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Film | by Shane “The Moonraker” Hnetka

The Godfather turns 45 this year and to celebrate, it’s getting a limited release in theatres. Sadly, by the time you read this both screenings will have happened. Of course, there are other ways to watch Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece. If you haven’t seen The Godfather, you probably should. They don’t make movies like that anymore.

R.I.P. Roger Moore

Sadly, Roger Moore has passed away at the age of 89 after battling cancer. Moore played James Bond in seven films from 1973 to 1985, the longest run of any actor. Sean Connery was the first (and more classic) Bond, but Moore brought class and fun to the franchise. The movies might have gotten sillier with him, but they were usually excellent and entertaining.

Roger Moore played a similar character, Simon Templar — a.k.a. the Saint — for several seasons on TV. The Saint, a Robin Hood type who stole from criminals, first appeared in Leslie Charteris novels. Several Saint movies were made over the years but it’s Moore’s 1960s TV show that most people remember.

One of Moore’s movies before Bond was a nice, creepy film about an evil doppelganger called The Man Who Haunted Himself. It’s mostly forgotten but it’s pretty good — and Moore actually acts in it, instead of relying on his charm.

For Your Eyes Only

My favourite Roger Moore Bond is 1981’s For Your Eyes Only. Based on two of Ian Fleming’s short stories, the movie takes the Bond formula — supervillain threatens world from secret lair, the plot of every 007 movie all the way back to Thunderball — and tweaks it. This bad guy is merely selling a decoding device to the Russians. And the main bad guy’s identity isn’t even clear until half way through the movie.

Also, the Bond girl, played by Carole Bouquet, is badass — Bond meets her after she kills the man he was supposed to get information out of.

For Your Eyes Only is still a Bond movie, but it’s different enough to be interesting, and it’s easily Moore’s best. Octopussy and The Spy Who Loved Me are my next two favourites.

Moore also memorably parodied his Bond image in The Cannonball Run.

After he gave up the Bond role, he only did a few movies. But Roger Moore will always be the first Bond I was introduced to.

Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd.