The Spy Who Loved Me

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Well, well... a British agent in love with a Russian agent. Détente, indeed.

A pair of nuclear missile submarines go missing. Independently, our British secret agent and a Soviet agent are assigned to find them. Thing is, the former just shot the latter's boyfriend dead.

This is the tenth James Bond film and is regarded by many as Moore's best and quite possibly one of the best in the series, as well as Moore's personal favorite of his own batch. Ian Fleming had written the novel much differently than the other Bond books, but was so embarrassed by the results that he only sold the rights to the title, refusing to license the plot with it.

Nobody expected The Spy Who Loved Me to do well after the rather poor The Man with the Golden Gun. Its three... four chief weapons were...

  1. The Teaser. At the end of the sequence, Bond skis off a cliff. He falls for several heart-stopping seconds, then a parachute opens. In the colors of the Union Jack. As the Bond theme kicks in. There are several reported cases of audiences breaking into applause at this moment. This stunt was done for real and you can see one of the skis hit the stuntman's chute, which could have been pretty nasty.
  2. The Lotus Esprit. Driving off a pier into the sea. Where it turns into a submarine.
  3. The 007 Stage, built for the massive battle scene in a supertanker. It has been made available for filming other movies and remains the largest sound stage in the world[1].
  4. Jaws. the 7'4" henchmen with the metal teeth who so unstoppable that he is only Dragon to survive fighting Bond and maybe the one who came closest to scaring him. That is partially due to the fact that Bond knows that no matter how hard he hits the giant, he WILL survive it and come back to challenge him again.

It also features the first appearance of a Wetbike -- the actual prototype -- in a work of fiction, before it came out.

Tropes used in The Spy Who Loved Me include:

Girl: What happened? Where are you going?
Bond: Sorry. Something came up.
Girl: But, James, I need you.
Bond: So does England!

  • Continuity Nod: Reciting a list of Bond's biographical info to him at a bar Anya mentions: "Married only once. Wife killed-" Bond cuts her off, the events of On Her Majesty's Secret Service still a painful subject for him.
  • Cool Boat: Stromberg's Liparus. It eats submarines.
  • Cool Car: Bond's Lotus Esprit submarine car.
  • Cool Sidecar: The bad guys chase James Bond with sidecar that becomes a detachable missile steered by a joystick on the motorbike.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Karl Stromberg.
  • Dirty Old Man: Stromberg to Anya, while she's strapped to a couch.
  • Disney Villain Death: Sandor.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Anya Amasova to Bond. The scene where she is called on a mission while in bed with someone is in particular very reminiscent of Bond on numerous occasions (though unlike Bond most of the time, she clearly did love her bedmate at the time).
  • Double Entendre: One of the tastiest in Bond history:

M: Moneypenny, where's 007?
Miss Moneypenny: He's on a mission, sir. In Austria.
M: "Well, tell him to pull out. Immediately."
[Cue Bond making love with a woman by a fireplace in Austria.]

    • An even better one at the end, and arguably one of the best Bond endings.

M: 007!
Gogol: Triple X!
Minister of Defense: Bond! What do you think you're doing?
Bond: Keeping the British end up, sir.


[Anya failing to drive stick, causing the gears to grind noisily]
Bond: Can you play any other tune?


Bond: "Mmm, maybe I misjudged Stromberg. Any man who drinks Dom Perignon '52 can't be all bad."

  • Operation Game of Doom: Removing the detonator from the warhead.
  • Playing Both Sides
  • Pretty in Mink: A lady wears a white mink coat in the beginning. She's possibly Naked in Mink in it as well.
  • Recycled in Space: Inverted. Lewis Gilbert directed both You Only Live Twice and this movie, so while the previous movie dealt with a spaceship-eating spaceship, TSWLM deals with a submarine-eating ship.
  • Red Right Hand: Stromberg has webbed fingers.
  • Red Shirt: A young Royal Navy officer volunteers to lead the charge, something you'd expect Bond to do. It's no surprise when he and his men get killed.
  • Reds with Rockets: The Soviet Navy sub and Major Anya Amasova.
  • Revenge Myopia: In the opening scene, Bond kills Anya's lover, who is trying to kill him at the time. When she finds out about it she vows to kill Bond.
  • Shark Pool
  • Shoot the Builder: Stromberg had two scientists murdered after when they created a submarine tracking system.
  • Short-Lived Aerial Escape: The underwater Lotus to Naomi's chopper.
  • Shout-Out: The music that plays while Bond and Anya are wandering through the desert after the van breaks down sounds very familiar...
  • Shower Scene: "What's wrong, sailor. Haven't you seen a Major taking a shower before?"
  • Sic Em: "Let them get to shore... and then kill them."
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Surprisingly, Bond and Anya only start liking each other after lots of arguments and fighting side-by-side multiple times.
    • And almost threw it away when Anya found out Bond killed her previous lover.
  • Sleep Cute: Played with. When Anya wakes up, she jerks away from Bond in anger.
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: This was the first Bond flick to reach Level 4 (a capable leading lady, albeit one who still needs occasional rescuing), which has held ever since. The older ones are Level 3 at best.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Stromberg feeding his assistant to the sharks while Bach's Air on the G-String plays.
  • Stab the Scorpion: Anya and the champagne bottle.
  • Storming the Castle: Bond breaks into Stromberg's headquarters, Atlantis.
  • Sub Story: U.S., Soviet, and British.
  • Surprise Vehicle: Stromberg's attack helicopter.
  • Swiss Bank Account: After the two scientists complete the submarine tracking system, Stromberg transfers $10 million into their Swiss bank accounts.
    • Then cancels it when he kills them instead. He may have faked the transfer knowing he was going to kill them.
  • Title Drop: The theme song is called "Nobody Does It Better", but still has it ("Like heaven above me, the spy who loved me...")
  • Transforming Mecha: Bond's Lotus Esprit submarine car.
  • Translation Convention: Russian characters (General Gogol, Major Amasova, her lover).
  • Trap Door: Stromberg uses one in his elevator to drop his treacherous secretary into the Shark Pool.
  • Ultimate Defence of the Realm: The British Resolution-class nuclear missile sub HMS Ranger.
  • Undercover As Lovers: James and Anya pose as man and wife while visiting Stromberg.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means
  • War for Fun and Profit: Stromberg tries to start a nuclear war between the U.S. and USSR.
    • Not for profit, as he sneers at Bond for asking how much he wants to not instigate war.
  • Weaponized Car: Bond's Lotus Esprit.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Major Amasova's lover was one of the mooks killed in the teaser.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Dr. Bechmann and Professor Markovitz, after completing the submarine tracking system for Stromberg.
  • You Killed My Boyfriend: Major Amasova vows to kill Bond at the end of the mission when she finds out he killed her lover. Unless you mean in the Shakespearean sense, she doesn't.
  1. Or rather, its successors do. The original stage burned down during the filming of Legend, and the second version was destroyed by an explosion shortly after filming of, ironically enough, Casino Royale