The Spy Who Loved Me (film)

The Spy Who Loved Me (film)

Infobox_Film_Bond | name = The Spy Who Loved Me

caption = "The Spy Who Loved Me" film poster by Bob Peak
bond = Roger Moore
stars = Barbara Bach
Curd Jürgens
Richard Kiel
writer = Christopher Wood
cinematography = Claude Renoir
screenplay = Christopher Wood,
Richard Maibaum
director = Lewis Gilbert
producer = Albert R. Broccoli,
William P. Cartlidge
music = Marvin Hamlisch
main theme = Nobody Does It Better
composer = Marvin Hamlisch
Carole Bayer Sager (lyrics)
performer = Carly Simon
editing = John Glen
distributor = United Artists
released = July 7, 1977 (UK)
July 13, 1977 (USA)
runtime = 125 min.
country = UK
preceded_by = The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
followed_by = Moonraker (1979)
budget = $14,000,000
worldgross = $185,400,000
admissions = 83.1 million
imdb_id = 0076752

"The Spy Who Loved Me", released in 1977, is the 10th film in the James Bond series and the third to star Roger Moore as MI6 agent James Bond. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert and the screenplay was written by Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum. The film takes its title from the tenth novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series, though as Ian Fleming requested that only the title of the novel be used, the film does not contain any elements of the novel "The Spy Who Loved Me". [cite web |title=Overview of The Spy Who Loved Me |url= |accessdate=2007-08-07] The storyline involves a reclusive megalomaniac named Stromberg who plans to destroy the world and create a new civilization under the sea. Bond teams up with a Russian agent Anya Amasova to stop Stromberg.

"The Spy Who Loved Me" film was highly acclaimed by critics.cite web |title=The Spy Who Loved Me |accessdate=2007-08-29 |url=] The soundtrack, composed by Marvin Hamlisch also met tremendous success. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards amidst many other nominations and subsequently novelised in 1977 by Christopher Wood as "James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me".


Ballistic missile submarines from the Royal Navy and the Soviet fleet are stolen in an attempt to launch their nuclear weapons at targets around the globe. Elsewhere in Austria, Bond escapes an ambush by Soviet agents, killing one of them in a downhill ski chase that concludes when he skis off a cliff and falls only to open a Union Jack parachute. On returning, Bond learns that someone is trying to sell the plans of a highly advanced submarine tracking system to the highest bidder. He travels to Egypt, where he is assisted by a sheik who was a fellow student at Cambridge. The following day, he attempts to contact the prospective seller near the pyramids and first encounters Major Anya Amasova of the Soviet Army (codename "Triple X"), who becomes a rival in his search for the plans. Together, they travel across Egypt tracking the microfilm plans to Luxor, and facing encounters with a 7 foot plus tall steel-toothed henchman Jaws along the way, and down the Nile River. Ultimately, they partner due to a truce supported by their respective superiors at Abu Simbel and identify the person behind all the thefts as Karl Stromberg, a shipping tycoon.

Bond and Amasova travel to Stromberg's base in Sardinia. In a train on their way, Bond saves Amasova as she is attacked by Stromberg's henchman, Jaws — finally, their rivalry changes into affection. Posing as a marine biologist and his wife, they visit Stromberg's base and discover that he has a mysterious new supertanker, the "Liparus". After they leave the base, Jaws and other armed men, including a helicopter pilot named Naomi, chase them, but all attempts fail due to Bond's driving skills and the fact that his car – a Lotus Esprit from Q Branch – can convert into a submarine. Jaws retreats once again while Naomi and her other allies are killed. Some time later, Amasova learns Bond had killed her lover in Austria. She says that she will complete the mission with him, but kill him when it ends.

