bond.
  • Posts: 918
    I agree with the comment above regarding my first viewing (I saw it at it's world premiere and met Moore in the lobby) but unlike IGotABrudder my opinion never changed.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 11,735
    Lucky you, meeting Roger at the premiere! That's a great memory to have, @delfloria /
    I'll also add I loved the title song, and still do.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    edited January 30 Posts: 29,514
    delfloria wrote: »
    I agree with the comment above regarding my first viewing (I saw it at it's world premiere and met Moore in the lobby) but unlike IGotABrudder my opinion never changed.

    How old were you when you that happened, if you don't mind my asking? As an 11 year old, I think I was the perfect age to love LALD.
  • Posts: 11,425
    Bored I'm afraid. I want to like it but it's just not very good. I prefer TMWTGG. But Rog didn't really hit his stride until TSWLM.
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    edited January 30 Posts: 6,982
    I taped it off TBS sometime in the late 80's and it ranks as one of the greatest film experiences I've ever had in my lifetime. I watched it over and over again and made my best friend watch it too. I'm guessing we were around 10 years old? I had yet to see all the films at this point and didn't know of LALD's existence yet. Talk about a great surprise. I was much more familiar with Moore's 80's films at this time and I remember being surprised by how young he looked. I loved his style!

    I was immediately drawn into the unique characters, elements and settings. What a great cast. Some dislike Bond in America, but I've never had an issue with it. The croc farm is a highlight of the entire series imho. The Sheriff Pepper sequence probably goes on for too long through an adult's eyes, but I will always love this film. To this day, Solitaire remains my favorite Bond girl.

    I loved the humor mixed with the dark voodoo elements. Kananga, Tee Hee, Baron Samedi and Whsiper were so memorable. Hedison's Leiter was great and when I saw LTK in the theater the following summer it made me appreciate him even more. Seeing M and Moneypenny in Bond's home was an amusing change of pace. Bond in Harlem! Moore looked so cool in that black suit, coat and gloves. Tricking Solitaire with the cards.

    Anyway, I could go on but I'll just end it by saying I couldn't have been happier upon first viewing.
  • Posts: 623
    suavejmf wrote: »
    I love LALD. It's Moore's best performance as Bond and his best film. It also has some of the best Villains in the whole series.....and Sharks!

    Naturally, there’s much of the regular Bondian formula — a stoney faced M, an irascible Q, the gadgets and Jane Seymour as one of the more memorable Bond girls (Solitaire) — but delivered with a lighter touch. Moore IS BOND.

    PS. the score is also amazing.

    No Q in LALD, but yes, it was a great trip.

    I saw when I was about nine, Because of that film, I thought for years that all black people were villains,LOL.

  • Posts: 5,609
    Like some, the first time I would have seen LALD would have been in the 80s on video... By this time, I was very much in the Connery camp-- however, I did enjoy Moore in Octopussy...

    So, when I saw LALD, and for many years after, I couldn't stand it.

    Connery was a giant in my eyes, and I found Moore to be too snobbish and pretty to be menacing or dangerous. There was a stiffness to him and he didn't move like Connery, so visually, I had a very negative opinion of Roger Moore.

    As time has gone on, I warmed to him-- but I never did get over his flat-feet, not his knobby-knees. He was never believable in fights (although I noticed in TMWTGG what a big frame he had; I would have used that in some ways to tailor the fights to more grapples).

    Like @IGotABrudder , I couldn't stand all the "highlights" of LALD (when I was younger, that boat chase did go on and on and felt monotonous). And, since I had seen Octopussy, it felt Moore carried himself with more gravitas and edge in that film then he did in LALD...

    Like I said, this opinion lasted many long years-- my Connery-bias, finding Moore too stuck-up, lacking in the animal physicality I adore in Connery (and Craig and Lazenby).

