27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
This is my personal favorite of the Roger Moore 007 movies so I was looking forward to the DVD to see what sort of commentary would be provided to go along with it. Here we are treated ti Producer Micheal Wilson, Designer Ken Adam and writer Chrostopher Wood recounting their memories of the movie in a screen-specific commentary. Added to this is a lengthy "Making of...." feature (over 40 minutes) that all in all combines to make this a movie that belongs in everyones DVD library. The movie iteself is intriguing with very satisfying action scenes, humor and the most beautiful actress ever to grace the movie screen - Barbara Bach...
The movie really has it all and we learn before the main titles that this is going to be a very different 007 movie from the ones that preceded it. In 1977 audiences rose to their feet to cheer what is still one of the most amazing stunts in motion picture history. Accompanied by a disco beat (that I like) Bond leaves the cabin of one of the EON series' sexiest femme fatales, is pursued by Russian assassins and then ski's off a mountain-top, apparently to his death. But no a parachute opens and our hero glides effortlessly across our screen and into the waiting hands of the main titles - perfect.
I've never been a fan of Bond in the main titles and this is unfortunately the one that started this trend. My favorite main title sequences are those in which 007 does not appear.
The sequence at the submarine base introduces us to a couple of recurring characters, first is Minster Frederick Gray and then Admiral Hargreaves (who would later be promoted to the position of M). These are two welcome additions and Gray's appearance in particular would help the series four years later when the series lost Bernard Lee.
We also are introduced to Gen. Gogol as head of the KGB. Gogol would return in each of the successive movies until 1987's THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS when actor Walter Gotell's health had deteriorated to such an extent that his part was rewritten to a mere cameo, while the chunk of his scenes went to John Rhys-Davies.
What follows is a mix of action (the car chase, battle inside the Liparus and train fight stand out), drama (confrontation in the hotel room in particular) and Moore getting to be ruthless (dispatching Sandor from the rooftop - "What a helpful chap.") Of course any review of the movie would be remiss not to mention the introduction of Jaws.
Jaws is a killing machine who, although clumsy, does not think twice about murdering his prey.
Many fans are admirers of Caroline Munro in this picture. For me, the main thing I like about her appearances are the looks it illicits from Bach's Amasova - are those flickers of jealousy?
Really, everything comes together perfectly, the perfect girl, some of the best action and drama, great locations and all the while Moore's great humor, it is in this movie that he delivers one of my all-time favorite 007 lines - "All those feathers and he still couldn't fly!"
UPDATE- It should be noted that there is a rerelease of this movie coming up on DVD which will feature a newly recorded scene specific audio commentary by Bond actor Roger Moore. So, it may well be worth holding off on a purchase until these Ultimate Editions are released towards the end of 2006.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2005
This is my favourite Bond movie and I have seen them all. Here are some of its assets:
- Great locations: Egypt, Sardinia, makes you want to be there as well
- The best Bond villain: Jaws
- A sexy and intelligent Bond girl + a sexy and ruthless female villain, Naomi (her role should have been longer)
- One of the best enemy hideouts, Atlantis, a giant waterworld fortress and the inside of a huge oil tanker
- The sets inside Atlantis and the tanker don't have this cheap plastic filmset look that you have in the enemy hideouts of the earlier Connery movies
- Roger Moore delivering his strongest performance
- The gadgets are also great, especially the Lotus Esprit that also functions as a submarine
- Bond's love interest nearly is his equal in her abilities, not some Bimbo, like in many other Bond movies
All in all, a great movie, I've probably watched it dozens of times with a cask of beer and some crackers, always makes a great Bond evening
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2000
One has to admit that the title used for the sequel to Austin Powers was indeed very funny. But how many out there actually remember what its original source is, or for that matter, how good a film "The Spy Who Loved Me" actually was? This movie is the pinacle of the Roger Moore era and features his best performance as 007. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. The film has every element that makes a great James Bond film: a good villain with a great scheme (the dream of an underwater civilization), an even better henchman in Jaws (before he became a cartoon), one of the best and most beautiful Bond ladies (Barbara Bach as Russian agent XXX), perhaps second only to "Dr. No's" Ursulla Andress (although this one is a lot more liberated and sophisticated), exotic locales (Egypt, Sardinia), a fantastic gadget in the Lotus Espirit submarine car, which some might feel even rivals the original Aston Martin, an unforgetable title song (Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better"), and what is perhaps the most breathtaking stunt in the series (the ski-parachute jump in the opening sequence). The only slightly dissappointing aspect of the DVD is that the commentary by the director and crew is not as informative as most of the others. But the film is too good to even let that bother you.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2004
This is the best Bond movie
It has all the elements you expect in a Bond picture.
