The Cinema Cafe

Serving Cinema's Tastiest Treasures

End Credits #68: Cinema's 2017 Lost Treasures Roger Moore

 

Roger Moore (October 14, 1927 - May 23, 2017) the talented British-born actor and humanitarian has died at age 89.

 

Guest contributor Bob DiMucci has provided this tribute to his motion picture and television acting career:

 

The Film and TV Appearances of Roger Moore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roger Moore made his film debut in an uncredited role as a soldier in the 1945 MGM film VACATION FROM MARRIAGE. The comedy-drama was filmed in England. Alexander Korda directed, and the unreleased score was by Clifton Parker.

Moore played another uncredited soldier, this time of the Roman variety, in the 1945 filimization of George Bernard Shaw’s play CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA. Gabriel Pascal directed the lavish production.

The score for the film was originally composed by Sir Arthur Bliss. However, Pascal wanted a "French-sounding" score, so Bliss' music was replaced with a score composed by Georges Auric. Ten minutes of Auric’s score was recorded by Chandos for a 1999 Auric compilation CD.

Under contract to MGM, Roger Moore made his American film debut in the 1954 Elizabeth Taylor romantic drama THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS. Moore played “Paul Lane,” a suave international tennis bum, who is invited to a party by Taylor’s father, “James Ellswirth” (Walter Pidgeon), a charming rascal with a talent for living beyond his means. Richard Brooks directed the film, which had an unreleased score by Conrad Salinger.

Moore was third-billed, and received his first poster credit, in the 1955 biographical drama INTERRUPTED MELODY. The film chronicles Australian-born opera star Marjorie Lawrence's success, her battle with polio, and her eventual career comeback. Eleanor Parker played Lawrence, Glenn Ford played the doctor with whom she falls in love, and Moore played her brother and business manager “Cyril.” Curtis Bernhardt directed the film. Adolph Deutsch provided the score, but only opera and other source music appeared on the MGM LP that was released.

In THE KING’S THIEF, a tale of 17th century England, Moore played “Jack,” the companion of “Michael Dermott” (Edmund Purdom), the leader of a group of highwaymen who uncovers a plot to assassinate King Charles II. Hugo Fregonese was the film's original director, but production was halted after eleven days when Fregonese was stricken with a virus. Director Robert Z. Leonard, who had recently gone into retirement, was called back to take over. Fregonese did not return to the film when he recovered because of disagreements with producer Edwin H. Knopf. Miklos Rozsa’s score for the 1955 financial flop was released by Film Score Monthly in 2003.

Moore co-starred in the 16th century costume drama DIANE, about a noblewoman (Lana Turner) who has a love affair with the French king (Pedro Armendáriz). Moore played “Henri,” the king’s younger son. David Miller directed the 1956 film. The score by Miklos Rozsa was released by Film Score Monthly in 2004. Like THE KING’S THIEF, DIANE was a huge financial failure, and Roger Moore was released from his seven year contract with MGM after only two years. 

Without a studio contract for the moment, Moore did guest shots on television for a period before landing the title role in the 1958 British television series “Ivanhoe”. Based on the character created by Sir Walter Scott, the series followed the adventures of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, a noble knight and champion of justice during the rule of the evil Prince John. 

Swashbuckling adventures for a younger audience, such as “The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel,” “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and “The Adventures of Sir Lancelot,” were a mainstay of ITV's programming in Britain in the mid-1950s. In December 1956, Columbia Pictures signed up Moore to play Ivanhoe in a series for transmission in both America and the UK. The series was a co-production between Columbia subsidiary Screen Gems and British producer Sydney Box. 

The series premiered on ITV in January 1958, while filming continued to complete all 39 episodes through to June 1958. Although a pilot episode was filmed in color, the series was shot in black and white. Moore insisted on undertaking much of the stunt work himself, resulting in several injuries including three cracked ribs from a fight scene and being knocked unconscious when a battle-axe hit his helmeted skull. Moore later commented: "I felt a complete Charlie riding around in all that armor and damned stupid plumed helmet. I felt like a medieval fireman".

The series was syndicated in the U.S. It finished when Moore returned to Hollywood after Warner Bros. offered him a movie role in THE MIRACLE.

THE MIRACLE is set in Spain, during the Napoleonic era, where a young postulant (Carroll Baker) falls in love with a handsome British soldier (Roger Moore) who is recovering with others of his regiment after being wounded. The role of “Capt. Michael Stuart” was intended for Dirk Bogarde. Bogarde turned it down and suggested Roger Moore. Irving Rapper directed the film. Elmer Bernstein’s score was released by Intrada in 2013.

Now under contract to Warner Bros., Roger Moore was put into a new television series called “The Alaskans”. Moore was "Silky Harris" and Jeff York as "Reno McKee", a pair of adventurers intent on swindling travelers bound for the Yukon Territories during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. (As the end credits theme song went: “Got the fever, got the fever—gold fever!”) Their plans are inevitably complicated by the presence of singer "Rocky Shaw" (Dorothy Provine), an entertainer with a taste for the finer things in life.

Because of the 1960 Writers Guild of America strike as well as an ongoing Warner Bros. policy to save money on writers, “The Alaskans” inherited a certain amount of scripted material from “Maverick.” Moore bristled at the lack of originality in scripts: "An old 'Bronco' script would interchange with an 'Alaskans”' or 'Maverick.' In some cases, even the dialogue stayed unchanged." In 2007, Moore noted, "Quite often I realized that we were filming “Maverick” scripts, with the names changed." Perhaps, this made it simple for Jack L. Warner to envision Moore as Maverick, since Moore had literally delivered Garner's dialogue while reshooting the same scripts with different names and locales.

The one-hour series premiered on Sunday, 4 October 1959 at (9:30 PM. The show was opposite “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” on CBS, the 25th highest rated series for the season, and “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show” on NBC, which was in color. “The Alaskans” was not competitive and was cancelled after one season of 37 episodes.

For Roger Moore, the series is memorable for being "my most appalling television series ever." In particular, he found that attempting to recreate Alaskan exteriors on a studio backlot in California made for disagreeably hot work days. According to Moore, the fake snow used in production was initially made with gypsum and cornflakes. However, it later included six inch nails and lumps of wood. The crew were allow to wear protective masks, but the actors were not. Moore said that the cast members had to go to the studio nurse at least twice a day to get their eyes flushed out from the dirt and grit. The show also caused some marital strife for the actor when he had to admit to wife Dorothy Squires that he had fallen in love with co-star Dorothy Provine.

