A representative from the Egyptian government was on-set throughout the shoot in Cairo and Giza, to make sure that the country was not portrayed in an unflattering light. For that reason, when the scaffolding collapses on Jaws, and Bond quips "Egyptian builders", Sir Roger Moore merely mouthed the line, dubbing it in later. It went unnoticed by the official Egyptian minder, and ironically, got a great laugh from Egyptian audiences.
The eyesight of Cinematographer Claude Renoir was failing at the time of this movie, and he could not see to the end of the massive supertanker set. As a result, he could not supervise the lighting. Ken Adam turned to his friend Stanley Kubrick, who, under the condition of complete secrecy, supervised the lighting. He suggested the use of floodlights. In addition, Kubrick's stepdaughter (Katharina Kubrick) designed the dentures that Richard Kiel (Jaws) wore in this movie and Moonraker (1979).
Prior to the introduction of Naomi, Caroline Munro accidentally sat on a bee and was stung hard on the behind. Despite the resulting pain, she was pushed on by the filmmakers to complete the scene. When shown boating in and greeting Sir Roger Moore and Barbara Bach, the stern look on her face wasn't due only to the character of the henchwoman she was playing, but the pain from the sting she was feeling.
By the time this movie was made, the James Bond film franchise was the most lucrative in the world, and many manufacturers wanted their products featured. There was great competition for the company that would supply Bond's car. Don McLaughlin, Public Relations Manager of Lotus, realized that the best way to win this coveted position was to make the producers chase after him, rather than going begging to them. One day he turned up at Pinewood driving a brand new unreleased Lotus Esprit, with all identifying names covered up. He parked it outside the Bond set, knowing that the producers would see it when they broke for lunch. Once the car had attracted a crowd, all clamoring to know what the car was, McLaughlin nonchalantly got in the car and drove away without answering any questions. As he had expected, the producers were desperate to discover what the car was, and Producer Albert R. Broccoli later chose it for this movie.
The stunt driver was having problems making the Lotus Esprit look sufficiently exciting in the chase scenes, because it held the road too well, and had to be driven dangerously fast to make it slide impressively on corners. One scene in Sardinia required the car to drive up a hill on a mountain pass and round a sharp bend. The normal stunt driver was not available, and the crew who were waiting at the top asked Lotus employee Roger Becker to drive the car up. He thrashed the car, skidding dramatically around the corners and making a dramatic one hundred eighty-degree turn on a gravel area as he stopped at the top. "Would you mind doing that again?" they asked him. "And this time we'll have the cameras rolling." From that time on, Roger became the stunt driver for shots involving the Lotus.
This movie introduced to the world a spy sea scooter known as a "wetbike" (better known now as a jet ski), sparking a new water-activity industry. This gadget was commonly referred to as the "motorbike that rides on water."
Richard Kiel (Jaws) could only keep the metal teeth in his mouth for about half a minute at a time, due to the excessive pain and discomfort. He often had to show comic expressions, which was quite contradictory to the way he was feeling, wearing the extremely uncomfortable braces. Kiel, 7'2'', played an almost identical part in Silver Streak (1976). The chain through which Jaws bites was made of licorice. In order to simulate the character's metal teeth, Kiel's stunt double Martin Grace used pieces of orange peel wrapped in aluminum foil.
The famous Union Jack parachute ski jump stunt during the pre-title sequence was originally suggested by George Lazenby to be used in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), but the necessary equipment to film it was not available then. The Bond producers thought it was a great idea, and later added the Union Jack to the parachute and used it in this movie. It has been noted with that scene's climax, James Bond's status with the people of Britain changed from being simply a popular character who happened to be British to an iconic British hero on par with King Arthur, Robin Hood, and Sherlock Holmes.
Rick Sylvester's opening ski stunt was shot from the top of Asgard Peak on Baffin Island in Canada. The summit was only accessible by helicopter. A small crew, including Sylvester and Second Unit Director John Glen, travelled there in July 1976, a month before principal photography began. They stayed in the neighboring village of Pangnirtung for ten days, awaiting the right weather conditions. Numerous cameras were positioned around the site to capture the moment. All the camera operators felt that they lost sight of the skier as he went sailing off the cliff, all except one camera, which stayed with him throughout the stunt. The scene was all uncut. Sylvester's pay was thirty thousand dollars. Sylvester was supposedly given an additional bonus when he successfully completed the shot.