Assisted by an American submarine, Bond and Amasova examine Stromberg's Atlantis base and confirm that he is operating the tracking system. The submarine in which they then attempt to pursue the "Liparus" is captured by the supertanker. Stromberg begins to set his plan in motion; the launching of nuclear missiles from the previously captured submarines to destroy Moscow and New York City. This would trigger a global nuclear war, which Stromberg would outlive in his underwater hideout "Atlantis", and subsequently a new civilisation would be established. Accordingly, he sets off to Atlantis, taking Amasova with him.Bond stealthily opens Stromberg's weapon store-room and in no time, a huge battle ensues aboard the "Liparus" between its crew and the captured British, Russian, and American naval crews. With the help of the American submarine captain Bond is able to reprogramme the British and Soviet submarines to launch their missiles on each other, saving Moscow and New York. The captured Naval personnel defeats Stromberg's crew and then sinks the "Liparus".

Bond insists on a final confrontation with Stromberg and the rescue of Amasova before the navy has to follow its orders and destroy "Atlantis." Bond prevents himself from falling into a shark's tank inside Atlantis and finally confronts Stromberg in a dining room. He shoots Stromberg from beneath the table, but soon encounters Jaws. After a tough fight, Bond lifts Jaws using an electromagnet (which attracts Jaws' metal teeth), dropping him into a tank with a shark inside., much to the consternation of their superiors, M and Gogol. Nearby, Jaws kills the shark and swims away from "Atlantis."


*Roger Moore as James Bond (007): A British MI6 agent assigned to investigate the theft of two submarines.
*Barbara Bach as Anya Amasova (Agent Triple X): A Soviet KGB agent also investigating the theft. Her attraction to Bond is cut short when she learns he killed her lover.
*Curt Jürgens as Karl Stromberg: A megalomaniac planning to trigger World War III and destroy the world, then recreate a human settlement underwater.
*Richard Kiel as Jaws: Stromberg's henchman, afflicted by giantism. He makes repeated attempts to kill Bond and Amasova by biting them with his metal teeth.
*Caroline Munro as Naomi: Stromberg's personal pilot.
*Bernard Lee as M: The head of MI6.
*Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny: M's secretary.
*Desmond Llewelyn as Q: MI6's head of research and development. He supplies Bond with unique vehicles and gadgets, most notably the Lotus Esprit that converts into a submarine.
*Geoffrey Keen as Fredrick Gray: The British Minister of Defence.
*Walter Gotell as General Gogol: The head of KGB and Anya's boss.


"The Spy Who Loved Me" in many ways was a pivotal film for the Bond franchise, and was plagued since its conception by many problems. The first was the departure of Bond producer Harry Saltzman, who was forced to sell his half of the Bond film franchise in 1975 for twenty million pounds. Saltzman had branched out into several other ventures of dubious promise and consequently was struggling through personal financial reversals unrelated to Bond. This was exacerbated by the twin personal tragedies of his wife's terminal cancer (who Roger Moore recalls passing during the filming phase of this film's production cycle) and many of the symptoms of clinical depression in himself. [cite video
people =
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title = Harry Saltzman SHOWMAN
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medium = Television documentary
publisher = MGM
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accessyear = 2007
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Another troubling aspect to the production was the difficulty in obtaining a director. The producers approached Steven Spielberg, who was in post production of "Jaws", but ultimately decided to wait to see 'how the fish picture turns out'. The first director attached to the film was Guy Hamilton, who directed the previous three Bond films as well as "Goldfinger", but he left after being offered the opportunity to direct the 1978 film "Superman" (he was ultimately passed up for Richard Donner). EON Productions would later turn to Lewis Gilbert, who had directed the earlier Bond film "You Only Live Twice".

With a director finally secured, the next hurdle was finishing the script, which had gone through several revisions by numerous writers. The initial villain of the film was Ernst Stavro Blofeld; however Kevin McClory, who owned the film rights to "Thunderball" forced an injunction on EON Productions against using the character of Blofeld, or his international criminal organization, SPECTRE, which delayed production of the film further. The villain would later be changed from Blofeld to Karl Stromberg so that the injunction would not interfere with the production. Christopher Wood was later brought in by Lewis Gilbert to complete the script. Although Fleming had requested no elements from his original book be used, the novel features a thug named Sol Horror, who is described as having steel-capped teeth. This character would be the basis for the character of Jaws.