Though very popular, James Garner quit his television series “Maverick” over a contract dispute with the studio after the series' third year. Sean Connery turned down the role, so Garner was replaced by Roger Moore as cousin “Beau,” nephew of “Beauregarde ‘Pappy’ Maverick.” Beau's first appearance was in the season four opener (18 September 1960), "The Bundle From Britain", in which he returns from an extended stay in England to meet cousin “Bart” (Jack Kelly). Moore had earlier played a completely different role in the 1959 episode "The Rivals", a drawing room comedy episode with Garner in which Moore's character switched identities with Bret.

Beau's amusingly self-described "slight English accent" was explained by his having spent the last few years in England. Moore was exactly the same age as Kelly and brought a flair for light comedy and a physical similarity to Garner fitting the show—Moore even looked like the profile drawing (apparently based on Garner) of the card player at the beginning of each episode. Moore noted in his autobiography that the producers told him he was not being brought in to replace Garner. However, when he got to wardrobe, all of his costumes had the name "Jim Garner" scratched out on the tags. Moore also mentioned that he, Garner, Kelly, and their wives would regularly gather at the Kelly home for what they called "poker school".

After filming 15 episodes, Moore quit the series, due to what he felt was a declining script quality. (Moore did not have to resort to legal measures as Garner had.) Moore insisted that if he had gotten the level of writing Garner had enjoyed during the first two years of the show's run, he would have stayed. “Maverick” would lumbar on for another year and a half, with new star Robert Colbert and Jack Kelly alternating with Garner re-runs.

Back in feature films, Moore co-starred with Angie Dickinson and Peter Finch in 1961’s THE SINS OF RACHEL CADE. While the Nazi regime subjugates European nations, in Belgian Congo, doctor “Rachel Cade” (Dickinson) tries to cure those troubled people. The cynical Belgian administrator, “Colonel Henry Derode” (Finch), falls in love with her, but a young injured American pilot (Moore) upsets his plans. Gordon Douglas directed the film, which had an unreleased score by Max Steiner.

In the 1961 western GOLD OF THE SEVEN SAINTS. Clint Walker and Roger Moore co-starred as fur trappers “Jim Rainbolt” and “Shaun Garrett,” who find a fortune in gold nuggets and head across the desert for Seven Saints, Utah. It was Moore’s second film for director Gordon Douglas. The Howard Jackson score has not had a release.

Released from his Warner Bros. contract, Moore repaired to Italy, where he appeared as the title character in the 1961 Italian sword and sandal epic ROMULUS AND THE SABINES. In the early days of Rome, where there are no women, Romulus, the founder of Rome, steals women to be wives from Sabina. The Sabine men, of course, attack Rome to get their wives and daughters back. Richard Pottier directed the film, which did not get a U.S. release. Carlo Rustichelli’s score has not had a release either.

Roger Moore had tried to buy the production rights to “The Saint” books himself and was delighted to be offered the role in a new ITC television series. “The Saint” was a mystery spy thriller series that aired in the UK on ITV between 1962 and 1969. It was based on the literary character “Simon Templar” created by Leslie Charteris in the 1920s and featured in many novels over the years. Simon Templar was essentially a Robin Hood who stole from criminals, but kept the money. His nemesis was “Chief Inspector Claude Teal” (Ivor Dean) who considered Templar a common criminal no matter whom he stole from. During the writing of his manuscripts, Leslie Charteris constantly designated Simon Templar by his initials (S.T.) in order to save time. That's how the idea came to give him the nickname "the Saint".

The whole series was shot at Associated British Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, with very few scenes shot on location elsewhere. This was achieved by making extensive use of the sets at Elstree, early blue screen technology to simulate different locations in the background, painted or projected backdrops, as well as revolving painted backdrops for moving scenes. Roger Moore said that when filming scenes that were supposed to be in countries where they drove on the other side of the road, they would simply flip the film in the lab.

The early episodes are distinguished by Moore breaking the fourth wall and speaking to the audience in character at the start of every episode. With the switch to color, this was replaced by simple narration. Invariably, the pre-credits sequence ended with someone referring to (and/or addressing) the Saint by name – "Simon Templar"; at this point, an animated halo appeared above Templar's head as the Saint looked at the camera (or directly at the halo). Leslie Charteris himself composed the theme music for The Saint. Moore appeared in 118 episodes of the series, and directed nine of them.

In the U.S., the black-and-white shows were first syndicated, then began appearing on NBC affiliate stations in the summer of 1967. Thirty-two of the 47 color episodes were broadcast by NBC from 1968 to 1969. The program therefore ended its run with both trans-Atlantic prime time scheduling and color episodes. The show has since played in syndication in the U.S. for many years after. 

A pair of two-part episodes from season 6, THE FICTION MAKERS and VENDETTA FOR THE SAINT, were made into feature films and distributed to theaters in Europe, and often show up on late-night television in America. The show also proved popular beyond the UK and U.S., eventually airing in over 60 countries, and made a profit in excess of £350m for ITC. Moore eventually became co-owner of the show with Robert S. Baker when the show moved to color, and the production credit became Bamore Productions. Most of the wardrobe Moore wore in the series was his own.

CROSSPLOT cast Roger Moore as “Gary Fenn,” a suave advertising executive who hires a beautiful Hungarian girl, “Marla Kugash” (Claudie Lange), to pose for some modeling shots, little realizing that she has overheard an assassination plot and is now being hunted by some dangerous killers. The 1969 film was co-produced by Moore’s company Bamore for about $1 million, and included a number of production personnel who had worked on “The Saint.” The film marked Moore’s first lead role in an English-language feature. It received limited distribution in the U.S. in 1970. Stanley Black’s score was released in 2013 by Quartet.

In THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF, Moore plays “Harold Pelham,” who encounters a duplicate of himself in the aftermath of a car crash. Moore said that his role in this psychological thriller was his favorite, and the best ever of his screen performances. The 1970 film was the final theatrical feature directed by famed English director Basil Dearden. Just a year after the film’s release, Dearden died in a car crash in a place that was near the location that a major character dies in the film. Box office results were disappointing, which Moore attributed to amateurish marketing. The score by Michael J. Lewis was released on a composer promo disc in 2003.

Roger Moore returned to series television in 1971 with “The Persuaders!”, an action/adventure/comedy series produced by ITC Entertainment, and broadcast on ITV and ABC in the U.S. It has been called “the last major entry in the cycle of adventure series that began 11 years earlier with ‘Danger Man’ in 1960," as well as "the most ambitious and most expensive of Sir Lew Grade's international action adventure series." “The Persuaders!” was filmed in Britain, France, and Italy between May 1970 and June 1971.

