The Spy Who Loved Me (film): Wikis



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The Spy Who Loved Me

Theatrical release poster by Bob Peak
James Bond Roger Moore
Also starring Barbara Bach
Curd Jürgens
Richard Kiel
Geoffrey Keen
Walter Gotell
and Bernard Lee as M
Directed by Lewis Gilbert
Produced by Albert R. Broccoli
Novel/Story by Christopher Wood
Screenplay by Christopher Wood
Richard Maibaum
Cinematography Claude Renoir
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Main theme Nobody Does It Better
   Composer Marvin Hamlisch
Carole Bayer Sager (lyrics)
   Performer Carly Simon
Editing by John Glen
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) July 7, 1977 (UK)
July 13, 1977 (US)
Running time 126 min.
Budget $14,000,000
Worldwide gross Domestic
Worldwide 2009 inflated
Preceded by The Man with the Golden Gun
Followed by Moonraker

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) is the tenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the third to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert and the screenplay was written by Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum. The film takes its title from the tenth novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series, though as Ian Fleming requested that only the title of the novel be used, the film does not contain any elements of the novel The Spy Who Loved Me.[1] The storyline involves a reclusive megalomaniac named Stromberg who plans to destroy the world and create a new civilization under the sea. Bond teams up with a Russian agent Anya Amasova to stop Stromberg.

The Spy Who Loved Me was highly acclaimed by critics.[2] The soundtrack, composed by Marvin Hamlisch, also met tremendous success. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards amidst many other nominations and subsequently novelized in 1977 by Christopher Wood as James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me.



Nuclear submarines carrying ballistic missiles from the Royal Navy and the Soviet fleet mysteriously disappear. Bond (Roger Moore) is summoned to investigate. On the way he escapes an ambush by Soviet agents in Austria, killing one of them in a downhill ski chase that concludes when he skies off a cliff to fake his death and uses a Union Jack parachute to save himself. Bond learns that the plans for a highly advanced submarine tracking system are on the market. He travels to Egypt. While there Bond narrowly escapes assassination when a gorgeous young woman distracts him, while one of Stromberg's henchmen aims a gun at him. However, the henchman accidentally shoots the girl, killing her and allowing Bond to escape. Whether the girl is an accomplice or innocent is not revealed.

After this, Bond attempts to contact the prospective seller near the pyramids, where he first encounters Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) (codename "Triple X") of the KGB, his rival for the plans. Together, they travel across Egypt tracking the microfilm plans, meeting the seven feet-tall steel-toothed assassin Jaws (Richard Kiel) along the way. Ultimately, they partner due to a truce supported by their respective superiors (M from MI6 and General Gogol from the KGB) and identified the person behind all the thefts as Karl Stromberg (Curd Jürgens), a shipping tycoon.

While traveling to Stromberg's base in Sardinia, Bond saves Amasova from Jaws and their rivalry changes into affection. Posing as a marine biologist and his wife, they visit Stromberg's base and learn of his mysterious new supertanker, the Liparus. With Q's help, they figured that the "Liparus" has never come into port. After they leave the base, Jaws and other henchmen, including a helicopter pilot named Naomi (Caroline Munro), chase them, but all attempts fail due to Bond's driving skills and the fact that his car—a Lotus Esprit from Q Branch—can convert into a submarine that is capable of firing missiles and torpedoes and planting mines. As a result, Bond is forced to fake both of their deaths by driving off a pier dock and destroys Naomi's helicopter with a surface-to-air missile. Amasova learns Bond killed her lover in Austria when she saw the lighter that he bought from Austria during the time that Amasova's lover was killed. Amasova says that she will complete the mission with him, but kill him when it ends.

Assisted by an American submarine, Bond and Amasova examine Stromberg's underwater Atlantis base and confirm that he is operating the tracking system. The two board an American submarine in pursuit of the "Liparus." The submarine in which they then attempt to pursue the Liparus is captured by the supertanker itself. Stromberg sets his plan in motion: the launching of nuclear missiles from the previously captured submarines were going to be used to destroy Moscow and New York City. This would trigger a global nuclear war, which Stromberg would outlive in Atlantis, and subsequently a new civilization would be established. He leaves for Atlantis with Amasova.

Stromberg's hideout, Atlantis.

After managing to escape, Bond frees the captured British, Russian, and American submariners and they battle the Liparus' crew. Bond reprograms the British and Soviet submarines to destroy each other, saving Moscow and New York. The victorious submariners escape the sinking Liparus on the surviving American submarine.

