NOTE TO ALL: Scoopy Jr writes the bulk of the commentary these days, while Uncle Scoopy continues to add his daily column, Contact junior by writing Contact Scoopy by writing Contact Tuna by writing Send submissions to

Search by keywords:
In Association with
Use this search device to seek additional information from about any of the books or movies you read about here.
"Live and Let Die (1973)

Live and Let Die was the first appearance of Roger Moore as Bond, and many think it to be one of the worst in the series. Sure, Roger Moore is not Sean Connery, and his wisecracking Bond was a shock, the plot didn't involve the KGB or a worldwide secret organization of fanatics, and there were not many exciting gadgets. On the other hand, the art direction and photography was superb, and there was more than a little comic relief.

Three British agents are killed, and Bond is sent to find out why. He is soon hard on the trail of the ruler of a small Caribbean Island who growing poppies and trying to take over the heroin trade world-wide. Jane Seymour plays a psychic called Solitaire who is his own private fortune teller. Her gift only lasts as long as her virginity, and Bond makes short work of that. In the opening sequence, M visits Bond at home, and surprises him with an Italian secret agent (Madeline Smith). She only had a short part, but displayed great talent and appeal. Gloria Hendry plays a double agent sent to keep Bond from discovering the poppies.

Maltin awards the dread 2.5 stars, while Berardinelli only gives 2. IMDB readers are more generous at 6.5/10. Box office is where it really counts, and the film grossed $126.4m worldwide, which easily made up for the $7m budget. The title song was written by George and Linda McCartney, and was nominated for an Oscar. With apologies to the experts, I liked this film.

  • Thumbnails
  • Thumbnails, #2
  • Thumbnails, #3

  • Gloria Hendry (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • Jane Seymour (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32)
  • Madeline Smith (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Helcrom
    Jennifer Connelly In all the years we've been doing the page, Jennifer is probably the most viewed and most requested woman. Here she is with Crudup in "Waking the Dead"
    Dame Elizabeth Berkley On the other hand, in all the years we've been doing the page, nobody has every requested Berkley, but we keep runnimng her sorry ass anyway. Here she is in "Any Given Sunday" playing the part of a personal entertainment consultant.
    Gretchen Mol (1 2) Helcrom's version of "Forever Mine". In an era where nudity is exiguous, it's fantastic to see one of the most beautiful women in the world do a real honest-to-god nude scene.
    more MOL not from Helcrom, but DAI, but as long as we're on the topic of Gretchen in "Forever Mine" ...
    Victoria Abril Two days in a row for PAL? It must be the first time ever. Well, they're always welcome. All of today's caps come from yet another Ken Russell film about a famous composer who dreamt of nuns masturbating with crucifixes. For an analysis, read Scoopy's review of "The Music Lovers" and substitute the word "Liszt" wherever it says "Tschaikovsky".
    Anulka Dziubinska Lisztomania
    Fiona Lewis Lisztomania
    Katja Riemann (1, 2) From a German video
    Jana Hora from "Twixt Heaven and Earth"
    The Insider
    Lydia, aka Rikki
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
    The Insider is a photographer and filmmaker who sometimes sends us some stuff from his private collection - parties at his house, set-up shots, etc. Here's his comments. "Scoop. Been looking for these for a few months. A few years ago, Sunset Thomas found Lydia and was going to feature her in a film, but she froze up on camera, so Sunset had her stay with us for a weekend and I filmed her in some hardcore activity just so she'd become at ease with the camers."
    1 Of all the states in the Union, Pennsylvania may have the best names for towns. There's Blue Balls, of course, and another classic shown on this sign.
    Scoop's thoughts

    A few notes on the America-bashing and America-defending in the past couple days. As many of you know, I've lived in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, and have spent large portions of my life in Canada (My dad lives close to the US/Canadian border, and Toronto was a "second home"). I have seen all nooks and crannies of the English-speaking world.

    Well, I'll leave the rest of the topics alone, but the ex-professor in me wants to offer little perspective on the language portion of the dispute:

    I love dictionaries. I own every major one, including an unabridged OED, and use them constantly. Don't tell me to look anything up in the OED. Looking up any word in the Ox is not a fruitful prospect. The OED, for all of its zillions of volumes, contains only about 86,000 words. An unabridged Random House or Webster's will top off with more than 300,000. OED is generally useless for any purpose other than to see a detailed history of a word's development through the years. For that purpose, however, it is irreplaceable, at least for the fourth of the language it chooses to acknowledge.

    Is there an American English? Yes, of course. The spelling is different from British English. If you set your computer for British English when you mean to write American, it will irritate the hell out of you in a spell check. Not just the -re and the -our endings, but in a lot of words like aluminum and jewelry. The reason why Americans pronounce aluminum as they do is that they spell it that way. That also explains why the British pronounce it their way. If America had that extra -i, the word would be pronounced similarly to the way it is pronounced in England.

    Why does the rest of the world want to speak English? Brainscan is right. If English were not the language of America, it would be an unimportant language spoken by about 100 million people plus however many speak it in India. Period. Language dissemination is a by-product of cultural and economic dissemination. America's movie/MTV culture has made English cool for the young to learn, and the fact that America dominates the world markets (for some products, the United States represents half or more of the world's consumption) makes English a necessity to businessmen. As it turns out, while you may not like the reasons, this produces a very cool ancillary benefit. You can wander almost anywhere and be understood with English. A Spanish guy who can speak English can go to Sweden and experience no communication problems. Very useful indeed.

