Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


James Bond versus Jaws

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977). Director: Lewis Gilbert.

James Bond/agent 007 (Roger Moore) is on assignment to stop megalomaniac Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens), who is stealing submarines and nuclear warheads, and operating from his impressive underwater headquarters. Since the Russians have also lost one of their nuclear subs, Bond joins forces with red agent Triple X/Major Amasova (Barbara Bach), unaware that he killed her lover during a mission and she plans to murder him when their dual assignment is over. [How Amasova's lover could be in two places at the same time is never explained, as she is seen in bed with a man even as he and Bond are fighting many miles away -- unless the good major was unfaithful.] The Spy Who Loved Me introduced Richard Kiel as Jaws, a metal-toothed adversary who seems modeled on the old comic book villain Iron Jaws. Bach is attractive and competent enough as Triple X, but when luscious Caroline Munro briefly appears as a hit woman for Stromberg, she pretty much blows Bach right out of the water. Moore plays this comic book stuff in the right mode, even if he's a far cry from Ian Fleming's original creation. Jurgens is excellent. The suggestive "Nobody Does It Better," composed by Marvin Hamlisch and sung by Carly Simon, is one of the better James Bond theme songs.

Verdict: Good to look at and lots of fun. ***.

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