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Bond Turnaround

August 08, 1987

I must take issue with Sheila Benson's sarcastic, non-review of "The Living Daylights" ("New James Bond at the Same Pop-Pop Stand," July 31).

Though not perfect by any means, this movie is, in my opinion, the best James Bond cinema adventure since 1969. I find it curious that Benson, along with many other film critics, ignored--or failed to see--the remarkable shift that has now occurred in this long-running series.

Timothy Dalton's performance has given us a Bond with greater dimension and closer ties to Ian Fleming's character than that of any of his predecessors. Gone from this script is most of the juvenile, idiotic humor that characterized nearly all of the Roger Moore entries. And it's refreshing to have a sincere, believable performance by the female lead (Maryam d'Abo)--an element sorely lacking from these movies since Diana Rigg graced the Bondian landscape 18 years ago.

There may never again be a Bond film of the caliber of "From Russia With Love" or "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," and it is doubtful any actor will ever take the title from Sean Connery. But credit should be given to these film makers for turning around a film series that had been on a steady decline.

DANNY BIEDERMAN

Encino

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