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“Double the Danger! Double the Women!”
Roger Moore was announced as the new James Bond in August 1972 (whilst Diamonds Are Forever was still on general release), but before the world could see his first outing as 007 there was still a chance to see Sean Connery in the role for the last time before the Sixties films were sold to television. Following the release of Diamonds Are Forever a new double-bill of Dr. No/Thunderball played across the UK from May 1972. This pairing did not play at the London Pavilion as the two films had been screened as part of the Sean Connery season in February/March 1972. A later double-bill of Dr. No/Goldfinger was also played across the UK throughout 1974 before the release of The Man With The Golden Gun - the pair had been successfully re-released in the United States in 1966. No quad-crown poster was created for the UK release, but cinemas could order the double-crown posters from the National Screen Service for each film to create their own foyer displays. Throughout the early 1970s all of Sean Connery's Bond films could either be seen on double-bills with Clint Eastwood westerns or another film from the EON series. The Dr.No/Goldfinger double-bill played in many cities under the ‘Big, Brilliant Bondshell!’ banner. The first pair played in Ireland in December 1972, and then across the UK in 1973/74.

Dr. No/Thunderball Odeon Byker, Newcastle 1972

You Only Live Twice/A Fistful of Dollars - Odeon Bournemouth 1971

From Russia With Love/Hang 'Em High double-bill

ABOVE: (top) Dr. No/Thunderball at the Odeon Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The double-bill played in selected regional cinemas from June - December 1972 accompanied by an eye-catching quad-crown poster. (bottom left) You Only Live Twice/A Fistful of Dollars at the Odeon Bournemouth in 1971. You Only Live Twice was also paired with Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969) in some cinemas in 1972. (bottom right) A double-bill of From Russia With Love and Hang ‘Em High (1968) played in provincial cinemas in November/December 1971. During this period some provincial cinemas played the Connery/Eastwood double-bill at evening performances where all customers had to be over 18 to see both films, but also paired the Bond film with another United Artists release in the afternoon with ‘U’ or ‘A’ certificate so that children could be admitted unaccompanied.

 
Live And Let Die Newspaper advertisement

“More Thrills! More Action! More Excitement!”
Live And Let Die
first opened in the USA on June 27, 1973 and was then screened for the UK Press at the Odeon Leicester Square on the morning of Tuesday July 3, 1973. Roger Moore's debut as James Bond had its UK Royal Charity Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square on Thursday July 5th with Roger Moore and Jane Seymour in attendance. The film continued to play at the Odeon Leicester Square until September 12th, and also at the London Pavilion for six weeks from Thursday August 30th. Live And Let Die also played simultaneously at the 2,000-seat Metropole Victoria, and 1,650-seat Astoria Charing Cross Road for a staggering 14 weeks from Thursday August 9, 1973. Like You Only Live Twice (1967) which also had a Summer release, Live and Let Die first played at selected coastal resorts before its general release in mid-August 1973. Roger Moore’s debut was hugely successful at the box-office and grossed half as much again as Diamonds Are Forever. Live And Let Die was re-released in April to July 1974 and played at the 737-seat Odeon St. Martin’s Lane, and then again paired with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service at the London Pavilion from August 22 to September 18, 1974 - one week longer than the usual three-week engagement for double-bills.

Live And Let Die Odeon Leicester Square 1973

ABOVE: (top left) Flyer advertising the opening of Live And Let Die at the Odeon Leicester Square, (top right) Premiere ticket. (centre right) New James Bond Roger Moore and his wife Luisa Mattioli at the premiere (bottom left) The Odeon Leicester Square on premiere night Thursday July 5, 1973 (bottom right) Ticket from the 8.25pm screening of Live And Let Die on July 24, 1973.

Live And Let Die/On Her Majesty's Secret Service London Pavilion 1974

ABOVE: (top left & right) Piccadilly Circus 1973. Live And Let Die played at the London Pavilion from August 30 - October 10, 1973. (bottom) Live And Let Die screened again at the London Pavilion on a double-bill with On Her Majesty's Secret Service for four weeks from Thursday August 22, 1974.

The Man With The Golden Gun newspaper avdertisement
United Artists Office Wardour Street London/The Man With The Golden Gun Premiere Ticket application

“Nobody Does it Better”
In order to capitalise on the success of Live And Let Die, its follow up The Man With The Golden Gun was hastily produced in 1974. Distributor United Artists had their London office in Wardour Street where unique artwork (adapted from a publicity still of Roger Moore used in the promotion of Live And Let Die) was displayed during the production of Roger Moore's second James Bond film, and can be seen briefly in Martin Campbell's 1974 British sex-comedy Eskimo Nell (pictured above). Campbell would later go on to direct GoldenEye (1995) and Casino Royale (2006). The artwork was later utilised on the Premiere Ticket application form. The Man With The Golden Gun then had its Royal Charity Premiere in London at the Odeon Leicester Square on Thursday December 19, where it played until March 16, 1975. The Man With The Golden Gun was on general release across the country concurrently with its initial West End engagement.

The Man Wih The Golden Gun Odeon Leicester Square 1974

The Royal Charity Premiere was again attended by Roger Moore (seen below shaking hands with H.R.H. Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh) and his wife Luisa Mattioli. Also in attendance were co-stars Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Maud Adams, Hervé Villechaize and main title singer Lulu (pictured above). Producers Harry Saltzman & Albert R. Broccoli also attended, although by this point their professional partnership was nearing its end. Roger Moore’s second 007 adventure also played concurrently at the Odeon St. Martin’s Lane from February 13 to March 15, 1975.

The Man With The Golden Gun Premiere 1974
The Man With The Golden Gun box-office

The industry trade paper CinemaTV Today ran a two-page advertisement (above) on Saturday May 10, 1975 celebrating the worldwide success of The Man With The Golden Gun, and announcing the next James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me for a 1976 release. Although ultimately less successful than its predecessor, The Man With The Golden Gun was later re-released twice on double-bills with Live And Let Die in 1975 & 1978, and Moonraker in 1980.

Bond on TV

Bond on TV
The first six James Bond films were sold to ITV in 1974 for a then staggering £850,000. The initial deal allowed each film to be shown only twice, and not exceed a total of two screenings a year. Cinema owners were outraged at the sale, as far as they were concerned the films were still making significant money theatrically. There was a fear that cinemas would be empty on the nights Bond films were on TV...
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