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YMMV / The Spy Who Loved Me

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The film:

  • Acceptable Professional Targets: Apparently, Ancient Egyptian architects, as Bond is shown muttering "Egyptian builders" after Jaws collapses part of a temple down on himself. However, Egyptian audiences found it hysterical. Then again, they're clearly Crossing the Line Twice for laughs, since the talents of Egyptian builders are pretty damn obvious.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Did Stromberg's secretary betray him because of greed or because she wanted to thwart his plan to wipe out most of the human race?
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  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: The Light Show at the Pyramids of Giza is not something created for the film, but an actual attraction at Giza dating back to 1972, with virtually the same narration still being used.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "Nobody Does It Better" is regarded as one of the best, if not the best, of the Bond themes—#67 on AFI's "Songs" List.
    • Marvin Hamlisch's whole score counts as well. Yes, "Bond '77" is disco, but it is badass.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The Light Show at the Pyramids of Giza, with the mystical narration. Though in fairness, this is a case of Aluminum Christmas Trees. If you're at the Pyramids of Giza at night, that light show will be playing. That said, the whole Sound and Light Show (which is still playing today, with the same narration) is basically an hour-long Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
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  • Development Heaven: The interior of the Liparus is large enough to house three nuclear submarines. Ken Adam told Albert R. Broccoli that there wasn't a soundstage in the world big enough to meet those requirements. Cubby's response was, "Then build it". The result was The 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Jaws, who along with Oddjob, Red Grant and Baron Samedi is one of the most popular villainous henchmen of all time. The guy became so popular that he's so far one of the only two James Bond villains that were allowed to return to a sequel and get a redemption, and when people hear the word 'Bond Villain', he's likely one of the examples that will be brought up first.
    • Anya Amasova gets a lot of love from the fandom as well, given her beauty, brains and hyper-competence to the point that many consider her to be Moore's best Bond girl, if not one of the best overall. Even the producers liked her so much that they asked Barbara Bach to reprise her role on two separate occasions, although sadly she declined.
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    • Naomi, Stromberg's evil and Sexy Secretary played by Caroline Munro, with many viewers lamenting that she doesn't have a larger role to play in the film.
  • Even Better Sequel: The Man with the Golden Gun is a divisive film, but many, including Roger Moore himself, consider The Spy Who Loved Me to be the best of the Moore 007 films (though For Your Eyes Only sometimes takes that prize) and one of the greatest in the whole series.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Caroline Munro as Naomi.
  • Growing the Beard: Roger Moore had finally found his niche playing Bond in this film.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Anya's fights with Jaws can be hard to watch after the following year's Force 10 from Navarone featured Richard Kiel beating up Barbara Bach in a far more realistic and disturbing manner.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A rich tycoon wanting to create a new underwater civilization, protected from nuclear warfare? Rapture has you covered.
    • Roger Moore was in a 1976 Italian action movie called Street People (aka The Executors and The Sicilian Cross). His character drives a car into the ocean, so he tells his partner to get him an amphibious car next time.
    • The hotel receptionist at Bond's hotel is played by Valerie Leon, who would later go on to play a fisherwoman in Bahamas in the non-EON-produced Never Say Never Again. In this film, she is flirty with Bond, but in an uncharacteristic move for him, Bond closes his room's door in her face; whereas in NSNA, Bond has no such problem and the two end up in bed together.
  • Ho Yay: M and General Gogol. After British and Soviet forces decide to work together, Gogol calls M "Miles"note , M calls Gogol "Alexis", and they act positively chummy with each other. Bond and Anya give a WTF look to each other after witnessing this scene.
  • Memetic Bystander: The guy drinking wine when the Lotus surfaces at the beach. Not only does he reappear in the following two films, he's slowly developing a meme.
  • Memetic Mutation: The X Who Y'ed Me
  • Rooting for the Empire: Richard Kiel has recounted how Jaws' survival at the end was met with giant applause at several screenings. He might be a villain, but he's such a Determinator that after a while you sort of root for him.
  • Sacred Cow: It is almost unanimously considered to be the best movie of the Roger Moore era, and is the only movie of the 70s and 80s that has not divided fans' opinion.
  • Special Effects Failure: The boat carrying Anya, when jettisoned, is clearly just a model.
  • Squick: When Stromberg drops his traitorous secretary into the Shark Pool, the shark puts its snout right into the secretary's crotch.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The intention during Bond's fight with Sandor was presumably that the woman Bond meets was in league with Sandor and drawing him into position to be shot, similar to the scene in Thunderball where Fiona tries to trap Bond the same way. Unfortunately, this isn't quite made clear in the scene itself, which can give the impression that Bond coldly sacrificed an innocent bystander just to save his own skin.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The supertanker model was so convincing that Exxon executives asked the producers where they got a real one for the film!
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Jaws gets stuck to a giant electromagnet because of his metal teeth, then dropped into a shark tank. Stromberg murders his secretary for betraying him by feeding her to said sharks, and Jaws gruesomely murders two people offscreen and nearly murders two more onscreen.
  • Win Back the Crowd: It had been years since there was a great and successful Bond film. Then this movie came out, and the franchise was revitalized.
  • What The Hell, Costuming Department?: The banana-yellow ski-suit Bond wears in The Teaser.

The novel:

  • Fair for Its Day: Recent reevaluations of The Spy Who Loved Me interpret it in a positive light as a feminist novel. Vivienne is a proud, intelligent, tough girl who's striking out on her own to find herself. Her forced abortion is portrayed as not damaging her reputation or "purity" and instead being a violence inflicted on her by an abusive boyfriend, and her sexual freedom as an unmarried girl is never criticized. She's strong enough that she almost escapes Sluggsy and Horror on her own without Bond and is proactive in the final fight, helping shoot and getting a first aid kit from a burning building.