The Spy Who Loved Me

 Release Details - Credits - Music - Cast - Notes

release details
Date of release: 7 July 1977 (UK), 3 August 1977 (US)
Running time: 125 mins
Aspect ratio: 2.35 : 1
Classification: PG (UK), PG (US)

Alternative titles: 007 My Beloved (Finland), Beloved Spy (Sweden).

Directed by: Lewis Gilbert
Produced by: Albert R Broccoli
Screenplay by: Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum
Associate producer: William P Cartridge
Production designed by: Ken Adam
Director of photography: Claude Renoir
Second unit directors: Ernest Day and John Glen
Editor: John Glen
Special visual effects: Derek Meddings
Action arranger: Bob Simmons
Main title designed by: Maurice Binder

Music by: Marvin Hamlisch

Main theme: "Nobody Does It Better"
Performed by: Carly Simon
Lyrics by: Carole Bayer Sager
Composed by: Marvin Hamlisch
Highest chart position: 7 (UK), 2 (US)

Musical notes: "Nobody Does It Better" was the first title song not to share its title with that of the film, although it is included in the lyrics. The end credits use a different arrangement of the song that opens with a Broadway style introduction.

James Bond: Roger Moore
Major Anya Amasova: Barbara Bach
Karl Stromberg: Curt Jurgens
Jaws: Richard Kiel
Naomi: Caroline Munro
General Alexis Gogol: Walter Gotell
Minister of Defence (Frederick Gray): Geoffrey Keen
M: Bernard Lee
Captain Benson: George Baker
Sergei Barzov: Michael Billington
Felicca: Olga Bisera
Q: Desmond Llewelyn
Sheikh Hosein: Edward de Souza
Max Kalba: Vernon Dobtcheff
Hotel Receptionist: Valerie Leon
Miss Moneypenny: Lois Maxwell
Liparus Captain: Sydney Talfer
Aziz Fekkesh: Nadim Sawalha
Log Cabin Girl: Sue Vanner
Rubelvitch: Eva Rueber-Staier
Admiral Hargreaves: Robert Brown
Stromberg's Assistant: Marilyn Galsworthy
Sandor: Milton Reid
Dr Bechmann: Cyril Shaps
Professor Markovitz: Milo Sperber
Barman: Albert Moses
Cairo Club Waiter: Rafiq Anwar
Arab Beauties: Felicity York, Dawn Rodrigues, Anika Pavel, Jill Goodall and The Egyptian Folklore Group
Stromberg Crew: George Roubicek, Lenny Rabin, Irvin Allen, Yasher Adem, Peter Ensor

USS Wayne:
Captain Carter: Shane Rimmer
Crew: Bob Sherman, Doyle Richmond, Murray Salem, John Truscott, Peter Wintman, Ray Hassett, Vincent Marzello, Nicholas Campbell, Ray Evans, Anthony Forrest, Garrick Hagon, Ray Jewers, George Mallaby, Christopher Muncke, Anthony Pullen, Robert Sheedy, Don Staiton, Eric Stine, Stephen Temperley, Dean Warwick

HMS Ranger:
Captain Talbot: Bryan Marshall
Crew: Michael Howarth, Kim Fortune, Barry Andrews, Kevin McNally, Jeremy Bulloch, Sean Bury, John Sarbutt, David Auker, Denis Blanch, Keith Buckey, Jonathan Bury, Nick Ellsworth, Kazik Michalski, Keith Morris, John Salthouse

Captain Forsyth: Jeremy Wilkin
KGB Thugs: Bob Simmons, Chris Webb
Sardinia Gunmen: Jack Cooper, George Leech
Guard in Submarine Pen: Jeremy Coote

The gunbarrel: With the movie returning to the wider screen ratio the gunbarrel sequence was reshot. This time Roger Moore is wearing a tuxedo (and all future films would feature Bond in black tie rather than a basic suit) and of course no hat. Moore's shooting motion is similar to in the sequence used for the two previous films but seems slower and less dramatic. The music is in the key of f minor (instead of e minor as most of the other films) and features the last use of an electric guitar for quite some time.

