MTV Movies Blog is currently running what we call the Bond-a-Thond. Every week we’re taking a look back at a single (official) Bond film, giving you the vitals and seeing how it holds up, right up until the release of “Skyfall” on November 9. Feel free to watch along with us and share your thoughts or just kick back and enjoy the Bond.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Plot: When Russian and British nuclear submarines go missing, MI6 and the KGB send in agents to find them. Falling in love was never part of the plan. [Cue music]
Title Meaning: It is the moniker of Francisco Scaramanga, the assassin at the heart of the plot, who uses a literal golden gun to kill his targets.
Theme Song: “Nobody Does It Better” by Marvin Hamlisch and performed by Carly Simon.
Bond: Roger Moore
Villains: Karl Stromberg, played by Curd Jürgens, an ocean-obsessed shipping tycoon, and Jaws, played by Richard Kiel, the infamous steel toothed assassin.
Bond Girl: Major Anya Amasova, codename Agent XXX, played by Barbara Bach, Ringo Starr’s wife.
“Bond, James Bond” Occurrences: 0
Martinis: 1 (the first since “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”)
Card Games: 0
Cigarettes Smoked: 0
Explosions: 41 (2 of which were nuclear)
Tuxes Worn: 1
Kills By Bond: 16
Most Creative Kill: During the pre-credit skiing sequence, Bond kills a pursuer with a flare hidden inside his pole.
Gadgets: 007’s vehicle of choice for “The Spy Who Loved Me” is a Lotus Esprit that could convert into a submarine.
Mental State of Miss Moneypenny: Barely around
First Occurrence of Sex: 4 minutes, 50 seconds in
Sexual Partners: 3 (unidentified Soviet agent, unidentified Egyptian woman, Anya)
Most Unrealistic Moments: Bond causes the car that’s following him to drive off the road an plummet straight through the roof of a cottage. The vehicle immediately explodes, but Jaws walks out unscathed.
Most “Bond” Moments: His final “We’re going to have sex” pun. “Keeping the British end up.”
Sign of the Times: In his first scene, Bond gets a text message…which comes out of his watch as a tickertape message.
Place in Bond History: “The Spy Who Loved Me” established two iconic Bond images. First, Richard Kiel as Jaws became one of the series’ most recognizable villains, and 007’s Union Jack parachute remains closely associated to the character.
Review: “The Spy Who Loved Me” is a Bond movie. With that title come a number of obligations. There has to be a girl, a villain, perhaps a henchman, gadgets, and a final elaborate action sequence. The arch will remain the same, but the strength of those pieces will decide how well the movie works or doesn’t work as part of the series.
For “The Spy Who Loved,” the girl and the gadgets do enough of the heavy lifting to look past one of the worst main villains in the series to date. Aside from his fascination with the ocean, the only distinguishing characteristic about Karl Stromberg is how comically easy it is for Bond to kill him. Stromberg take one shot at Bond, who simply dives out of the way and proceeds to shoot the villain a number of times at close range.
Thankfully, Bond gets a female counterpart who does more than sleep with him and eventually betray him. XXX has a legitimate beef with Bond, and even though the whole revenge plot disappears in an instant, their dynamic changes up the formula enough to make the film stand out.
The Bond-a-Thond will return next week in “Moonraker.”
What do you think of “The Spy Who Loved Me”? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!