The Spy Who Loved Me
By Charles Cassady Jr.,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
1977's 007 still gettin' lucky in underwater lair.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Bond accepts a harem girl as a sex offering from an old school friend. Of course, 007 is smart, heroic, and resourceful otherwise, and he even saves the life of a female Soviet agent out to kill him (of course they go to bed thereafter). This heroine is set up to be the equivalent of Bond, but when it comes to the tough stuff, she still needs lots of rescuing.
Violence & Scariness
Much hand-to-hand fighting, kicking, and falling from great heights. Soldiers open fire on one another with machine guns, grenades, bombs, even nuclear weapons. The addition of an assassin who kills by biting people to death (non-explicitly) is a nasty touch. A woman is fed to a shark.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nude women (some in silhouette, some not) cavort in the trippy opening-credit montage, and female characters throughout wear bikinis and revealing gowns. There's a brief glimpse of the heroine in the shower. James Bond is a tireless lover as always, and is shown in bed with various lethal ladies. Sexual interludes are described in heavy euphemism and innuendo.
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Products & Purchases
Sportscars and wristwatches get special attention, and there are sly references to other movies (Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, For Your Eyes Only).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Recreational drinking and smoking (the heroine's cigarette smoke being a tranquilizer weapon).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that sex and spying go together here, in almost comical degrees. The tone is set when James Bond and his counterpart, the Russian woman superspy, are introduced with matching bedroom scenes. She even goes by the code-name XXX, which was a common ad hype (not an official MPAA rating) used for pornography. There are numerous deaths from bombs and machine guns, and a giant assassin who kills people by biting.
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Where to Watch
Based on 2 parent reviews
Classic, Roger Moore's Best
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Happy 50th Anniversary, James Bond!
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What's the Story?
Stromberg (Curt Jurgens), a shipping tycoon who dwells in a fantastic amphibious complex and has secretly developed technology to track and disable submarines, hijacks missile-laden submarines belonging to Britain as well as the USSR. London and communist Moscow set aside their enmity, charging James Bond (Roger Moore) and one of his Soviet counterparts, the Russian woman superspy Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach), to work together to find out who is responsible.
Is It Any Good?
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME was conceived as the biggest James Bond movie ever made, and indeed no expense was spared. A vast soundstage built in England for the ocean-going villain's lair set a world's record for size and was actually dedicated with great ceremony by the British prime minister. Even three decades later, in an era of digital landscapes and countless computer-generated extras, this movie looks impressively huge and also moves with a brisk pace, despite the bulk.
Of course, it is a Bond movie, and sex and spying go together here, almost comically so. That tone is set early on as both Bond and Anya are roused away from their respective bedmates by summonses from headquarters. The pre-AIDS era glamorous, casual sex was as inseparable from the Bond landscape as the action sequences, and comes across as much an unrealistic fantasy as the supervillain's world-domination plans. Still, some parents may find it makes The Spy Who Loved Me unsuitable for smaller kids.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the image that James Bond cast over real-life espionage; his fanciful, widescreen globetrotting adventures looking nothing like most real-life secret agents in the headlines. You might watch more realistic cloak-and-dagger thrillers like The Spy Who Came in from the Cold or The Falcon and the Snowman, with their unglamorous spies and informants, and wonder if 007 has attracted a lot of people to intelligence work who were disappointed at the lack of glamorous perks. They can also talk about 007's appeal, and why he continues to be so popular today.
- In theaters: July 7, 1977
- On DVD or streaming: October 22, 2002
- Cast: Barbara Bach, Curt Jurgens, Roger Moore
- Director: Lewis Gilbert
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 127 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Last updated: January 31, 2023
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