Using the title: The title is not used anywhere in the movie.

The novel approach: Fleming's "The Spy Who Loved Me" is an oddity. It is told from the point of view of its heroine, Vivienne Michel, and indeed it purports to be a true story with Ms Michel credited as co-author with Fleming. The first part of the book tells Vivienne's life story, with the rest a somewhat low key story in which Bond saves Vivienne from some gangsters at a motel. Fleming clearly appreciated that the novel was different and he made a condition when selling the rights to the book - any film based on it could use the title only, and not the story itself. This explains the change in the way Fleming was credited for the film; each film was previously preceeded with his name (for instance "Ian Fleming's The Man With the Golden Gun"); for this film Roger Moore is credited as playing Ian Fleming's James Bond. This style of credit would become the standard during the 80s.
Possibly in view of the above, The Spy Who Loved Me became the first Bond film to be novelised. This novelisation was written by co-screenwriter Christopher Wood. The novel expands on the film in a number of places, for instance giving some background to Jaws (his real name is given as Zbigniew Krycsiwki and it is mentioned that he is unable to talk, something which would be contradicted in Moonraker) and there are some differences from the movie (for instance, Stromberg's first name is Sigmund rather than Karl).

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Spy Who Loved Me is notable for confirming the real names of both M and Q. General Gogol refers to M as "Miles" (Fleming's M was named as Admiral Sir Miles Messervy in the novel of "The Man With the Golden Gun"). Later Anya greets Q as Major Boothroyd, the name of the Armourer played by Peter Burton in Dr No and how Desmond Llewelyn was credited for From Russia With Love. Although he is not strictly part of the Secret Service, the movie introduces Frederick Gray, the Minister of Defence, who would appear regularly until The Living Daylights. Away from personnel, we learn that the Secret Service has a regional operating base hidden within an Egyptian temple.
The movie is also interesting in that the movie shows us something of the operation of the Russian counterpoint to the Secret Service, the KGB. It is headed by General Alexis Gogol, who would also become a regular character and who has his own counterpart to Moneypenny in the shape of Rubelvitch. KGB agents are given coded designations, although there is no explanation as to what "Triple X" may mean.

Locations: Somewhere under the North Norwegian Sea (from where HMS Ranger is hijacked); London; Moscow; Berngarten, in the Austrian Alps; Faslane Naval Base in Scotland; Stromberg's home, Atlantis (positioned somewhere off Sardinia); Egypt (Cairo, the Giza pyramids, the ruins at Karnak, somewhere along the Nile and finally at Luxor). Bond and Anya then take a train to Sardinia, before ending up on the Liparus, which is somewhere in the Bay of Biscay.

The villain: Karl Stromberg, one of the richest men in the worl and the head of the Stromberg Shipping Line. He is a recluse who is obsessed with the sea to the extent that he lives in an impressive submersible structure called Atlantis near Sardinia, which is also a marine research laboratory. Stromberg has an unusual deformity in that he has webbed fingers, although this is not referred to in the film except for the fact that he doesn't like shaking hands.
Stromberg's plan is to destroy civilisation and retreat to his new world under the sea. To this end, he employed Dr Bechmann and Professor Markovitz to develop a device that could track submarines by their wakes. He is then able to hijack two ballistic missile submarines - HMS Ranger and the Soviet vessel Potempkin - which he plans to use to destroy New York and Moscow. However, his plan starts to go wrong when his traitorous assistant steals the plans to the submarine tracking device. Of course, Stromberg is finally defeated and shot by Bond.
Stromberg has two henchmen, the ineffectual Sandor and the steel-toothed Jaws. The latter is a professional killer known to both MI6 and the KGB.