Despite its focus on the British and American markets, the show became more successful in other international markets. It won its highest awards in Australia and Spain, and co-stars Roger Moore (playing “Lord Brett Sinclair”) and Tony Curtis (playing “Danny Wilde”) were decorated in Germany and France for their acting. It persists in the memory of European film-makers and audiences, having been casually referenced in 21st-century productions made in Sweden, France, Britain and Germany.

The show used many of the resources of Moore's previous show, “The Saint.” These included locations and the idea of reusing many of the visible vehicles from episode to episode. The most obvious, however, were the many guest stars and second-level actors who had played parts in “The Saint” and who also appeared in “The Persuaders!” roles, one example being the undertaker role performed by Ivor Dean, who had portrayed police inspector “Claud Eustace Teal” in “The Saint.”

The co-stars played wealthy playboys who were sent to investigate various matters at the behest of “Judge Fulton,” a retired jurist played by Laurence Naismith. During the series, Moore acted—officially and practically—as his own wardrobe stylist. It stemmed from genuine sartorial interests and because he was marketing a line of clothes by bespoke men's tailors, Pearson and Foster. Every episode carried the closing credit, "Lord Sinclair's clothes designed by Roger Moore", with "Roger Moore" written as a large signature. Moore gained 20 lbs. over the course of the series' production, which he attributed to the use of real champagne during shooting.

Numerous third parties have recounted how Moore and Curtis did not get along well on the set, but the stars themselves have said otherwise. Moore said: "Tony and I had a good on- and off-screen relationship; we are two very different people, but we did share a sense of humour". In a 2005 interview, Curtis referred to Moore with affection and stated that he would not participate in a remake of “The Persuaders!” without Moore.

John Barry wrote the main title theme for the show. Because Moore deemed that no good photos existed of him as a child, the black-and-white boyhood picture of “Brett Sinclair” in the opening credits is that of his son Geoffrey Moore

Although the series placed in the top 20 most-viewed shows in Britain in 1971, Lew Grade wanted it to do well in the profitable American TV market. But “The Persuaders!” made little impact in America, airing on ABC on Saturday nights opposite “Mission: Impossible” on CBS and NBC’s “Saturday Night at the Movies,” neither of which were in the top 30 shows that year. A midseason move to Wednesday nights opposite three top-15 shows (“Medical Center,” “Mannix,” and “The NBC Mystery Movie”) just made matters worse. ABC pulled the series before all 24 episodes were aired. The American TV failure, and Moore’s accepting the role of James Bond, spelled the end of “The Persuaders!”.

The onscreen credits read: "Roger Moore as James Bond--007 in Ian Fleming's LIVE AND LET DIE.” So began the first of Moore’s seven forays into film superstardom. Sean Connery had turned down the then astronomical sum of $5.5 million to continue in the role. Moore, Burt Reynolds, and Paul Newman had been contenders for the role. Connery gave Roger Moore his personal seal of approval, calling him "an ideal Bond." Moore was announced as the lead in August 1972. Moore had been the producers’ original choice to play Bond when the films began in 1963, but he was at that point committed to the British television series “The Saint,” in which he starred from 1962 to 1969. Moore was 45 when he made his debut as 007, making him the oldest actor to do so.

The shoot wasn’t all fun and games. Early in the production, Moore was hospitalized with kidney stones. Later, Moore and Jane Seymour caught dysentery while shooting in Jamaica. Moore also suffered an injury during the boat chase. The engine cut out, and the momentum carried him into a boathouse. He cracked some of his front teeth and twisted his knee. Moore had to walk on a cane for days afterward, but was still able to complete the scene because all he had to do was sit in the boat.

Madeline Smith, who played “Miss Caruso,” said that additional awkwardness in a bedroom scene was created by Roger Moore's overprotective wife, Luisa Mattioli, who was on the set during the filming. In order to establish the effect of Bond unzipping Miss Caruso's blue dress with his magnetic watch, a thin wire was attached to the zipper. A stagehand lay on the floor underneath Smith's body to pull the wire down, while Moore pretended to unzip the dress with his watch. According to Moore, it took 29 takes to get it right. The magnetic wristwatch was Moore's personal favorite Q gadget. 

Director Guy Hamilton was a jazz fan, so screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz suggested that he film in New Orleans. Hamilton did not want to use Mardi Gras as a background, since THUNDERBALL featured Junkanoo, a similar festival. So after more discussions with the writer, and location scouting with helicopters, Hamilton decided to use two well-known features of the city--the jazz funerals and the canals. Reviews of the film were generally positive, with most critics describing Moore as smooth and sophisticated, but lacking the wit and appeal of Connery. George Martin's score was last released by Capitol/EMI in 2003.

Between Bond films, Moore starred with Susannah York in the 1974 action-drama GOLD. Moore played “Rod Slater,” the newly appointed general manager of the Sonderditch gold mine, who stumbles across an ingenious plot to flood the mine. Moore was reluctant to accept the role at first, owing to the character being a cigarette smoker (he had recently stopped smoking cigarettes and gravitated to Monte Cristo cigars). As it was necessary for Rod Slater's character to smoke cigarettes rather than cigars, Moore's objection was overruled, though his smoking scenes were reduced to a bare minimum.

In addition to directing ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE, GOLD director Peter Hunt had filmed an episode of “The Persuaders!”. GOLD was budgeted at about $2.5 million. Roger Moore's salary was $200,000. In the U.S., the film was handled by minor distributor Allied Artists, and generally played as part of a double bill. It earned about $1 million in rentals. Elmer Bernstein’s score was released on an ABC Records LP, which was reissued on CD by Intrada in 2009.

In 1974's THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, "Scaramanga" (Christopher Lee) is the latest villain to try to put an end to James Bond. According to Roger Moore, director Guy Hamilton wanted to toughen Bond up more in order to be closer to Ian Fleming's original intent for the character. One of the ways was by having Bond twist the arm of “Andrea Anders” (Maud Adams) behind her back, and threaten to break it unless she told him what he wanted to know. Moore didn't enjoy filming the scene, feeling that Bond would have instead charmed the information out of her. Another scene Moore didn't enjoy was pushing the boy into the water during the boat chase.

