1973: Time calls 007 a `racist pig’

We got curious about what other James Bond movie reviews are available on Time magazine’s Web site. There was one we remembered and, sure enough, it was as harsh as we recalled.

Richard Schickel, who over the years has worked on various documentaries about the movies, did not like Live And Let Die. He especially didn’t care for new Bond Roger Moore opposing black villains.


There is a new James Bond — Roger Moore of Sainted TV memory — and a new angle to his latest adventure. In this incarnation, 007 is the Great White Hope. He goes about beating up black men who are doing a little heroin smuggling to finance a Caribbean dictatorship and, perhaps, take over the U.S. after they’ve turned it into a nation of junkies with their free-sample program.

Later, he opined:


As for Bond’s new character as a racist pig, there is a dubious rationale for it. Through the years he has kicked and chopped his way through most of the other races of man, so it could be argued that it is just a matter of equal rights to let blacks have their chance to play masochists to his pseudo-suave sadist. Not surprisingly, this strained justification fails to relieve the queasiness Live and Let Die induces. Why are all the blacks either stupid brutes or primitives deep into the occult and voodooism? Why is miscegenation so often used as a turn-on? Why do such questions even arise in what is supposed to be pure entertainment?

To read the entire review, JUST CLICK HERE.

7 Responses

  1. Let me speak from the POV of an African-American . . . considering the number of times that one of Kananga’s men called Bond a h***y and the fact that Bond got captured, Richard Schickel had nothing to worry about. And he called all of the black minor characters “brutes”?

  2. I remember reading that article in ’73. Even then I pondered: Mr Big and Baron Samedi ‘solid citizens’ engaged in a ‘little heroin smuggling’? Schickel regards dumping two tons of blow on the streets solid citizenry? Sounds like he was determined that, come the revolution, he should be spared.

    As for ‘kicking and chopping his way through the other races of man’: well, yeah. Ian Fleming’s conceit was that Bond’s enemies were the enemies of England – ie: foreigners. And be fair, Schickel didn’t complain – or even mention – when 007 decimated Blofeld’s all-white American operation in Diamonds are Forever. By the way, Dick, there were three chases in Live and Let Die, not five. Clearly Schickel was more interested in counting dumb thugs (including CIA agents Strutter and Quarrel?) than action scenes.

    Is 007 racist? Perhaps. Is Richard Schickel a bleeding-heart liberal…?

  3. “Is Richard Schickel a bleeding-heart liberal…?”

    He probably lived under the illusion that he was one.

  4. […] to merit to merit a 1,200-plus-word article and multiple photographs. (As we discussed previously, Time panned Live And Let Die after it came out.) For most people, Sean Connery, who played 007 in all but one of the seven Bond features, is James […]

  5. Perhaps some of you ought to re-ready the review. When the reviewer called Mr. Big and Baron Samedi “solid citizens,” he was clearly being sarcastic.

  6. […] JANUARY 2010 POST: 1973: TIME CALLS 007 A `RACIST PIG’ […]

  7. […] 1973, for example, Time magazine’s review for Live And Let Die declared Bond to be “a racist […]

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