Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#645. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Directed By: Lewis Gilbert

Starring: Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curt Jürgens

Tag line: "It's the BIGGEST. It's the BEST. It's BOND. And B-E-Y-O-N-D"

Trivia:  Albert R. Broccoli once named this film along with From Russia with Love and Goldfinger as his three favorite James Bond movies

You gotta hand it to James Bond; his uncanny ability to escape danger of any kind is ...well ...unbelievable. Who else could outrun four armed assassins while skiing down a treacherous Austrian slope, do a reverse somersault off the edge of a cliff, and then glide to safety with the help of his trusty parachute, emblazoned with the Union Jack? As Carly Simon says in the theme song to 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, nobody does it better!

James Bond (Roger Moore) is back again to save us all, this time assisted by sexy Russian agent, Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach), who goes by the designation XXX. Together, the two must stop eccentric millionaire Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens), who has stolen a pair of nuclear submarines with the intent of using them to hold the entire planet hostage. As usual, Bond confronts a plethora of dangers, including a hazardous ski course and an even more hazardous villain in the form of Stromberg’s seven-foot-tall henchman, Jaws (Richard Kiel). Making his way in and out of trouble with the greatest of ease, it’s no wonder James Bond is Britain’s go-to agent whenever the world is in peril.

The Spy Who Loved Me has all the trimmings of an awesome 007 picture: cool gadgetry, tremendous adventure, and a madman bent on global domination. But, like all good Bond films, The Spy Who Loved Me couples this excitement with a high degree of refinement. No stranger to life-and-death struggles, James Bond is equally at home in the civilized world. He schmoozes agent XXX at the exclusive Mujave club in Cairo, where he orders his patented martini (shaken, not stirred), and keeps his wits about him when confronted by Jaws, perhaps the most notorious henchman in the history of Bond films. Even the villain in The Spy Who Loved Me is refined. Stromberg enjoys only the finest wines (as Bond himself observes, anyone who drinks Dom Perignon ’52 can’t be all bad), and surrounds himself with as many luxuries as his incredible wealth will afford him. Even his revenge against dishonest employees is exacted in a stylish manner; dropping the guilty party into a shark tank and watching the carnage play out on closed circuit television.

The Spy Who Loved Me is textbook James Bond, a joining of breakneck thrills with an air of sophistication. The basic plot of good vs. evil, the raw intensity of the action sequences, the breathtaking locales (this scenes set in Egypt are amazing), and the romantic interludes with countless beautiful women, would be nothing without the panache, accentuated by the impeccable taste of Agent 007 himself. Action and class…with Bond, you simply can’t have one without the other.

1 comment:

Kristin A. said...

I don't think I've ever seen this movie poster. It is very busy and definitely 70's style.