James Bond teams up with a KGB agent to unravel
the disappearance of two nuclear submarines.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Directed by Lewis Gilbert
Written by Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum
Starring Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curt Jurgens,
Richard Kiel, Caroline Munro, Walter Gotell,
Bernard Lee, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell
Sequel to 1974's The Man with the Golden Gun
Based on the novel by Ian Fleming
Oscar Nominations - Best Art Direction, Best Original Score (Marvin Hamlisch), Best Original Song (Nobody Does It Better)
The Spy Who Loved Me is one of Roger Moore's best entrys in the franchise, mostly because of the impeccable chemistry between Moore and Barbara Bach as his KGB equivalent Anya Amasova. Upon a recent viewing, I was more drawn into the film than I ever have been. It's got all the elements of a great Bond film. A crazy, intimidating villain in Karl Stromberg, an imposing henchman in Jaws, and some wildly exciting action sequences that scream 70's 007.
The Spy Who Loved Me deals with Cold War-era friction between England and Russia, with Stromberg stealing a submarine from both countries so he can access the nuclear bombs onboard. The film works because it forces both governments to work together, sending their best agents into the fray. Barbara Bach cements her place as one of the best Bond girls, as she is every bit as witty and resourceful as Bond himself, a definite first for the franchise. Then, of course, there's Richard Kiel's unforgettable turn as Jaws, the unstoppable henchman with metal teeth. It's just the right bit of campy mixed with the perfect bit of serious, before Moonraker went all out with the former.
It's taken me a few tries to appreciate this one, but now I think I finally get it. While Stromberg's plot to destroy the world and start life anew underwater is Austin Powers-eque ridiculous, he's still a dangerous and intimidating foe who has some memorable moments. The Spy Who Loved Me may not be 007's greatest adventure, but it's in Roger Moore's Top 3, which is still a pretty decent place to be.
I found this to be a lesser effort of the Roger Moore Bond films. The plot was quite original and interesting for the most part. Roger Moore was still great as Bond. The biggest problem had to do with the main villain, Karl Stromberg. He was boring, not threatening at all, and his plan for the most part wasn't all that great great. His henchman Jaws, however, was awesome and should have been the main villain. He was imposing and a constant threat. While this film had the potential, the villain is what brought it down.