Action, great special effects, a lovely Bond girl, great music, and a perfect Bond.
Roger Moore knows after two movies, exactly how he has to play bond. A though, humerous and serious Bond.
Barbara Bach is just lovely in this movie. She is beautiful and plays the russian agent Anya perfectly. The most beautiful Bond girl.
The villain, played by Curt Jurgens, is evil and a perfect adversarry.
Richard Kiel is the most rememberale Villain side-kick.
He is a perfect match for Bond, and has a nice weapon...
Talking about dropping in for a bite...
-The Best Bond movie! See it for yourself! It will enjoy you until the last minute!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2004
James Bond is assigned to foil the plans of the evil Stromberg (Curt Jürgens) to destroy the world, so that he can create an underwater utopia. As Stromberg and his criminal syndicate have targeted both the Soviets and the Americans/British, he is lucky to be teamed up with the lovely Russian agent Triple X-Anya Amosova, played by the gorgeous Barbara Bach.
Bach plays my second favourite Bond girl-and the Bond girls are ALL so exquisite that they are hard to choose between.
Bond engages with several other beauties from the Swiss Alps to the deserts of Egypt ( a scantily clad belly dancing bevy of lovelies , are one of the magnificent delights Bond comes across when visiting his Egyptian host).to the Sardinia, where Stromberg's underwater compound is based.
In this one the frightening Jaws is also introduced as Stromberg's bloodthirsty assassin, , with his metallic razor sharp fangs, which cut through metal bars and chains, the necks of several of his victims, and even a man-eating shark. Jaws also crawls out of various seeming deaths-the perfect foil to Bond, as he has appeared as Bond's nemesis in several subsequent 007 flix.
This is certainly the best of all the Roger Moore Bond's, and while Moore's over-flippant style can be irritating, the surrounding, the action and the ladies let him get away with it , in this one at least.
The theme song by Carly Simon -Nobody Does it Better- is the best Bond theme song.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2007
Roger Moore finally hits his stride, in this, my personal favorite of the James Bond epics. A thrilling throwback to the 60's Bonds has 007 going after demented millionaire Karl Stromberg (a smooth and scary Curt Jurgens), who plots to destroy the free world in order to rule an undersea kingdom of his own. Assisting him is towering steel-toothed goon, Jaws (an even scarier Richard Kiel). Jaws is the BEST Bond Henchman in history (at least in this Bond effort)! He could even give Oddjob, or Tee Hee, a run for their money! Barbara Bach is one of the best Bond girls as Anya Ammasova (aka: Agent XXX)! One wishes that B-movie siren Caroline Munro had more screen time, as luscious femme-fatalle Naomi. Non-stop action and gadgets gallore! Gotta love that Lotus Esprit Submarine Car! Stunt skiier Rick Sylvester performs one of filmdom's greatest stunts. His ski-jump off Mt. Asgard, is still a total jaw-dropper! Production designer Ken Adams's best work since You Only Live Twice (the Academy justifiably gave Adams his long-overdue Oscar nomination for his work on the Bond series)! Oscar winning composer Marvin Hamlisch also scored with nominations for Best Original Score and for Best Song. 70's crooner Carly Simon sings the classic Bond tune "Nobody Does It Better" with perfect tonality! To me, this is the one Bond movie that has it ALL!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
[A Note on Editions: If you are a fan of the series, make sure that you get the 2-Disc Ultimate Edition. That edition includes all of the documentaries, trailers, and extra content. The single disc Ultimate Edition just contains the cleaned up movie, sound, and commentaries. If you're not interested in the documentaries, go ahead and save a little money. But, by all means, avoid the "Special" edition. There is nothing special about it, particularly compared to its Ultimate brethren.]
