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The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) - Illustrated Reference

Updated on July 10, 2017

The Spy Who Loved Me was directed by Lewis Gilbert and premiered on 7th July 1977. Starring Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curt Jurgens, Richard Kiel, Caroline Munro and Walter Gotell. Screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Christopher Wood. Music by Marvin Hamlisch. Theme sung by Carly Simon. 125mins.

A Royal Navy Polaris submarine with 16 nuclear missiles on board disappears while on patrol. Sent on a mission with Russian agent Major Amasova 007 discovers that shipping magnate Karl Stromberg has been hijacking nuclear submarines in order to start World War III…

The Spy Who Loved Me was the first of the series to have nothing in common with the book apart from the title. Ian Fleming’s 10th Bond novel, first published in 1962, was an attempt at something different, the story is told in the first person, the heroine’s point of view and Bond himself doesn’t enter the story until about halfway in.

With his producing partner Harry Saltzman out of the picture, Cubby Broccoli wanted the 10th Bond movie to be the biggest and the best (it was also the most expensive) especially after the less than thrilling response to the previous Bond film The Man With the Golden Gun. A lot was riding on this one to restore audience’s faith in the franchise and continue Bonds exploits for a few more movies at least.

Roger Moore
Roger Moore
Barbara Bach
Barbara Bach
Curt Jurgens
Curt Jurgens
Richard Kiel
Richard Kiel
Caroline Munro
Caroline Munro
Walter Gotell
Walter Gotell

Roger Moore (1927-) / James Bond

Born in London, England, Roger Moore's films include - Diane (1956), The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970), Live and Let Die (1973), Gold (1974), The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), Shout at the Devil (1976), The Wild Geese (1978), Escape to Athena (1979), Moonraker (1979), The Sea Wolves (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985) and The Quest (1996). TV series The Saint (1962-1969), The Persuaders (1971-1972)

Barbara Bach (1947-) / Major Anya Amasova

When her lover is killed by 007 in the pre-credit teaser, Major Anya Amasova aka Agent Triple X vows to kill Bond when their mission is over.

Born in Queens, New York City, Barbara Bach's films include - Force Ten from Navarone (1978 also starring Richard Kiel), The Humanoid (1979 also starring Richard Kiel), Jaguar Lives! (1979), Caveman (1981) and Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984). Married to Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr.

Stromberg: Observe Mr. Bond, the instruments of armageddon.

Curt Jurgens (1915-1982) / Karl Stromberg

Mad villain Karl Stromberg wants to destroy the world so he can start a new one under the sea.

Born in Bavaria, Germany, Curt Jurgens was BAFTA nominated Best Foreign Actor for The Enemy Below (1957) and The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958). His films include - The Blue Angel (1959), Ferry to Hong Kong (1959), I Aim at the Stars (1960 as Wernher Von Braun), The Longest Day (1962), Lord Jim (1965), Battle of Britain (1969), The Mephisto Waltz (1971), The Vault of Horror (1973) and Breakthrough (1979).

Richard Kiel (1939-) / Jaws

For the first time in the series the henchman completely overshadowed the main villain and was one of the major talking points of the film.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Richard Kiel's films include - The Nutty Professor (1963), The Human Duplicators (1965), The Longest Yard (1974), Silver Streak (1976), Force Ten from Navarone (1978), The Humanoid (1979), Cannonball Run II (1984), Pale Rider (1985) and Happy Gilmore (1996).

Caroline Munro (1949-) / Naomi

Naomi is Stromberg’s assistant, helicopter pilot, tour guide and looks stunning in a bikini.

Born in Windsor, England, gorgeous Caroline Munro was a famous model and pin-up girl in the UK, her films include - Where's Jack? (1969), The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), Dracula AD 72 (1972), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter (1974), At the Earth's Core (1976), Starcrash (1978), Maniac (1980) and The Last Horror Film (1982).

Walter Gotell (1924-1997) / General Anatol Gogol

Russian General Gogol makes his first of 6 movie appearances in the Bond series.