Roger Moore said that when they were filming the boat chase on the klongs (canals) in Thailand, he fell in twice. The first was on purpose (because they told him not to do it), and the second time was by accident. On the second fall, Moore made the mistake of opening his eyes under water, and saw what the local undertakers did with the bodies of the less fortunate.

While on location in Thailand, Moore found a cave full of bats. He couldn't resist seeking out Christopher Lee, telling him what he had found and joking "Master, they are yours to command!" Lee appreciated the joke. Moore and Lee in real life were close friends, dating back to the early days of their respective professional acting careers.

As on many sets, practical jokes abounded. As a joke on Desmond Llewelyn, Roger Moore wrote fake dialogue for “Q,” and then gave it to the script girl to give to Llewelyn after he had spent a whole month learning his lines and was about to come on set. During the belly dancer scene, Moore was wearing a brand new suit. When the scene was finished, as a gag, Albert R. Broccoli got on a ladder, and poured a bucket of paste all over Moore's new suit.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN was director Guy Hamilton's third Bond film in a row, and fourth and last overall. John Barry's score was last released by Capitol/EMI in 2003. It was his fifth and last score for a Hamilton film. Reception for the film was mixed, but many critics agreed that the writing and overall style was outdated. In a negative review the Los Angeles Times’ critic Kevin Thomas stated, “More than ever, Bond becomes a leftover of the ’60s and therefore seems increasingly an unreconstructed male chauvinist pig.” Roger Moore was largely criticized for playing the lead role more stiffly than his predecessor, Sean Connery. Nevertheless, the $7 million film took in a total of $98 million in worldwide box office receipts. 

The 1976 action-adventure SHOUT AT THE DEVIL was set during World War I. A British aristocrat (Roger Moore), an American entrepreneur (Lee Marvin), and the latter's attractive young daughter (Barbara Parkins), set out to destroy a German battle-cruiser which is awaiting repairs in an inlet just off Zanzibar. Moore played the young love interest although he was actually 47 in real life (Parkins was 33). Moore and Marvin got into a physical fight during filming, which Moore won. Marvin recalled, "The guy is built like granite. Nobody will ever underestimate him again". Moore recalled that Lee Marvin also got into a fight with Japanese journalists at an airport while making the film. He said Marvin still hated the Japanese because of his war experiences.

This was the second of two filmed adaptations of novels by Wilbur Smith that starred Roger Moore. The first had been GOLD (1974). Both pictures were directed by Peter R. Hunt. Maurice Jarre’s score was released on a Barclay LP in France, and was re-issued on CD by Quartet in 2010.

Daily Variety estimated the budget for SHOUT AT THE DEVIL at $9.5 million, “the most expensive independent production of all time,” according to American International Pictures (AIP), the film’s U.S. distributor. AIP, a self-described “mini-major,” booked the film at rental rates comparable to those charged by major studios. One exhibitor complained that the high cost of booking the film would make it unavailable to independent theaters, for which AIP’s product had traditionally been targeted. AIP’s plans to release the film in April 1976 were postponed in order to give the studio’s publicity department time to build “a massive campaign.” AIP considered a new title for SHOUT AT THE DEVIL for its U.S. release, as the company was concerned that the public would expect a story about the supernatural. However, the title proved not to be an issue in England, where the film had opened in April and was already attracting large audiences. The film ultimately hit U.S. theaters in November. 

Moore’s third Bond film was 1977’s THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. Only the title of writer Ian Fleming’s novel was used for the film, in accordance with the writer’s wishes before his death. The original novel did not follow the normal format of the Bond adventures. Instead, the story revolves around Bond checking into a motel with a flat tire in the last third of the book and rescuing the main character, Vivienne Michel, whose stay at a motel is threatened by gangsters planning to burn it down for the insurance money. Fleming was never pleased with the novel, as it was the weakest of his Bond adventures. The film’s producers got Fleming’s permission to revamp the story before filming could begin. Over three years, an original screenplay was developed by producer Albert R. Broccoli and screenwriters Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum.

Fleming never warmed to the original casting choice of Sean Connery and thought Roger Moore was a better fit to play the sophisticated agent. Broccoli approached well-known actresses Catherine Deneuve, Marthe Keller, and Dominique Sanda to play the Bond girl in the film, but all passed on the role when fees involving points or a percentage of the profits could not be agreed upon. Broccoli summed his choice to pick unknowns when casting Bond girls: “…Remember this: The money I’ve saved by not using a well-known actress I spent on that marvelous ski stunt.”

Moore had been offered the role of Lieutenant General Brian Horrocks in A BRIDGE TOO FAR, but he was originally forced to decline due to a scheduling conflict with THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. He became available when the shooting of the Bond film was delayed. However, Horrocks himself had approval over the casting and turned Moore down. The role instead went to Edward Fox.

This was the first of Moore’s Bond films to be shot in Panavision; the prior two had been in regular matted widescreen. Consequently, a new version of the gun-barrel opening sequence needed to be shot to match the film's 2.35:1 aspect ratio--the fifth time the sequence had been done in the series. The new sequence features a closer shot of Roger Moore against a more colored background. Also it's the first time that Bond wears a tuxedo during the sequence. This sequence has the distinction of being the one with the most appearances, as its footage would be reused for the next four Bond films, for a total of five appearances.

In THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, director Guy Hamilton had wanted to toughen Bond up to be closer to Ian Fleming's original intent for the character. But with this film, director Lewis Gilbert decided to fix what he felt the previous Roger Moore films were doing wrong, which was writing the Bond character too much the way Sean Connery played him. Instead, Gilbert wanted to portray Bond in a manner that he believed was closer to the books - "very English, very smooth, good sense of humour".

A representative from the Egyptian government was on set throughout the shoot in Cairo and Giza to make sure that the country was not portrayed in an unflattering light. For that reason, when the scaffolding collapses on Jaws and Bond quips "Egyptian builders", Roger Moore merely mouthed the line, dubbing it in later. It went unnoticed by the official Egyptian minder, and ironically, got a great laugh from Egyptian audiences.

For only the second time, John Barry was not involved in a Bond score, allegedly because he did not wish to return to the UK due to tax issues. Marvin Hamlisch got the scoring assignment. The title song "Nobody Does It Better" was sung by Carly Simon, with music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager. It was the first Bond theme song played over the main titles that differed from the name of the film in which it appeared, although the phrase "the spy who loved me" is included in the lyrics. The soundtrack was released on United Artists Records. Its most recent appearance on CD came from EMI Capitol in 2003.

