The Spy Who Loved Me (DVD, Special Edition) Reviews
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The Spy Who Loved Me (DVD, Special Edition)

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The Spy Who Loved Me - Moore At His Best As Bond

May 12, 2009 (Updated Jun 30, 2010)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Very entertaining, well done Bond movie.

Cons:None for me.

The Bottom Line: The Spy Who Loved Me is one of the best Bond movies and probably the best of the movies with Roger Moore.

The James Bond movie series was still going strong in 1977, even after the part of James had been recast twice.  Roger Moore, the third man to play Bond, was back for his third turn as the suave spy in The Spy Who Loved Me, one of the better Bond movies and what is probably the best of Moore's Bond movies.

Submarines carrying missiles for England and the Soviet Union disappear under mysterious circumstances.  James Bond is sent to investigate.  At the same time, a KGB agent is on a mission to kill James and a chase across the Austrian mountains ensues.  James kills the KGB agent and manages to escape.  James then discovers that the plans for an advance submarine tracking system are going to be sold.  He travels to Egypt to try to acquire the plans where he meets KGB agent Major Anya Amasova, also known as Triple X, who is also trying to get the plans.  They end up working together, something that is supposed by their governments.  They have to deal with Jaws, a seven foot tall man with metal teeth.  James and Anya figure out that shipping tycoon Karl Stromberg is behind the thefts.  Stromberg has plans to destroy the world and start a new civilization under the sea.

The Spy Who Loved Me, the tenth movie in the Bond series, is also the third the feature Roger Moore as Bond.  The movie has the name of one of the books that Ian Fleming wrote, but that is all that was used from the book.  The movie had a completely new plot from what was used in the book.  I think that has been done with some of the other movies too but I may be wrong about that.  The plot is very entertaining, though not that original since it once again has James traveling around the world to stop someone bent destruction.

The action starts early in The Spy Who Loved Me when James is chased by KGB agents through the mountains in Austria on skis.  There is a lot of shooting during the well done sequence that moves effortlessly into the opening credits with the wonderful theme song.  The rest of the movie also has several actions scenes, including having James in a few confrontations with Jaws, a killer with metal teeth who seems to be able to survive anything.  The action scenes are all very well done and help to keep the pace moving and keep things interesting.  A few scenes did move a bit slower, but I was never bored by what was going on.

It didn't take long for James and Anya to start working together.  This is helped by the fact that the British and Soviet governments are very willing to work together to handle the situation.  James has worked with some other female agents before, but Anya seems much more capable.  She is more like Bond in how she does her job and her willingness to become intimate while working.  She is more of an equal for James, which is nice to see since some of the other women he's become involved with have been.  I remember when Die Another Day was released and Jinx was described as being a female version of James and the first time he'd encountered a woman like her.  She had a few of her own unique traits, but I think Anya was the first Bond woman to truly be James's equal.  

The idea that someone would steal missile submarines didn't seem that farfetched to me, though it may have been more believable if a country was doing it instead of just one person.  The reason that Stromberg took the missiles is a bit different though.  He didn't really want to take over the world like previous Bond villains.  Instead, he wanted to basically destroy the surface and rebuild a new civilization under the ocean.  That is less believable, but it still manages to work overall and make for an entertaining movie.  Stromberg has one of the cooler lairs of the Bond villains, especially with how it can rise up out of the ocean.  Certain things connected to Stromberg and his plan are similar to some of the previous Bond movies, so this isn't the most original movie.  It is still entertaining though.

The Bond movies have been known for the gadgets that James is supplied with for his missions, some of them seeming to be natural and practical with others being rather silly.  The gadgets were sort of around in the earlier movies without a big deal being placed on them, something that changed with some of the later movies.  The main gadget for The Spy Who Loved Me is the car that turns into a submarine.  It is sort of unbelievable, but it ends up being very helpful to James at one point.  I thought that the car was cool for the most part.

When The Spy Who Loved Me begins, James is contacted by MI6 and leaves the woman he was in bed with.  At the same time, Anya is in bed with the KGB agent she has been involved with for a while.  It isn't long before James and Anya encounter each other while trying to find the plans.  They try to outsmart each other before eventually deciding to work together.  They also end up in bed.  At one point Anya is very mad at James about something and vows to kill him, yet by the end of the movie, she changes her mind and is once again ready to have sex with him.  Their relationship is rather superficial, something that has been common with most of the relationships that James has been in.