Broccoli commissioned a number of writers to work on the script, including Stirling Silliphant, John Landis, Ronald Hardy, Anthony Burgess, and Derek Marlowe. In the second volume of his autobiography, Burgess claims to have worked on an early treatment for the movie. Eventually, Richard Maibaum provided the screenplay and at first, he tried to incorporate ideas from all of the other writers into his script. Maibaum's original script featured an alliance of international terrorists attacking SPECTRE's headquarters and deposing Blofeld before trying to destroy the world for themselves to make way for a New World Order. However, this was shelved.

Meanwhile, Guy Hamilton who had overseen the previous three Bond films who was originally assigned to direct "The Spy Who Loved Me", decided he wanted to direct "Superman" (1978). This left the way open for Lewis Gilbert to return for direction, a decade after his success with "You Only Live Twice" in 1967. When he read Maibaum's script he recommended Broccoli bring in another writer, Christopher Wood, to have a go at polishing it but keeping both the notion of a supertanker that captured other ships and a new metal-toothed villain, Jaws.

Wood's proposed changes to Maibaum's draft script were agreed by Broccoli but before he could set to work there were more legal complications. In the years since "Thunderball" (1965), Kevin McClory had set up two film companies and was trying to make a new Bond film in collaboration with Sean Connery and novelist Len Deighton. McClory got wind of Broccoli's plans to use SPECTRE, an organisation that had first been created by Fleming while working with McClory and Jack Whittingham on the very first attempt to film "Thunderball", back even before it was a novel, in the late 1950s. McClory threatened to sue Broccoli for alleged copyright infringement, claiming that he had the sole right to include SPECTRE and its agents in all films. Not wishing to extend the already ongoing legal dispute that could have delayed the production of "The Spy Who Loved Me", Broccoli requested Wood to remove all references to Blofeld and SPECTRE from the script. [ cite web | url= | title=The Spy Who Loved Me: Script History | accessdate=2007-09-03 ]

In the film, Stromberg's scheme to destroy civilization by capturing Soviet and British nuclear submarines and have them fire intercontinental ballistic missiles at two major cities is actually a recycled plot from a previous Bond film, "You Only Live Twice", which was similar in that by stealing space capsules it would start a war between the Soviets and the Americans. The idea of commandeering nuclear missiles and threatening to fire them at two major cities likewise recalls the plot of "Thunderball". The scheme in which the villain wishes to destroy mankind to create a new race or new civilization was also used in "Moonraker", the next film after "The Spy Who Loved Me". In "Moonraker", the villain Hugo Drax had an obsession with starting human civilization over in space. The film "Moonraker" was also written by Christopher Wood.


The film was shot at the Pinewood Studios in London, Porto Cervo in Sardinia (Hotel Cala di Volpe), Egypt (Mosque of Ibn Tulun, Gayer-Anderson Museum), Malta, Scotland, Okinawa, Switzerland and Mount Asgard on Baffin Island in the then northern Canadian territory of Northwest territories (now located in Nunavut).

In March 1976, construction began of a new sound stage at Pinewood, the 007 Stage. To complement this stage, EON also paid for the building a water tank in capable of storing approximately 1,200,000 gallons (4,500,000 liters). The soundstage was in fact so enormous that celebrated director Stanley Kubrick visited the production, in secret, to advise on how to light the stage. cite web | title=Production Of The Spy Who Loved Me
url= | date=2007-07-08 | accessdate=2007-08-29

