Ranking The Best Bond Movies: Part 3 (#10-#6)
8) 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me
Bond always works best when he has someone to really push back, and no woman has ever pushed back at him as effectively as Barbara Bach’s XXX. Introduced via an effective early curveball, she’s General Gogol’s top Soviet operative, and throughout The Spy Who Loved Me, she and 007 selfishly team up and selfishly betray each other while working to defeat the nefarious Karl Stromberg, who laughably wants to create a civilization under the water.
Apart from a sweet trap door elevator he maneuvers via a button on his desk, Stromberg pretty much blends in with the other white, rich supervillains of the era. His main henchman Jaws, however, does not. Arguably the single most loved bad guy in the history of the franchise, the gigantic bastard has metal teeth, and in The Spy Who Loves Me, he rips apart Bond and XXX’s van piece by piece. He’s also apparently incapable of dying and improbably survives on numerous occasions in both this film and Moonraker.
With all apologies to McCartney’s “Live And Let Die” and Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger”, the Carly Simon-sung, Marvin Hamlisch-penned “Nobody Does It Better” is the single greatest Bond theme in history. It spent more weeks on the chart than “You’re So Vain”, and it is just as brilliant today as it was in 1977. This film probably moved up an entire spot or two thanks to that track, as well as its inclusion of a hookah gun and a sidecar bomb.
Yes, The Spy Who Loved Me also contains a few horrible skiing shots and groan-worthy one-liners, but it wouldn’t really be the Roger Moore era without both.
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