Amongst the pyramids, when Jaws is trailing a hidden 007, a still photograph of Sir Roger Moore was used when they needed to have him in the shot. Hardly anyone noticed this during the movie's release. Furthermore, all the shots of pyramids used, were models.
Elvis Presley saw this movie on Wednesday, August 10, 1977 during a special viewing at the General Cinema in Whitehaven, Tennessee. It was the last movie he saw, as he died six days later on Tuesday, August 16, 1977, at the age of forty-two.
The scene where James Bond is watching a light show that illuminates the Sphinx and Pyramids, is an actual show called "The Sound and Light" show, which would continue to be shown for many years afterwards.
Karl Stromberg (Curd Jürgens) has webbed hands, however, they often go unnoticed by viewers on video and DVD compared to when the movie was released in cinemas. A bigger image on a theater screen makes them more noticeable. In one of the later scenes you can clearly see this in a side view of his right hand.
Ian Fleming was so disappointed with the "Spy Who Loved Me" novel, that he would not allow the publisher to print the book in paperback. It was not until Fleming's death, that the book became widely available.
The crew was upset because of the horrible food in Egypt, so Producer Albert R. Broccoli had a refrigerated truck with food brought from England. However, someone forgot to turn on the freezer, so all the food was inedible upon arrival. Broccoli jumped into action, taking a Jeep and some crew into town to grab items like tomatoes and pots and pans. Pasta was flown in from Cairo. Well-known as an amateur chef at home, Broccoli cooked up a feast for the cast and crew, served by him and Sir Roger Moore. The crew applauded the meal, and a sign was painted in the messroom with "Trattoria Broccoli" written on it, "Trattoria" being the Italian word for simplest restaurant. Broccoli's Italian parents are largely credited for his culinary skills.
To pay tribute to the death of Sir Roger Moore, two James Bond movies, this movie and For Your Eyes Only (1981), Moore's two favorite of his Bond movies, as well as the two he considered his best, were re-released on selected dates in selected territories around the world, within a few weeks of his passing, with fifty percent of the proceeds going to Moore's beloved charity, U.N.I.C.E.F., for which he was a Goodwill Ambassador.
The Union Jack parachute Bond uses in the opening sequence is an incorrect design. The red Cross of Saint Patrick is swapped with the white Cross of Saint Andrew in one corner. Prince Charles obviously did not notice this during the movie's premiere, when he stood in honor of the flag.
The novelization by Christopher Wood gives Jaws a backstory. His real name is Zbigniew Krycsiwiki. He was born in Poland, the product of a union between the strong man of a travelling circus, and the Chief Wardress at the Women's Prison in Cracow. The relationship and subsequent marriage had been a stormy one, and, when it broke up, the young Zbigniew stayed with his mother and attended school, and subsequently university in Cracow. He grew to a prodigious height, but in temperament, he followed his father, and was surly and uncooperative, given to sudden outbreaks of violent temper. Because of his size, he commanded a place on the university basketball team, but he was sluggish of reaction, and his lack of speed was constantly exposed by more skillful, but less physically endowed players. After a failed attempt at a basketball career, Krycsiwiki was arrested by the secret police for having taken part in the "1972 bread riots". While he was imprisoned, the police "beat him with hollow steel clubs encased in thick leather" until they thought he was dead, leaving his jaw broken beyond repair. Krycsiwiki later escaped, and stowed aboard one of Stromberg's vessels. Eventually he was caught, but instead of turning him in, Stromberg hired a prestigious doctor to create an artificial jaw. After fourteen operations, Krycsiwiki's jaw was restored using steel components that created two rows of terrifying razor-sharp teeth, although Jaws was left mute.
The title song "Nobody Does It Better" was sung by Carly Simon, with music by Marvin Hamlisch, and lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager. It is the first Bond theme song to be titled differently from the name of the movie that is played on the Main Titles, although the phrase "the spy who loved me" is included in the lyrics.
