The Man with the Golden Martini

You know, one of the reasons I even began to get interested in the James Bond movie franchise was Gladys Knight‘s ingenious Licence to Kill theme song. As a child of the former Eastern block we didn’t have much opportunity to get to hear and see any of that, but I vividly remember that we were on a family holiday near Berlin and of course for propagandistic reasons all those Western TV and radio stations were beaming their program with strong antennas into the territory of what was then known as the German Democratic Republic. We were more than happy to oblige and exploited this generously, watching stuff until late at night and having the radio run with those songs all the time. Lucky for us, it didn’t take too long for things to change with the reunification and big turnover, so bit by bit we got to see all those Bond movies, after all.

The ones with Roger Moore have always been a bit of a guilty pleasure in their slightly campy approach to the subject and really hamming things up. Amazingly enough this worked perfectly at the time – they served every cliché, but never took themselves too seriously. A lot of that is indeed owed to Mr. Moore himself and hard as I might try, it’s difficult of anyone else who could have played this British gentleman so tongue-in-cheek without turning it into a complete caricature. While at the advanced age of 93 89 you probably should expect the grim reaper to knock on your door everyday, it’s still sad news that he has now passed away. If I wasn’t a total “no alcohol” person, I’d probably toast to him with a Martini. May he rest in peace!

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