The Spy Who Loved Me
The Spy Who Loved Me is the tenth James Bond film in the series and the third starring Roger Moore as the British Secret Agent.
It’s regularly voted as Roger Moore‘s best Bond film, and it remains a favorite among fans of the long-running spy series. Released in 1977, the film brought a new level of excitement to the series, thanks to its exotic locations, thrilling gadgets, and unforgettable, iconic characters.
The Spy Who Loved Me sees Britain and the USSR work together to discover the whereabouts of their abducted nuclear submarines. Bond is assigned the mission along with Soviet Agent Anya Amasova, and the two compete but help each other along the way.
Their investigation brings them up against Karl Stromberg and stop his plans to create all out war and ultimately create an underwater civilization that he’ll control.
Bond comes up against Stromberg’s formidable henchman Jaws, and from the iconic opening ski chase to the unforgettable Lotus Esprit S1 car that transforms into a submarine, The Spy Who Loved Me is full of action and drama.
In this blog post, we look at the synopsis, Roger Moore’s performance as 007, and that of other members of the cast including Bond villains, henchmen and Bond girls, as well as looking at some of the best scenes from The Spy who Loved Me.
Two nuclear submarines, one British and the other Soviet disappear, and MI6 and their Soviet counterparts agree to work together. MI6 assign James Bond 007 and the KGB assign its top agent, known only as XXX.
Meanwhile Bond is enjoying some downtime with Log Cabin girl in the Austrian Alps when he gets his orders to report for duty. She begs him not to leave, saying she needs him, but Bond dons his ski gear and tells her, ‘So does England!’.
As he sets off, it becomes clear the Log Cabin Lady is a KGB informant, who sends a message to the henchmen assigned to kill Bond that he’s gone. Four Soviet agents then pursue Bond on skis, and he skilfully evades them before shooting one with his ski pole gun. The guy he shoots turns out to be Soviet Agent XXX’s lover.
Bond keeps skiing and ski jumps off a cliff, free falling thousands of feet before opening up his Union Jack parachute and lowering himself to safety
The Head of KGB General Gogol assigns Agent XXX, Major Anya Amasova, the mission to search for the missing submarine, and lets her know of the death of her lover in Austria at the hands of a British spy. Amasova is distressed but promises to dedicate herself to the new mission.
Two marine scientists, Beckman and Marcowitz invent a groundbreaking submarine tracking device, and offer it to Karl Stromberg, a wealthy businessman, who lives in an underwater city called Atlantis.
Stromberg thanks the scientists for their invention but as the scientists are leaving Atlantis in a helicopter, he targets the chopper with a missile and kills the two scientists. He then tells his 2 henchmen Sandor and Jaws to go to Egypt and get the stolen submarine tracking system blueprints.
Bond arrives in Egypt, and an old contact knows of a local businessman called Fekkesh, who’s looking to buy a submarine tracking system. Bond goes to see him, but comes up against Sandor, who Bond disposes off from a Cairo rooftop.
Bond then heads to the Pyramids of Giza to find Fekkesh and he sees Agent Anya Amasova with him, but Fekkesh runs away as he sees henchman Jaws. Fekkesh gets away and locks the gate, but Jaws bites the security chain open with his metal teeth.
He then gets Fekkesh and kills him with a bite on his neck. Bond then heads to a nightclub to find the owner, who has the microfilm. As Bond is there Amasova turns up, but Fekkesh has to take a call. However, in disguise as a telecom engineer, Jaws is waiting for him and kills him before making off with the microfilm.
Bond and Amasova give chase and climb in the back of Jaws’ van and follow him to a site of ruins in the Egyptian desert. They then corner Jaws in the ruins and get the microfilm from him. Bond and Jaws fight, and Amasova saves Bond before they run back to the van to get away.
Jaws rips the van apart with his sheer strength, but Bond and Amasova manage to drive away. They end up at the River Nile riverside and charter a Felucca to take them back to Cairo.
