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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Anglo-Soviet Cooperation

The Spy Who Loved Me on IMDb

Plot Overview

fishesÜber-rich shipping magnate Karl Stromberg (Curd Jürgens) is enamored with the sea and has constructed a miniature city Atlantis beneath its waves where he believes mankind is destined to live. To help them along, he's hatched a diabolical plan to hijack two nuclear subs—from east & west—from which to launch Armageddon. British agent 007, James Bond (Roger Moore) and female Soviet agent XXX, Major Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) are tracking his bread crumbs, first as adversaries and then as a joint venture. Anya is a major first and a woman second, until the end of the mission when she plans a vendetta against Bond for having eliminated her lover on a deadly mission (“It was either him or me.”)

The salient features of this movie seem to correspond to a weathered cowboy's talk on the meaning of life in the Tom T. Hall song, “Faster Horses,” released a year before this movie came out. To wit, when asked about “the mysteries of life, He spit between his boots and replied, ‘Son, it's faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, more money.’” In an early scene, one can see on the mantel behind Bond's chief M (Bernard Lee) a figurine of a mounted horseman. Like­wise in a later scene, one may see on the desk where is seated M's Soviet counter­part General Gogol (Walter Gotell) another figurine of a mounted horseman. Horses were once cavalry, instruments of war. Here in this movie Q (Desmond Llewelyn) provides Bond with a tricked-out Lotus instead.

harlot“Younger women” are the Bond girls: young, beautiful and plenteous. “Older whiskey” or such is for Bond's discriminating palate in drinks. “More money” was what Stromberg's naive assistant tried to get with her boss' purloined plans, which ultimately led the agents to the source.

There's a bonus money theme for us later (2022) viewers but it's somewhat technical. Bond's submarine car had to go off the internal combustion engine and switch over to its two electric motors for its under­water foray. An under­water mine caused some pinprick leaks in the roof through which water was spraying in. Expansion of the water would have made it super chilled, but Bond wasn't going to chance turning on the electric heater to further deplete the battery. When they crept out onto shore, he rolled down the windows right quick to get some warm air in there; he wasn't going to wait for the sun­shine to heat up the interior. In the nine­teenth century radiant heat was investigated. It was thought that green­houses were kept warm by the glass siding trapping in radiant heat. Science writer Alan Siddons in a chapter on “A Long List of Misconceptions” writes of that theory, “It is 19th century poppy­cock” (62.) In reality, green­houses merely suppress convective heating loss, preventing the heated air from dissipating. It is air that's trapped, not radiation; glass's response to infra­red (IR) has nothing to do with it (63.) The movie “The Martian” in fact shows Earth scientists having got wise to green­houses staying warm from blocking convection, not radiation as was thought in the 1800s. Today's (2022) climate scientists talk a lot of hooey about man-made carbon emissions blocking heat radiation from escaping our planet, when it's gravity and the vacuum of space that seals in atmospheric heat from convective release. This 1977 Bond movie was not panicked about supposed global warming, only about nuclear holocaust. Lots of money for some­one to make playing on the fears of the former.


David and Goliath

biterStromberg's head henchman is a seven-foot, four-inch giant (Richard Kiel) aptly dubbed “Jaws” for his metal dentures. While other baddies show a modicum of respect to women before they do what they do to them, Jaws shark gets right to it, slapping them senseless and biting them bloodless. He's evidently never known the love of a woman, so we figure he hasn't got any family to come home to after a hard day's work. He's as relentless as the Energizer bunny, getting up for endless over­time after Bond seemingly nails him. (Eccl. 4:7-8) “Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.”

(Eccl. 4:9-12) “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall with­stand him; and a three­fold cord is not quickly broken.” Together the agents enhance the era of cooperation. Bond saves Anya's life in her encounter with Jaws on the train, but she also saves his by telling him to duck from a thrown heavy object. For that matter after 007 has blown off Q wanting to explain the features of his Lotus, and their pursuers are gaining on them, XXX her­self activates its defenses having studied the blue­prints some time ago. With Q's ergonomic design, 007's innate driving ability, and XXX's preparation, they can't be beat.

snowball fightMajor Amasova enlightens Commander Bond about her “surviving course in Siberia” where she learned to endure the cold. Bond asks, “What did they teach you?” Her lessons included, “When necessary, shared - bodily - warmth.” Okay. The opening scene showed Bond in the sack with a babe in a chalet in the Austrian alps, with a roaring fire in the fire­place. Gotta keep each other warm. In a later scene the camera passes through the sleeping quarters of the British submarine Ranger with sailors sleeping singly in narrow bunks. The nuclear fire keeps them warm, but they've got pinup pix on their walls. Later the two agents team up and check into a hotel under cover as a married couple. When the receptionist tells them they're booked into a suite with two bed­rooms, Bond enlightens Anya about, “Money­penny being a little over efficient.” Yes, but the night is young.

It's a matter of physics. Take two bodies and adjoin two of their exterior surfaces, and you've eliminated that amount of surface area exposed to the out­side while keeping the same volume. Combined they will retain their heat longer. The same principle in reverse applies to Bond's martini shaken not stirred. Shaking it will chip the ice cubes creating more surface area for the same volume, absorbing the heat of the liquid faster thus cooling the drink quicker.

Production Values

” (1977) was directed by Lewis Gilbert and adapted for a screen­play by Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum from characters in Ian Fleming's novel, The Spy Who Loved Me. It stars Roger Moore, Barbara Bach, Curd Jürgens, Richard Kiel and Walter Gotell. Moore adequately portrayed the hero Bond. Moore and Bach were excellent with great chemistry together. Jürgens was a low-key villain with limited screen time. The film had a great cast.

It's rated PG and you can probably figure out why. Real Russian spy literature features a family man faithful to his wife, but this is Holly­wood decadence. It's 2 hours 5 minutes long. The cinematography is above average with nicely-filmed scenes and interesting camera work. Music was scored by Marvin Hamlisch and cinema­tog­raphy done by Claude Renoir. Its production values were first rate.

The missing Russian sub was named the Potempkin after an officer of Catherine II, known for having constructed sham villages for her along the train tracks so visitors could look out their windows and see seeming prosperity in the facades they were passing. His name has entered our vocabulary in the phrase “Potempkin village” meaning deceptive appearances hiding an inferior reality. Today (2022) there's an easy application in electric vehicles, which are touted as green but hide the environ­mental damage caused by mining for the needed Lithium batteries, rare earth minerals in countries with­out environmental regulation, resulting in environ­mental devastation out of sight, out of mind.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

The action in this movie keeps one fully engaged without being over­whelmed. Nice balance there. It's another in a stable of successful Bond flicks following tried formulae. You know what to expect.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability for children: Suitable for children with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Print, software.

Ball, Timothy, & Alan Siddons, Claes Johnson et al. Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Green­house Gas Theory. Mount Vernon: Stairway Press, 2011. Print.

Hall, Tom T. “Faster Horses” from his album: “Faster Horses” (1976.) Web.