The Spy Who Loved Me

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2003 Penguin Books paperback edition

The Spy Who Loved Me is a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming first published in 1962. It is also the tenth James Bond film and the third to star Roger Moore as Commander James Bond, British Secret Service agent 007. The Spy Who Loved Me was made by Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions and was released in 1977. It was the first official Bond film not to be produced by Harry Saltzman, who had previously sold his shares of EON Productions to United Artists in 1975.

Fleming was never happy with the plot of the book and so only gave permission for the title to be used. Consequently the film tells a very different story, and was subsequently novelized by Christopher Wood. As such, it is considered the first wholly original Bond film and was the first Bond film to have a novelization.


The novel

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1967 Pan Books paperback edition.

The shortest and most sexually explicit of Fleming's novels, it was banned in some countries and was not released in a paperback edition in Britain until several years after Fleming's death (Fleming had, in fact, requested that no paperback ever be published of the text). As a result, for British readers who never purchased the 1962 hardcover edition, The Spy Who Loved Me, not The Man with the Golden Gun, was their final Fleming James Bond novel. In the United States, a condensed version of the novel was published in the men's magazine, Stag under the title, "Motel Nymph".

The Spy Who Loved Me is a clear departure from previous Bond novels by Ian Fleming, in that the novel is told in the first-person by a young woman named Vivienne Michel. James Bond actually doesn't appear until two-thirds of the way through the book. In order to maintain the fiction of the book's central character, Vivienne Michel (and, some critics suggest, distance himself from a book with which he was unsatisfied), Fleming gave "Michel" co-author credit and later claimed that he had found the manuscript "lying on his desk one morning" with a note signed by "Vivienne Michel". Fleming writes in his forward:

"I was much interested in this view of James Bond, through the wrong end of the telescope, so to speak, and, after obtaining clearance for certain minor infringements of the Official Secrets Act, I have much pleasure in sponsoring its publication."

Plot summary

The central character and narrator of The Spy Who Loved Me is "Vivienne Michel," a young Canadian woman who ends up running a cheap motel in the Adirondack Mountains to pay for a trip through America. The novel is broken up into three parts.

The first section of the book deals with Michel's past love affairs, the first being Derek Mallaby who took her virginity in a field after being kicked out of a cinema for indecent exposure. The relationship ended that night and Michel was subsequently dumped later when Mallaby sent her a letter from the University of Oxford saying he had met someone else and had recently gotten engaged. Michel details her second love affair to her German boss, Kurt Rainer, whom would eventually get Michel pregnant. After learning of her pregnancy and informing Rainer, he subsequently dumps her and pays for her to go to Switzerland to have an abortion.

The second section of the book details Michel's journey through America and how she came to work at "The Dreamy Pines Motor Court" in the Adirondack Mountains for Jed and Mildred Phancey, the managers. After a while of working for them the Phancey's take a vacation and leave her in charge for one day until the owner, Mr. Sanguinetti arrives to resume business. In the meantime, however, two mobsters, "Sluggsy" Morant and Sol "Horror" Horowitz show up under the guise that they work for Sanguinetti and are there to look over the motel for insurance reasoning. In truth, the two were hired by Mr. Sanguinetti to burn down the The Dreamy Pines Motor Court so that Sanguinetti can make a profit on the insurance. The blame for the fire would fall on Michel, who would perish in the fire. The mobsters, specifically "Sluggsy" are very cruel to Michel, threatening to rape her later that night and when she attempts to escape she is captured and beaten.

The two mobsters are however stopped in the third part of the book when British secret service agent James Bond appears blaming his being there on a flat tire while passing by. He later details to Michel why he's actually in America saying that after Operation Thunderball was completed, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. was pretty much finished except that the allied nations were still searching for Ernst Stavro Blofeld who had gotten away. The book ends with Bond protecting Michel through the night and later killing Sluggsy and Horror in a gun battle.


Comic strip adaptation

Fleming's original novel was adapted as a daily comic strip which was published in the British Daily Express newspaper and syndicated around the world. The adaptation ran from December 18, 1967 to October 3, 1968. The adaptation was written by Jim Lawrence and illustrated by Yaroslav Horak. It was the last Ian Fleming work to be adapted as a comic strip, although the comic strip took great liberties with Fleming's novel, substituting a S.P.E.C.T.R.E.-related storyline involving Bond for the novel's autobiographical chapters involving Vivienne; the actual adaptation of the novel doesn't begin until the 2/3 point of the strip. The strip was reprinted by Titan Books in the early 1990s and again in 2004.


