The Spy Who Loved Me: James Bond 007

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The affection that Bond films inspire seems in no way connected to considerations of their actual quality: who, honestly, would voluntarily re-watch any of them other than slumped wearily in front of the TV on Christmas Day? That, presumably, is why they seem so linked to time and place: like Peter Bradshaw , I remember gawping saucer-eyed at this, my first big-screen Bond, as an year-old: it seemed, as for Peter, to have issued from a world of impossibly grown-up glamour and excitement. Rather weirdly, I realise I may have sat in exactly the same seat as Peter, a few years later.

I too saw my first Bond at the Classic cinema in Hendon Central ; while Peter, it turns out, was a tourist visiting his auntie , I grew up there, at the end of the M1. In retrospect, the cavernous, sticky-carpeted suburban picture house — emphatically not one of those lovable art deco palaces, but a gloomy place filled with ratty kids and popcorn-hurling teenagers — was arguably emblematic Bond territory, where England's roiling petit-bourgeoisie nursed their aspirations and worked on their dreams.

Even more symbolically, the place is now a gym. At the time, the film certainly made an impression. Everything about Bond movies — from Barbara Bach's cheekbones to the underwater harpoon battles — seems calibrated to appeal to the adolescent.

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Now older and wiser, I like the self-parody that Roger Moore brought to the role; I always found the "serious" Bonds — Connery, Lazenby, Dalton — out of kilter with the hyper-absurd environments they were anchored in. Even more astonishing, perhaps, was the social context: was the year of the silver jubilee and punk, Britain fractured and filled with self-hate. This smirking Bond was fully at ease with its own lameness: he couldn't be serious because no one would take him seriously. In this, Moore was the perfect Bond at the perfect time; and almost entirely antithetical to the spirit of Fleming's original.

Instead, The Spy Who Loved Me exemplifies Britain's conflicted internal battles: a nagging patriotism that, ironically, pointed forward to the Thatcher years alongside a smuttiness that might have been lifted from the sex comedies that, other than Bond itself, were pretty much keeping British cinema afloat.

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No doubt this was helped by the fact that The Spy Who Loved Me was forced to entirely ditch the written source after Fleming simply sold rights to the title; this tenuous relationship with the novels became the norm as the film-makers ran through the Fleming-originated supply. Bond is pursued in a ski chase that culminates with one of the greatest stunts from…. In Austria. If you ever need proof for the theory that the Bond movies work as time capsules, transforming the formula to fit the tastes of the time, you need look no further than The Spy Who Loved Me.

It screams late 70's the same way the tacky special effects of the Brosnan Bonds scream late 90's. The cinematography is dark and stylized, imitating the neo-noir aesthetic of directors like Alan Pakula The Parallax View. The soundtrack is a blend of funky slide guitar and early synth, marking the height of disco's popularity.

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There's even an undefeatable character…. My favorite film from my favorite franchise.

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While not considered by most as cool or as 'Bond' as Connery, he was Bond to me despite appearing in 2 of the worst films in the franchise. RIP Sir Roger. Martini's tonight. I'm really glad that me and Jonnie White agreed that films caught on the telly don't count towards any projects I don't do projects, obviously or challenges that are going on. I've reviewed this at typical arse-numbing length here so I'm not going to talk the same bollocks again, but a few points of note here It's his club! Get a second line in, Max! I always forget how much I miss models and giant sets in movies until I see some half as good as some of the ones here.

They're all so cool especially the inside of the ship and the villain's lair and hold up incredibly well for something over forty years old now. While this lacks the lavish and lush colors of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", I think I might think the production design is even better here?


Idk, something about how expansive the scale of everything is along with how detailed it is just made me grin from ear to ear throughout the whole run time. But as Lewis Gilbert's previous time with the franchise taught me, great production…. This was one of the first Bonds I owned on VHS, and as a result it remains what is for my money one of the best entries.

With Albert Broccoli now a lone producer, The Spy Who Loved Me is where I think the Roger Moore era peaked, the best gadgets, the best villains, the best one-liners, everything that I'd want is here pretty much. It also downplays the campy feel from the previous two Moore efforts in place of a more serious and traditional Bond storyline. This time, a maniacal and sinister Karl Stromberg plans to set off nuclear missiles to start a new and more deadly World…. Very entertaining the whole way through with some minor bits that dragged.

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The Spy Who Loved Me

Buy from. Read more. Share at. More in this Series. Thunderball Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die Ian Fleming. Goldfinger Ian Fleming. Moonraker Ian Fleming.