“As promised, I paid more attention to today’s second movie: The Spy Who Loved Me. This was certainly a good one to give my at least less divided to.
Bond is paired up with a Soviet agent to find out whose been hijacking submarines for both sides. The Agent, Anya, codename XXX (nothing to do with Vin Diesel’s XXX) is one of the toughest and most empowering Bond babes we’ve seen. Not only does the actress, Barbara Bach, hold her own against Roger Moore, her character more than holds her own against 007. Just to shake things up a bit, the two have this added tension when she discovers that Bond killed her boyfriend just a few weeks before they teamed up. So now, instead of just a playful cat and mouse relationship like he normally has, there’s real stakes involved as she’s promised to kill him when it’s all over.
Spy also gives us one of the most memorable henchmen, Jaws. I’ve certainly found that the henchmen make more of an impression on me than their evil overlords, and Jaws was certainly no exception. Apparently he was enough of a fan favorite that his survival was ensured so he could reappear in the next film.
And just when you thought Bond has already traveled the world and experienced every sort of terrain, they find one he hasn’t conquered: the deserts of Egypt. This means we’ve got him in full on Lawrence of Arabia gear. While I have a habit of reading IMDB trivia every time I watch a movie, I tend to skip that for these movies. 007 afficionados have filled up that page with a TON of minutia that’s too much for even me. However, this time around I felt compelled to at least skim thru and I found an antecdote about some of the issues that shooting on this particular location posed. There were problems with the food, so producer Albert Broccoli shipped in food from England. However, freezer issues made it all go bad. So Broccoli himself cooked up a big dinner for the cast and crew that he and Roger Moore served to everyone. EW mentioned that story a couple months back and had a picture that I can’t seem to successfully Google.
Now those opening credits. This is one of those rare instances where the theme title is not the title of the film. This is “”Nobody Does It Better”” sung by Carly Simon, a title which would become a catchphrase for the franchise. As far as the credit sequence, now we’re getting somewhere. Instead of just dancing silhouettes, they’re actually doing something: running from bad guys, playing spy with James. And there’s some more stylistic stuff too, the trampoline-ing or the gymnastics around the gun barrells. Pretty much the only face you see is that of Roger Moore, which again is how I like the credits. It just loses points for the spots where instead of just seeing silhouette you see actual naked girl running around. Awkward much?”