Time Tunnel: Jottings From The Screening Room
22nd July 2007
In the pre-internet days, when leads times for
publications were weeks rather than hours, movie
of "The Spy Who Loved Me"
well before the tenth James Bond film opened in theatres on 07/07/77.
MI6 has uncovered some of the
screening-room notes taken by Time Magazine reporters.
Looking back at these notes 30 years on from the film's release,
some are still debated by fans, but others are notable by their
absence. The plot of "Spy" is now seen as a remake of "You
Only Live Twice" by most commentators, but back in '77 there
was no mention of Sean
romp in Japan...
"Giggles, Wiggles, Bubbles and Bond" -
Jottings found on the screening-room floor after a critics'
viewing of the new James Bond film...
They'll never top first stunt: skier hurtles off precipice.
Long breathtaking plunge. Shucks off skis in midair, free-falls
for a while, then opens parachute and floats earthward.
Does anybody know this flick has nothing to do with 1962
novel of same name, since Ian Fleming nixed sale of anything
but title to movies? Does anybody care? All that's left
of Bond formula here is 007 character, sexy starlets and
(Question: What else did it ever consist
Above: It's "détente indeed"
when James Bond and Anya Amasova join forces
Plot seems snipped from previous
installments. Bond tangles with female Russian spy: From
Russia With Love.
They team up against seagoing megalomaniac who captures nuclear
subs belonging to both East and West and plans to destroy world:
shades of Diamonds Are Forever. Lots of underwater stuff: Thunderball.
Also skiing: On Her Majesty 's Secret
Above: Caroline Munro as Naomi
(Think about: Curt
Jurgens, as megalomaniac, pronounces
007's name Bund. This hint he's crypto-Nazi? Farfetched,
but can anything be too farfetched in a film like this?)
Bondmobile. Series getting awfully ingrown.
Sexual innuendo coarser. In London HQ, Bond reported to
be on assignment in Austria, meaning he's doing you-know-what
in front of fireplace in Alpine hideaway. Thunders M: "Tell
him to pull out—immediately!"
Only moment of
real wit: amphibian Bondmobile drives into sea and becomes
two-seater submarine; it veers to elude underwater pursuers,
but only after flashing turn signal—for the wrong
New Bond girl, Barbara
Bach. Very pretty, especially as
seen in cushioned escape bubble. But dewy as a debutante
("Oh! James!"). Hard to believe her as dangerous
spy. Where are the Honor Blackmans and Diana Riggs of yesteryear?
Roger Moore, as Bond, a road-company Sean Connery. At least
he's improvement on that instant-trivia question, George
Good gadgets: wristwatch radio with tape printout of messages
cigarette that blows knockout gas. Flying tea
tray that decapitates human target.
Best gadget of all is human one — seven-foot
thug with preternatural strength and steel teeth, which
he uses to snap victims' spinal cords. Name: Jaws. Orthodontist's
Running gag is that each time he is dispatched—trapped
in building cave-in, flung from speeding train, tossed
into shark tank, even torpedoed—Jaws (Richard Kiel)
implacably reappears. In his silly, mechanical, likable
way, a perfect symbol for Bond films. They're attacked,
dismissed, put out of mind, but keep coming back and back
(Nope. Never did top that first Stunt.)
Spy Who Loved Me - Movie Coverage
Spy Who Loved Me - Premiere & Press