Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Quick Look: THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977 - color)

   THE SPY WHO LOVED ME revitalized the franchise (though a spy craze like that of the 60's did not follow this time). Our story finds Bond and a Russian agent forced to work together in order to prevent the theft of a pair of atomic submarines from escalating into all-out war. Barbara Bach is the Russian agent, who vows to kill 007 once the mission is complete, because our hero had earlier snuffed her lover during a ski chase. Curt Jurgens is Stromberg, the meglomaniac who plans to rule the post-war earth from his underwater city. Richard Kiel makes his first appearance as Jaws, the assassin with metal teeth. As you can tell, this adventure embraces the colorful elements that defined the genre. The plot is largely a seafaring take on the events of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, but the film holds it's own. Moore has fully settled into his version of Bond by now, and the character will begin showing a more and more humorous side from here on out. Some notable names in the supporting cast include Caroline Munro as Stromberg's giddy -and beautiful- assassin who meets the business end of a surface-to-air missile fired from Bond's latest wonder car. Shane Rimmer gets an all-too-rare showy role as the captain of an American submarine. The return of Bond to theaters was played up big time, proclaiming 1977 to be the year 0077 (imagine my shock when the year 2007 came and went without a Bond film in release). The film did dynamite business, and plans were in place to follow up with FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (the end credits announce this title as the next adventure). The incredible success of STAR WARS, however, had the producers scrambling for a more science fiction based story to bring to the screen. MOONRAKER was the result.

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