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME earned $90 million in rental fees. United Artists reportedly was paid $30.25 million for distribution but also deducted the $13.5 million cost of production plus $2 million in loan interest and about $7.5 million for advertising, prints, and parties. The remaining net profits of the film totaled $36.75 million, which was split between UA and Danjaq S.A. (Broccoli’s production company).

Producer Euan Lloyd’s most popular film is probably the 1978 soldier-of-fortune movie THE WILD GEESE, which included Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris, and Hardy Kruger in its band of mercenaries who attempt to rescue a deposed African president from the hands of a corrupt African dictator. Moore, playing “Lt. Shawn Fynn,” requested to have fewer lines in his scenes with Burton and Harris. This kind of request was almost unheard of from a major star. His reasoning was - "You don't seriously expect me to act against these guys?" According to Moore, the three main actors would have competitions to see who would do the least number of takes. Said Moore later: "As both gentlemen are not with us any more, I could safely say me." Stewart Granger was cast as “Sir Edward Matherson.” Moore was disappointed that he shared no scenes with Granger, who was his childhood hero.

Burton, a notoriously heavy drinker, was reported to have stuck to drinking soft drinks throughout the three months of shooting in South Africa. Burton was often drinking several cans of Tab per day. Since it wasn't sold in South Africa, Lloyd had to import 2,000 bottles of the stuff to the location. Harris also was well known for bringing discord to film sets with his excessive drinking. To get insurance for the actor, Lloyd made the Irishman deposit half his salary in escrow, with any costs of bad behavior subtracted, and not delivered until after the film was completed. Harris agreed on the condition that Lloyd did the same for himself, and this is what happened. According to Lloyd, Roger Moore liked a drink, though he was capable of managing it. One morning, while driving past Moore's apartment, Lloyd saw him standing on the front lawn in his underpants with his eyes closed holding a garden hose over his head. Roger Moore quipped, "I was the only wild member of the cast. Harris and Burton were on the wagon, and Kruger never emerged from his room with his lady."

Roger Moore celebrated his 50th birthday while shooting in South Africa. Having served as an Army officer during his National Service, Moore helped to instruct the extras cast as mercenaries in drill and other military matters.

The script was based on the novel "The Thin White Line" by Rhodesian Daniel Carney. It was not published until Lloyd bought the screen rights, and was then renamed "The Wild Geese." Funding for the film was so tight that Lloyd had to sell his car, his wife's fur coat, some jewelry and mortgage his house in order to finance his sales pitches to the studios, and to cover other pre-production costs. When Lloyd tried to get United Artists to finance the film, they wanted Michael Winner to direct and O.J. Simpson to play the Roger Moore part. Lloyd refused, went with Allied Artists for U.S. distribution, and instead chose Andrew V. McLaglen to direct. McLaglen helmed the high octane adventure with a preference for the action scenes. Both Richard Burton and Richard Harris were delighted with how the film turned out. Harris said, "I'd been plodding through sewage. And then at the end of the tunnel, there was a romp with the boys, a night on the town. Was THE WILD GEESE a movie? I thought it was a summer holiday."

Before the film could be released in America, Allied Artists, which had backed it, collapsed, so the film had an extremely limited U.S. release. This accounts for the poor box office receipts in America, compared to the large grosses it took in elsewhere, which resulted in it being the 14th highest-grossing film worldwide of 1978. However, the film's performance in the United States may also have been due to the lack of an American star.

Lloyd’s most frequent composer, Roy Budd, composed the music. The score originally included an overture and end title music, but both of these were replaced by the song "Flight of the Wild Geese.” Budd’s score (including the overture) was released on an A&M records LP, and was most recently reissued on CD by Silva Screen in 2011.

In 1979, Moore starred in the World War II action-adventure ESCAPE TO ATHENA. The story involved the prisoners of a German camp on a Greek island who are trying to escape. But they don't want only their freedom. They also seek a treasure hidden in a monastery at the top of the island's mountain. The cast was typical of a Lew Grade international co-production: There was a Greek patriot (Telly Savalas), an English archeologist (David Niven), an Italian cook (Sonny Bono), a pair of U.S.O. performers (Elliott Gould and Stefanie Powers), an American serviceman (Richard Roundtree) and a Greek madam (Claudia Cardinale). They are eventually joined in their mission by the Nazi commandant (Roger Moore) of the local prisoner-of-war camp, a plot twist that's explained by the fact that the commandant, “Major Otto Hecht,” is Austrian.

Despite his lead role, Moore said that he felt miscast in the picture. Perhaps it was the accent he had to use. This was the first film that Moore had made with David Niven since the two had appeared in 1955’s THE KING’S THIEF. George P. Cosmatos directed the film, after having directed Lew Grade’s THE CASSANDRA CROSSING (1976). Lalo Schifrin’s score was released on a Seven Seas Records LP in Japan, but has had no CD re-issue.

MOONRAKER was Roger Moore’s fourth outing as James Bond. Moore enjoyed filming in Paris, because production didn't start until noon, and the hours were shorter. Eight hours a day on a movie is the limit one can work in France. But Moore arrived a week late for the shoot in Rio due to a kidney stones attack in France. (Moore had also had a renal colic attack while filming LIVE AND LET DIE in 1973). Once arrived in Rio, Moore literally walked off the plane, went into make-up and hair, got fitted out, went back onto the plane, and was then filmed arriving in Rio as James Bond for the movie. Footage of the carnival in Rio had already been shot in January 1978. The scenes with Roger Moore were done in February 1979, recreating the carnival revelers from the year before.

Moore went through the usual quota of bumps and bruises during the shoot. A scene in which a gondola converts into a hovercraft and elevates out of the water succeeded only on the fifth attempt. During the first four takes, the vehicle was so unstable that Roger Moore fell into the water and needed to have his silk suit replaced for each take. It was fortunate that the stunt worked during the fifth take because he was wearing the last available silk suit. Moore's face was also quite bruised after having intense bursts of air pumped onto it in the scene where the gravity simulator spins out of control. And the final scene, with Bond and Holly (Lois Chiles) making love in zero-G, was the hardest shot of all according to Moore, where he actually felt the blood running up to his nose and eyes.

Roger Moore is believed to have conducted approximately 390 interviews for the promotion of the $34 million movie. It seems to have paid off. At the box-office, MOONRAKER set new records for a Bond film, earning almost $58 million worldwide after just eight weeks in release. To date, its grosses have exceeded $210 million.

