The Spy Who Loved Me
The Spy Who Loved Me is a 1977 British-American spy film based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film was directed by Lewis Gilbert and distributed by United Artists.
James Bond is back again and his new mission is to find out how a Royal Navy Polaris submarine holding sixteen nuclear warheads simply disappeared while on patrol. Bond joins Major Anya Amasova and takes on a a web-handed mastermind, known as Karl Stromberg, as well as his henchman Jaws, who has a mouthful of metal teeth. Bond must track down the location of the missing submarine before the warheads are fired.
Why Nobody Does It Better
- Good direction by Lewis Gilbert.
- Good soundtrack comprising of a more disco element. The title track by Carly Simon "Nobody Does It Better" is considered one of the best Bond title tracks. It even earned a Best Song Oscar nomination.
- Stromberg and Jaws prove to be great villains.
- Jaws is seemingly unstoppable given his incredible strength and intimidating stature. In fact, he was so good that he appeared in the next film: Moonraker.
- Stromberg is pretty cunning villain that wants to destroy the world using nukes in order to jumpstart his own underwater society: Atlantis
- Good acting with Roger Moore having finally found his niche as Bond and Richard Kiel as Jaws.
- Great set design especially Stromberg's crusier.
- Good cinematography.
- Anya proves to be one of the best Bond Girls with her being an almost equal to Bond given that she's also a secret agent but for Russia.
- Pacing is a bit slow in places.
- The scene where Jaws tears apart the car with Bond and Vivienne inside can be seen as silly given Bond's incredibly calm demeanor to a man that is literally tearing the metal off a car.
- This film reuses an element from You Only Live Twice. That being the fact that this movie dealt a spaceship/submarine-eating ship that caused East-West tensions to rise and the potential apocalypse of a nuclear war triggered by a madman.
- The similarities could have been even greater had the original plan for the movie been followed through. According to Lewis Gilbert, the villain of The Spy Who Loved Me was originally to have been Ernst Stavro Blofeld, but legal hassles involving the character prevented this.
On the website FilmCritic.com, Christopher Null awarded the film 3+1⁄2 stars out of 5, in which he praised the gadgets, particularly the Lotus Esprit car. James Berardinelli of Reelviews wrote that the film is "suave and sophisticated", and Barbara Bach proves to be an ideal Bond girl – "attractive, smart, sexy, and dangerous". Brian Webster stated the special effects were "good for a 1979 film", and Marvin Hamlisch's music, "memorable". 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."
The Times placed Jaws and Stromberg as the sixth and seventh best Bond villains (respectively) in the series in 2008, and also named the Esprit as the second best car in the series (behind the Aston Martin DB5). On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 81% based on 57 reviews with an average rating of 7.20/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Though it hints at the absurdity to come in later installments, The Spy Who Loved Me's sleek style, menacing villains, and sly wit make it the best of the Roger Moore era." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 55 based on 12 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".