James Bond Movies with Jaws
Central to the enduring appeal of the James Bond series is a captivating roster of villains, none more iconic than Jaws. His influential presence in the 1970s solidified his status as an iconic figure in the Bond narrative. This exploration dives into the two James Bond movies with Jaws, and a look at the the character‘s significant role and enduring legacy.
From his first menacing appearance, Jaws captured the audience’s imagination with his unique blend of physical intimidation and unexpected charm. His steel teeth, towering stature, and mute demeanor made him a stark departure from the typical Bond adversary, cementing his place as an unforgettable villain in the franchise and the larger annals of film history.
This exploration will journey through the character arc of Jaws from 007 across his two appearances. We delve into his inception, significance, evolution, and the lasting impact Jaws left on the James Bond franchise in the movies he starred in.
Origin and Influence of Jaws in the James Bond Franchise
The character of Jaws was conceived by writer Christopher Wood and producer Albert R. Broccoli for the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. The idea was to create a henchman who was not only menacing but also unique and unforgettable.
Jaws didn’t appear in the eponymous novel, and was designed as a tall, strong character with a mouthful of razor-sharp steel teeth, a horrifying tool he uses with ruthless efficiency. The casting of 7’2″ actor Richard Kiel brought the character to life with a perfect blend of menace and charm, creating an antagonist who was intimidating and engaging.
Jaws’ unique physical attribute, coupled with his near-supernatural resilience, allowed him to stand out among the plethora of Bond villains. But it wasn’t just his might that made him memorable.
Unlike many villains who were defined solely by their evil deeds, Jaws was imbued with a peculiar sense of personality. His rare moments of humor and surprising plot turns added depth to his character, further endearing him to audiences.
Jaws quickly became a fan favorite after starring in his first James Bond movie. His imposing presence, unusual character quirks, and unforgettable scenes left a lasting impression.
Jaws represents a particular era of the Bond franchise, characterized by high adventure and larger-than-life villains. His imposing figure and metal grin are symbols of the franchise’s blend of danger, spectacle, and unforgettable character creation.
Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me
The movie’s plot centers around the theft of British and Russian submarines carrying nuclear warheads, with Bond and Soviet agent Anya Amasova (played by Barbara Bach) working together to stop the antagonist, Karl Stromberg.
In the movie, Jaws serves as the primary henchman to Karl Stromberg, a shipping tycoon with plans to trigger a global nuclear war. Jaws’ role is vital in driving the plot forward, as he relentlessly pursues Bond and Amasova throughout the film.
Watch the scene as Bond and Jaws fight on the train …
Jaws is introduced in a memorable scene where he sinks his steel teeth into an enemy, killing him instantly. Another key scenes is when Jaws fights with Bond aboard a speeding train, where he’s overpowering Bond, but is electrocuted after Bond shoves a lamp into his teeth.
In another key scene, Bond picks Jaws up with a giant magnet crane, and lowers him into shark infested waters. And just as you think this is the end of Jaws, he sinks his teeth into the shark, demonstrating his survival prowess by killing the predator.
These moments not only highlight his physical prowess and resilience but also underscore the movie’s blend of action, spectacle, and occasional humor.
Jaws quickly became a standout character in the James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me, with audiences and critics appreciating his unique abilities and formidable presence. And although, he doesn’t speak in the movie, critics praised actor, Richard Kiel’s performance.
Jaws in Moonraker
Jaws surprised everyone, especially Bond, when he appeared for his second James Bond movie, right at the very beginning of Moonraker (1979).
In an attempt to capitalize on the late ’70s science fiction boom, the movie sees 007 taken to the outer space. The plot involves a scheme to wipe out the world’s population and replace it with a ‘master race’ living in a space station, orchestrated by the villain Hugo Drax.
In Moonraker, Jaws serves as a henchman to Hugo Drax. His role, similar to The Spy Who Loved Me, involves pursuing Bond and trying to kill him at all costs. However, there’s a twist with Jaws in this movie as his character eventually switches sides and helps Bond thwart Drax’s plan.
We see Jaws at the beginning of the movie as he pushes Bond out of a private jet, leaving him to plummet without a parachute. Bond skydives towards a pilot to seize his parachute, but Jaws free falls after Bond, clutching onto his leg and and is just about to bite 007, but Bond pulls the chord of his parachute, and disentangles himself from Jaws’ grip.
Watch the Cable Car scene…
Later in Moonraker, Bond is on Sugar Loaf Mountain with Dr. Holly Goodhead, and as they’re coming down the cable car, Jaws halts it by biting the metal cable, before climbing onto an adjacent car, and attacks them both. They manage to trap Jaws in the car and escape by zip-lining down the cable.
Jaws gives chase in the cable car, which gets out of control and crashes into the station, causing a collapse. Jaws survices and as he’s regaining consciousness he meets Dolly, a beautiful young woman who helps him. The pair fall in love on the spot.
Jaws is a changed man after this and eventually helps Bond bring down Hugo Drax’s plan after the giant realizes that he and Dolly won’t meet Drax’s standards of a perfect human race. He helps Bond escape the space station before he and Dolly fall all the way to earth. Jaws survives of course.
The reception to Jaws’ character in Moonraker was mixed. While some appreciated the additional depth to his character and enjoyed his surprising turn to Bond’s side, others felt it diminished his menacing aura.
Regardless, the portrayal of Jaws in Moonraker and his biting into the metal cable has remained one of the most iconic moments in the James Bond movie series..
The Enduring Popularity of Jaws
In the years following his appearances, Jaws from 007 has retained his status as one of the most iconic figures in the Bond franchise. His blend of menace and charm, along with his distinct physical features, has ensured his place in the annals of cinematic history as a memorable and unique villain.
Jaws’ enduring popularity is evident in his consistent presence in discussions about the best Bond villains and the continued demand for his character in various forms of media.
And even though it’s almost 50 years since Jaws starred in the James Bond movies, the character is still included in video games based on the Bond franchise, such as 007: Legends, and has been immortalized in action figures and collectibles, such as the Funko POP!.
Not only that, but the character’s popularity extends beyond the Bond fandom. His image is instantly recognizable, making him a part of wider pop culture, as he continues to resonate with audiences even after all this time.
James Bond Movies with Jaws
Among the array of villains that James Bond has faced, none have left quite the same impact as the steel-toothed giant, Jaws. From his menacing debut in The Spy Who Loved Me to his surprising return in Moonraker, Jaws has proven to be a stand-out character in the 007 series.
Despite the mixed reception to his transition from villain to ally, Jaws’ distinct identity and indelible presence ensured his lasting popularity among audiences. He embodies the 1970s era of the Bond franchise, known for its high adventure and larger-than-life characters, which continues to resonate with fans old and new.
As we look back on the history of the Bond franchise, Jaws from 007 stands tall – not merely for his imposing stature but for his unforgettable contribution to the Bond legacy.