While critical reaction was mixed, several reviewers noted that the film suffered from a sense of repetition and déjà vu. The 29 June 1979 Los Angeles Herald-Examiner described the problem as “pre-nostalgia – the filmmakers not only rip themselves off silly but do it without invention, as if we could be satisfied by the memories of the originals.” However, the 29 June 1979 New York Times wrote that MOONRAKER was “one of the most buoyant Bond films of all.” The reviewer described the picture as “the unimaginable most satisfactorily imagined,” and compared it to early adventure serials and the “movie-making of the kind [silent filmmaker] Georges Méliès pioneered.”

John Barry’s score was released on a United Artists LP, but even in its most recent CD re-issue from Capitol/EMI Records (2003), the 31-minute LP has not been able to be expanded.

Roger Moore’s second film with director Andrew V. McLaglen was 1980's ffolkes (aka NORTH SEA HIJACK). In the film, Moore stars as the title character, an eccentric anti-terrorism expert who volunteers his unique commando unit to stop terrorists who have taken over two oil rigs and threatened to explode them. Anthony Perkins is "Kramer," the leader of the terrorist group, and Michael Parks co-starred as "Shulman," Kramer's right hand man. 

Moore's character in this film was far removed from the type of character he was known for--a suave, debonair, charming, sophisticated ladies' man. If anything, his ffolkes character was actually a cranky, moody and cantankerous misogynist. He is bearded and somewhat shabbily dressed, as opposed to Moore's previous image as clean-shaven and a dapper dresser. His affections are reserved for his cats, of which he has many, rather than women, of whom he has none.

Stories differ as to how Roger Moore felt about this film. It’s been reported that ffolkes was yet another picture in which he felt he was miscast, while other reports have Moore saying that he preferred this movie to all of his James Bond pictures. Moore said: "I've known [writer] Jack Davies a long time. He gave us the proofs of his novel to read, and we instantly saw there was a film in it. It was my wife [Luisa Mattioli] who convinced me that I could and should play ffolkes."

The advertising poster for ffolkes (below) tried incorporating Bondian elements, and somewhat resembled DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, made about nine years prior. Both posters feature an oil rig, an explosion, and the hero character enlarged, standing tall over a dwarfed oil rig with bikini-clad women grasping him. This film's poster shows four women wearing bikinis grasping at star Roger Moore. He is also holding a champagne glass, typical of Bondian martini drinking. These two elements were not indicative of Moore's character in the movie, as ffolkes drinks whiskey and is a misogynist. Moore is also seen wearing a Naval Commander uniform in the poster, something that James Bond is occasionally seen wearing in Bond movies, e.g., in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1967) and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977).

Michael J. Lewis released his score for the film on a promo CD in 1999.

Producer Euan Lloyd, director Andrew V. McLaglen, and Roger Moore reteamed for the trio’s next project, the 1980 World War II adventure THE SEA WOLVES. Based upon a true story, the film recounts a British attack on a transmitter that is providing the coordinates of Allied ships in the Indian Ocean. The transmitter is not in India, but is located on one of three German freighters harbored in Goa, a Portugese colony whose neutrality cannot be violated. So the British send civilians to do the job--ex-soldiers about 60 years old. 

While Lloyd was recuperating from kidney surgery, his friend Ingeborg Muller gave him the novel, “The Boarding Party,” written by James Leasor. The book chronicled a top secret mission in World War II, and the details had never been made public until Leasor’s book was published in 1978. Lloyd invested his own money and obtained “private bank financing” to set up the production, retitled THE SEA WOLVES. Andrew V. McLaglen was signed to direct, and principal photography began in November 1979, with Lloyd employing key creative staff from THE WILD GEESE. 

Lloyd also hoped to reunite THE WILD GEESE stars Richard Burton, Roger Moore, and Richard Harris. After it was determined that neither Burton nor Harris would appear in the film, Gregory Peck was hired. Roger Moore, who had initially declined to co-star, changed his mind. Trevor Howard and David Niven also appeared in the film. Peck had wanted Niven, his GUNS OF NAVARONE co-star, on board. True to the storyline, the actors were of appropriate age. Gregory Peck was 63, Trevor Howard was 66, and David Niven was 69. Roger Moore was the youngster at 53. Actress Barbara Kellermann made her feature film debut in THE SEA WOLVES.

Operation Boarding Party was an actual covert operation set up by the SOE (Special Operations Executive) in India and was commanded by Lewis Pugh and Gavin Stewart who are played under those real names in the film by Gregory Peck and Roger Moore respectively. The film was Moore’s second and last for producer Lloyd, his third and last with director McLaglen, and his third of four with David Niven.

Lorimar Productions put up half of the film’s $12 million budget in exchange for the U.S. distribution rights. Principal photography began 26 November 1979. The first two weeks of principal photography were shot in New Delhi, and the rest of the three month schedule was filmed in Goa. Production of the film went smoothly. But its release did not.

United Artists had a distribution deal with Lorimar Productions and it was announced that THE SEA WOLVES would be released in July 1980, with United Artists handling domestic distribution and Lorimar Distribution International distributing worldwide. The film premiered on schedule in London on 4 July 1980. Unfortunately for Lloyd, Lorimar and United Artists ended their distribution deal early. The contract began 1 January 1979 and was set to expire at the end of 1981, but the pact was allowed to lapse and would be terminated by the end of 1980. United Artists had planned the American release of THE SEA WOLVES in October 1980, but the release was delayed while Lorimar sought a new distributor. In November 1980, Paramount Pictures contracted to handle U.S. distribution of Lorimar’s films. THE SEA WOLVES would be among the films that Paramount Pictures would test market, and depending on the results, it might be placed on Paramount’s 1981 release schedule. Ultimately, the first American release came in New York City on 5 June 1981. Euan Lloyd thought that Paramount regarded the film as "the poor cousin" and as a result it "wasn't sold properly."

The film’s score was by Roy Budd, who used a new arrangement of Richard Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto for the romantic scenes. The score appeared on an EMI LP, which was reissued on CD by Cinephile in 1999.

Euan Lloyd may have been correct in concluding that Paramount did not sell the film correctly in the U.S. Compare the British poster below, which markets the film as a wartime adventure, with Paramount’s poster, which tries to position it as an action-comedy.

Roger Moore co-starred with Burt Reynolds in the 1981 action-comedy THE CANNONBALL RUN. The plot followed a wide variety of eccentric competitors who participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the race, including low-down, dirty tricks. Reynolds played “J. J. McClure,” owner of a land-sea-air delivery business. Moore was millionaire “Seymour Goldfarb, Jr.,” who is chastised by his mother (Molly Picon) for calling himself “Roger Moore” and thinking he is the star of James Bond films. “Seymour” was originally written as a man who thinks he's James Bond. But for legal reasons, he was charged to a character who thinks he is Roger Moore. 