With producer Harry Saltzman out of the picture, his long-time partner Albert Broccoli knew that he had better find success with THE SPY WHO LOVED ME or face the end of an era. Accordingly, more money was thrown at the film. After the staggering sums of money spent on THUNDERBALL and YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, the producers scaled back the production for the next four films, with mixed success. For THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, the budget was doubled from the budget for THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and it certainly shows. This film marks the first good Roger Moore Bond, by this time comfortable with the role and with a budget to back him up. While it certainly doesn't match the class of some of Connery's best endeavors, it surpasses his weaker outings and is certainly one of the better Moore pictures, if not the best.
After the opening "gun barrel" sequence, we are greeted with an opening that smells familiar. An underwater submarine experiences trouble and is "lost." We soon learn that both a Royal British Navy submarine and a Russian submarine have mysteriously disappeared. We next find Bond in Austria, wooing yet another girl, only to receive word that he must return to headquarters. After quickly suiting up in ski gear, Bond takes off on a terrific ski chase that looks wonderfully modern, diving in between crevasses and glaciers. The scene ends with one of the most spectacular Bond stunts ever--Bond ski jumps off of a cliff, removes his skis mid-flight, and pulls the ripcord on a surprise parachute in the colors of the Union Jack. The parachute gracefully falls down into a pair of hands and Binder's title sequence is underway. The titles feature falling & trampoline silhouettes dancing through the air, as well as a male and female figure tossling with a gun, setting up the inevitable rivalry between the film's main protagonists. The song, sung by Carly Simon, is one of the best Bond songs. All in all, we are off to a great start.
The plot of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME is quite predictable and we soon realize why the opening teaser seemed so familiar: it is virtually a remake of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. In fact, we even have the same director, Lewis Gilbert, behind the lens. In both films, an evil villain has a device capable of swallowing transportation vehicles (space capsules in the previous film, nuclear submarines in this one) and plans to wreak havoc on the world, all the while confusing the Russians and the Americans about the mysterious nature of the disappearances.
This time around, however, the Russians have a compelling agent of their own in the character of Agent Triple X, Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach). In a world that was increasingly more accepting of female heroines, the Bond franchise finally gave Bond a leading lady that could hold her own. At least this is how the critics tell it. While Major Amasova is certainly the Bond girl who is most explicitly Bond's equal (given that the scriptwriters make sure to give them dueling lines), the best Bond girls have always been captivating and interesting in their own right. In any case, the film begins with our two agents chasing down a piece of microfilm containing the plans of a tracking device capable of tracking nuclear submarines while they are underwater. Whoever has the plans must be responsible for the mysterious submarine disappearances. After a lengthy game of cat & mouse, the Russian and American forces finally decide to come together, pool their resources, and solve the case together. From this point on in the film, Bond & Major Amasova must work together before time runs out. The villain behind all of this is Karl Stromberg (Curd Jurgens), a man with serious Captain Nemo overtones, who has built a lavish underwater facility that he calls Atlantis. Using the nuclear missiles aboard the captured submarines, Stromberg plans to nuke both New York and Moscow, starting a nuclear holocaust. While the races above ground will fight it out until extinction, Stromberg will like peacefully beneath the waves in his wonderful city and establish a new civilization. Will Bond and Major Amasova be able to stop his evil plans before it is too late?
