THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (United Artists, 1977)

Entry Source: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin


★★★1/2  The tenth James Bond film produced by Eon Productions and the first produced solo by Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman having sold his share of Eon in 1975. US release date: August 3, 1977. Budget: $13.5 million. Worldwide box office gross: $185.4 million (US domestic gross: $46.8 million; international gross: $138.6 million).[1] Running time: 125 minutes.

The Setup

British and Russian nuclear submarines are disappearing into thin air—perhaps victims of a new submarine tracking system that is being auctioned off in the Middle East. Having successfully evaded Soviet assassins in Austria, James Bond (Roger Moore) is sent to Cairo to secure the tracking system and find the missing submarines. There he meets his opposite number, formidable Soviet agent Anya “Triple X” Amasova (Barbara Bach), and a terrifying nemesis, Jaws (Richard Kiel), a killer with cobalt steel teeth. Jaws is working for megalomaniac billionaire Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens), a marine enthusiast who has plans to destroy the entire world with nuclear weapons, allowing his planned undersea kingdom to flourish.

Behind the Scenes

The Spy Who Loved Me single-handedly revived the sagging Bond series in the mid-1970s. For a new generation of young viewers—fans who would soon be rooting for Indiana Jones, Superman, and E.T.—the film was an epic adventure with a way-out plot involving a worldwide threat, a submarine-swallowing supertanker, a steel-toothed assassin, and a resourceful and beautiful Russian agent who matches 007 play for play. Returning to the fantastical elements that had contributed to Goldfinger’s success, producer Albert R. Broccoli gave production designer Ken Adam a free hand to design the spectacular “Jonah Set,” the massive interior of the Liparus supertanker. Meanwhile, Derek Meddings and Perry Oceanographics were designing the mid-1970s equivalent of Bond’s classic Aston Martin: the Lotus Esprit submarine car. Producer Albert R. Broccoli had carefully updated the saga of 007, and the huge success of The Spy Who Loved Me guaranteed the series’ longevity.

High points: the submarine car; Barbara Bach; Derek Meddings’s special effects; and Carly Simon’s theme song, “Nobody Does It Better.” Low point: Jaws’ invulnerability. Although the Jaws character contributed greatly to the film’s success, compelling the producers to bring him back for Moonraker, it meant they had to make the character effectively unkillable. This took the film too far into comic book territory; Jaws became Wile E. Coyote to Bond’s Road Runner.

The Cast
Role
Actor/Actress
James Bond Roger Moore
Major Anya Amasova Barbara Bach
Karl Stromberg Curt Jurgens
Jaws Richard Kiel
Naomi Caroline Munro
General Gogol Walter Gotell
Minister of Defense Geoffrey Keen
M Bernard Lee
Q Desmond Llewelyn
Miss Moneypenny Lois Maxwell
Captain Benson George Baker
Sergei Barsov Michael Billington
Felicca Olga Bisera
Sheik Hosein Edward de Souza
Max Kalba Vernon Dobtcheff
Hotel Receptionist Valerie Leon
Liparus Captain Sydney Tafler
Fekkesh Nadim Sawalha
Log Cabin Girl Sue Vanner
Rublevitch Eva Rueber-Staier
Admiral Hargreaves Robert Brown
Stromberg’s Assistant Marilyn Galsworthy
Sandor Milton Reid
Bechmann Cyril Shaps
Markovitz Milo Sperber
Barman Albert Moses
Cairo Club Waiter Rafiq Anwar
USS Wayne Captain Shane Rimmer

The Crew
Role
Crew Member
Director Lewis Gilbert
Screenplay by Christopher Wood
Richard Maibaum
Producer Albert R. Broccoli
Associate Producer William P. Cartlidge
Special Assistant to Producer Michael Wilson
Director of Photography Claude Renoir
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
“Nobody Does It Better” performed by Carly Simon
Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager
James Bond theme written by Monty Norman
Production Designer Ken Adam
Art Director Peter Lamont
Production Manager David Middlemas
Assistant Director Ariel Levy
Second-Unit Directors Ernest Day
John Glen
Underwater Cameraman Lamar Boren
Ski Sequence Photographed and Supervised by Willy Bogner, Jr.
Action Arranger Bob Simmons
Ski Jump Performed by Rick Sylvester
Title Designer Maurice Binder
Special Visual Effects Derek Meddings
Editor John Glen


[1] “The Spy Who Loved Me (1977),” The Numbers, accessed July 13, 2020, https://www.the-numbers.com/movie/Spy-Who-Loved-Me-The.