    It's only been in the last few years (after giving this film a big Time Out), where this has blasted up my rankings as a brilliant antidote to a Bond film without King Connery. I believe it is the only Moore in my top ten. I think it starts with Kananga and his alter-ego and crew-- terrific cast of characters-- then; Jane Seymour...; the vibe of 70s NY and the atmosphere of voodoo, and finally, Moore himself...
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 29,514
    I'm happy that I have never had a remotely negative LALD experience.
  • Posts: 5,609
    I always say: better late than never!
  • Last_Rat_StandingLast_Rat_Standing South Florida
    Posts: 3,534
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I'm happy that I have never had a remotely negative LALD experience.

    Neither have I. It'll always be the film I remember watching back in 2016 that induced labor in my wife with our second child.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 29,514
    Birdleson wrote: »
    I'm happy that I have never had a remotely negative LALD experience.

    Neither have I. It'll always be the film I remember watching back in 2016 that induced labor in my wife with our second child.

    That is cool. Labor Inducing Bond.
  • Posts: 2,769
    It was 20th January 1980. Its premiere on British television. One of the highest audience figures (23 million, I think?)
    I loved it. The theme song, opening scene with Maddy Smith, Bonds eventful arrival at the airport, the voodoo, the boat chase (oh, and I must mention the bus set piece, which is still great!) seduction of Solitaire , crocodile farm, and a great set of villains, plus that final scene with Baron Samedi on the back of the train.
    I was in secondary school, and all my mates were talking about it the next day.
    Great memories!
  • Posts: 24
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    It was 20th January 1980. Its premiere on British television.

    Me too, just turned 8. Tremendously exciting at the time and loved it for years afterwards. It's aged really badly, unfortunately and isn't one of my favourite Bonds any more.
  • Posts: 10,867
    I remember pestering an older Brother of mine to take me to the cinema to watch LALD.
    I was already a Roger Moore fan from watching the Saint and the Persuaders.The boat chase was very exciting, the crocodile island very scary and I remember being afraid of Tee Hee.
    It's still a personal favourite of mine, and I still want that magnetic watch !
  • Posts: 2,769
    WSD77 wrote: »
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    It was 20th January 1980. Its premiere on British television.

    Me too, just turned 8. Tremendously exciting at the time and loved it for years afterwards. It's aged really badly, unfortunately and isn't one of my favourite Bonds any more.

    I do find it a bit slow in the first half now, all the stuff with Rosie is a bit tiresome and the pts is terrible. But it has classic set pieces, and Roger himself makes an excellent debut! ( or "dayboo" as Sheriff Pepper would say!)
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 29,514
    I find it to be the rare Bond film that just keeps it's fresheness.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Hamburg, near the Atlantic Hotel
    Posts: 5,822
    I have a special place in my Bond heart for LALD, although I admit it's not really that warranted except for personal/nostalgic reasons. I think the only Bond movie I had seen before was GF, in a matinee at the local cinema about 1970 or so (certainly not at the original release - I was 7 years old then, none of the Bond movies was rated less than "12", and there wouldn't have been a chance before that).

    I don't know the exact circumstances any more, but LALD came out in Germany in early 1974 (or at least as far as general distribution went), and I know I saw it first at our local cinema (North German small town), somewhere else (wherever...it's a bit clouded) and ultimately in summer, in a cinema in Austria (Schladming, Styria to be exact) where I spent the summer vacation with my parents then and was bored somehow. Needless to say (or not?) that it was always the version dubbed in German. There simply was no real opportunity to watch original versions unless one decided to travel to a foreign country then.

    I've always enjoyed LALD while never failing to note that I found the voodoo/transcendental/supernatural stuff a bit too much to take. Bond may have troubles regarding the "suspension of disbelief" here and there, but that should be limited to phenomena that might at least somehow be explained based on scientific principles. That's one of the failures here. But still good fun, and in that regard probably more so than the incredibly hyped TSWLM. LALD is at least one of the top three or four Moore films, leaving at least TMWTGG, OP and AVTAK miles behind.
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