The original script called for Jaws to perish after Bond used an industrial magnet aboard the Super Tanker to drop him into the tanker's furnace. The scene was storyboarded using Richard Kiel and Sir Roger Moore as models, and apparently rehearsed, but ultimately scrapped, because Producer Albert R. Broccoli suspected Jaws' character had enormous appeal, so an alternate ending with Jaws surviving was filmed, allowing Jaws to return in Moonraker (1979). When this movie was previewed, audiences cheered when they saw Jaws swimming away in the finale.
One million dollars of the thirteen and a half million dollar budget was spent by Production Designer Ken Adam on building the largest soundstage in the world: 336'x139'x44'. The set was used for the interior shots of Stromberg's supertanker. The tank had a capacity of 1.2 million gallons. In honour of this the stage was named the' 007 Stage'
First Bond movie to make significant references to Bond's past, including his recruitment to the British Secret Service from the Royal Navy, his "many lady friends", and his marriage to Tracy in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).
The character of Major Boothroyd is addressed as such by Barbara Bach for one of the rare times in the film franchise. Boothroyd (played by Desmond Llewelyn) is the head of Q branch, but the name Q stuck to the character.
In his audio commentary, Sir Roger Moore comments on the opening parachute ski jump that could have gone horribly wrong for Stuntman Rick Sylvester. After the jump, a disengaged ski clipped the unopened chute as it was falling. The ski could could easily have prevented the chute from opening. It can still be seen in the final footage when the ski clips the about-to-open parachute.
One of the first directors to be considered was Steven Spielberg. There was some worry about his inexperience, as he was caught up on an extremely lengthy pre-production schedule for a little movie he was making at the time called Jaws (1975), which provided inspiration for a major character in this movie.
Despite the disappointing box-office performance of The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Albert R. Broccoli nevertheless invested thirteen and a half million dollars on the production of this movie, the most expensive Bond movie yet produced.
The Liparus oil tanker, used in this movie, is a model of the real one, which was owned by Royal Dutch Shell, which was constructed in 1975, and commissioned a year later as an L-class tanker holding two hundred seventy thousand to three hundred fifteen thousand tons of crude oil. Shell sold off the tanker in 1983, where it was renamed the "Paradise", and went through several owners. It was scrapped in China in 2003. A miniature tanker had to be built for this movie, despite one of Albert R. Broccoli's friends offering the production a real one. They had to turn the offer down, as the insurance premiums on tankers are so prohibitively expensive, clocking in at fifty thousand pounds sterling a day. The tanker model of the Liparus was sixty feet long, with the Stromberg shipping logo used in place of the Shell Oil Company livery (including the stern, where the "London" registry was painted over, which was used with the real tanker), powered by a Evinrude outboard motor, however is was mounted within the model tanker.
This movie marks the debut of a fifth version of the gun-barrel opening sequence that needed to be redone to match the movie's 2.35:1 aspect ratio. It featured a closer shot of Sir Roger Moore against a more colored background. Also, it's the first time that Bond wears a tuxedo during the sequence. In addition, this sequence has the distinction of being the one with the most appearances, as its footage was re-used for Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), and A View to a Kill (1985), with a total of five appearances.
The only James Bond movie in which M's (Bernard Lee) first name (Miles) is said. His name was said to be Admiral Sir Miles Messervy in the novel "The Man with the Golden Gun". It is only the second time in the film franchise that M calls Bond by his first name James, and not 007 or Bond (the first was On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)). Q is referred to by his real name (Major Geoffrey Boothroyd) in Dr. No (1962) and From Russia with Love (1963).
The Lotus Esprit, capable of transforming from car to submarine in the movie, was purchased for six hundred sixteen thousand pounds sterling at a London auction in October 2013 by Elon Musk, who plans to rebuild the vehicle, and attempt to make the fictional dual-purpose car, be an actual dual-purpose car (underwater and on land).
