Moore, Roger, Bond on Bond

This handsomely presented book gives some new and personal insights of the James Bond film phenomenon by one of the important figures of the series: Roger Moore – the self-effacing, charming actor who played Bond more than anyone else. Roger Moore’s critical stocks have not remained high (though he stars in one of the finest of the Bonds – The Spy Who Loved Me) but his love and affection for the series remains high. And, for the record, I think he made a fine Bond; necessarily different to Sean Connery – who made the role an icon – and less brutal than his successors.

The book is filled with little anecdotes, and a firm sense of fun and enjoyment. Given the choice between praising his co-stars or slamming them, he always praises them. Taking the advice of mothers everywhere, if he doesn’t have anything nice to say about someone, he doesn’t say it (To pick two figures at random, Grace Jones gets sparse mention, for example. Lois Maxwell gets a page of praise.)

He has spoken to all James Bonds: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. He ignores the believed-to-be-a-flop-but-wasn’t-actually Casino Royale with Woody Allen and David Niven (and about half the world, and directed by the other half). He talks about Never Say Never Again, the competition film, produced by that intriguing character Kevin McClory, with affection. Sean Connery starred in it, and wrote it.

There is a chapter on the cars, on the girls, the gadgets and the style. There are some lovely candid shots, and a beautiful and full layout of posters, publicity shots et cetera. Driven by the natural charm of Sir Roger and with ‘ghostly assistance’ by Gareth Owen, this is a book worth revisiting, particularly if you are a Bond aficionado.