Born in Bonn, Germany, Gotell has appeared as a different character in From Russia With Love (1963).His films include - The African Queen (1951), Ice Cold in Alex (1958), Sink the Bismarck (1960), The Guns of Navarone (1961), 55 Days at Peking (1963), Lord Jim (1965), Black Sunday (1977), The Boys from Brazil (1978), Moonraker (1979), Cuba (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985) and The Living Daylights (1987).

We find out M’s first name in this film, Miles. In the novels his full title is Admiral Sir Miles Messervy. Q’s full title is Major Geoffrey Boothroyd and Moneypenny’s first name, Jane.

The pre-credit teaser contains one of the most memorable stunts in the series. Bond is being chased on skis by Russian agents, he skis off a mountain and free falls, a parachute opens emblazoned with the Union Jack. The stunt was performed by Rick Sylvester, weather conditions had to be perfect and several cameras were placed in key locations, only one camera managed to successfully capture the 3000ft jump.

Another famous 007 stunt was when Bond drives his tricked out Lotus Esprit S1 into the sea to evade the bad guys and the car turns into a submarine. The car is equipped with missile launcher, torpedos, depth charges, smoke screen, concrete sprayer and periscope.

At one point during story development SPECTRE and Blofeld were the villains but producer Kevin McClory made it clear that he had sole movie rights to the character and fictional criminal organization. So a new villain was introduced, Karl Stromberg.

The producers had considered David Prowse (Darth Vader in the original Star Wars movies) for the part of the tall silent killer, Jaws. But the part eventually went to 7ft 2inch tall Richard Kiel. Jaws had steel teeth and was seemingly indestructible, he never spoke a word. The audience response to this character was so great, the producers had to bring him back for one more film.

In March 1976 the biggest sound stage in the world was constructed at Pinewood studios, the 007 Stage. It was to contain the inside of Stromberg’s supertanker the Liparus, complete with three nuclear submarines, the huge set was designed by famed production designer Ken Adam.

Ken invited his friend the film director Stanley Kubrick to the 007 stage. Kubrick gave him suggestions on how to light the massive set. Kubrick’s daughter Vivian designed Jaws steel dentures.

The theme song “Nobody Does it Better”, sung by Carly Simon peaked at #2 in the US charts and #7 in the UK, the song was so popular it became a Bond anthem.

Marvin Hamlisch provided the music score and was rewarded with an Oscar nomination, the only time a Bond score was nominated by the Academy. The song and art direction were also nominated.

Minister of Defence: Bond, what do you think you're doing?
James Bond: Keeping the British end up sir.

Bond #10 is practically a remake of You Only Live Twice, substitute oil tanker swallowing up submarines for rocket swallowing up space capsules plus both have a megalomaniac attempting to start WWIII. It even has the same director, Lewis Gilbert.

Nevertheless The Spy Who Loved Me was a huge hit grossing $185m worldwide, the film is a fan favourite (and this writer’s favourite Roger Moore Bond movie). It is escapism at it’s very best.

The closing credits state that Bond would return in For Your Eyes Only, but after the phenomenal success of Star Wars in 1977, the producers decided Moonraker would be the next Bond adventure.

The film was retitled Beloved Spy in Sweden, The Spy That I Loved in Portugal, 007, My Beloved in Finland and 007 Seized the Oil Tanker in China.

I made that last one up.

The Critics Wrote -

"The best Bond film so far. The sexiest, the fastest-moving and certainly the most witty." (Sun)

"During the course of "The Spy Who Loved Me," James Bond vanquishes an amphibious building that looks like a giant spider, a 7 foot 2 inch villain with metal fangs, hundreds of hapless extras and one very beautiful broad, but he hardly ever comes to grips with his most insidious adversary, the James Bond formula.