The Lotus submarine car was code-named Esther Williams in an early draft of the script, and was also nicknamed by the crew as "Wet Nellie" (after the mini-helicopter in You Only Live Twice (1967)), which is the name used in the novelization. This car was an empty shell of a car that was propelled off of a pier, and into the sea by a compressed air cannon. Designed to operate while filled with water, it was driven by two divers in full scuba gear, but overheated while idling in between takes. The chase sequence involving Wet Nellie runs for seven minutes.
This was the first James Bond movie to be composed by an American (Marvin Hamlisch). A piece of music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart inspired the title song "Nobody Does It Better", composed by Hamlisch. This movie includes in its score a few pieces of classical music by such composers as Johann Sebastian Bach (Air in Orchestral Suite No. 3, BWV 1068 aka Air on the G String), Frédéric Chopin (Nocturne No. 8 in D-Flat, Op. 27 No. 2), Camille Saint-Saëns (The Aquarium from The Carnival of the Animals) and Mozart's Andante second movement of Piano Concerto No. 21. "Elvira Madigan" plays when Atlantis arises from the sea. After the van breaks down, the theme from Lawrence of Arabia (1962) plays when Bond and XXX walk across the desert. One young assistant in the cutting-room put it in as a joke, and it brought laughs to the team and they kept it in the final cut. As such, this was the first James Bond movie to use a score from another movie. Also, Anya's music box-transmitter plays "Lara's Theme" from Doctor Zhivago (1965). All of these pieces of music, however, are not included on the movie's soundtrack album, as they are merely excerpted in the movie.
A total of four "Wet Nellie" diving cars were built for the underwater scenes. All but the last one were hollow shells. One was shot off the pier by an air cannon and had retractable wheels, one had panels that covered the wheel wells, one that had diving planes that extended from the wheel wells, and one that was actually able to move underwater. The last one was operated by scuba divers, since the car was filled with water. One of the fiberglass "Wet Nellie" shells was found on a scrap heap. It was restored on American Restoration: Bond Ambition (2014). The final restoration has one wheel down and one wheel in the process of retracting on the passenger side, and the dive fins in place on the driver's side. It also has the window shields, periscope, missile, propellers, and rudders as seen in the film. It is on display at a James Bond Museum in Florida.
Last Bond movie (to date) of Shane Rimmer. He played the commander of the U.S.S. Wayne here, and had previously played a N.A.S.A. technician in You Only Live Twice (1967), and the head of Willard White's aerospace division in Diamonds Are Forever (1971). He also provided the voice for the American Agent at the beginning of Live and Let Die (1973).
"The Spy Who Loved Me" was the tenth James Bond novel to be written by Ian Fleming. It was first published on April 18, 1962. The only common story elements between the novel and the movie are its title, and henchmen Jaws and Sandor, who are loosely inspired by the book's villains Horror (with steel-capped teeth) and Slugsy (short and bald). This movie is considered the first Bond movie, whose story is completely original (the second was GoldenEye (1995)). Fleming only allowed the novel's title to be used, as it was told in the first person of a Bond Girl character, with Bond only appearing in chapters ten through fourteen out of fifteen. The names of the heroine (Vivienne Michel) and the villains' employer (Mr. Saguinetti) are not mentioned in the movie. The novelization of the movie by Screenwriter Christopher Wood was called "James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me" to distinguish it from Fleming's novel. This was the first novelization of a Bond movie, rather than the other way around. Some later Bond movies, such as Moonraker (1979), A View to a Kill (1985), and Quantum of Solace (2008), followed the example of using one of Fleming's titles, and creating a wholly, or mostly new story for it.
Sir 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.
The Aquapolis, the enormous Japanese floating sea structure, was considered as an exterior set for the Stromberg Marine Research Laboratory, Atlantis. It resembled an oil rig (something that had already been used in Diamonds Are Forever (1971)), had a gigantic three-tiered deck that was also a helicopter pad measuring one hundred square meters, and was supported by about a dozen major pillars. It cost thirteen billion yen, and had been built in Hiroshima in 1975, then transported to Okinawa for the International Ocean Exposition. Depending on weather conditions, it could partially rise or submerge into the ocean, in a similar fashion to the Atlantis setting of the movie's script. At the time of the location scout, it was incomplete, and after attempts to make the mega-structure work, Production Designer Ken Adam felt that it lacked the right creative elements for the nautical villain's lair. Disappointingly, the floating sea city was rejected as an exterior location for Atlantis and the filmmakers decided to go with a model. Sadly, it was closed to tourist visits in 1993, and in 2000, after twenty-five years, the real-life floating city in the ocean was sold for scrap, after the company that owned it went bankrupt.