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME is memorable for several reasons. First, the action in this picture is much better than the previous two Moore adventures. Indeed, with an increased budget, the producers prove that you can do almost anything. The set designs by Ken Adam are mammoth in size and the film entertains from start to finish. While Stromberg's "Nemo" is not a very interesting character, his famous henchman Jaws (Richard Kiel) certainly makes up for it. Equipped with metal jaws, a sense of humor, and invulnerability, Jaws is a great addition to the movie. He certainly would not have worked outside the campy humor and puns of the Moore era, but inside of it he thrives and is a highlight of the film. Indeed, he was so good and loved by audiences that he would be the only henchman to return in another Bond film (MOONRAKER). Roger Moore is beginning to look a bit old in this film, especially across from Barbara Bach, who turns in a very good performance as Bond's equal. Another highlight of the film, for me, is the Lotus Esprit, the best Bond vehicle since the infamous Aston Martin DB5. Capable of converting into a submarine, the Lotus provides one of the best chase sequences in the series. I can still remember watching these scenes as a child and wanting just such a car. Hats off to the designers. Additionally, the chase scene is notable for its fantastic helicopter work.
All in all, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME is a good entry in the series and certainly one of Moore's best films. It is wonderful escapist entertainment and provides good action sequences from start to finish. While I am generally annoyed by the more tongue-in-cheek Bonds, this film works and for some reason I don't mind the campy humor. The Ultimate Edition looks and sounds great. In fact, despite the aging Moore, this is one of the first films that looks current. The effects and sets are starting to catch up with modern pictures and the picture doesn't look so dated as some of the other entries. This new DVD set helps capture that, as well as containing all of the extras we've come to know and love. This is definitely a must-see Bond film.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Roger Moore had a decent start as James Bond in "Live and Let Die," then faltered in "The Man with the Golden Gun." In "The Spy Who Loved Me" Bond roars back with one of his best and one of the best in the Bond series.
Karl Stromberg (Kurt Jürgens) is attempting to cause the superpowers to destroy each other so that he can become the controlling force in a world that will live on the ocean's floor. James Bond and Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) play cat and mouse with Stromberg's henchmen as they try to find out who is stealing Soviet and American nuclear submarines, how they are being stolen, and why they are being stolen. In the course of their search they meet up with Richard Kiel as Jaws in his first Bond appearance, and the beautiful Caroline Munro as Naomi. Munro has played in a variety of B-movies such as "Dr. Phibes Rises Again!" and "At the Earth's Core."
Moore's previous two Bond films minimized gadgetry in an attempt to focus on Bond the spy, but in this movie the gadgets are back all around. The best gadget is the coolest Bond car since the Aston-Martin DB-5, a Lotus Esprit Turbo. This car can go underwater, is generally bullet proof, has underwater mines, missiles (poor Caroline Munro) and several other interesting gadgets. At the beginning of the movie Bond escapes from assorted Soviet assassins by skiing off a cliff and then parachuting to safety. Of course he is aided in that getaway by a ski pole gun. Bond also has a type of jet ski. In one of the more interesting scenes in the movie Bond uses an electromagnet in combat against Jaws. You would also have to include Stromberg's underwater fortress as part of the gadgets in the movie, along with a ship that eats submarines. I think you get the drift. There are a lot of gadgets in this movie.
The movie unfolds in a variety of exotic locations. The best are in Egypt where pyramids and excavations form a backdrop for several scenes. The locations also include a mountainous Mediterranean island along with the beautiful beaches of that island.
The score keeps up the tradition of having an outstanding theme song with Carly Simon's rendition of "The Spy Who Loved Me," one of the best theme songs to any Bond movie and a hit for Simon in the 70s.
This movie is quite interesting in that Stromberg in the central antagonist, and yet the majority of the action is between Bond and various Stromberg henchmen. Richard Kiel gets a lot of film time, including a rather interesting battle with Bond and Amasova in a desert excavation, and then another battle with Jaws on Stromberg's underwater fortress, ending with Jaws in a brief, ironic battle with a shark. The wimpy captain of the tanker also gets quite a bit of film time, unfortunately. The captain is one of the wimpiest Bond bad guys ever. Naomi, on the other hand, is in the tradition of the beautiful, strong and evil women that Bond has had to face often, particularly in newer Bond films.