The main unit began its work in August 1976, travelling first to Sardinia and later to Egypt for some of the film's early scenes. While in Sardinia, Moore drove the first of two Lotus Esprits that were to feature in the film. The second specially modified model was unveiled by Ken Adam and Derek Meddings in October when the second unit, travelled to Nassau to film the underwater sequences. The main feature of the car was the ability to transform into a submarine. Once transformed it could unleash depth charges and smoke screens. The car seen entering the sea was a shell, propelled off the jetty by a compressed air cannon. The car was registered as PPW 306R. Only two cars of the type were available, and so the production had to requisition the Esprit from Colin Chapman, the head of the Lotus Company." [ cite web | title=The Making Of The Spy Who Loved Me
url= | date=2007-07-08 | accessdate=2007-08-26
] Next on the schedule was the filming of Richard Kiel's first scenes as Jaws from September 5, 1976 onwards. [ cite web | title=This Month in Bond History: September | url= | date=2007-09-01 | accessdate=2007-09- 03 ]

While construction of the "Liparus" set continued, the second unit headed by John Glen departed for Mount Asgard where in July 1976 they staged the film's pre-credits sequence. Bond film veteran Willy Bogner captured the action staged by stuntman Rick Sylvester who earned $30,000 for the stunt. [cite episode | title=Episode No. 4 | series=Main Hoon Bond | network=Star Gold | season=1 | number=4 ] This stunt cost $500,000 - the most expensive single movie stunt at that time.

The production team returned briefly to the UK to shoot at the Faslane submarine base before setting off to Spain, Portugal and the Bay of Biscay where the super tanker exteriors were filmed. On 5 December 1976, with principal photography finished, the 007 Stage was formally opened by the former Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

As stated on the most recent (2007) DVD commentary, a saltwater swimming pool, including a live shark, was used for Stromberg's shark tank. This footage was filmed in the Bahamas along with stunt doubles.


The theme song "Nobody Does it Better" composed by Marvin Hamlisch, written by Carole Bayer Sager, and performed by Carly Simon. It was the first theme song in the James Bond series to be titled differently than the name of the movie, [ cite web | url= | title=Music (The Spy Who Loved Me) | accessdate=2007-08-29 ] although the title is in the lyric.

The song met immediate success and is featured in numerous movies including "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (2005), "Little Black Book" (2004), "Lost in Translation" and "" (2004). In 2004, it was honoured by the American Film Institute as the 67th greatest song as part of their 100 Years Series.

The soundtrack to the movie was composed by Marvin Hamlisch, who filled in for veteran John Barry due to his being unavailable for work in the United Kingdom due to tax reasons. The soundtrack, in comparison to other Bond films of the time, is more disco-oriented and included a new disco rendition of The James Bond Theme entitled "Bond 77". In addition, Hamlisch incorporated into his score several pieces of classical music. For instance while feeding a duplicitous secretary to a shark, Stromberg plays Bach's "Air on the G String", that was famous for accompanying disaster-prone characters. He then plays the opening string section of the second movement, Andante, of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 'Elvira Madigan' as his hideout "Atlantis" rises from the sea.

Release and reception

"The Spy Who Loved Me" opened with a Royal Premiere, attended by Princess Anne, at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on 7 July 1977 (i.e., 7.7.77). It grossed $185.4million worldwide, [ cite web | title=The Spy Who Loved Me | accessdate=2007-08-29 | url= ] with $46 million in the United States alone. [ cite web | title= The Spy Who Loved Me at Box Office Mojo |url= | accessdate=2007-08-27 ] On August 25, 2006, the film was re-released at the Empire Leicester Square Cinema for one week. [ cite web | title="The Spy Who Loved Me" screening at Empire Leicester Square Cinema | url= | accessdate=2007-08-07 ] It was again shown at the Empire Leicester Square 20 April 2008 when Director Lewis Gilbert attended the first digital screening of the film.