Bond and Anya Amasova then get very close and 007 thinks she’s falling for him, but professional as ever, she pretends to take out a cigarette before blowing the smoke in Bond’s face and benumbs him with the tranquilizer vapour.
Bond then meets with M, Q and Miss Moneypenny at an Egyptian ruin, and the KGB General Gogol is there with XXX Anya Amasova. The two then learn they’re working together to discover the location of the two submarines.
The microfilm appears to be useless, but Q notices a hidden symbol on the microfilm that leads to the identification of Karl Stromberg. M and General Gogol then order Bond and Amasova to investigate Stromberg, who’s thought to reside on the island of Sardinia.
Bond and Amasova travel to Sardinia by train, but somehow Jaws is on the train and he’s about to kill Amasova, before Bond saves her.
Bond and jaws then fight, and 007 gets the better of him by putting an electric lamp in his mouth and electrocuting him and disposing of him out of the train window. Anya Amasova then falls into Bond’s arms after realising he saved her life.
In Sardinia, Bond meets up with Q, who gives him a new car, a Lotus Esprit to use while he’s on the island. Bond and Amasova then head to Stromberg’s disguised as marine biologists, but Stromberg soon discovers their real identity after Jaws alerts him it’s the two from Egypt.
Stromberg orders Jaws to kill them both once they get back on the island of Sardinia. Bond and Amasova are then driving in the Lotus Esprit when they’re pursued by henchemn on a motorbike and in cars. Bond seess them off, before a helicopter then starts firing on them.
Bond then drives the Lotus off the pier and into the sea, as the car quickly transforms into a submarine. Bond can see the helicopter hovering above the sea, and fires a torpedo, shooting down the chopper and killing Stromberg’s personal pilot Naomi.
In the Lotus Esprit submarine, Bond and Amasova head to Atlantis but are pursued by more henchmen divers. Bond sees them off but the vehicle starts to leak, so they have to drive it out onto the beach and onto dry land.
They then start to investigate a supertanker called Liparus that Bond discovered the name of. They become suspicious as it’s never been docked anywhere. Bond and Amasova then board the USS Wayne submarine to monitor the Lazarus.
However, the submarine monitoring system is disabled and is swallowed up by the Liparus tanker, which has a hidden submarine dock inside. As the crew, Bond and Amasova are taken prisoner, it becomes clear the British and Soviet subs are there too.
Stromberg then reveals his plan to nuke the East and West with an ultimate aim to create a new civilization underwater, which he will control. Stromberg notices Bond and Amasova and orders Bond to be locked up with the crew as he takes Amasova captive and heads away on his private boat with orders to his men to set 2 nukes on New York and Moscow.
Bond evades imprisonment and releases all the prisoners as war breaks out in the internals of Liparus. As the two Stromberg submarines prepare to launch their missiles, Bond convinces USS Wayne Captain Carter to manipulate their tracking systems and dire the nukes on each other.
The plan is successful as the two submarines target each other instead of the cities of New York and Moscow and with it an all out war between USA and USSR. With mission turning into a success, Captain Carter is told by the pentagon to destroy Atlantis.
Bond objects because Stromberg has Anya on the submarine-island. Carter goes against the Pentagon’s orders and gives Bond one hour to get her out of there or he’ll have to destroy it.
Bond then heads to Atlantis on a jetski with the intention of saving Anya Amasova. Stromberg knows he’s there and lets him up the elevator. He opens the elevator trapfloor, but Bond manages to stay in and makes it up to Strmberg’s dining hall.
Bond and Stromberg then engage in a heated confrontation at opposite ends of his huge dining table. Stromberg has a hidden harpoon gun under the table and firs it, but Bond dives out of the way in time. Bond then fires his gun up the harpoon, killing Stromberg.
Bond then looks for Anya, but comes across Jaws again. The two fight before Bond gets control of a magnetic crane, which picks Jaws up by his mouth. Bond then drops the giant henchman into the shark tank below.
