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The Spy Who Loved Me [VHS] 
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James Bond (Roger Moore), in his tenth screen outing, joins forces with a glamorous Russian spy (Barbara Bach) to outwit a megalomaniac shipping magnate (Curt Jurgens) who intends to achieve world domination by causing nuclear war between the superpowers. The film features the submersible Lotus Esprit, underwater battles, and 'Jaws', a seven-foot villain with steel teeth.
The best of the James Bond adventures starring Roger Moore as tuxedoed Agent 007, this globe-trotting thriller introduced the steel-toothed Jaws (played by seven-foot-two-inch-tall actor Richard Kiel) as one of the most memorable and indestructible Bond villains. Jaws is so tenacious, in fact, that Moore looks genuinely frightened, and that adds to the abundant fun. This time Bond teams up with yet another lovely Russian agent (Barbara Bach) to track a pair of nuclear submarines that the nefarious Stromberg (Curt Jürgens) plans to use in his plot to start World War III. Featuring lavish sets designed by the great Ken Adam (Dr. Strangelove), The Spy Who Loved Me is a galaxy away from the suave Sean Connery exploits of the 1960s, but the film works perfectly as grandiose entertainment. From cavernous undersea lairs to the vast horizons of Egypt, this Bond thriller keeps its tongue firmly in cheek with a plot tailor-made for daredevil escapism. --Jeff ShannonSee all Product description
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Although The Spy Who Loved Me is an enjoyable movie, it was made in the nineteen seventies, has dated somewhat and has faults, some a more forgiveable than others – the movie can’t really be blamed where film-making technology has improved.
The locations and sets are great: the gigantic supertanker set, Stromberg’s underwater base, the Egyptian pyramids and temples. But movies have better cinematography now, and a lot of the sets, the train, the submarine, various hotels and clubs, seem overlit and stagey.
The fight scenes are tame by modern standards, but that has its good and bad side: real fights aren’t the ‘ballet with fists’ we see today, and real punches don’t make a noise like an iron bar hitting concrete. And Bond actually looks scared when Jaws is beating the crap out of him, which is good.
The action set pieces and stunt work in The Spy Who Loved Me are some of the best in any Bond film. Iconic moments like Bond skiing off a cliff and then his parachute opening, the Lotus Esprit turning into a submarine, and the bows of the supertanker opening to swallow the submarine, are great and work perfectly. On the other hand, special effects to include the actors in the action scenes have come a long way. Some of the back-projection used to include close-ups of Roger Moore in the action scenes looks poor now.
Less acceptable is the script which is clunky, both in dialogue and plot mechanics, with a lot of brief logistical and plot exposition scenes. It also has Bond spout endless one liners, hardly any of which are actually funny. Scenes like Bond in Arab dress on a camel for no good reason are just an embarrassment. Also, by modern standards, the movie is quite slow – the opening half an hour in Egypt would be cut to about ten minutes these days – compare the pyramids scene in The Spy Who Loved Me to the similar scene at the opera in Quantum of Solace for example.
The acting is mediocre all round. Roger Moore is okay when he’s not leering or smirking, which is not often. His occasional serious scenes such as when he explains to Anya why he killed her lover are good, but there’s not many of them. Barbara Bach is beautiful, but wooden, and considering she’s supposed to be the KGB’s top agent she doesn’t get much to do.
Having said all that, The Spy Who Loved Me does still work, and I can forgive it a lot for the sight of Bond’s union jack parachute and the Lotus Esprit turning into a submarine.
See my full review, including full plot synopsis, on my website.
Now, when I first watched this movie on TV (many years ago now) I really enjoyed it. Great locations, attractive leading lady, brilliant villain, exciting action and terrific dialogue. But after repeated viewings my initial enthusiasm has dwindled. It's still a very good Bond movie just not as good as it thinks it is.
The extras disc is excellent as usual.
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