James remains the same as he has been in the previous movies without anything new added to his character.  He does want to do a good job, but he doesn't hesitate to take the time to seduce a beautiful woman.  Roger Moore handled the part really well.  M, Q, and Miss Moneypenny all turn in briefly in a few scenes, so none of them have that much to do.  The British Minister of Defense and the head of the KGB turn up in a few scenes as well.

Anya is a KGB agent also called Triple X.  She is very good at her job and doesn't have a problem being deceptive or taking advantage of certain situations to get her mission accomplished.  She does seem to have a lot in common with James, though she seems more willing to be in an actual long term relationship since it is clear at the beginning that she has been seeing another agent for a while.  Barbara Bach was really good in the part.

Jaws is basically hired muscle working from Stromberg.  Jaws is over seven feet tall and has a mouth full of metal teeth, so he is very imposing and threatening looking.  He is not someone you would want to meet in a dark alley.  He is good at his work and it is difficult for James or anyone else to deal with him.  Jaws makes an effective bad guy and Richard Kiel handled the part well.  Stromberg is the main villain for the movie.  He has plans to start his own civilization under the sea and is willing to go to any lengths to reach his objective.  He tries to act very refined, but he thinks nothing of sending people to their death for even minor infractions.  Curt Jurgens handled the part well.

Main Cast

Barbara Bach - Anya Amasova/Triple X
Curt Jurgens - Karl Stromberg
Richard Kiel - Jaws
Bernard Lee - M
Desmond Llewelyn - Q
Lois Maxwell - Miss Moneypenny
Roger Moore - James Bond

Lewis Gilbert - Director

DVD Information

Like the other James Bond movies, The Spy Who Loved Me has been released on DVD more than once.  I own the version that is part of the Ultimate James Bond DVD collection.  That version has two discs and several extras.  There are commentaries with the director, one producer and a few other men connected to the movie.  There is also a newly recorded commentary by Roger Moore.  I haven't taken the time to listen to either commentary.

007 in Egypt shows footage from the filming done in Egypt.  A voice over by one of the producers talks about the movie in general and the filming.  He also briefly talked about some of the casting.  Roger Moore: My Word is My Bond starts with the producer talking in a voice over about Moore in interviews.  Some clips from a Moore interview are shared.  None of the questions from the interviewer are heard.  On Location With Ken Adam shares footage with the production designer while he talks in a voice over about looking for locations for the movie.  The footage looked like it was from a home movie.  

007 Stage Dedication - Original 1977 Featurette shares footage from the dedication of the new stage built at Pinewood Studios for the filming of the movie.  This was very short and didn't show that much.  Escape from Atlantis: Storyboard Sequence has a producer talking about the storyboards for an earlier version of the ending.  It includes a little bit of dialogue.  The Interactive Guide Into the World of The Spy Who Loved Me has several icons that will play short clips from the movie.

Inside the Spy Who Loved Me is focused on the making of the movie.  Different cast and crew members talked about the movie.  There were even a few short clips of Cubby Broccoli talking about the movie.  The changes that were done to the plot from the book were discussed.  The development of the character of Jaws was also talked about.  It was very interesting.  Ken Adam: Designing Bond is about production designer Ken Adam.  He did the production design for several of the Bond movies, creating some very interesting and unique looking sets.  His work on all of those movies was discussed.  Adam did talk about working on the designs.  The disc also has the original trailers and advertisements done for the movie.  

The Spy Who Loved Me is the best of the Roger Moore movies and one of the best Bond movies overall.  Fans of the Bond movies should enjoy this one.

Dr. No ~ From Russia With Love ~ Goldfinger ~ Thunderball ~ You Only Live Twice ~ On Her Majesty's Secret Service ~ Diamonds are Forever ~ Live and Let Die ~ The Man With the Golden Gun ~ The Spy Who Loved Me ~ Moonraker ~ For Your Eyes Only ~ Octopussy ~ A View to a Kill ~ The Living Daylights ~ Licence to Kill ~ Goldeneye ~ Tomorrow Never Dies ~ The World is Not Enough ~ Die Another Day ~ Casino Royale ~ Quantum of Solace ~ James Bond: The Secret Life of 007 ~ Never Say Never Again ~

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