The shark attacks Jaws, but the giant henchman gets the better of the shark and bites into its flesh, killing it. Bond finally finds Anya locked up in a room, just as the USS Wayne opens fire. Atlantis starts to crumble and sink, but Bond and Anya find a submarine pod as they manage to get away.
Jaws is also seen swimming away in the middle of the sea, but that’s the last we see of him, for now.
Inside the pod, as Bond relaxes Anya takes out her gun, appearing to intend to shoot him for killing her lover in Austria. But she turns the gun on the bottle of champagne and corks it, letting Bond know that she forgives him and is now in love with him.
A British Navy vessel, carrying M and General Gogol, then finds a random pod in the sea. Unaware who or what is in it, they’re shocked to find Bond and Amasova laying in the luxury bed. Bond then pulls the curtains to enjoy some more time with Anya.
Roger Moore as Bond in The Spy Who loved Me
Roger Moore’s performance in The Spy Who Loved Me has been widely acclaimed for his portrayal of James Bond. Many critics consider this film to be Roger Moore’s best Bond film and performance as the iconic spy character, showcasing his charm, wit, and action skills at their finest.
In The Spy Who Loved Me, Moore’s Bond engages in some of his most memorable interactions with the menacing henchman Jaws, played by Richard Kiel. Their epic battle scenes and witty exchanges provide some of the most iconic moments in the film’s history.
Roger Moore’s portrayal of 007 is particularly noteworthy for his ability to balance the suave, sophisticated side of Bond with the more intense and action-oriented scenes. None more so than the Lotus Esprit that evades all comers and converts into a submarine after running off the pier into the sea.
Roger Moore and Barbara Bach teamed up as a competitive duo in this film and it really worked. The beautiful Bach, who plays Agent XXX, Anya Amasova, has a lengthy on-off relationship with Bond before she falls into his arms.
The chemistry between the two is electric throughout, and her determination to keep things professional helps keep Bond in toe, something ROger Moore’s Bond hardly had to deal with. Of course, she does succumb to Bond’s charm in the end, but he did save her life.
Bond is famous for his one liners, and Roger Moore delivered more than his fair share in this film, and after fighting with Jaws and picking him by his teeth on the magnetic crane, Bond walks aways asking, ‘How does that grab you?’
Probably his best one liner in the film is at the end, when M, the Royal navy captain, and KGB Agent Gogol can see both Bond and Amasova naked under the blankets in the submarine pod. M is clearly emabarrased and demands to know what Bond is doing. In true Roger Moore Bond style he flippantly says, ‘Keeping the British end up, sir,’ and closes the curtains in the large panoramic window.
Overall, Roger Moore’s performance in The Spy Who Loved Me is widely regarded as a highlight of his time as James Bond, with his interactions with Anya Amasova and Jaws, and his catchy one-liners all adding to the film’s iconic status.
Bond Villains in The Spy Who Loved Me
Karl Stromberg, the main antagonist in The Spy Who Loved Me, is a character with all the traits of a classic Bond villain. Portrayed by Curt Jürgens, he is a megalomaniacal billionaire with a grand plan to destroy the world and rebuild a new one underwater.
Stromberg’s plan is to trigger a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States, and then use the resulting chaos to create a new civilization under the ocean. He believes that the surface world is overpopulated and doomed to destruction, and that his underwater utopia is the only solution to save humanity, which he will run.
Stromberg’s lair, an underwater base called Atlantis, is a stunning display of his wealth and technological prowess. It is equipped with advanced security measures, including a giant metal pincer that can crush intruding vessels. The base also features a large aquarium that serves as Stromberg’s personal viewing room, and a shark tank that he drops the odd narc in there.
Stromberg and Bond don’t really have much physical altercations. He’s an aging rich man and he has his henchmen do all the hard work, for him. He enjoys sharing his grandiose plan with willing listeners, however, and it almost comes off, as he abducts 3 nuclear submarines, before Bond intervenes.
