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Less than a week for the October MI6 Bondathon submissions: `The Spy Who Loved Me`

22-Oct-2009 • Site News

To celebrate the spate of upcoming Bond film anniversaries and the pave the way to Bond 23, we thought it was high-time the forum (Keeping The British End Up) pulled together for an official review of the whole series.

A film will be presented each month for viewing, discussion and review; running in conjunction with the main site, overall ratings and a selection of the best reviews will be published at the end of the month on mi6-hq.com.

The famous 7/7/77 film "The Spy Who Loved Me", starring Roger Moore, is the fifth film to go under review in the MI6Forums Bondathon...


"Well, let me try and enlarge your vocabulary..."

In The Spy Who Loved Me - Spy to its friends, of whom over the decades it's had many - everything is enlarged. Following the previous Bond adventure The Man With The Golden Gun's lacklustre performance at the box-office and with the critics, Eon Productions overlord Cubby Broccoli went all-out with big blockbuster Bond entertainment once more. Big, awe-inspiring Ken Adam sets; big, stunning locations including the Egyptian pyramids; a big ocean-based masterplan from Curt Jurgens' deranged villain; a big, belting, opening titles ballad from Carly Simon; and a big, in fact a giant, loveable lofty in the shape of the steel-encrusted teethy baddie Jaws.

But for all its success at setting cinema cash tills ringing again in the name of Blighty's finest, Spy had rather humble origins. Born out of the departure of co-producer Harry Saltzman from the Bond fold and the despair of legal wrangles galore, the tenth official 007 flick also endured a tsunami of script rewrites from the likes of John Landis and Anthony Burgess, which involved everything from the return of Blofeld to an unflinchingly cruel and modern terrorist organisation taking on MI6 (sound familiar?). Eventually, helmer of previous series entry You Only Live Twice Lewis Gilbert was drafted in to direct, British comic screenwriter Christopher Wood collaborated with script regular Richard Maibaum, Claude Renoir (the famous director's nephew and infamous painter's grandson) directed photography and Oscar-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch took charge of the score. And what they produced was an escapade spattered with spy hokum, high on humour, sizzling with sex appeal (thanks to Bond Girls Barbara Bach and Caroline Munro), gorged with engaging gadgets and tailored to the times thanks, for better or worse, to a dose of disco.

Of all those in which he starred, Spy is Sir Rog's favourite Bond film - and that probably says much. But perhaps the iconic pre-credits stunt involving Rick Sylvester leaping off a cliff towards certain suicide before a Union Jack-emblazoned parachute unfurls above him says even more - this is '70s Bond, keeping the British end up, bigger and farther beyond than ever before.

- Introduction by St. George

Click here to follow the MI6 Bondathon.

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