Because of Moore’s presence, there are numerous James Bond references throughout the film, resulting in a rumor that Albert R. Broccoli had Roger Moore sign a contract which forbid him to spoof or make references to the James Bond character in any other non-Bond film. However, in September 2014 during an audience Q&A in Torquay (as part of his book tour), Moore stated there was no such contract but that he had promised Broccoli that he would never do anything that would hurt the James Bond character. When Hal Needham went to meet the Bond producers about the possibility of directing a Bond film, the first thing they said was "Perhaps we should think about suing you for Cannonball". Roger Moore has a different girlfriend every time he appears in the film, and they are all voiced by an uncredited June Foray.

The $12 million film was directed by former stunt director Hal Needham. The film’s song score was released on a Warner Bros. LP, but has not been reissued on CD. The film did good business, grossing about $90 million worldwide. In February 1985, Roger Moore filed a lawsuit against production companies Eurasia Investments Limited and Golden Harvest International Ltd. Moore’s contract for THE CANNONBALL RUN entitled him to five percent of the film’s net profits, and the suit, citing accounting discrepancies, claimed that Moore was owed $134,209.60 in profit participation. There’s no word as to the disposition of the suit.

In January 1976, it was announced that producer Albert R. Broccoli would become the sole producer of the “James Bond” film series, starting with THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. Previously, Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, who each owned substantial interest in Danjaq S.A., had alternated personal production of the Bond films under Danjaq S.A.’s exclusive contract with distributor United Artists. However, Saltzman sold his partnership interest to United Artists Corp., and Broccoli assumed total producer reins. The end credits of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME included a title card stating that “James Bond will return in For Your Eyes Only.” However, MOONRAKER became the eleventh production in the “James Bond” series after FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was postponed. The end credits of MOONRAKER also included a card stating that “James Bond will return in For Your Eyes Only.”

For the first time in the James Bond series, principal photography on MOONRAKER did not take place in England, due to Britain’s punitive tax laws. Eparnay Studios in Paris, France, replaced Pinewood Studios for principal photography, although Pinewood’s “007 stage” was used for the film’s special effects. But by the time filming on FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was ready to proceed, the “tax angles” had been resolved and the twelfth film in the series returned the franchise to Pinewood Studios in England.

In early July 1980, it was reported that Roger Moore would not return as James Bond, after learning that Broccoli was secretly screen-testing other actors for the lucrative role, among them Michael Jayston, James Brolin, Timothy Dalton, and Ian Ogilvy. However, by 23 July 1980, both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Moore would star in the film, making his fifth appearance as Bond.

Although an accomplished cross-country skier, Roger Moore wasn't insured to do any downhill skiing. Willy Bogner handled all the skiing for him. Any closeups with Moore were done with him strapped to a sled pulled downhill, while Bognor skied backwards while operating the camera. Moore tried to learn downhill skiing in Gstaad. His children had school afternoons there and were embarrassed that he kept falling over. But he eventually became quite reasonable at it.

The close-ups of Carole Bouquet (“Melina Havelock”) and Roger Moore for the underwater scenes were actually filmed out of the water, in slow motion, in a studio with a wind fan to produce the effect of floating hair. The bubbles were added in later. 

Roger Moore's vertigo made the rock-face climax especially hard to do. Moore said that he took a small amount of Valium and drank a tall glass of beer before some of the scary climbing sequences which helped him through the close-up shots. Stunt-man Rick Sylvester performed most of the work. Moore only had to dangle over a 4-foot drop, while Sylvester dangled over a 20-foot drop.

Roger Moore hated the final scene with Margaret Thatcher. He felt it didn't suit the serious tone of the rest of the film. He also didn't like getting a clue about the ATAC from a parrot. Moore thought it the type of silliness his Bond films were usually criticized for being. On the other hand, Moore was not happy about the scene where he cold-bloodedly kills “Locque” (Michael Gothard) by pushing his teetering car off a cliff. Although Moore acknowledged that this was a Bond thing to do, he didn't feel that it was a Roger Moore Bond thing to do. Writer Michael G. Wilson said that he and Richard Maibaum, along with director John Glen, toyed with other ideas surrounding that scene, but ultimately everyone, even Moore, agreed to do the scene as originally written.

John Glen made his feature film directing debut on FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. Glen had previously worked on several James Bond films as a second unit director. Reportedly, it was more tax problems that prevented John Barry from returning to England to score the film. This time, Bill Conti got the nod. The producers wanted Debbie Harry to perform the title song, and her band wrote a song titled "For Your Eyes Only." But when they discovered the producers wanted them to record Bill Conti's song instead, they declined the offer. The Harry song appears on the 1982 album "The Hunter." Bill Conti’s score was released on a Liberty LP. An expanded version was issued by Rykodisc in 2000, and most recently by Capitol/EMI in 2003.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was released 26 June 1981 in 1,000 U.S. theaters, making it the largest debut of any James Bond film in United Artists’ history. The film grossed $17 million in its first ten days of release and more than $37 million after six weeks in approximately 2,500 engagements. Nevertheless, the 16 September 1981 Village Voice listed the film as a “disappointment in relation to costs,” noting the film’s budget was $25 million. By 1998, in a Hollywood Reporter list of “worldwide box-office and domestic video units” of James Bond films, the total worldwide box-office of FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was $195.3 million, with domestic video units at 537,628.

Roger Moore’s contract to play James Bond had ended with the completion of MOONRAKER (1979), but he had agreed to return to the role one more time in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981). Two years later, the producers felt that at 55, Moore was too old to play Bond again. During casting for 1983’s OCTOPUSSY, James Brolin was almost given the role of James Bond, but at the last minute, Moore agreed to play Bond again. (Brolin's screen tests can be seen on the DVD.) The production went with Moore because this film would be competing with NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1983) starring the original and former James Bond actor and legend Sean Connery. The uncertainty in using an American actor in the role and having to introduce a new actor in going-up against Connery were the reasons for sticking with Moore. Barbara Parkins auditioned and was considered for the role of “Octopussy” before Maud Adams was cast. Parkins previously starred with Moore in SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (1976).

Most of the crew as well as Roger Moore had diet problems while shooting in India. During filming, Moore was misdiagnosed with heart problems. When he got home, Maud Adams had her boyfriend who was a doctor give him a second opinion. He pronounced Moore medically fit.

