AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Spy Who Loved Me
Director: Lewis Gilbert (Dir)
Release Date:   3 Aug 1977
Duration (in mins):  125
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Cast: Roger Moore  (James Bond)
  Barbara Bach  (Major Anya Amasova [Agent XXX])
  Curt Jurgens  ([Carl] Stromberg)

Summary: Both a British Ranger nuclear submarine and the nuclear Soviet submarine Potemkin disappear without a trace. When agent James Bond’s orders type out on his miniature telex wristwatch, he navigates a treacherous trail with steep slopes and tunnels made out of ice on skis in the Austrian Alps, as he dodges bullets from the enemy. One of his ski poles transforms into a gun and he kills one of his attackers. He skis over a precipice, free falls and floats to safety when his parachute opens. Agent XXX also known as Major Anya Amasova meets with General Gogol, the head of the Soviet spy agency. He wants her to find out what has happened to the submarine and track down a lead in Cairo, Egypt. At a briefing, “M,” head of British Intelligence, tells Bond that somebody with the capability to track nuclear submarines wants to sell the technology to the highest bidder. James’ mission is to capture the dealer and neutralize the threat. After shipping magnate Carl Stromberg congratulates professors Markovitz and Bechmann on the creation of their submarine tracking system, Stromberg says that the plans have been stolen and are being offered to competing world powers. In his headquarters, Atlantis, a floating marine laboratory that bubbles to the surface of the ocean, Stromberg summons his henchmen, Sandor and Jaws, to retrieve the microfilm blueprints of the tracking system. Their orders are to kill anyone who gets in their way. In the Egyptian desert, Bond arrives at the lavish tent of an old friend, Sheikh Hosein, and is told that a contact named Asiz Fekkesh will lead him to dealmaker Max Kalba. At Fekkesh’s stylish home, he escapes to a roof courtyard to avoid being Sandor’s target. Before he falls to his death, Sandor tells Bond to find Fekkesh at the pyramids. At a night lecture on the history of the Valley of the Kings, Amasova sits in the audience, and Jaws, known for his menacing set of metal teeth, follows Fekkesh into a secret chamber at the base of a pyramid and kills him. As he leaves, Bond holds Jaws at gunpoint but there is a blackout and Jaws escapes. Bond finds Fekkesh dead and sees Kalba’s name in his appointment book. Amasova’s men attack Bond but he extricates himself and meets Amasova again at the Mashava Club. Meeting Kalba, the club’s owner, Bond says he wants to buy the microfilm blueprints that Kalba is selling. Amasova appears with Bond’s drink and wants a chance to bid on the microfilm as well. Kalba takes a call in a private phone booth, where Jaws kills him and takes the microfilm. After Bond finds Kalba dead, he and Amasova hitch a ride in the back of a telephone repair truck that Jaws is driving. Jaws parks the truck among some remote Egyptian ruins and makes several attempts to kill them with falling boulders. The men fight while Amasova pulls a gun and demands the microfilm. She grabs the cartridge and runs off as Bond fights the giant, who becomes buried in the rubble of collapsed scaffolding. When Amasova tries to leave in Jaws’ truck, she doesn’t have the keys. However, Bond has the keys and grabs the microfilm sitting on the dashboard. Soon the truck breaks down and the couple trudges through the desert, hopping on a boat at the river that takes them to Cairo. Bond examines the microfilm while Amasova naps. Bond lights Amasova’s cigarette and Amasova blows drug-laced smoke from her cigarette at Bond, which puts him to sleep. When Bond awakens, he finds that Amasova has disappeared along with the microfilm. He reports to British Intelligence inside an Egyptian tomb, where “M” tells him that they have orders to pool resources and cooperate with the Soviets. The Soviets surrender the microfilm but Bond tells them it is worthless because the most important information has been deleted. However, the plans contain a clue: The Stromberg Laboratories logo. On a train ride to find Atlantis, Stromberg’s marine laboratory off of Sardinia, Jaws attacks Amasova and knocks her unconscious. Bond overpowers Jaws with an electrical shock from a broken light bulb that sends him flying out the window, stunned but alive. In Sardinia, British agent “Q” gives Bond a white Lotus sports car. Bond impersonates marine biologist Robert Sterling and the agents meet with Stromberg in his laboratory. Bond meets with Stromberg alone in his