Bonding with Bond, Day 11: The Spy Who Loved Me

Summary

Community Manager RT-Ryan has never seen a single James Bond film, except for 2006's Casino Royale. To rectify the situation, he decides to watch every Bond film and write about his reaction as a 007 novice. The Spy Who Loved Me is the third Roger Moore film in the series, and one that is arguably considered his best entry in the franchise. Read on to see what Ryan's response to it was. Back to Article

Comments

ck100

Chris Kubat

Well it's nice you enjoyed the movie even if you felt it didn't totally live up to the hype we've given it. As for "Moonraker", I don't think it's as "pooh-poohed" as people claim it to be although it's one of the sillier Bond movies. Namely because of certain campe elements and the fact it's having Bond involved with outer space. Bear in mind "Star Wars" came out only a few years before "Moonraker" so the producers of Bond wanted to jump on the sci-fi bandwagon.

But anyways, there's a lot to like in TSWLM and you touched upon its top points. The first being Moore finally feeling comfortable in the role and shaking off Connery's shadow. Another point being XXX and her relationship with Bond. Of course, the introduction action sequence is one of the best in the series. I know the jump was 100% real and the stuntman got paid handsomely for the dangerous stunt. Also, it's great fun watching Bond battle Jaws and seeing how he subdues the big lug.

Looking forward to tomorrow's installment with "Moonraker!"

Oct 31 - 03:35 PM

Sputnik99

sputnik 99

The Spy Who Loved Me isn't perfect, but it is fun. I really like Jaws. I love the part where he tears that van apart. And I even got to see the underwater car at Universal Studios once. Pretty cool!

And yeah, Ian Fleming has a love for sharks and the Carribean, that becomes quite obvious as you watch the movies.

The Spy who Loved Me is the Bond theme song that I hear in doctor's offices every time I get a check-up. Or in elevators. It's always on!

As for Moonraker, the first two-thirds are okay, but then the end is total stupidity. You have been warned.

Oct 31 - 03:42 PM

Russ K.

Russ Kinter

As much as I can remember from Fleming's books, I think "sharks as the villan's pets" was only used once -maybe, so I think the continued use in movies is the work of the screenplay writers rather than Fleming.

Oct 31 - 05:45 PM

indiefilmfan2

Brandon R

Moonraker is on par with The Spy Who Loved Me until the last half-hour, which is completely ridiculous, even by Bond standards. I agree that Moore felt more comfortable with The Spy Who Loved Me than any of his others. "Spy" was tailor-made for his Bond persona and proved that Moore could indeed stand on his own.

Oct 31 - 04:05 PM

Alex M.

Soon 2 Be Free

i agree with sputnik in that it's very weird at the end
jaws is one of the best villains of the bond universe

Oct 31 - 04:07 PM

Icarus_Warrior

Dom Giuca

Sputnik, while I haven't read too many of the Bond books yet, I do know that TSWLM movie is and entirely different story to that of Ian Fleming's novel.

I'm not sure how obsessed Ian Fleming is about sharks and the Caribbean, but one must surely read the books before making that claim, as a lot of the movies (especially the later ones) don't revolve around the novels at all.

Anyway, while I thoroughly enjoyed TSWLM, I think I actually liked TMWTGG more. I know, shocking, but I really did love the locales, and Roger Moore, and Christopher Lee, and while a lot of it was incredibly silly, it was also a fun adventure.

Oct 31 - 04:10 PM

Sputnik99

sputnik 99

Whoah. I hate to admit it, but no, I have never read a James Bond novel. But like any true Bond fan, I know that the movies only vaguely follow the books, if at all. However, I have watched almost every "behind the scenes" or "Making of" documentary ever made about James Bond, so yeah, I picked up a few facts about Ian Fleming.

He loved the Carribean. That is a fact. He wrote a lot of the Bond books in the Carribean. That's a fact, too. I'm not sure how much he loved sharks, but I doubt he would have protested to a lot of what the movies did with them, considering his love for the tropics.

Maybe the movie producers amplified the tropics and sharks in the films a bit, but only because they were part of Ian Fleming's original recipe for James Bond, not just because they are sexy additions to the movies. People look at Bond's sexy image, his request for "shaken, not stirred" as parts of his identity. But if you're going to make a true Bond film, with a 100% accurate James Bond, he has to be in the Carribean. Or at least fighting sharks.

IMHO.

Oct 31 - 06:06 PM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

My favorite Moore Bond movie. Sure it still had plenty of cheese which plagued the Moore era, but the cool gadgets and the story were enough to offset it.

Oct 31 - 04:43 PM

Steve R.

Steve Rusk

After the exciting pre-credit opening scene the producers tried to outdo the action for the opener in a number of following Bond movies. My favorite opener was in and around an air force base in an unnamed Latin country in "Octopussy". (No spoilers here)

The Maurice Binder credit sequence was the best to date in "The Spy Who Loved Me" and he stuck with this visual style through "License To Kill". I have not found any of the credit scenes as interesting from "Goldeneye" to the present. It's just my personal preference.