Although S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is referenced briefly, this novel is generally not considered part of the story arc that includes the previous novel, Thunderball and succeeding books On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice.

The film

Template:BondInfo The Spy Who Loved Me in many ways was a make or break film for the Bond franchise and was plagued since its conception by many problems. The first was the departure of Bond producer Harry Saltzman, who was forced to sell his half of the Bond film franchise due to financial difficulties. A second problem, was the issue of finding a director. The first director attached to the film was Guy Hamilton, who directed the previous three Bond films as well as Goldfinger, but left after being offered the opportunity to direct the 1978 film, Superman. It has been reported that EON Productions, after Hamiltons departure, approached Steven Spielberg to direct the film, though after Jaws turned out to be such a huge success, the producers would not agree to Spielberg's demands for creative control and turned instead to Lewis Gilbert who had directed the similar Bond film, You Only Live Twice.

With a director finally secured, the next hurdle to be overcome was finishing the script, which had gone through several rewrites by numerous writers. Additionally, the initial villain of the film was Ernst Stavro Blofeld, however, Kevin McClory, who owns the film rights to Thunderball forced an injunction on EON Productions delaying the film further. The villain would later be changed from Blofeld to Karl Stromberg so that the injunction could be lifted. Christopher Wood was later brought in by Lewis Gilbert to complete the script. Although Fleming had requested no elements from his original book be used, the novel features a thug named Sol Horror who is described as having steel capped teeth. This character would be the basis for Jaws, although having steel capped teeth is where the similarity between Horror and Jaws ends.

Regardless of all the problems throughout production of the film, The Spy Who Loved Me was a financial and box office success, raking in $185,400,000 worldwide on a production budget of $14 million USD. At the time it was the highest grossing Bond film. The Spy Who Loved Me was also nominated for three Academy Awards for:

Plot summary

A submarine from the Royal Navy and a submarine from the Soviet fleet are stolen by the villain, Karl Stromberg, in an attempt to launch their nuclear weapons at targets around the globe. In this adventure, James Bond teams up with Major Anya Amasova or Agent Triple X from the Soviet Union to find out what happened and prevent a possible World War III.

The film is best known for the introduction of Jaws, a giant and seemingly indestructible assassin with steel teeth. Jaws is the only henchman of the James Bond villains privileged to appear in more than one film. He later appeared in Moonraker.

Cast & characters

Robert Brown also has a smaller role in The Spy Who Loved Me as Admiral Hargreaves. Brown would go on to replace Bernard Lee as M in Octopussy. It has never been established as to whether Brown was supposed to be still playing Lee's character, a promoted Hargreaves, or someone else.

Walter Gotell makes his first appearance as General Gogol of the KGB. Gogol would appear in all future Roger Moore Bond films and would make his final appearance in Timothy Dalton's The Living Daylights. While this was his first appearance as Gogol, this is Gotell's second appearance in a James Bond film. His first was in From Russia With Love where he played the villain Morzeny.



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Original The Spy Who Loved Me soundtrack cover

The title song, "Nobody Does it Better" was performed by Carly Simon and was the first theme song to be titled differently than the name of the movie, although the phrase "the spy who loved me" is in the lyrics. The song became a hit that is still popular today and has been featured in numerous movies including the recently released Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005), Little Black Book (2004), and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004). In 2004, the song was honored by the American Film Institute as the 67th greatest song as part of their 100 Years Series.

The soundtrack to the movie was composed by Marvin Hamlisch who filled in for veteran John Barry who was unavailable for work in the United Kingdom due to tax reasons. The soundtrack, in comparison to other Bond films of the time, was more disco-oriented and included a new disco rendition of the James Bond Theme entitled "Bond 77".