Bond insists on a final confrontation with Stromberg and the rescue of Amasova before the submarine has to follow its orders and destroy Atlantis. Bond confronts Stromberg in a dining room. He kills Stromberg but again encounters Jaws. Bond lifts Jaws using an electromagnet (which attracts Jaws' metal teeth), dropping him into a tank with a shark inside.

Bond fighting Jaws inside Atlantis.

Bond reunites with Amasova and they flee in an escape pod as Atlantis is sunk. In the pod Amasova reminds Bond that she has vowed to kill him and picks up Bond's gun, but admits having forgiven him and havng fallen in love with him and the two engage in sexual intercourse. They are unknowingly picked up by the Royal Navy and their escape pod is opened in front of everyone, much to the consternation of their superiors, M and General Gogol (Walter Gotell). Jaws is shown ironically biting the shark to death, before swimming to freedom (to return in Moonraker).



The Spy Who Loved Me in many ways was a pivotal film for the Bond franchise, and was plagued since its conception by many problems. The first was the departure of Bond producer Harry Saltzman, who was forced to sell his half of the Bond film franchise in 1975 for twenty million pounds. Saltzman had branched out into several other ventures of dubious promise and consequently was struggling through personal financial reversals unrelated to Bond. This was exacerbated by the twin personal tragedies of his wife's terminal cancer (who Roger Moore recalls passing during the filming phase of this film's production cycle) and many of the symptoms of clinical depression in himself.[3]

Another troubling aspect to the production was the difficulty in obtaining a director. The producers approached Steven Spielberg, who was in post production of Jaws, but ultimately decided to wait to see 'how the fish picture turns out'. The first director attached to the film was Guy Hamilton, who directed the previous three Bond films as well as Goldfinger, but he left after being offered the opportunity to direct the 1978 film Superman (he was ultimately passed up for Richard Donner). EON Productions would later turn to Lewis Gilbert, who had directed the earlier Bond film You Only Live Twice.

With a director finally secured, the next hurdle was finishing the script, which had gone through several revisions by numerous writers. The initial villain of the film was Ernst Stavro Blofeld; however Kevin McClory, who owned the film rights to Thunderball forced an injunction on EON Productions against using the character of Blofeld, or his international criminal organization, SPECTRE, which delayed production of the film further. The villain would later be changed from Blofeld to Karl Stromberg so that the injunction would not interfere with the production. Christopher Wood was later brought in by Lewis Gilbert to complete the script. Although Fleming had requested no elements from his original book be used, the novel features two thugs named Sol Horror and Sluggsy Morent, Horror is described as having steel-capped teeth, while Sluggsy had a clear bald head. These characters would be the basis for the characters of Jaws and Sandor.


Broccoli commissioned a number of writers to work on the script, including Stirling Silliphant, John Landis, Ronald Hardy, Anthony Burgess, and Derek Marlowe. In the second volume of his autobiography, Burgess claims to have worked on an early treatment for the movie. British sci-fi TV producer Gerry Anderson also stated that he provided a treatment for the movie that (although originally planned to be Moonraker) ended up as The Spy Who Loved Me. Eventually, Richard Maibaum provided the screenplay and at first, he tried to incorporate ideas from all of the other writers into his script. Maibaum's original script featured an alliance of international terrorists attacking SPECTRE's headquarters and deposing Blofeld before trying to destroy the world for themselves to make way for a New World Order. However, this was shelved.

Meanwhile, Guy Hamilton, who had overseen the previous three Bond films and who was originally assigned to direct The Spy Who Loved Me, decided he wanted to direct Superman. This left the way open for Lewis Gilbert to return for direction, a decade after his success with You Only Live Twice in 1967. When he read Maibaum's script he recommended Broccoli bring in another writer, Christopher Wood, to have a go at polishing it but keeping both the notion of a supertanker that captured other ships and a new metal-toothed villain, Jaws.

