By Patrick Brennan
The Spy Who Loved Me, the tenth Bond film and third to star Roger Moore, had a troubled production. The producer Harry Saltzman had left, continued legal wranglings meant the film couldn’t use SPECTRE as planned, and a director couldn’t be found until the producers invited back Lewis Gilbert who had directed You Only Live Twice.
The film begins with the disappearance of two submarines, one British and one Russian. Bond, on a mission in Austria, is told to pull out and battles a group of thugs as he skis down the mountainside, killing one of them.
In an incredible stunt by Rick Sylvester, Bond skis off a cliff, detaches his skis as he falls, and pulls his parachute (emblazoned with a Union Jack of course) as the Bond theme kicks in. The title sequence is scored to Carly Simon’s memorable and romantic ‘Nobody Does It Better’, setting the tone for the film perfectly.
A female KGB agent named Anya Amasova, codenamed Triple-X and played by Barbara Bach, is tasked by her boss, General Gogol, to investigate the disappearance of the Russian submarine. Gogol also informs her that the man she loves has been killed. Unbeknownst to both her and Bond, this man was the one killed by Bond as he was skiing.
Bond gets his briefing at a submarine base in Scotland. A microfilm containing plans for a submarine tracking device has arrived from Cairo from someone who plans to sell it to the highest bidder.
Meanwhile, the villain Karl Stromberg, played by Curd Jurgens, has his secretary who stole the submarine tracking plans fed to a shark, and kills two scientists who worked on it. This takes place on Stromberg’s domed amphibious base, Atlantis, designed by Ken Adam.