Trivia / The Spy Who Loved Me

The film:

  • Actor Allusion: Curd Jürgens, who plays Stromberg, starred as the U-Boot captain in The Enemy Below, one of the most famous movies involving submarine warfare.
  • AFIS 100 Years Series:
  • Enforced Method Acting
    • In the scene where Major Amasova couldn't drive stick, Barbara Bach, Anya's actress, actually couldn't drive stick: Moore's snarky responses were unscripted!
    • Roger Moore decided last minute it would be much more dramatic if he was sitting in the chair instead of standing behind it when the gun underneath the dining table was fired. The special effects team had only reinforced the back of the chair for the original planned shot, which meant Moore risked serious injury if he didn't leap away in time.
      • Moore himself has mentioned that despite pulling off the shot, he still got injured by the explosion.
    • According to production designer Ken Adam, that was a look of real panic on Barbara Bach's face in the scene where the tunnels of Atlantis are flooding because she didn't expect such a powerful deluge of water.
  • Exiled from Continuity: SPECTRE couldn't be used because of legal difficulties.
  • Fake Russian: Russian secret agent Anya is played by Barbara Bach, an American actress. Incidentally, this movie almost single-handedly changed Americans' views of Russian women as Sensual Slavs. Before it came out, all Russian women were assumed by Americans to be outright Gonks, to the point that American comedians (and especially the hugely influential Johnny Carson) could count on getting cheap and easy laughs by poking fun at the purported hideousness of Russian women. Carson admitted during a visit by Roger Moore that the movie had ruined "half his jokes". (Evidently viewers had by this time forgotten Tatiana Romanova in From Russia with Love.)
  • Fan Nickname: Bond's Lotus Esprit is sometimes called "Wet Nellie", in honor of "Little Nellie" from You Only Live Twice.
  • Fountain of Expies: Jaws is, alongside Oddjob from Goldfinger, one of the most homaged and parodied henchmen in the series.
  • In-Name-Only: Enforced. Fleming realized the book was just wrong, so he sold the rights on the condition that any feature film using the title film would NOT be an adaptation. He probably would have been better off just quietly dropping the novel in a shredder, as this film set a precedent for In Name Only adaptations of the Bond novels.
    • The last point is arguable. Beginning with You Only Live Twice, the movies tended to incorporate the setting, a few characters, and (maybe) the general plot of the book while going off in their own direction. It is true that this one was the first Bond film that had NOTHING to do with the source material other than the title, though.
    • The one thing that is kept is a villain with steel-capped teeth. Though, in the book Sol Horowitz (aka Sol Horror) is described as thin and lizardlike, whereas Jaws is.....well, Jaws.
  • Meaningful Release Date: The film came out on 7/7/77.
  • Stanley Kubrick: Ken Adam asked for his opinion on how to light the enormous set of the interior of Stromberg's supertanker. After being promised that his visit would be a secret, he inspected it for a few hours and suggested using floodlights as part of the set to light the whole thing.
  • The Red Stapler: After this movie, demand for white Lotus Esprits grew so much that new customers were put on a three-year waiting list.
  • Throw It In: As above in Enforced Method Acting, Moore's response to Bachman being unable to drive stick were unscripted but left in.
  • Troubled Production: From the beginning the movie was fraught with problems, being developed and released in the midst of a falling-out between producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and EON Productions nearly going into liquidation. Spy was rushed into production after another producer, Kevin McClory, decided to create a rival Bond film (which would eventually become Never Say Never Again).
    • The original script treatment for Spy was rejected, and a new screenplay was commissioned that prominently featured Bond's archnemesis Blofeld. Unfortunately, McClory still held the rights to the Blofeld character, forcing the screenwriters to pop in a Suspiciously Similar Substitute in the form of Stromberg. Several writers, including Anthony Burgess, John Landis and Gerry Anderson, worked on the script at different times.
    • Ian Fleming created further problems when he told the producers they could use his title but no other aspect of the novel since he wasn't very proud of it, the first time that happened in the series. For that, his name was moved down in the credits. However, this led to one of the few decisions that helped the film: The writers chose to write Bond more as Fleming had envisioned him and less like the way Connery had been playing him. This helped Moore come into his own in the part.
    • The producers cast about for a director and settled on Steven Spielberg, who was still finishing Jaws (itself famously troubled) at that point; he decided to wait and see how that turned out for him instead. Guy Hamilton, who had directed the previous three Bonds, then got the job but left to direct Supermannote  So it ultimately fell to Lewis Gilbert, who had directed You Only Live Twice, of which the film is essentially a remake.
    • To accommodate the set for the interior of the supertanker, a completely new stage had to be built at Pinewood Studios outside London, along with a giant water tank. It was so huge that the cinematographer, who was losing his sight to begin with, couldn't figure out how to light it and had to secretly bring in Stanley Kubrick for help.
    • To film the opening stunt, the second unit traveled all the way to Mount Asgard near the northern tip of Canada's Baffin Island. The fall and parachute jump cost $500,000—the most expensive stunt at that timenote 
    • Shell offered to loan the production a tanker, but between the insurance costs and the very real safety risks it was too expensive to use and miniatures had to be built instead. Miniatures were also used for the scenes in Giza when the pyramids proved too large to light effectively.
  • What Could Have Been
    • Stromberg was originally going to be Blofeld before the legal rights squashed that idea.
    • Reportedly, one script draft featured the arrival of a "new" SPECTRE, comprised of former members of various real life terrorist groups. The film would've opened with the new group raiding SPECTRE HQ and killing off the organization's old guard before taking over.
    • Steven Spielberg was considered to direct, but was rejected because he was thought to be inexperienced.
    • James Mason was considered to star as Stromberg, which may have invited comparisons between Stromberg and Captain Nemo; he was ironically considered for Drax in the next film as well.
    • Albert R. Broccoli wanted Lois Chiles to star as Anya, but she was taking a break from acting at the time. She would star as Holly Goodhead in the next movie Moonraker.
    • Catherine Deneuve wanted to play Anya, so much that she was willing to take a huge salary cut to do so. But it was still too much for Broccoli.
    • The producers thought of bringing Anya Amasova back in A View to a Kill. After Barbara Bach declined, the part was rewritten into another female KGB agent, Pola Ivanova.
    • After The Man with the Golden Gun and prior to work beginning on this film, writer Kingsley Amis, who had written a follow-up Bond novel, Colonel Sun, under the pen name Robert Markham, tried to interest EON Productions in adapting his novel next. No one was interested and it wasn't until the Brosnan era that the slightest hints of Amis' book were borrowed for the films.
    • An alternate ending where Jaws died was filmed. Until the preview screening, Richard Kiel had no idea which one had ended up being used.

The novel:

  • Creator Backlash: Fleming hated the book to the point of only selling the title to the producers. He successfully prevented its paperback publication in the UK (but not the US) until several years after his death.
  • Creator's Oddball: The novel is the only Bond story from Fleming that is written from a woman's point of view.
  • Old Shame: Fleming saw the book as a failed experiment. Averted in recent years by those who have come to appreciate the experiment, including the aspect of the novel offering a female narrative voice in an otherwise male-dominated franchise.
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