Wood's proposed changes to Maibaum's draft script were agreed by Broccoli but before he could set to work there were more legal complications. In the years since Thunderball, Kevin McClory had set up two film companies and was trying to make a new Bond film in collaboration with Sean Connery and novelist Len Deighton. McClory got wind of Broccoli's plans to use SPECTRE, an organisation that had first been created by Fleming while working with McClory and Jack Whittingham on the very first attempt to film Thunderball, back even before it was a novel, in the late 1950s. McClory threatened to sue Broccoli for alleged copyright infringement, claiming that he had the sole right to include SPECTRE and its agents in all films. Not wishing to extend the already ongoing legal dispute that could have delayed the production of The Spy Who Loved Me, Broccoli requested Wood to remove all references to Blofeld and SPECTRE from the script.[4]

In the film, Stromberg's scheme to destroy civilization by capturing Soviet and British nuclear submarines and have them fire intercontinental ballistic missiles at two major cities is actually a recycled plot from a previous Bond film, You Only Live Twice, which involved stealing space capsules to start a war between the Soviets and the Americans. The similarity was apparent in the climax; both films involved an assault on a heavily fortified enemy that had taken refuge behind steel shutters.

The scheme in which the villain wishes to destroy mankind to create a new race or new civilization was also used in Moonraker, the next film after The Spy Who Loved Me. In Moonraker, the villain Hugo Drax had an obsession with starting human civilization over in space. The film Moonraker was also written by Christopher Wood.


The Lotus Esprit as seen falling into the sea and then in submarine mode.

The film was shot at the Pinewood Studios in London, Porto Cervo in Sardinia (Hotel Cala di Volpe), Egypt (Mosque of Ibn Tulun, Gayer-Anderson Museum), Malta, Scotland, Okinawa, Switzerland and Mount Asgard on Baffin Island in the then northern Canadian territory of Northwest Territories (now located in Nunavut).

In March 1976, construction began of a new sound stage at Pinewood, the 007 Stage. To complement this stage, EON also paid for building a water tank capable of storing approximately 1,200,000 gallons (4,500,000 liters). The soundstage was in fact so enormous that celebrated director Stanley Kubrick visited the production, in secret, to advise on how to light the stage.[5]

The main unit began its work in August 1976, travelling first to Sardinia and later to Egypt for some of the film's early scenes. While in Sardinia, Moore drove the first of two Lotus Esprits that were to feature in the film. The second specially modified model was unveiled by Ken Adam and Derek Meddings in October when the second unit travelled to Nassau to film the underwater sequences.[5] The main feature of the car was the ability to transform into a submarine. Once transformed it could unleash depth charges and smoke screens. The car seen entering the sea was a shell, propelled off the jetty by a compressed air cannon. The car was registered as PPW 306R. Only two cars of the type were available, and so the production had to requisition the Esprit from Colin Chapman, the head of the Lotus Company."[6] Next on the schedule was the filming of Richard Kiel's first scenes as Jaws from September 5, 1976 onwards.[7]

While construction of the "Liparus" set continued, the second unit headed by John Glen departed for Mount Asgard where in July 1976 they staged the film's pre-credits sequence. Bond film veteran Willy Bogner captured the action staged by stuntman Rick Sylvester who earned $30,000 for the stunt.[8] This stunt cost $500,000 - the most expensive single movie stunt at that time.

The production team returned briefly to the UK to shoot at the Faslane submarine base before setting off to Spain, Portugal and the Bay of Biscay where the super tanker exteriors were filmed. On 5 December 1976, with principal photography finished, the 007 Stage was formally opened by the former Prime Minister Harold Wilson.[5]

As stated on the most recent (2007) DVD commentary, a saltwater swimming pool, including a live shark, was used for Stromberg's shark tank. This footage was filmed in the Bahamas along with stunt doubles.


The theme song "Nobody Does it Better" was composed by Marvin Hamlisch, written by Carole Bayer Sager, and performed by Carly Simon. It was the first theme song in the James Bond series to be titled differently than the name of the movie,[9] although the title is in the lyric.

The song met immediate success and is featured in numerous movies including Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Little Black Book, Lost in Translation and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004). In 2004, it was honored by the American Film Institute as the 67th greatest song as part of their 100 Years Series.

The soundtrack to the movie was composed by Marvin Hamlisch, who filled in for veteran John Barry, who was unavailable to work in the United Kingdom because of tax reasons.[citation needed] The soundtrack, in comparison to other Bond films of the time, is more disco-oriented and included a new disco rendition of The James Bond Theme entitled "Bond 77". In addition, Hamlisch incorporated into his score several pieces of classical music. For instance while feeding a duplicitous secretary to a shark, Stromberg plays Bach's Air on the G String, that was famous for accompanying disaster-prone characters. He then plays the opening string section of the second movement, Andante, of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 as his hideout Atlantis rises from the sea. The score also includes a piece of popular film music, as Maurice Jarre's theme from Lawrence of Arabia is played during a desert sequence.

