Spy Who Loved Me, The (1977): James Bond No. 10, Starring Roger Moore in his Third Appearance as 007

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Directed by Lewis Gilbert, The Spy Who Loved Me is the tenth in the Bond series, and the third to star Roger Moore as the secret agent.

The film co-stars Barbara Bach and Curt Jürgens.

The screenplay was penned by Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum, with uncredited rewrite by Tom Mankiewicz.

The film takes its title from Ian Fleming’s 1962 novel “The Spy Who Loved Me,” the tenth book in the Bond series, though it does not contain the novel’s plot.

The storyline involves reclusive megalomaniac Karl Stromberg, who plans to destroy the world and create new civilization under the sea.

Bond teams up with a Soviet agent Anya Amasova to stop the plan, while being hunted by Stromberg’s powerful henchman, Jaws.

It was shot on location in Egypt (Cairo and Luxor) and Italy (Costa Smeralda, Sardinia), with underwater scenes at the Bahamas (Nassau), and soundstage built at Pinewood Studios for massive set for the interior of supertanker.

The Spy Who Loved Me was well reviewed by critics, who saw the film as return to form for the franchise. They praised the performance of Moore, who called the film his personal favorite.

The soundtrack composed by Marvin Hamlisch also met with success.

The film was nominated for three Oscars, and was novelized in 1977 by Christopher Wood as James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me.

The tale begins when a British and a Soviet ballistic-missile submarine suddenly disappear, and James Bond is summoned to investigate.

Bond escapes an ambush by a squad of Soviet agents in Austria, killing one during downhill ski chase and evading the others.

The plans for a highly advanced submarine tracking system are being offered in Egypt, where Bond encounters Major Anya Amasova—KGB agent Triple X—as a rival for the microfilm plans.

They travel across Egypt together, encountering Jaws, a tall assassin with razor-sharp steel teeth. Bond and Amasova reluctantly join forces after truce is agreed by their British and Soviet superiors. They identify the person responsible for the thefts as the shipping tycoon and scientist Karl Stromberg.

While travelling by train to Stromberg’s base in Sardinia, Bond saves Amasova from Jaws, and their rivalry turns to affection.

Posing as marine biologist and his wife, they visit Stromberg’s base and discover he had launched mysterious new supertanker, the Liparus.

As they leave the base, a henchman on a motorcycle featuring a rocket sidecar, Jaws in a car, and Naomi, an assistant/pilot of Stromberg in an attack helicopter, chase them, but Bond and Amasova escape underwater when his car (a Lotus Esprit from Q Branch) converts into a submarine.

Jaws survives a car crash, and Naomi is killed when Bond fires a sea-air missile from his car which destroys her helicopter.

While examining the underwater Atlantis base, the pair confirms he is operating the stolen tracking system and evade an attack by a group of Stromberg’s minisubs.

Back on land, Bond finds out that the Liparus has never visited any known port or harbour. Amasova discovers that Bond killed her lover Sergei Barsov, and she vows to kill Bond when their mission is complete.

Bond and Amasova board American submarine to examine the Liparus, but the submarine is captured by the tanker, which is a floating submarine dock.

Stromberg sets his plan, the simultaneous launching of nuclear missiles from the captured British and Soviet submarines to obliterate Moscow and New York City. This would trigger a global nuclear war, which Stromberg would survive in Atlantis, and subsequently a new civilization would be established underwater. He leaves for Atlantis with Amasova, but Bond escapes and frees the captured British, Russian, and American sailors.

They battle the Liparus crew and eventually breach the control room, only to learn from the dying captain of the Liparus that the commandeered British and Soviet submarines are primed to fire their missiles in only a few minutes.

Bond tricks the submarines into firing the nukes at each other, destroying the subs and Stromberg’s crews. The victorious submariners escape the sinking Liparus on the American submarine.

The submarine is ordered by the Pentagon to destroy Atlantis but Bond insists on rescuing Amasova first. He confronts and kills Stromberg but again encounters Jaws, whom he drops into a shark tank. However, Jaws kills the tiger shark and escapes. Bond and Amasova flee in an escape pod as Atlantis is sunk by torpedoes. Amasova picks up Bond’s gun and points it at him, but then chooses not to kill him and the two embrace.

The Royal Navy recovers the pod and the two spies are seen in an intimate embrace through its port window, much to the bemusement of their superiors on the ship.

Jürgens’s casting was suggested by director Lewis Gilbert, who had worked with him before.

Barbara Bach was cast only days before principal photography began

Geoffrey Keen as Frederick Gray would appear in five more Bond films.

The assistant director for Italian locations, Victor Tourjansky, had cameo as a man drinking his wine as Bond’s Lotus emerges from the beach. As in-joke, he returned in similar cameo in two Bond films shot in Italy, Moonraker (the Venice gondola sequence) and For Your Eyes Only (during ski chase).

Gotell previously played Morzeny in From Russia with Love. Gogol also shows up in five more Bond films.

Cast

Roger Moore as James Bond 007, British MI6 agent

Barbara Bach as Major Anya Amasova, Agent Triple X, a Soviet KGB agent

Curt Jürgens as Karl Stromberg, a megalomaniac planning to trigger World War III

Richard Kiel as Jaws, Stromberg’s juggernaut henchman, a giant with metal teeth.

Caroline Munro (voice dubbed by Barbara Jefford) as Naomi, Stromberg’s personal pilot and would-be assassin.

Geoffrey Keen as Frederick Gray, British Minister of Defence.

Edward de Souza as Sheikh Hosein, an Arab sheikh and old friend of Bond (schoolmates at Cambridge)

George Baker as Captain Benson, British naval officer at Royal Navy’s Faslane Naval Base in Scotland.

Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny, M’s secretary.

Walter Gotell as General Gogol, head of KGB and Amasova’s boss.

Vernon Dobtcheff as Max Kalba, Egyptian nightclub owner and black market racketeer who possesses the microfilm and  encourage Bond and Amasova to bid for it.

Desmond Llewelyn as Q, MI6’s head of research, who supplies Bond with vehicles and gadgets

Michael Billington as Sergei Barsov, Russian agent and Anya Amasova’s lover.

Bernard Lee as M, the head of MI6.

Shane Rimmer as U.S.S. Wayne Captain

Bryan Marshall as H.M.S. Ranger Captain

Sue Vanner as Log Cabin Girl, Russian agent who sets trap for 007 in the pre-credit sequence.

Bob Sherman, as U.S.S. Wayne Crew member

Sydney Tafler as Liparus Captain.

Valerie Leon as Hotel Receptionist.

Nadim Sawalha as Aziz Fekkesh, middle-man on the trail of the stolen microfilm.

Eva Rueber-Staier as Rubelvitch, General Gogol’s secretary.

Olga Bisera as Felicca, Fekkesh’s glamorous associate.