The girl: Major Anya Amasova, a Russian army officer who is also agent Triple X in the KGB. She and Bond know of each other prior to the film. When we first meet her, she has a lover in the shape of fellow agent Sergei Barzov, but he is killed by Bond. Anya's drink of choice is Bacardi on the rocks. She has been on a survival course in Siberia and a mission two years previously involved her stealing the plans to the MI6 Lotus. She claims never to have failed on an assignment.

Bond's conquests: Probably three - the log cabin girl, one of Hosein's harem and Anya.

Gadgets: Bond has a watch that receives ticker tape messages, a ski pole gun and a microfilm viewer. He also uses a jet ski (a novel vehicle at the time, here called a wet bike). We see Q testing a number of devices - a decapitating tea tray, a spring mounted pouffe, a hookah-cum-machine gun and a camel saddle that conceals a large spike. Anya has a cigarette that emits a knock out gas. However, the main gadget is Bond's white Lotus Esprit (registration PPW 306R). On land it appears poorly equipped, since we only see Bond use a mud spray from behind the rear number plate. However, its main secret is that it is a submersible. In the underwater environment it ejects anti-air missiles, harpoons, black oil and mines.

Continuity: Bond's wife, Tracy, is referred to for the first time since her appearance and subsequent death in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In an excellent scene Bond and Anya are demonstrating how much they know about each other. When Anya mentions that Bond has been married only once, Bond's tone darkens and he is keen to finish the conversation.

Cameos: Michael G Wilson, later producer of the movies, makes the first of his regular appearances in the movies - he is in the row behind Anya and Fekkesh at the pyramid show.

Oscars: "Nobody Does It Better" was nominated for Best Song in 1977 but lost to the eponymous song from You Light Up My Life. In the same year, Marvin Hamlisch was nominated for Best Musical Score and Ken Adam, Peter Lamont and Hugh Scaife were nominated for Art Direction/Set Decoration. Both lost to Star Wars.

I didn't catch the name?: Bond uses his trademark introduction when he meets Max Kalba. There is an unusual variation later when Bond is undercover for his first meeting with Stromberg and he introduces himself as "Stirling, Robert Stirling".

Vodka Martinis: Anya orders one for Bond in the Mojabe club when she is proving how much she knows about him.

Gambling: None.

Bond bits: It is confirmed that Bond was recruited to MI6 from the Royal Navy. He once served on the Ark Royal. We see Bond in naval uniform for only the second time (after You Only Live Twice). Bond was at Cambridge (as mentioned in You Only Live Twice), where he knew Sheikh Hosein. When we first meet Bond in the movie he is on a mission in Austria, although we don't learn what this entails, other than attracting the attention of the KGB. When Bond visits Stromberg his cover is a marine biologist called Robert Stirling. Anya poses as his wife. Like Anya, Bond claims never to have failed on a mission.

Other trivia: The microfilm giving details of the submarine tracking device was drafted in Italy. The Liparus tanker was launched 9 months prior to the film and has a displacement of one million tons, making it the largest in the world (after the Karl Marx). However, it has never been into port, giving Bond a clue as to its true purpose.

Anything else?: This was the first Bond movie to be made in Dolby stereo. The movie provides two musical links to the films of David Lean; Anya communicates with her base using a musical box that plays the theme to Doctor Zhivago, and later the theme to Lawrence Of Arabia is heard when Bond and Anya make their way through the desert.
Whe Bond drives his Lotus out of the sea there are a number of amazed reactions from on-lookers. One of these is a man who looks at the bottle he has just been drinking from. This was an assistant director called Victor Tourjansky, who would go on to appear in the same context in the next two films.
The end of The Spy Who Loved Me informs the viewer that the following film is to be For Your Eyes Only; However, the success of Star Wars encouraged the producers to attempt a science fiction film and substitued Moonraker instead, since it was considered a more appropriate title for the type of film that was intended.

The Bond Film Informant was compiled by Matthew Newton. © Copyright MJ Newton. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission unless otherwise stated.

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