The comedy in this movie was significantly subdued after the near parody of "The Man with the Golden Gun." Thank goodness. The humor had become overwhelming and distracting. Moore's Bond is relatively serious in this film, with the fewest one-liners and double entendre's of any of the previous several Bond films. The result is a much more serious and effective spy movie.
This movie succeeds with a solid plot that is a throw back to the earliest Connery films, a solid cast, excellent locations, and plausible gadgets. One of the best of the series and perhaps Moore's best.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2002
The 10th installment of Bond takes a departure from Ian Flemming's 'The Spy Who Loved Me' who wrote the original novel. However, approx. 15 different writers had there hand in sequel, and it shows, for 'Spy' was a huge success at the time for the Bond franchise.
Here James Bond, (Roger Moore) begins the movie with a ski scene (close up special effects in '77 where a bit 'cheesy' for camera close-ups) that ends with a triumphant jump off a cliff. This was an actual stunt, which was HUGE in 1977 and has yet to be replicated today (see included documentary).
After the opening, and always sexy credits, we learn that James must recover microfilm that holds the secret on who and how is capturing British nuclear subs (with warheads). However, Russian agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) is after the same prize, for Russian subs are also 'disappearing'. This takes the competing agents to Egypt where they both have run-ins with each other and numerous hench-men who oppose them. Enter Jaws (Richard Kiel) the 7+ foot silent indestructible henchmen who with steel teeth can kill with one bite. James and Anya (in a very funny and action packed sequence) must escape Jaws in an ancient Egyptian temple.
Soon our agents learn that their respective governments will pool their resources meaning Anya and James must now work together to thwart evil plans. Again this takes them to exotic locals, and finally aboard a super tanker which when inside, is clearly not what it appears to be. James and Anya discover a far more nefarious plot to the occurrence of the missing submarines. Our main villain, Karl Stromberg wishes to eradicate New York and Moscow with nuclear weapons thus beginning WWIII. James must take the fight to Stromberg, aboard his submersible city ,Atlantis (an awesome Ken Adam design), while always staying one step ahead of Jaws and other traps that await our British agent.
Expect many chase sequences on land, air and sea along with many new Bond gadgets (supplied by `Q' of course) and requisite Bond beauties.
Good video transfer to DVD. Picture is as sharp as I can remember, however, the audio could have been punched up a bit.
Extras: Better than most DVD's, but lacking what you would expect from the Bond series.
1) Excellent audio commentary of movie by director Lewis Gilbert, production designer Ken Adams, and more. Was really a thrill to listen to this. Chock full of behind the scenes trivia, and 'How they did that'.
2) Multiple movie trailers and TV/Radio spots. Okay, a little repetitive, but all the trailers and commercials you can think of.
3) Collectors book. Small 6 page leaflet with some pics and commentary.
4) Excellent Bond documentary on Set Design with Oscar winner Ken Adams. About 15 minutes in length, Ken Adams discusses many of his elaborate set designs for many of his Bond movies including Moonraker, Diamonds are Forever, Thunderball, Goldfinger and Dr. No.
5) 40 minute documentary on behind the scenes of filming/making The Spy Who Loved Me. Interviews with Roger Moore, Richard Kiel, other Bond girls, producers, stunt-men, etc. Pretty cool. See models used and built, and learn many movie making special effect secrets.
6) Still Gallery- Collection of production stills and promotional pictures with cast and crew.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2005
This is one of my favorite 007 flims and I love it so much. Hero;James Bond Places;London,Egypt Girls; Anya Amansova Villain;Stromberg Henchmen Naomi,Jaws Villains project;nuking,stealing submaries from moscow I suggest you get this for DVD you really won't regret it. And Barbara Bach is sexy as Triple XXX.