The Derek Meddings special effects were awesome. He came a long way and had a bigger budget since his days with "Thunderbirds" and "UFO". The sea lab Atlantis and the super tanker looked totally real. The model of the tanker was built on a sixty something foot catamaran and I read once that when they sank it in the Bahama's it was too large to recover so it may still be down there.

The interior of the tanker with the submarine base was another colossal Ken Adam design. They built the world's largest sound stage for it and it was even larger than his volcano base in "You Only Live Twice".

I find that there's a lot more to a Bond film than just who plays Bond!

The "Spy Who Loved Me" opened in my home town of Seattle about two months after the original "Star Wars" which in those days only played in one theater in the city limits. All summer the lines for "Star Wars" went around the block and lots of people who couldn't get tickets walked a few blocks to the Cinerama Theater to see Bond and had a great time.

Oct 31 - 05:12 PM

mjprogue

Mike PArker

All I can say is For Your Eyes Only.

Oct 31 - 05:29 PM

Russ K.

Russ Kinter

It's too bad they didn't use Medding for the space effects in "You Only Live Twice" ( see "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun" from the same time period )
I read some time ago The Bond producers were forced to use a Japanese firm for the effects when they filmed in Japan, which was Toho Productions of Go Go Godzilla fame.

Oct 31 - 05:37 PM

-apocolyptic-

chris armit

Your doing a heck of a job man, keep it up!!!
I've yet to see a Bond movie all the way through, but your comments are making wonder if maybe I should.
So when your done watching all the Bond movies.....take on the ENTIRE Doctor Who series.


Yeah I know its not movie related, but it would be intersting to hear what you make of it.

Keep up the good work, man.

Look forward to the next one!

Oct 31 - 05:37 PM

blattman

Mike Greenblatt

I have heard that the only thing Ian Flemming allowed them (the films)take was the title and the character names. So I don't believe any of the plots are too similar. Of course this could have just been an urban legand of the time.

Oct 31 - 05:40 PM

JazzX

First Last

Not true.

Dr No: Minor changes to some moments in the plot. And no wonder, Dr No's operation in the book is smuggling (I think) - under the cover of a bird**** mine! He dies by being drowned in bird crap! But other than that, it's pretty close - right down to the tunnels Bond has to crawl through (although he's forced to do at as a sick experiment where Dr No observes how much pain he can take!)

Thunderball: Extremely close to the book. Mainly because the screenplay came first! That's why this story had a massive feud between Kevin McClory and Fleming. With endless court battles and, eventually, a remake "Never Say Never Again".

Goldfinger: Pretty close, except it's an industrial saw that Blofeld threatens Bond with instead of a laser, and ***** Galore is definitely a Lesbian. No souped up car or rubber ducks though. The golf scene's in there in a big way.

On Her Majesty's: very close for most of it, and Tracy gets killed at the end after getting married to Bond.

Diamonds Are Forever: starts off fairly close - but there's no clones or drag queen arch-villains. Or lasers in space.

You Only Live Twice: not really, although Bond is presumed dead by the end and does get Kissy Suzuki and all that (she ends up having their child apparently - but he never meets his son). He even spends months in a Japanese fishing village. But Blofeld's lair is a castle not a volcano.

Live and Let Die: quite close for a lot of it - although Bond and Solitaire end up being used as shark bait, as you'll see in For Your Eyes Only, the film.

Man With the Golden Gun: no - not close at all, apart from Scaramanga having a golden gun and a third nipple.

The Spy Who Loved Me: well, this is the one you referred to. Fleming banned anyone from using this story, allowing just the title.

No wonder - Bond isn't even in it for the first 2/3rds of the book! It's told from a woman's perspective in an empty motel. 2 nasty characters show up and give her a hard time - then Bond stops there with a flat tyre and sorts the villains out and gives her a good seeing to!

Moonraker: Mostly nothing common at all - however, there is much in the plot that is very similar to Die Another Day. A British star who turns out to be a foreigner with plastic surgery.

In the book - Drax is about to demonstrate live on TV, the new nuclear missile he's bought the British government - obviously, he's rigged it to land on London and not on the target in the middle of the ocean! He gives an ironic speech to the nation "The moonraker will change some of your lives, ahem, drastically ..." (in DAD, Graves says "You have no idea how much Icarus will change your world")

So the moonraker is synonymous with the Icarus satellite in DAD.

Also - the one thing they did use from the book for Moonraker the film was a scene where Bond and the girl (Gala Brand) are tied up underneath the rocket - so that when it launches, they'll be frazzled.

For Your Eyes Only - well this was a short story, but there are elements that are quite close - and some scenes from previous novels got put in the film. I think it's in Live and Let Die where they get dragged along as shark bait - but that ends up in FYEO the movie. They also change the first name of the heroine, I think she's English in the book, but they wanted a foxy french lass for the film. Both are out for revenge and use a crossbow though.

The Living Daylights - again, a short story. But the scene where Bond doesn't choose to shoot the girl with his sniper rifle is right in there.

Octopussy - not alot similar here! Bond really does do battle with an Octopus! However, in the same collection, is "The Property of a Lady" - in this short story, Bond faces off in the auction room like in the film, the prize being a Faberge Egg.