Track listing

  1. Nobody Does It Better — Carly Simon
  2. Bond 77 (James Bond Theme)
  3. Ride To Atlantis
  4. Mojave Club
  5. Nobody Does It Better (Instrumental)
  6. Anya
  7. The Tanker
  8. The Pyramids
  9. Eastern Lights
  10. Conclusion
  11. End Titles-Nobody Does It Better — Carly Simon

Vehicles & gadgets

Main articles: List of James Bond vehicles, List of James Bond gadgets
  • Lotus Esprit - Including all of the usual Q refinements, this car was equipped with surface to air missiles. The main feature of the car however was the ability to transform into a submarine. Once transformed it could unleash depth charges and smoke screens. The car was nicknamed Wet Nellie
  • Wetbike - a hydrofoil "water motorcycle" used by Bond to travel from the US Submarine to Stromberg's Atlantis to save Triple X. Built by a subsidiary of Minnesota-based Arctic Enterprises.
  • XXX's Cigarette - The cigarette used by Triple X contained knock-out powder.
  • Seiko Quartzwatch - Basically working like a pager, it had a built-in telex that allowed MI6 to send important messages to Bond, printing them out like a miniature teletype. (It actually looked more like a label-maker tape.)
  • Ski pole gun - Was used to fire a projectile at his pursuers. He uses it to kill Triple X's boyfriend while escaping from him in the pre-credits sequence.


Film locations

Shooting locations


  • At the end of the film, the credits announce that the next Bond film will be For Your Eyes Only. Ultimately, however, the producers chose instead to adapt Moonraker next in order to cash in on the science fantasy craze sparked by the success of Star Wars and Superman.
  • This is the second film in the history of the Bond series (as of 2004) in which M refers to Bond by his first name, rather than simply 007 or Bond (the first time was at his wedding in On Her Majesty's Secret Service). We also hear M's real first name (Miles) for the first time on film. In addition, Q is referred to by his real name (Major Boothroyd) for the first time since From Russia With Love. But Miss Moneypenny is still left without a first name!
  • The 007 Soundstage at Pinewood Studios, for many years the largest in the world, was specially constructed for this film.
  • Prior to the film's release, Barbara Bach posed nude for the men's magazine Playboy.
  • Michael Billington, who plays Anya's ill-fated lover, Sergei, was considered a candidate for the role of Bond on several occasions in the 1970s and 1980s. He is best known for his role as Paul Foster in the science fiction series UFO.
  • Demand for Lotus Esprits surged after the film was released. Many new customers were put on a three-year waiting list.
  • Stanley Kubrick provided uncredited assistance in supervising the lighting of the tanker set due to cinematographer Claude Renoir's failing eyesight.


Missing image
British paperback edition.

When Ian Fleming sold the film rights to the James Bond novels to Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli, he only gave permission for the title The Spy Who Loved Me to be used. Since the screenplay for the film had nothing to do with Fleming's original novel, Glidrose Publications, for the first time, authorized that a novelization be written based upon the script. This would also be the first regular Bond novel published since Colonel Sun nearly a decade earlier. Christopher Wood, who co-authored the screenplay with Richard Maibaum, was commissioned to write the book, which was given the title James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me. Wood would also novelize the screenplay for the next Bond film, Moonraker in 1979.

The novelization and the screenplay, although both written by Wood are somewhat different. In the novelization SMERSH is still active and still after James Bond. Their part in the novelization largely takes place during the "pre-title credits" sequence in which Bond is escaping from a cabin on the top of Aiguille du Mort, a mountain near the town of Chamonix. The appearance of SMERSH conflicts with a number of Bond stories, including the film The Living Daylights (1987), in which a character remarks that SMERSH has been defunct for over 20 years. It also differs from the latter half of Fleming's Bond novels in which SMERSH is mentioned to have been put out of operation. Members of SMERSH from the novelization include the Bond girl Anya Amasova and her lover Sergei Borzov as well as Colonel-General Niktin, a character from Fleming's novel From Russia With Love who has since become the head of SMERSH.

Other differences include the villain, Karl Stromberg being renamed as Sigmund Stromberg. The change of Stromberg's given name as well as the existance of SMERSH may be in someway due to the controversy over Thunderball, in which Kevin McClory was made aware of certain plot points of the film The Spy Who Loved Me. At one point the villain of the film was to be Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E.; however, this was changed to avoid a possible lawsuit over the rights to this character, which originated from the novel Thunderball.


See also

External links


de:Der Spion, der mich liebte

sv:Älskade spion (bok)


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