The theme song, sung by Carly Simon, ranks with Paul McCartney's theme from "Live and Let Die" as one of the most delightful surprises the series has had to offer—even if it is accompanied by footage of a naked woman, in silhouette, doing silly calisthenics on the barrel of an enormous gun." (New York Times)

"This is the best of the Bonds starring the self-effacing Roger Moore-there's a robust perversity in the way the film gets you rooting for the bionic monster Jaws when he tears a truck apart in a childish temper. He's 7 feet 2 and has razor-sharp steel teeth; Moore gets the chance to look scared--an emotion that suits him and makes him more likable. The lavishness isn't wasted--it's entertaining." (Pauline Kael)

"You could believe that Connery was cunning and apt enough to think up the clever things he said, and execute the mighty maneuvers he undertook. Not so Roger Moore, who looks handsome enough to be the mold from which the world's most expensive clothing dummies are cast, but who has absolutely no way with an expression, let alone with a line. You might say that, as 007, he does justice only to the first two thirds of his role." (John Simon)

"In the end I grew weary of the pyrotechincs; a case of licenced to overkill?" (Guardian)


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    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      I have done hubs on all the classic Connery Bonds here's a link, pan down to see the Connery hubs.

      Love Bond, Jeffrey thanks for your comments.

    • profile image

      Jeffrey 6 years ago

      Now we are talking about a good James Bond movie, awesome characters make the difference, Moore plays Bond more like Connery in this movie. You need to do some of this articles on the Connery movies.

    • profile image

      Love Bond 6 years ago

      My second favorite Bond movie, but would not crack my Top 10 Bond list of all the films.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Flora, I have arachnophobia but I don't mind watching spiders on film. I do mind when I see one racing across the room while I'm watching tv. I get the missus to take care of it. She won't let me kill it, she picks it up with a tissue and tosses it out in the back yard, where I'm sure it finds its way back in again. :)

      I think Dr. No was the only film with a spider, a tarantula crawling up Connery's arm. brrr

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      Hi, Steve:

      This is my favourite Roger Moore film of his career, and I've seen a lot of his career. I watch it at least once a year. I love the theme song -I have a cd of Bond Themes I bought when the James Bond exhibit came to Vancouver. The only rason Jaws is not my favourite Bond villain is that Bloefeld has a cat. Otherwise...

      Oh, and regarding the spider reference in the review. The first time I saw that contraption coming out of the water I freaked. Then I looked at it closely and it doesn't bother me-not enough legs.

      Oh, and Cogerson. Goldfinger wouldn't be your favourite theme song, would it?

      I HATE the green screen. Bring back the old days with real stunt doubles so we can wonder like when Steve McQueen is on the motocycle and when it is a stunt man in The Great Escape. There is no suspense with the green screen.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      I tried to link that song Cogerson [sobs] but embedding wasn't allowed and the quality was great too, shame.

      Thanks for the comment, appreciated as always. Yes Jaws was turned into a hero in the next one, seems the cold ruthless killer appealed to the young uns and was given a reprieve by the filmmakers. I've just started working on that hub.

      And you're right big movie stunts nowadays are "enhanced" by computer wizardry. Why ski off a mountain when it can be done safely on computer? :)

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      I can not believe that this movie came out over 34 years ago...that makes me feel so I clearly remember watching this movie at the theater. Jaws was a great villian, and Richard Kiel was awesome in the role....too bad they made him a big joke in Moonraker.

      Awesome photos in this hub....especially the one with the car going into the water....I miss the days of the real stunts with real stunt a computer would do that stunt.

      In reading the reviews, it seems even after three Bond movies...some of the reviewers were still looking for Connery to come back....they would almost get their wish 4 years later. Great hub with great photos and information....voted up useful interesting and awesome...the only thing it needed was the song(lol)....which is my 2nd favorite Bond theme song ever made....

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Thanks Rob. I was gutted when Bond killed Caroline, but she was trying to kill him. :)

      I wasn't sure Moneypenny's name was Jane, before yesterday. I read the books ages ago but the name didn't register.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 6 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      This was a fun Bond film. Barbara Bach made a beautiful leading lady but I actually preferred Caroline Munroe as the bad girl. I thought "Jaws" was a bit too over-the-top and unrealistic a villain.

      The theme song was one of the best.

      Nicely researched hub. I never knew Money Penny's name was Jane.