The film takes its title from Ian Fleming’s novel The Spy Who Loved Me, the tenth book in the James Bond series, though it does not contain any elements of the novel’s plot. The storyline involves a reclusive megalomaniac named Karl Stromberg, who plans to destroy the world and create a new civilisation under the sea. Bond teams up with a Russianagent Anya Amasova to stop Stromberg. Curd Jürgens and Barbara Bach co-star.
It was shot on location in Egypt and Italy, with underwater scenes filmed at the Bahamas, and a new soundstage being built at Pinewood Studios for a massive set which depicted the interior of a supertanker. The Spy Who Loved Me was well received by critics. The soundtrack, composed by Marvin Hamlisch, also met with success. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards amidst many other nominations and novelized in 1977 by Christopher Wood as James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me.
- Roger Moore as James Bond 007: A British MI6 agent assigned to investigate the theft of two submarines.
- Barbara Bach as Anya Amasova/Agent Triple X: A Soviet KGB agent also investigating the theft. Her attraction to Bond is cut short when she learns he killed her lover. Bach was cast only four days before principal photographybegan, and performed her audition expecting just a role in the film, not the one of the protagonist.
- Curd Jürgens (billed as “Curt” in the credits) as Karl Stromberg: The main villain, a megalomaniac planning to trigger World War III and destroy the world, then recreate a new civilisation underwater. Jürgens was cast on a suggestion of director Lewis Gilbert, who had worked with him before.
- Richard Kiel as Jaws: Stromberg’s seemingly indestructible juggernaut of a henchman, afflicted with gigantism and having a set of metal teeth. He would reprise the role in the subsequent Bond film, Moonraker.
- Caroline Munro as Naomi: Stromberg’s personal pilot and a would-be assassin. Munro’s casting was inspired by an advertisement campaign she had made.
- Walter Gotell as General Gogol: The head of KGB and Anya’s boss. Gotell’s debut in the role; he had previously appeared in From Russia with Love and would reprise the role of Gogol in the subsequent five films.
- Bernard Lee as M: The head of MI6.
- Desmond Llewelyn as Q: MI6’s head of research and development. He supplies Bond with unique vehicles and gadgets, most notably the Lotus Esprit that converts into a submarine.
- Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny: M’s secretary.
- Geoffrey Keen as Fredrick Gray: The British Minister of Defence. Keen’s debut; he would appear in the role in the subsequent five films.
- Milton Reid as Sandor: Stromberg’s henchman.
- Robert Brown as Admiral Hargreaves: Admiral of Royal Navy.
- George Baker as Captain Benson: A British naval officer stationed at the Royal Navy’s Faslane Naval Base in Scotland. Baker had previously appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
- Edward de Souza as Sheikh Hosein: Bond’s contact in Egypt, who was atCambridge with 007.
- Shane Rimmer as US submarine captain Commander Carter, who is in charge of the third and final submarine to be abducted and fights alongside Bond aboard the Liparus.
The assistant director for the Italian locations, Victor Tourjansky, had a cameo as a man drinking his wine as Bond’s Lotus emerges from the beach. As an in-joke, he would return in similar appearances in another two Bond films shot in Italy, Moonraker and For Your Eyes Only.
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