In a desperate attempt to eliminate Bond, Stromberg first tries to drop him into his shark tank, but Bond uses his wit and agility to escape. Undeterred, Stromberg then aims a harpoon at Bond from across the room. However, Bond anticipates his move and shoots him dead with his trusty Walther PPK before he can pull the trigger.
No Bond movie is complete without its villains and henchmen, and in Jaws, The Spy Who Loved Me offered one of the most memorable antagonists in the entire series. Played by Richard Kiel, Jaws was a towering, steel-toothed henchman who left an indelible impression on the audience despite having no spoken lines.
Jaws’s fights with Bond are some of the most iconic in the entire franchise, and they leave any young person watching them with nightmares. His immense strength makes him a formidable opponent for 007, but Bond’s quick wit always finds a way to outsmart him.
He’s ordered by Stromberg to kill Bond a few times, and from his first appearance in the Egyptian tomb to the climactic battle on the train, Jaws’s menacing presence keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, while offering moments of lighthearted humour, too.
In a funny moment, Jaws is showing his sheer strength and throwing some of the large Egyptian carved stones, before he drops one on his toe. It was such a big stone that even Jaws gave a slight reaction to it.
In another fight on the train, Jaws’ strength is again getting the better of Bond, but Bond grabs an electric lamp and shoves it onto his metal teeth, electrocuting him and allowing him to get the better and throw him off the train.
The scene where Jaws is lifted by the magnet crane and dropped into Stromberg’s shark tank offer more humour, but also shows the giant’s power. Bond lifts him by his teeth with the magnet crane and drops him for dead in the shark tank.
Most people would have died, but not Jaws. He bites the shark and kills it, before swimming away from Stromberg’s Atlantis in the middle of the sea. It’s the last we see of Jaws, he’s just about alive if he can manage to swim to the shore. Surely we couldn’t him again, could we? Moonraker anybody!
Bond Girls in The Spy Who Loved Me
Anya Amasova, portrayed by British actress Barbara Bach, is one of the most memorable Bond Girls in the history of the James Bond franchise.
Anya and Bond are actually brought to work together by the MI6 and KGB to investigate the abduction of a British and Soviet nuclear subs. They’re both at the top of their game and are initially competitive.
Anya is no ordinary Bond Girl. She is a highly skilled KGB agent and proves herself to be Bond’s equal in both brains and brawn. She is not a damsel in distress type of character and is capable of taking care of herself, and she also saves Bond’s life.
Their competitiveness to be the one to figure the investigation out offers some lighthearted humour, and when they board the felucca to take them back to Cairo, Bond thinks she’s fallen for him.
The smart and ever professional Agent XXX is no pushover, however, and as she takes out her cigarette making Bond think she’s putty in his hand. She lights the cigarette and blows the smoke in his face. the next thing Bond knows he’s awake by the river banks of The Nile.
Despite her initial dislike of Bond, she eventually falls for him after some time, and him saving her life definitely helps. Their romance is not without its complications, as Anya eventually discovers that Bond killed her lover during an earlier mission.
She vows to kill Bond after the mission is over, but as they work together, she realizes that her feelings for him have deepened. And by the end of the film, she is in love with Bond, and so she forgives him as the two see out the film in the submarine pod.
Log Cabin Girl
We first see Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me in bed with a Log Cabin Girl. He’s unaware that she’s a KGB honeytrap, trying to set him up and have him killed.
Played by Sue Vanner, she’s unnamed and only plays a short part, but the two are share a romantic moment in the film, which also offers some of Bond’s best one liners
She says to him, ‘Oh James, I cannot find the words.’ So, Bond responds by saying, ‘Well, let me try to enlarge your vocabulary.’
Bond the receives his orders through his highly sophisticated Seiko 0674 Wristwatch to report to London. He jumps up to get ready to leave, but she knows the KGB are on their way so tries to keep him there.
‘But James I need you,’ she says. ‘So does England,’ retorts Bond as he slams the door closed and heads off on towards his next investigation.