Release and reception

The Spy Who Loved Me opened with a Royal Premiere attended by Princess Anne at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on 7 July 1977 (7.7.77). It grossed $185.4 million worldwide,[10] with $46 million in the United States alone.[11] After watching the opening scene of Bond opening a Union Jack parachute to save himself from death, the reaction from the audience was like that of fans at a football game. On August 25, 2006, the film was re-released at the Empire Leicester Square Cinema for one week.[12] It was again shown at the Empire Leicester Square 20 April 2008 when Director Lewis Gilbert attended the first digital screening of the film.

The film was received positively by most critics, with a 78% rating at Rotten Tomatoes[13], and is considered by some the best James Bond film to star Roger Moore.[2] Christopher Null praised the gadgets, particularly the Lotus Esprit car.[14] James Berardinelli of Reelviews said that the film is "suave and sophisticated", and Barbara Bach proves to be an ideal Bond girl - "attractive, smart, sexy, and dangerous".[15] Brian Webster stated the special effects as "good for a 1977[sic] film", and Marvin Hamlisch's music, "memorable".[16] Danny Peary described The Spy Who Loved Me as "exceptional... For once, the big budget was not wasted. Interestingly, while the sets and gimmicks were the most spectacular to date, Bond and the other characters are toned down (there's a minimum of slapstick humour) so that they are more realistic than in other Roger Moore films. Moore gives his best performance in the series... [Bond and Anya Amasova] are an appealing couple, equal in every way. Film is a real treat - a well acted, smartly cast, sexy, visually impressive, lavishly produced, powerfully directed mix of a spy romance and a war-mission film."[17]

The Times placed Jaws and Stromberg as the sixth and seventh best Bond villains (respectively) in the series in 2008,[18] and also named the Esprit as the second best car in the series (behind the Aston Martin DB5).[19]

Marvin Hamlisch was nominated for several awards such as the Academy Award for Best Song, Original Music Score, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, Grammy Award for Best Score for a Motion Picture and the BAFTA Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music ("Nobody Does It Better") in 1978. The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction (Ken Adam, Peter Lamont and Hugh Scaife)[20] and a BAFTA for Best Production Design/Art Direction


1977 Triad/Panther British paperback edition.

When Ian Fleming sold the film rights to the James Bond novels to Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli, he gave permission only for the title The Spy Who Loved Me to be used. Since the screenplay for the film had nothing to do with Fleming's original novel, Glidrose Publications, for the first time, authorized that a novelization be written based upon the script. This would also be the first regular Bond novel published since Colonel Sun nearly a decade earlier. Christopher Wood, who co-authored the screenplay, was commissioned to write the book titled James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me.

The novelization and the screenplay, although both written by Wood, are somewhat different. In the novelization SMERSH is still active and after James Bond. Their role begins during the pre-title. After the mysterious death of Fekkish, SMERSH appears yet again, this time capturing and torturing Bond for the whereabouts of the microfilm that retains plans for a submarine tracking system (Bond escapes after killing two of the interrogators). The appearance of SMERSH conflicts with a number of Bond stories, including the film The Living Daylights (1987), in which a character remarks that SMERSH has been defunct for over 20 years. It also differs from the latter half of Fleming's Bond novels in which SMERSH is mentioned to have been put out of operation. Members of SMERSH from the novelization include Amasova and her lover Sergei Borzov as well as Colonel-General Niktin, a character from Fleming's novel From Russia, with Love who has since become the head of SMERSH. In the book, Jaws remains attached to the magnet that Bond dips into the tank, as opposed to the film where Bond releases Jaws into the water.[21]

See also

  • 007: Nightfire, a 2002 video game featuring the Atlantis setting from this film.
  • sQuba, a submersible car inspired by the movie.[22]


