The Spy who Loved Me
Der Spion der mich liebte
Albert R. Broccoli for EON Productions, Danjaq/United Artists
directed by Lewis Gilbert
starring Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curd Jürgens, Richard Kiel, Caroline Munro, Walter Gotell, Geoffrey Keen, Bernard Lee, George Baker, Michael Billington, Olga Bisera, Desmond Llewelyn, Edward de Souza, Vernon Dobtcheff, Valerie Leon, Lois Maxwell, Sydney Tafler, Nadim Sawalha, Sue Vanner, Eva Reuber-Staier, Robert Brown, Marilyn Galsworthy, Milton Reid, Cyril Shaps, Milo Sperber, Albert Moses, Rafiq Anwar, Felicity York, Dawn Rodrigues, Anika Pavel, Jill Goodall, Shane Rimmer, Bryan Marshall, George Roubicek, Lenny Rabin
screenplay by Christopher Wood, Richard Maibaum, based on the novel by Ian Fleming, music by Marvin Hamlish, theme by John Barry, theme song sung by Carly Simon, special effects by John Evans, visual effects by Derek Meddings, production design by Ken Adams, ski sequences supervised by Willy Bogner
James Bond, James Bond (Roger Moore), EON's James Bond, Jaws (Richard Kiel)
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British Secret Service man James Bond (Roger Moore) and Russian
KGB-agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) are both sent to Cairo to get their
hands on a microfilm containing the plans for a submarine tracking device,
and even though they know they work on oppo0site sides, they feel
immediately attracted to each other, even save each others lives when they
are pursued by killer Jaws (Richard Kiel). They use every trick in the
book though to trick the other out of the microfilm, and ultimately, Bond
loses it thanks to the woman's charms. Once in his Egyptian headquarters
though, Bond learns he has to work together with Anya, to save the world
from a major threat to both the Western and the Eastern hemisphere,
Stromberg (Curd Jürgens), a marine biologist who has become megalomaniac
and now wants to erradicate the surface world to start humankind anew on
the bottom of the Ocean.
Bond and Anja make it to Stromberg's homebase
undercover, posing as a couple of fellow marine biologists, but he has
long found out their identity and sends a bunch of killers after them -
which Bond is only able to shake thanks to his amphibian car.
and Anya board a submarine that will act as bait for Stromberg - and sure
enough it's picked up by Stromberg's tracking device and virtually
swallowed up by his tanker. After deliberating himself about his evil
plans - to bomb both New York and Moscow and that way start World War III
- Stromberg takes Anya with him to his underwater city while putting Bond
with his other prisoners on the tanker - in other words, leaving it upon
Bond to save the world. Of course, Bond succeeds in doing that with ease,
simply using both the submarines which were supposed to bomb New York and
Moscow to instead bomb each other to Kingdom Come. Then though, he can't
resist saving Anya as well, even though Anya has in the meantime promised
to kill him after the mission is over because he has killed the spy who
loved her on a previous mission.
However, despite pressing time (the
underwater city will be blown up in a mere hour), Bond manages to kill
Stromberg, save Anya, make it into a n escape pod with her, and utlimately
they (of course) end up making love, not war ...
Caroline Munro plays
Stromberg's right-hand woman, who is able to divert Bond's attention from
Anya by wearing a revealing bikini, but is eventually killed by him in an
exciting helicopter vs car-chase.
Certainly one of the best
films of Roger Moore's run as James Bond. Sure, it pales in
comparison to Dr. No or in fact most
of Connery's Bonds, but it works as a slightly simplistic
escapist espionage adventure set in mostly exotic locale, features some
great miniature effects and some impressive production design by Ken
Adams, plenty of well-conceived action, beautiful girls, a good villain,
and Richard Kiel as a fun secondary baddie (who actually made it in the
next film of the series, Moonraker). Also, Roger Moore gives one of
his more decent performances, even if the subtleties of the subplot (him
being in love with the fiancée of a man whom he killed and who now wants
to kill him) are somewhat lost on him, but even though this subplot gave
the film its title, it's next to immaterial to the main narrative.
great maybe, but great, escapist fun.