The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Probably Sir Roger Moore’s most solid movie as the spy James Bond, The Spy Who Loved me teams him up with the beautiful Barbara Bach as Russian spy Anya Amasova. With high-tech gadgetry and some of the coolest vehicles in the James Bond archives, there is a bit of everything in this movie and very little to complain about. The standard camp, craziness that Roger Moore is known for is not present in this movie and it felt closer to a Pierce Brosnan movie than any other Bond which is actually a compliment.
When submarines from Britain and Russia end up missing, the two agencies send in their top spies to investigate the situation. James Bond, stationed in Austria on another mission is pursued by some rival agents and ends up killing one with a nifty projectile hidden inside his ski. The spy that got killed happened to be the lover of Russian superspy: Major Anya Amasova, who upon hearing of his death, swears revenge on the man who killed him. Anya and James are the top spies chosen to investigate the disappearances of the submarines and the first clue is based in Cairo where they run into each other while pursuing a contact. When the two meet they both acknowledge that they know everything about each other and butt heads on the acquiring of a piece of microfilm that reveals the path of the submarines that were captured.
After crossing each other several times, James using his charming wit and Anya using her feminine wiles, the spies find out that Russian Intelligence and MI6 have decided to combine efforts. After putting James to sleep with a crafty cigarette trap, Anya must now share secrets and compartments with him as the two spies set out together. Hot on their trails is one of the most memorable and formidable enemies in the James Bond series. A man who is simply known as Jaws (Richard Kiel), he is about 7 ft tall, muscular and extremely strong. His namesake derives from his metal teeth that are strong enough to deflect bullets and bite through anything. Jaws works for the man behind the submarine disappearances, a Karl Stromberg (Curd Jurgens), the owner of an underwater lair that has advanced technology, killer sharks that are used to eat his enemies and extremely rare fish. Karl hates humanity and has become a reclusive lunatic with intent to restart mankind underwater. His only connection to the land is through his relentless assassin Jaws and he turns out to be quite an invincible weapon in his own right.
When James and Anya come together, the sparks fly and their teamwork prove to be worthwhile. Anya momentarily forgets her fallen lover while in the arms of James and he saves her life a few times causing her to drop her defenses even more with him. When James lets it slip that he was summoned to the mission while in Austria, she puts 2 and 2 together and realizes that James was the killer of her original lover and tells him that once their mission is over she would kill him. Of course this is James Bond she threatens and his charm comes through as usual making for a successful mission in investigating the disappearances and solidifying good relations between the British and Russian agencies.
Roger Moore scores huge points in this movie as the one-liners are kept to a minimum and the fighting scenes are extremely well done. Jaws was a pleasure to watch as he bit through metal, wood and flesh trying to get at the two agents. The biggest plus however was the vehicles, Bond has a car turn into a submarine underwater and jettisons oil, projectile and other fluids at incoming bad guys. The evil ones had their share of neat gadgets too as a motorcycle shoots off its passenger cab as a rocket and Stromberg’s lair was like a Saturday morning cartoon base. The Spy Who Loved Me has it all and is the quintessential Bond movie. Anya Amasova, though strong and comparative to Bond was not very likeable a Bond girl since her introverted, quiet demeanor left much to desire and her dialogue was very limited. Her lovely legs and figure was a definite plus though and she used it well to her advantage as she was underestimated at every turn.
I really like The Spy Who Loved Me as THE Roger Moore movie to watch in his run as James Bond.
Bond-o-meter Score (ranges from 1-10)
James Bond/Story (9): I found the story very easy to follow and everything involved was relevant. This has a very solid portrayal of James Bond, one of Moores better versions actually, making this a real treat to watch.
Bond Girl – Anya Amasova (8): Beautiful, sexy and a superspy to boot. If Anya didn’t have the personality of a wall she would be a perfect 10.
Bond Toys (10): Wow! I loved the gadgetry and vehicles in this movie.
The Villain (7): I am sorry but Stromberg was your run-of-the-mill bad guy: a bored nerd with millions of dollars at his disposal to construct a scheme. The saving grace is in his main assassin Jaws, that guy was a threat amongst threats. Jaws is one of the better villains of James Bond.
Spicy Rating (8): This is a really good James Bond movie, I am normally a very critical person of the Roger Moore series but this is a good one to own.