The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

spy who loved me poster 1977 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Jaws, underwater cars, jet-skis, everything you want in a James Bond film

Roger Moore isn't necessarily for everyone

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Spy Who Loved Me

Studio:  Danjaq/Eon Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  July 7, 1977

MPAA Rating:  PG

spy who loved me barbara bach roger moore

007 meets XXX

The disappearance of a nuclear submarines has both MI-6 and the KGB scrabbling for information.  With a common interest, James Bond (Roger Moore) finds himself teamed with KGB agent Triple-X Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) in search of the man responsible for the theft.  Karl Stromberg (Curd Jurgens) has his own plans and believes space is no longer the future…Bond and Amasova must find the submarines before war is declared.

Directed by Lewis Gilbert, The Spy Who Loved Me was the tenth entry in the Bond franchise.  Following The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974, the uses the title of Ian Fleming’s 1962 novel.  The movie’s theme song “Nobody Does It Better” was performed by Carly Simon.  The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction—Set Decoration, Best Original Song (“Nobody Does It Better”), and Best Original Score.

spy who loved me underwater bond car

Going where no Bond car has gone before!

Roger Moore’s Bond was hit or miss with most fans.  Often too goofy and dating poorly, the films were rather divisive.  Despite that, The Spy Who Loved Me is generally considered the best entry in Moore’s Bond run.

Compared to Moore’s two previous entries, the film seems a lot more serious in tone and story.  Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun dove into popular genre films and The Man with the Golden Gun isn’t distracted by it.  The movie smartly teams Bond with a romantic lead who actually serves a bigger aspect in the story.  The tit for tat nature goes well with the competition between the two characters to solve the crime and the revelation that Bond is responsible for the death of the love of Amasova (though her sleeping with Bond after this is a bit of a waste of character).

spy who loved me waverunner roger moore

So hi-tech!

Moore is starting to get into the groove of being Bond in this entry.  He’s still too old and less suave than Connery’s Bond, but he’s starting to get his standing.  Barbara Bach is a good foil for the character and better than some of the other Bond girls and it would have been nice for her character to return in some way later in Moore’s run.  While webbed-hands Curd Jurgens is so-so as a villain (he fits the Bond profile), he brings along one of the best henchmen in Jaws played by Richard Kiel.  Bernard Lee, Desmond Llewelyn, and Lois Maxell return, and Caroline Munro also plays a doomed character.  The film introduces the KGB counterpoint to M in Walter Gotell who played the role until The Living Daylights in 1987.

spy who loved me jaws richard kiel

Jaws will be back!!!

The film has everything you’d want in a Bond movie.  It has a big opening in the Alps, Egypt, and a big water base (that looks a lot like Super Friend’s Legion of Doom headquarters).  Bond’s got the classic Bond tech including a submersible car and an early wave-runner.  It is dated, but there is a good retro vibe in the classic spy tech.  Jaws also brings the look of a classic Bond villain with his glaring silver teeth…and you also have to love the Lawrence of Arabia music cue as Bond and Amasova travel through the desert.

The Spy Who Loved Me is generally what Bond is all about.  It has tech, super-villains, a good Bond girl, and a great song.  If you are skipping around the Bond movies and struggling to find a Roger Moore entry to watch, definitely land on The Spy Who Loved Me.  While the credits say The Spy Who Loved Me will be followed by For Your Eyes Only, The Spy Who Loved Me was followed by Moonraker in 1979.

Preceded By:

The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)

Followed By:

Moonraker (1979)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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