When a massive underwater craft abducts U.S. and Russian submarines, global tensions are heightened to the brink of war. In order to find the true culprit, James Bond (Agent 007) joins forces with beautiful Russian agent Anya Amasova. Together they follow a trail that leads to Karl Stromberg, a powerful shipping magnate who is implementing a horrific scheme for world domination. Bond struggles to foil the plot, but Stromberg has provided him with a most lethal adversary: Jaws, a seemingly indestructible steel-toothed giant. Agent 007's adventure takes him to the Egyptian pyramids, under the sea and to a mountaintop ski chase.
Edward De Souza
Reginald A Barkshire
Albert R. Broccoli
William P. Cartlidge
Gordon K. Mccallum
Carole Bayer Sager
Best Art Direction
The Spy Who Loved Me
The success can be attributed to a number of factors, not least the urbane lightness and self-aware sense of humor Moore brings to the 007 character. Replacing the original Bond, Sean Connery, was always going to be tricky business - just ask George Lazenby, the Australian actor plucked from near obscurity for the first non-Connery release, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), and just as quickly returned to big screen oblivion when fans and critics rejected his approach (an assessment that has since been reevaluated in many quarters). Moore had the advantage of not only being already well-known but having established a suave roguishness with his longtime TV role in The Saint, allowing him to put his own stamp on Bond while staying within audiences' expectations of the master spy.
From the start, the Bond movies had been preposterous in many ways, particularly in some of the "high-tech" weapons and over-the-top action sequences. The Moore pictures often took the improbability even farther while amping up the winking self-mockery. The Spy Who Loved Me, however, downplayed the silliness to a degree and offered one of the most celebrated stunt-driven set pieces in the series' history, a pre-title sequence in which Bond, pursued by Russian agents in the Alps, skis backwards, unleashes a lethal weapon built into his ski pole and flies off the edge of a sheer cliff, freefalling in silence for several seconds before opening a parachute printed with the British Union Jack to the strains of the familiar Bond theme. Despite some tacky rear projection for Moore's close-ups on the slopes, audiences found the sequence thrilling. According to a production company executive, even Prince Charles stood and applauded during a screening he attended.
The story features one of the least ridiculous "Bond Girls," who usually sported cutesy-salacious names like Kissy Suzuki, Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead and the outrageously monikered Octopussy. As Russian agent Anya Amasova/Agent XXX, Barbara Bach (in a role reportedly sought by Catherine Deneuve) goes from capable nemesis to reluctant colleague to ardent lover as she and Bond team up to thwart the plans of a mad shipping tycoon who wants to start a nuclear war between the two superpowers (shades of the earlier You Only Live Twice, 1967) in order to drive Earth's population to live in the underwater city he has developed.
The picture also boasts one of the most memorable and improbable of 007's would-be assassins, the seven-foot Jaws, an apparently indestructible villain so popular that he was brought back for this movie's follow-up, Moonraker (1979). The connection to Steven Spielberg's 1975 blockbuster is no accident. Sporting a mouth full of lethal metal teeth, the character (based on the Ian Fleming source novel's "Horror" Horowitz and renamed for obvious reasons) was supposed to be killed by a shark near the end of the movie, but test audiences liked him so much the situation was reversed and Jaws ends up chomping the animal to death.
Moore's series continued the tradition of popular title tunes begun with From Russia with Love (1963), but "Nobody Does It Better," penned by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager and performed by Carly Simon, was the first not to be titled the same as the film, although it does contain "the spy who loved me" as a line of lyrics. The song was the second Bond theme to be Oscar-nominated (after Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die" from 1973), and like that earlier hit, it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts second only to Duran Duran's #1 song from A View to a Kill (1985).
The opening sequence features The Bond Who Never Was, an actor who was considered for the role numerous times but only managed to be cast as a Russian agent (and Bach's lover) killed by Bond before the credits even roll. British actor Michael Billington (1941-2005) was first spotted as a Connery replacement by United Artists executive Bud Ornstein, but the part went to Lazenby. Harry Saltzman, then producer of the series, looked at footage of Billington's work on the ITV sci-fi series UFO when a new Connery substitute was needed after Lazenby was deemed unsuitable, but nothing came of it. He finally tested for Live and Let Die (1973) but was rejected in favor of the better-known Moore. Whenever the new star balked in salary negotiations with the Bond producers, Billington was tested again, but his role as 007's would-be-killer-turned-victim would be the closest he ever came.
The movie was shot by venerable French cinematographer Claude Renoir, nephew of the great film director Jean Renoir. In the audio commentary for the DVD release, director Lewis Gilbert and others repeated the long-rumored story that because Renoir's failing eyesight made it difficult for him to light the massive supertanker set built for the production, Stanley Kubrick was brought in to supervise the lighting.
The end of the film bears a title announcing 007's expected return in For Your Eyes Only (1981), but due to the popularity of Star Wars (1977) the studio decided to proceed with the space-themed Moonraker instead. That follow-up was an even more massive hit, but The Spy Who Loved Me remained Moore's favorite of all his turns as James Bond.
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Producer: Albert R. Broccoli
Screenplay: Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum, based on characters by Ian Fleming
Cinematography: Claude Renoir
Editing: John Glen
Art Direction: Peter Lamont
Music: Marvin Hamlisch
Cast: Roger Moore (James Bond), Barbara Bach (Anya Amasova/XXX), Curt Jurgens (Stromberg), Richard Kiel (Jaws), Caroline Munro (Naomi)
By Rob Nixon
The Spy Who Loved Me
Well gentlemen, now that the moment has come to bid you farewell, I congratulate both you, Doctor, and you, Professor, on your brilliant work in the development of the submarine tracking system. Thanks primarily to you, I am happy to say that the first phase of our operation has met with considerable success. I have instructed my assistant to be paid into your Swiss bank account the sum of ten million dollars each. And that, I think, concludes our business. Before you go however, I very much regret to inform you that a dangerous development has recently been brought to my notice. Someone has been attempting to sell the plans of our tracking project to competing world powers; someone intimately associated with the project.- Stromberg
Which bullet has my name on it? The first or the last?- James Bond
I have never failed on a mission commander!- Major Anya Amasova
Then one of us is bound to be gravely disappointed, 'cause neither have I.- James Bond
Oh, thanks for deserting me back there.- James Bond
Every woman for herself, remember?- Major Anya Amasova
Well, you did save my life. Thank you.- James Bond
We all make mistakes, Mr. Bond.- Major Anya Amasova
Now I want you to take good care of this equipment.- Q
Have I ever let you down, Q?- James Bond
When one is in Egypt, one should delve deeply into its treasures.- James Bond
The hull number on the sail of the U.S. submarine in Stromberg's supertanker is 593. This is the number of the USS Thresher, lost in 1963 with all hands off the Massachusetts coast.
The closing credits say, "James Bond will return in For Your Eyes Only" but, because of the successes of Star Wars (1977) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Moonraker (1979) was chosen.
First 007 movie to be filmed in Dolby Stereo.
$1 million of the $13.5 million budget was spent by production designer Ken Adam on building the largest sound stage in the world: 336'x139'x44'. The set was used for the interior shots of Stromberg's supertanker. The tank had a capacity of 1.2 million gallons.
Rick Sylvester was paid $30,000 for the skiing stunt in the opening sequence.
Released in United States Summer August 3, 1977
Released in USA on video.
Released in United States Summer August 3, 1977