Although, she’s unnamed in the film, she is given the name Martine Blanchaud in the subsequent The Spy Who Loved Me novel written by Christopher Wood.
There are so many memorable scenes in The Spy Who Loved Me, from Bond’s many battles with Jaws to his partnership with Agent XXX, but we’ve chosen the opening scene and the iconic Lotus Esprit S1 car chase/submarine scene to highlight.
Union Jack Parachuting to Safety
The opening scene in The Spy Who Loved Me where Bond famously escapes from the mountain top using the Union Jack parachute is a true classic moment in the James Bond franchise.
It starts with Bond with a KGB honeytrap in a chalet in the Austrian Alps. After spending some time together, duty calls and Bond leaves to report back for his mission, skiing down the mountain in his not too inconspicuous canary yellow ski suit and bright red hat and bag.
It’s the first time that Bond has been on skis since George Lazenby‘s mission in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. And as Bond skis down the mountain, he’s pursued by KGB agents who are hot on his trail.
Watch the scene
Of course, Bond uses his skills and experience to outsmart the KGB agents, and manages to kill one of them using a ski pole rifle before skiing off. Bond then skis off the end of a clifftop to escape and free falls down the mountain.
As he plummets through the air he manages to lose his skis, before reaching for a cord and opens his Union Jack parachute, which unfurls majestically behind him. As it opens, the Bond music starts to play in what is an iconic scene in the movie series.
The parachute sequence has become one of the most memorable moments in the history of the Bond franchise. The scene was even rekindled for the London Olympics opening scene, where Bond, played by Daniel Craig, and Queen Elizabeth II jump out of the helicopter before parachuting down in their Union Jack parachutes, and making their grand entrance at the Olympic Stadium.
Lotus Esprit Car Chase
Another iconic scene is the Lotus Esprit S1 chase that sees the car evolve into a submarine. Bond and Anya are in Sardinia to investigate Stromberg. The go for a leisurely drive, but Stromberg sends his henchmen to kill the pair.
They’re pursued by henchmen on a motorbike and cars, and he skilfully sees a few of them off. Jaws is in one of the cars and tries to shoot Bond, but his car ends up going over a cliff and into the roof of an old barn.
The homeowner is relaxing in his garden as Jaws emerges from the rubble and dusts himself down and walks away. Just as it seems like Bond has seen off all the henchmen, a helicopter driven by Stromberg’s personal pilot Naomi starts chasing and shooting at them.
Watch the scene
Bond is forced to drive his Lotus Esprit at high speeds, dodging bullets and trying to stay alive, and is eventually forced to drive off the edge of a pier, plunging into the sea below.
As the car is begins to submerge in the sea, Bond activates the submarine mode, and the car starts to navigate underwater. While at the bottom of the sea bed, Bond sees the helicopter hovering over him and then uses more of the car’s gadgets fires a missile at the helicopter and seeing off the imminent threat.
The Spy Who Loved Me – Roger Moore’s Best Bond Film
The Spy Who Loved Me is a classic James Bond film that continues to stand the test of time. With its memorable characters, thrilling action sequences, and iconic scenes, it is probably the bet Roger Moore Bond movie.
The beautiful and smart Anya Amasova offers much more than a damsel in distress and is Bond’s equal throughout. Their chemistry and her sharp tactics make for some memorable moments.
Jaws is a legendary figure in the franchise, and although he wasn’t the main Bond villain, he really was. He may have had a non-speaking part, but he’s definitely one of the most recognizable faces in the history of Bond, and he also returns in the Moonraker cast.
And of course there’s the iconic scenes, from the Union Jack parachute jump to the Lotus Esprit car/submarine. It’s legendary and this film saw Major Boothroyd and the Q branch offer some of the finest gadgets we’ve ever seen in Bond movies.
The Spy Who Loved Me offers a perfect blend of adventure, romance, and humour that has kept audiences engaged for over four decades. And the best thing is, it absolutely ages well.