The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) – In the opening song of the film Carly Simon sings “nobody does it better…” Funny, I can think of four other guys who are better at the whole James Bond thing. This is the first Roger Moore flick of my cable-inspired James Bond movie marathon. When forced to rank James Bonds, Moore always comes second-to-last for me (only beating out George Lazenby). Roger Moore was (and is) older than Sean Connery and he hung on to the role too long, nearing 60 before he abandoned it. Even with all that, though, I still like him in the role. It’s only because of my high estimation of the other four that Sir Roger ranks so low on my ranking. He’s got a sly humor that sometimes borders on camp but always entertains. It reminds us that, her, these spy flicks are supposed to be FUN. The Spy Who Loved Me is considered to be his best entry in the James Bond canon. It follows The Man with the Golden Gun which is my absolute LEAST favorite of any Bond film (which is why I am neglecting to re-watch it during my marathon). Is the reputation deserved or would anything after The Man with the Golden Gun just seem much better by comparison?

An American and Soviet nuclear submarine have both gone missing! Naturally, British Intelligence assigns their top man, Agent 007 James Bond, to investigate the matter. Soviet Intelligence also (understandably) wants to get to the bottom of this, so they send THEIR top woman, Agent XXX Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach), to likewise investigate. Amasova is not opposed to working with Bond, but she then discovers that in the exciting ski chase that opened the movie, Bond killed her fellow agent and lover. She has to temporarily get over it though, as a madman named Karl Stromberg (Curd Jürgens) is planning on using the stolen nuclear subs to drastically alter the world in a very extreme way. While Stromberg stays on his aquatic fortress (called Atlantis), most of his more hands-on work is carried out by the gigantic killer with metal teeth named Jaws (Richard Kiel), who may be Bond’s most unkillable nemesis in the entire film franchise…

In the opening of the movie, Bond skis off a cliff and parachutes to safety. This was back in the 1970s and the coolest part of this stunt is that SOMEONE IS ACTUALLY DOING IT! I get that the GCI and green screens we use nowadays are a lot safer for everyone involved, but I miss the visceral reality of people actually DOING crazy stupid shit like that. It was a more awesome time in many ways… All the elements of a great Bond flick are present in this movie: great chases, winking one-liners, a gorgeous woman (seriously how the hell is Barbara Bach married to RINGO STARR? I get that being a Beatle obviously goes a long way, but Ringo? The hotness ratio in that marriage is drastically off…) Okay, all the elements except one: the cool car. Granted Bond’s car can become a submarine, which is pretty cool… but the Lotus Espirit is ugly as sin. Bond usually cruises around in Aston Martins or BMWs. I’m not a car guy by any means, but god damn does that weird-looking car not hold a candle to Bond’s past vehicles… Anyway, The Spy Who Loved Me earns its reputation as the best of the Roger Moore Bond flicks. A must-see for fans of the franchise…

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