    That all may be changing. It is clear that China will probably be the most important country in the next stage of the world. I suppose that may take centuries, but it could all happen faster. Imagine if China progresses as rapidly in the next half century as Japan has in the past one, and China has eight times the population of Japan. That's a lot of economic clout. So you might consider enrolling in some night classes in Mandarin.

    One of the saddest and funniest things I ever saw was in the classified ads in Budapest, where I also lived for a bit. When the communists fell, and the Russian army left, there was a great desire to learn English. Hungarians realized that they were behind the world in that regard. The ads in the Hungarian papers all had a familiar format - "English teachers wanted - native speakers only - British need not apply". I didn't make that up. They didn't specify "Americans only", so I wonder if all Hungarians are now wandering around saying, "no worries, mate" or talking like Gunga Din.

    A great story about how we use the language in differerent areas. My ex-girlfriend, a flight attendant, told me a great story about an Indian guy who had insomnia on an overnight flight, and kept pressing the call button. The crew was gabbing or dozing off and didn't respond immediately. When a flight attendant finally arrived, he said in an agitated voice, "I do not know what is wrong. I am fingering the stewardess for many minutes, and she is not coming".

    So American is becoming the world's language. That is a fact. Does the fact make it right? Does it make American English better than British English? No, of course not. Frankly, in all the English-speaking countries, most people ignore the rules and pronouncements of the language guardians, and speak exactly as they want to. As well they should.

    We speak in the manner most socially acceptable to our peer groups. Is the American way better than the British? Nah. Is the British better? Nah. Do the British stay closer to the "rules"? I'm not sure. Maybe, but I've found that they don't understand their own rules any better than Americans understand theirs. The classic example is that Americans say "Chicago is the best team in the league", while Brits normally say "Manchester are the best team in the league". When I looked up the rules in British and American grammar books, I found that the rules are precisely the same for both versions of the language. One is supposed to use the plural when referring to the team as individuals, and the singular when referring to them as an anonymous collective entity. Therefore, one should say, "Chicago is the best team in the league", but also "Chicago are sitting on the bench, waiting for the rain to stop". Neither the British nor the Americans pay any attention to the rules, and each group is about half "right".

    And one should say "it's I". How many people in any country get on the phone and say, "hi, it's I"? I don't believe I've ever heard anyone say that, to tell you the truth. Another discarded expression is the one I began the previous sentence with - "one should say". A good rule of thumb - if you hear a guy say, "one should say" in a drinking establishment, you can bet that he'll get the crap kicked out of him before the night is over. In most everyday usage, people have adopted the indefinite second person as a substitute - "you will still hear the sound of trains in the deserted station", rather than "one will still hear ..."

    And as for the rule about always writing in complete sentences, fogeddaboudit, unless you want people to think your work was written by Emily Bronte. It's much too florid and verbose, and causes you to lose the punch in your sentences. That's a case where the poor schmucks who follow the rule end up writing worse than the dummies who don't even know the rule exists.

    Churchill was fond of pointing out that even language pedants don't understand their own rules. Perhaps one should never end a sentence with a preposition. Churchill said "that is a rule up with which I will not put". He was wittily explaining that "with" is not a preposition in that sentence, but the end of a compound verb which means "to tolerate", and that "rule" is not the object of a preposition, but the direct object.

    In the two sentences, "I tolerate him" and "I put up with him", "him" can't be two different grammatical forms. It can't be a direct object in one and the object of a preposition in the other. The correct diagram of the sentence shows that "put up with" is the entire verb, just as "tolerate" is the entire verb.

    In fact, there are three separate similar verbs with three distinct meanings: "to put", "to put up", and "to put up with".

    1. I put the bread in your knapsack. (to place)
    2. I put the tent up. (to erect)
    3. That is all the bullshit I'm going to put up with. (to tolerate)

    Is there a right and wrong way to speak or write the language? Depends on who you talk to ("That is contingent upon whom one consults"). Even the experts are prone to vitriolic disagreement. Many grammarians believe that dictionaries and grammars should be prescriptive, filled with judgment about how the language should be spoken. Many more experts feel that dictionaries and grammar books should be descriptive, simply reporting how people do speak. I definitely side with the second group. Languages, by their nature, are fluid. They change with every generation. Try to read some Victorian novels, then imagine those characters coming to modern times in Liverpool or Memphis. They'd have a real struggle to communicate. When the language changes, the dictionaries should not pretend that it hasn't. Surely nobody would argue that we should all speak like Chaucer, so why should we choose to speak like the Englishmen of some other arbitrary forgotten time, like that of Doctor Johnson? If I were a leftist intellectual, I'd also point out (correctly) that rules are a way for one class to assert that its values are more valid than the values of another class. "You should speak as I do, because I am better than you in so many ways"

    Now, if you want my opinion about which I prefer, the answer is neither. Nor do I vote for Canada, Australia or India. I think English sounds best when the Irish speak it, more so on the West side than in Dublin.

    ... but that's just one guy's opinion.

    Click Here!