lounge-aquarium, but Stromberg cuts the meeting short. Afterward, Jaws tells Stromberg that Bond and Amasova are the couple he battled on the train before he was thrown overboard. Bond and Amasova depart in the Lotus and Jaws makes several unsuccessful attempts to kill them on a treacherous mountain road. Bond drives the Lotus into the ocean, where it converts to a mini-submersible. Stromberg sends his own mini-submersible to destroy them, but the Lotus’ smoke screen and depth charge destroys the scientist’s vehicle. The two agents are transported to an American submarine to get a closer look at the Stromberg’s tanker Liparus. The tanker maneuvers behind them and its hull opens, swallowing the U.S. submarine, which docks next to the two missing submarines inside. Bond and Amasova are captured when the crew disembarks. Stromberg explains that nuclear missiles from his two submarines will be launched to destroy New York City and Moscow as part of his plan to create a better world underwater. Stromberg launches his two submarines. Bond is a prisoner on the tanker, while Stromberg escapes on a speedboat with Amasova. Bond breaks free of his captors and escapes to a monorail car. He overpowers Stromberg’s men and frees both the British and Soviet submarine crews. They grab weapons and ammunition from an arsenal room and attack Stromberg’s soldiers at the loading dock. In a firefight, the prisoners take over the dock, hoping to penetrate the control room. When a grenade is unable to pierce the control room’s steel plates, Bond recruits one of crewmembers to open a submarine nuclear missile so he can remove its magnetized detonator. He rides the tanker’s video camera monitor and attaches the detonator to the steel plated control room, where it blows a hole. Commander Carter, the American submarine captain, tells Bond that he is too late to stop the missiles, which will launch in four minutes. Bond has Carter reprogram the missiles to destroy the two Stromberg submarines. They watch the monitor as each Stromberg submarine launches a missile that strikes the opposing Stromberg submarine. Mushroom clouds signal that the mission is accomplished. Both Soviet and American crews run to the remaining submarine as a series of explosions rock the tanker. Inside the submarine, Carter launches a torpedo that blows a hole in the tanker’s hull, allowing the craft to escape. Bond and the crew watch from the open sea as the tanker explodes and sinks. Carter receives orders to destroy Atlantis, but Bond is granted an hour to rescue Amasova before they complete the order. With a portable sea ski sent by “Q,” Bond races toward Stromberg’s laboratory, avoids being dropped into a shark tank and comes face to face with the scientist. When Bond says he has come for Amasova, Stromberg shoots him with a special gun mounted to the underside of his dining table but misses. Bond points the nose of his gun into the barrel of Stromberg’s gun and kills him. While searching for Amasova, Bond and Jaws fight along the edge of the shark tank when Bond activates a magnet that immobilizes Jaws and leaves him dangling by his metal teeth; Bond drops him into the tank. Still, Bond finds Amasova after the hour deadline. Carter aims a torpedo at Stromberg’s laboratory and blows it up. Water rushes in, causing the laboratory to sink. Bond finds a submersible, and the two agents escape as it careens into the ocean. Bond opens a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne to share with Amasova, but since the mission is over, she is intent on killing Bond to avenge the death of her Soviet agent boyfriend. Bond’s dying request is to make love to her and she accommodates him. Although the laboratory is gone, Jaws survives. On the deck of a ship, “M,” “Q,” and General Gogol peer in the window of the submersible and ask Bond what he is doing. “Keeping the British end up,” he replies as he closes the curtain and slides back into Amasova’s arms.

Distribution Company: United Artists Corp.
Production Company: Eon Productions
Director: Lewis Gilbert (Dir)
  David Middlemas (Prod mgr)
  Ariel Levy (Asst dir)
  Chris Kenny (Asst dir, 2d unit)
  Ernest Day (2d unit dir)
  John Glen (2d unit dir)
Producer: Albert R. Broccoli (Pres/Prod)
  William P. Cartlidge (Assoc prod)
Writer: Christopher Wood (Scr)
  Richard Maibaum (Scr)

Subject Major: Aquariums
  Government agents
  Great Britain. Secret Service
  Mad scientists
  Nuclear weapons
  Russia. Secret Service
  Submarine boats
Subject Minor: Adventures
  Sahara Desert

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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