Director Lewis Gilbert
Year 1977
Starring Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curt Jergens, Richard Kiel, Caroline Munro, Walter Gotell
Rating PG
Run Time 125min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

The James Bond films are rarely faithful to Ian Fleming's original novels and short stories, but THE SPY WHO LOVED ME takes that infidelity to new extremes: Aside from Fleming's title, it has almost nothing in common with the book.

In retrospect, that's probably fine. Even Fleming was unhappy with his 1962 opus, which was told from the point of view of a Canadian woman who encounters James Bond two-thirds of the way through her story when he rescues her from gangsters and temporarily embroils her in his latest mission.

That's a far, far cry from the plot of the cinematic SPY, which has mad scientist and billionaire Karl Stromberg (Curt Jergens) doing his best (worst?) to ignite a nuclear war between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Armageddon would be no big deal to Stromberg, who dwells in an underwater lair he has cleverly named Atlantis.

To defeat him, Bond (Roger Moore, in his third and arguably finest 007 outing) must work alongside KGB agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach), a relationship that's fragile to begin with and nearly explodes when Anya vows lethal retribution after discovering Bond killed her boyfriend in the line of duty.

Personal business has to be temporarily set aside when the duo tangle with Stromberg's daunting henchman known as "Jaws" (Richard Kiel) for his sharp steel teeth. Kiel's character was so popular that he returned in the next Bond film, MOONRAKER (in which he was used far less effectively, unfortunately).

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME became one of the biggest hits of the summer of 1977, sharing space at the cineplex with Disney's THE RESCUERS, SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, a little thing called STAR WARS and Robby Benson's ONE ON ONE, which was all the rage among teenage girls that season. Its popularity was undoubtedly bolstered by its marvelous, supremely sexy theme song, Carly Simon's Oscar-nominated "Nobody Does It Better," which soared to No. 2 on the Billboard chart.

One of the unsung stars of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME would certainly be stuntman Rick Sylvester, who performed the jaw-dropping, gasp-inducing stunt that occurs at the climax of the prologue. This astonishing feat (no spoilers here) brought applause from audiences in 1977 and still floors people today. Remember: There was no such thing as digital wizardry in the '70s -- Sylvester actually had to do that trick, and the quartet of cameramen had to make sure they caught it.

Although the end credits of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME promise "James Bond will return in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY," that film was still four years off: The next 007 adventure was MOONRAKER, which was pushed forward in the schedule after STAR WARS captivated the world. Even James Bond was not above capitalizing on a trend. (James Sanford) 

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