  1. ^ "Overview of The Spy Who Loved Me". Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  2. ^ a b "The Spy Who Loved Me". Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  3. ^ Harry Saltzman SHOWMAN. [Television documentary]. MGM. 
  4. ^ "The Spy Who Loved Me: Script History". Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  5. ^ a b c "Production Of The Spy Who Loved Me". 2007-07-08. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  6. ^ "The Making Of The Spy Who Loved Me". 2007-07-08. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  7. ^ "This Month in Bond History: September". 2007-09-01. Retrieved 2007-09- 03. 
  8. ^ "Episode No. 4". Main Hoon Bond. Star Gold. No. 4, season 1.
  9. ^ "Music (The Spy Who Loved Me)". Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  10. ^ "The Spy Who Loved Me". Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  11. ^ "The Spy Who Loved Me at Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  12. ^ ""The Spy Who Loved Me" screening at Empire Leicester Square Cinema". Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  13. ^ "The Spy Who Loved Me". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 3 Mar 2010. 
  14. ^ "The Spy Who Loved Me". Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  15. ^ "The Spy Who Loved Me: Film Review by James Berardinelli". Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  16. ^ "The Spy Who Loved Me at the Apollo Movie Guide". Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  17. ^ Danny Peary, Guide for the Film Fanatic (Simon & Schuster, 1986) p.399
  18. ^ Brendan Plant (2008-04-01). "Top 10 Bond villains". The Times. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  19. ^ Brendan Plant (2008-04-01). "Top 10 Bond cars". The Times. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  20. ^ "NY Times: The Spy Who Loved Me". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-30. 
  21. ^ Wood, Christopher (1977). James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me. Glidrose Publications. ISBN 0-446-84544-2. "Now both hands were tearing at the magnet, and Jaws twisted furiously like a fish on the hook. As Bond watched in fascinated horror, a relentless triangle streaked up behind the stricken giant. A huge gray force launched itself through the wild water, and two rows of white teeth closed around the threshing flesh." 
  22. ^ Rinspeed sQuba


  • Wood, Christopher (2006). James Bond, The Spy I Loved. Twenty First Century Publishers. ISBN 1904433537. 

External links

Preceded by
The Man with the Golden Gun
James Bond Films
Succeeded by


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Spy Who Loved Me is a 1977 film in which James Bond investigates the hijacking of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads with the help of a KGB agent whose lover he killed.

Directed by Lewis Gilbert. Written by Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum.
He's Bond. He's Back. He's 007. taglines



M: Moneypenny, where's 007?
Moneypenny: He's on a mission sir. In Austria.
M: Well, tell him to pull out. Immediately.
[scene cuts to Bond making love to a woman]

Q: Right. Now pay attention, 007. I want you to take great care of this equipment. There are one or two rather special accessories...
James Bond: Q, have I ever let you down?
Q: Frequently.

Stromberg: 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 have paid into your Swiss bank account the sum of ten million dollars each.
Prof. Markovitz: Thank you, sir.
Dr. Bechmann: Thank you indeed.
Stromberg: 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.

[after meeting in a bar and guessing each other's secret identities]
James Bond: The lady will have a... Bacardi on the rocks.
Major Anya Amasova: For the gentleman, vodka martini - shaken, not stirred.
James Bond: Touché.
Major Anya Amasova: Commander James Bond, recruited to the British Secret Service from the Royal Navy. License to kill and has done so on numerous occasions. Many lady friends but married only once. Wife killed...
James Bond: [interrupts her] You've made your point.
Major Anya Amasova: You're sensitive, Mr. Bond?
James Bond: About some things.

James Bond: Which bullet has my name on it? The first or the last?
Major Anya Amasova: I have never failed on a mission, Commander. Any mission.
James Bond: In that case, Major, one of us is bound to end up gravely disappointed, because neither have I.

James Bond: Oh, by the way, thanks for deserting me back there.
Major Anya Amasova: Every woman for herself, remember?
James Bond: Still, you did save my life.
Major Anya Amasova: We all make mistakes, Mr. Bond.

[Amasova is telling Bond about survival strategies she learned]
Major Anya Amasova: That it's very important to have a positive mental attitude.
James Bond: Nothing more practical than that?
Major Anya Amasova: Food is also very important.
James Bond: Mm-hmm. What else?
Major Anya Amasova: When necessary, shared bodily warmth.
James Bond: That's the part I like.

James Bond: [Amasova has just used a Bond car gadget to kill an enemy] How did you know about that?
Major Anya Amasova: I stole the blueprints to this car two years ago.

[After discovering Bond killed her lover]
Bond: In our business, Anya people get killed. We both know that.
Anya: Then when this mission is over, I will kill you.

[After finding Bond and Anya in bed together]
M: 007!
Gen. Gogol: Triple X!
Sir Frederick Grey: Bond, what do you think you're doing?
Bond: Keeping the British end up, sir
[He closes the curtains]


  • He's Bond. He's Back. He's 007.
  • 007 Blasts Back
  • It's Bond And Beyond.
  • Nobody does it better.


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