John Glen directed his second consecutive Bond film. John Barry returned to scoring duties, with the film’s soundtrack being released by A&M Records. The most recent release was by Capitol/EMI in 2003.

Roger Moore made a cameo appearance in 1983’s CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER. The film was produced after the death of Peter Sellers. In the film, “Inspector Clouseau” disappears, and the Surete sends the world's second best detective, “Sergeant Clifton Sleigh” (Ted Waas) to look for him. Moore played “Inspector Clouseau,” but he was credited onscreen with the pseudonym “Turk Thrust II.” The alias was a reference to the first “Pink Panther” sequel, A SHOT IN THE DARK (1964), in which actor Bryan Forbes (a friend of Moore’s) was credited onscreen as “Turk Thrust.” When Clifton Sleigh finally meets Clouseau, he is awe-struck by Clouseau’s resemblance to actor Roger Moore. Moore received a “Special Guest Star” credit.

Roger Moore's scenes were filmed all in one day outside London at the same time OCTOPUSSY was being filmed. This was the fourth and final film in which both David Niven and Roger Moore appeared, although they shared no scenes together. Blake Edwards directed, and Henry Mancini's score was finally released by Quartet in 2010.

Roger Moore said that he decided to end his run as James Bond after 1985’s A VIEW TO A KILL when he realized that co-star Tanya Roberts' mother was younger than he was. However, producer Albert R. Broccoli said he wanted a younger actor for the next film and would not have kept Moore as Bond anyway. Broccoli felt that retaining Moore even for this film had been a mistake. Moore turned 57 during filming, making him the oldest actor to play Bond. Sean Connery was 52 in NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. Contrary to what some sources have said, Moore was never offered another Bond film after this one. Patrick Macnee got the role of “Sir Godfrey Tibbet” because he wanted to be in a Bond movie, and also because he and Roger Moore were the best of friends.

Moore said that A VIEW TO A KILL is definitely his least favorite Bond movie of the seven he starred in, mainly because of the increased violence, but also because he felt he was too old for the part. Moore had some cosmetic surgery before filming began, and his hair reportedly had to be thickened every day during filming, although it is widely believed he wore a toupee for the film. As confirmed in his autobiography, he also felt there was no chemistry between himself and Tanya Roberts, and he had a genuine dislike of Grace Jones. According to Moore, Jones had a black dildo with her during the bed scene between “May Day” and James Bond.

When “Stacey” (Tanya Roberts) comes out of the shack in Silicon Valley wearing a pair of coveralls, Bond comments "Pity you couldn't find one that fits" and Stacey gives him a dirty look. This line was not in the script. Roger Moore ad-libbed the line, and Tanya Roberts' reaction was genuine. Roberts had refused to film the scene until the wardrobe department made her a pair of custom-fitted coveralls that would look flattering on her. And, because she was so difficult to work with, director John Glen decided to leave the comment in.

The Remy-Julienne Stunt Team from France did many of the vehicle stunts in the movie, but in the San Francisco segment, in a scene in which Roger Moore was supposed to be driving a fire truck, the stunt driver was too short to reach the pedals and properly operate the truck. There wasn't much time to 'rig' the truck, so Moore volunteered to drive it himself, quite expertly as noted by the local San Francisco Teamsters. Moore claims he was a lorry driver among other things before his acting paid the bills.

The final scenes for Lois Maxwell and Roger Moore each make reference to their end with the series. Maxwell's last scene as “Moneypenny” shows her in tears, while Moore's last scene as Bond has him, quite literally, throwing in the towel.

A VIEW TO A KILL was director John Glen’s third consecutive Bond film. The $30 million production earned $156 million worldwide. John Barry’s score was released on a Capitol Records LP, with its most recent CD incarnation coming from Capitol/EMI in 2003.

Roger Moore's character introduces himself as "Dobbs. Lord Dobbs." in 1996's THE QUEST. The film is the story of a martial arts competition. Jean-Claude Van Damme plays "Chris Dubois," a street criminal in New York, circa 1925. Moore plays a con man/pirate who rescues Chris from a freighter, where he's held as a slave. 

Roger Moore was promised "above the title" billing on the posters and the film by the producers, but was shocked to see his name was further down in the credits. Jean-Claude Van Damme asked Oliver Stone to direct the film, but Stone politely declined. So, Van Damme directed the film himself, making his directorial debut.

Moore stated that the film was a disorganized production that was running out of money due to poor preparation. He credits Second Unit Director Peter MacDonald for bringing it all together. Consequently, this was Roger Moore's least favorite of his own films. Producer Moshe Diamant was hoping to get Moore back to work on another of his productions, but Moore declined, after having a difficult time working on this film.

Randy Edelman's score was released by Varese Sarabande.

Roger Moore did not make an appearance in the 1997 feature film reboot of THE SAINT, which starred Val Kilmer as Simon Templar. But Moore's voice was heard as an announcer on a car radio.

--------------------------------------------------------

SPICE WORLD was a promotional film that followed the (then) world famous pop group The Spice Girls as they zip around London in their luxurious double-decker tour bus having various adventures and performing for their fans.

Roger Moore played the "Chief", who is presumably the Big Boss of the Spice Girls. In a spoof of movie villains, we only see him on the phone with "Clifford" the manager (Richard E. Grant), and every time we do he is stroking, in pure Bond Villain (or Dr Evil) fashion, a small white animal on his lap. But every time you see him, he has a different animal; first it's a cat, then a rabbit, a tiny white pig etc. The Chief also makes pseudo-profound pronouncements such as: "When the rabbit of chaos is pursued by the ferret of disorder through the fields of anarchy, it is time to hang your pants on the hook of darkness. Whether they're clean or not." and: "The headless chicken can only know where he's been. He can't see where he's going. Do not be that chicken."

Roger Moore had never heard of the Spice Girls when they approached him to be in the film. Moore filmed his long cameo in a single day. He was highly appreciative of Richard E. Grant for showing up onset on his day off to feed him lines during their telephone conversations. Victoria Beckham asked Moore for a signed photo. 

The 1997 film was directed by Bob Spiers. None of Paul Hardcastle's score appeared on the song-score CD released by Virgin Records.

Roger Moore received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7007 Hollywood Boulevard on 11 October 2007. Although he did not win any major awards during his career, he was universally beloved. Thanks, Roger, for being our Simon Templar, James Bond, Beau Maverick, and Lord Brett Sinclair.

 

B.D.