Licence to Kill - nothing similar to any novel here, it's not even a Fleming title

Goldeneye - the name of Fleming's house in Jamaica

Tomorrow Never Dies - nope, not a Fleming title and nothing similar to any Fleming novel here

The World Is Not Enough - we learn in the novel On Her Majesty's that this is the Bond family motto. This was a good title for the film, but again, nothing from the novels here.

View to a Kill - completely different (I think)

Die Another Day - not a Fleming title, but - as I said - very similar to Fleming's Moonraker in many respects.

Casino Royale - actually quite close. Bond does lose all his money half-way through the game, and he also gets threatened by Le Chiffre's henchmen while at the table. They've changed the game (good move - Baccarat is a boring game with no skill and very little bluffing compared to poker) - but they've kept all the lovey-dovey stuff at the end (there's no climactic house sinking in Venice though - Vesper simply leaves a suicide note on James's bed). The torture scene is very similar - although it's a carpet beater and not a knotted rope that is the instrument of choice.

There's no miami airport or freerunning in the book though!

Quantum of Solace

Nov 2 - 04:22 PM

Russ K.

Russ Kinter

As much as I can remember from Fleming's books, I think "sharks as the villan's pets" was only used once -maybe, so I think the continued use in movies is the work of the screenplay writers rather than Fleming.

Oct 31 - 05:45 PM

Sputnik99

sputnik 99

Whoah. I hate to admit it, but no, I have never read a James Bond novel. But like any true Bond fan, I know that the movies only vaguely follow the books, if at all. However, I have watched almost every "behind the scenes" or "Making of" documentary ever made about James Bond, so yeah, I picked up a few facts about Ian Fleming.

He loved the Carribean. That is a fact. He wrote a lot of the Bond books in the Carribean. That's a fact, too. I'm not sure how much he loved sharks, but I doubt he would have protested to a lot of what the movies did with them, considering his love for the tropics.

Maybe the movie producers amplified the tropics and sharks in the films a bit, but only because they were part of Ian Fleming's original recipe for James Bond, not just because they are sexy additions to the movies. People look at Bond's sexy image, his request for "shaken, not stirred" as parts of his identity. But if you're going to make a true Bond film, with a 100% accurate James Bond, he has to be in the Carribean. Or at least fighting sharks.

IMHO.

Oct 31 - 06:06 PM

Boyo

Raymond Hopkin

Ryan, I'm glad you said you like LALD better! As I keep on saying, don't be put off by people saying certain movies are bad, every one of them have redeeming qualities - even the really bad ones!

I have to ask you ryan (and for that matter, the rest of us Bond fans who are loving reading your reviews) which is your favourite car so far? I know the new ones have some pretty cool cars, but I love the Aston Martin and Lotus (how cool would it be to have a car that turns into a submarine!!). I'd have to say that if I HAD to, I mean, really HAD to choose just one, it would have to be the Aston Martin DB5.

As for Moonraker, I have to agree with Sputnik99 and say that it's a really good fun movie, but not such a good ending.

Oct 31 - 06:55 PM

inactive user

Jared King

I heard this is Moore's best. So I'd see it. Gotta love Jaws. But the underwater car really grabbed me, in a bad way. I'd see it.

I just saw "The Nightmare Before Christmas". What a excellent movie. Happy Halloween, Mweee hee heee!

Oct 31 - 09:09 PM

golrush007

Matt Raubenheimer

Ian Fleming's novel, The Spy Who Loved Me, was a critical disaster. It was a 1st person tale told by a woman, and only featured Bond in the closing chapters. As a result of the extremely negative reviews, Fleming decreed that the novel should never be filmed. However, even had he not said that I doubt that EON would have used much of the plot for this film. TSWLM is a far more lavish film than the previous two Roger Moore efforts, although I have long rated it lower than most fans. In fact, I rate Moonraker higher(Sacrilege, I know!!). I loved the car chase, but then they ruined it with the submarine bit, and the various other goofy bits that have been mentioned all lower the film in my estimation. The one area in which I can't fault the film is the pre-credits sequence which is breathtaking and the best of the series, hands down. Oh, and Jaws is awesome!

Oct 31 - 09:28 PM

J S.

J Simmons

Interesting you thought Live and Let Die was better. I'm waiting to see whether or not you agree with me that For Your Eyes Only is the strongest of the Moore movies.
Moonraker is definitely the silliest of them all, but if you accept it as a campy,light hearted action romp it's quite entertaining.

Oct 31 - 10:36 PM

inactive user

Jared King

Hey it's 2:33 in the morning. I'm bored. And tired. Good night.

Oct 31 - 11:34 PM

wcmartell

William Martell

It's a remake of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE with submarines instead of space ships.

- Bill

Nov 1 - 01:26 AM

Gregory H.

Gregory Hahn

I am enjoying your take on the Bond movies. I am old enough to have seen them at the movies starting with Live and Let Die (I was 12). I hope that when you are through all of the movies, you will rate them in order of your preference.

Nov 1 - 07:48 AM

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