The film was received positively by most critics and is considered by some the best James Bond film to star Roger Moore. Christopher Null praised the gadgets, particularly the Lotus Esprit car. [ cite web | title=The Spy Who Loved Me | accessdate=2007-08-29 | url= ] James Berardinelli of Reelviews said that the film is "suave and sophisticated", and Barbara Bach proves to be an ideal Bond girl — "attractive, smart, sexy, and dangerous". [ cite web | title=The Spy Who Loved Me: Film Review by James Berardinelli | accessdate=2007-08-29 | url= ] Brian Webster stated the special effects as "good for a 1979 [sic] film", and Marvin Hamlisch’s music, "memorable". [ cite web | title=The Spy Who Loved Me at the Apollo Movie Guide | accessdate=2007-08-29 | url= ] "The Times" placed Jaws and Stromberg as the sixth and seventh best Bond villains (respectively) in the series in 2008, [cite news | author = Brendan Plant | title = Top 10 Bond villains | publisher = The Times | date = 2008-04-01 | url = | accessdate=2008-04-03] and also named the Espirit as the second best car in the series (behind the Aston Martin DB5). [cite news | author = Brendan Plant | title = Top 10 Bond cars | publisher = The Times | date = 2008-04-01 | url = | accessdate=2008-04-03]

Marvin Hamlisch was nominated for several awards such as the Academy Award for Best Song, Original Music Score, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score,Grammy Award for Best Score for a Motion Picture and the BAFTA Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music ("Nobody Does It Better") in 1978. Additionally, Ken Adam was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction and BAFTA for Best Production Design/Art Direction


When Ian Fleming sold the film rights to the James Bond novels to Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli, he gave permission only for the title "The Spy Who Loved Me" to be used. Since the screenplay for the film had nothing to do with Fleming's original novel, Glidrose Publications, for the first time, authorised that a novelization be written based upon the script. This would also be the first regular Bond novel published since "Colonel Sun" nearly a decade earlier. Christopher Wood, who co-authored the screenplay, was commissioned to write the book titled "James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me".

The novelisation and the screenplay, although both written by Wood, are somewhat different. In the novelisation SMERSH is still active and after James Bond. Their role begins during the pre-title. After the mysterious death of Fekkish, SMERSH appears yet again, this time capturing and torturing Bond for the whereabouts of the microfilm that retains plans for a submarine tracking system (Bond escapes after killing two of the interrogators). The appearance of SMERSH conflicts with a number of Bond stories, including the film "The Living Daylights" (1987), in which a character remarks that SMERSH has been defunct for over 20 years. It also differs from the latter half of Fleming's Bond novels in which SMERSH is mentioned to have been put out of operation. Members of SMERSH from the novelization include Amasova and her lover Sergei Borzov as well as Colonel-General Niktin, a character from Fleming's novel "From Russia with Love" who has since become the head of SMERSH. In the book, Jaws remains attached to the magnet that Bond dips into the tank, as opposed to the film where Bond releases Jaws into the water. [cite book | author = Wood, Christopher | year = 1977 | title = James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me | publisher = Glidrose Publications | id = ISBN 0-446-84544-2| quote =Now both hands were tearing at the magnet, and Jaws twisted furiously like a fish on the hook. As Bond watched in fascinated horror, a relentless triangle streaked up behind the stricken giant. A huge gray force launched itself through the wild water, and two rows of white teeth closed around the threshing flesh. ]

ee also

*, a 2002 video game featuring the Atlantis setting from this film.
*sQuba, a submersible car inspired by the movie. [ Rinspeed sQuba] ]



*cite book |title= James Bond, The Spy I Loved|last= Wood|first= Christopher|authorlink= Christopher Wood|year= 2006|publisher= Twenty First Century Publishers|isbn= 1904433537

External links

* [ MGM's official site for the film]
*imdb title|id=0076752|title=The Spy Who Loved Me
*amg movie|id=1:46311|title=The Spy Who Loved Me
*rotten-tomatoes|id=spy_who_loved_me|title=The Spy Who Loved Me
*mojo title|id=spywholovedme|title=The Spy Who Loved Me

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