General Gogol's first appearance in the EON Productions official James Bond film franchise. His first name is heard for the only time in the franchise, when M refers to him as Alexis (however, he was called Anatoly Gogol in the credits of A View to a Kill (1985)). Gogol was played by Walter Gotell, who played Morzeny in From Russia with Love (1963). He appeared several times in the franchise as General Gogol, the last being The Living Daylights (1987). The character's surname is a nod to Russian novelist Nikolay Gogol.
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.
With this movie, Director Lewis Gilbert also decided to fix what he felt the previous Sir Roger Moore movies were doing wrong, which was writing the Bond character too much the way Sir Sean Connery played him, and instead portray Bond closer to the books, "very English, very smooth, good sense of humor."
Producer Albert R. Broccoli wanted Lois Chiles to play the part of Russian Agent Anya Amasova. Upon talking to her agent, it was discovered that Chiles had retired temporarily, upset by criticism she had received, and was taking acting lessons. Chiles became the next Bond Girl in Moonraker (1979) after sharing a seat next to Director Lewis Gilbert.
The movie received three Academy Award nominations, the most ever received by a James Bond movie until Skyfall (2012). These were for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Score, and Best Song, "Nobody Does It Better". It was the first Bond movie to receive multiple Oscar nominations.
The first James Bond movie produced solely by Albert R. Broccoli. All previous Bond movies had been co-produced with Harry Saltzman, or other producers. Saltzman left the franchise during pre-production of this movie.
James Mason was considered for the part of villain Karl Stromberg. His famous role as Jules Verne's Captain Nemo in Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) was a major element in his consideration. He would also be considered as main villain Hugo Drax in the next Bond movie Moonraker (1979). Coincidentally, James Bond creator Ian Fleming based the villain Drax on the Jules Vernes character Robur from the "Clipper Of The Clouds", "Master of the World" and "Robur, The Conqueror" stories. Sadly, Mason never got into any Bond movie.
The first appearance of recurring character Defence Minister Frederick Gray (Geoffrey Keen). While walking along the docks, Bond addresses him as "Freddy" for the only time in the franchise (in all subsequent movies, he uses the more formal address "Minister").
Milton Reid didn't enjoy falling two stories to the ground, even though there were boxes to cushion his fall. Director Lewis Gilbert needed a long scream from him and a fall from anything less than two stories would have been insufficient.
The beach scene, where the surfacing Lotus submarine car surprises the beach crowd, was filmed on October 5th and 6th (Tuesday and Wednesday), 1976, Capriccioli, Sardinia, according to the featurette "On Location with Ken Adam". That would be off-season, when the beaches are empty of tourists, especially mid-week.
The delay in production of this movie involved legal issues with the script. Thunderball (1965) co-Writer and Producer Kevin McClory brought suit against the production company, EON Productions, stating that his script "Warhead" (later Never Say Never Again (1983)) had been plagiarized for the nuclear submarine storyline. The injunction was ultimately rejected, and EON could proceed. However, the original name of the villain was changed from Stavros to Stromberg, due to the similarity between Stavros and Ernest Stavro Blofeld, a character belonging to McClory. An early version of the script intended to have Blofeld return as the villain for the first time since Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Screenwriter Richard Maibaum's original draft featured an alliance of international terrorists entering S.P.E.C.T.R.E.'s headquarters and deposing Blofeld before trying to destroy the world for themselves, to make way for a New World Order. This script was deemed too political by Albert R. Broccoli. Several scenes, including the one where Bond and Anya meet each other in a Cairo bar, were written by an uncredited Tom Mankiewicz. According to him, the scene originally made reference to Tatiana Romanova of From Russia with Love (1963), but this was cut. If it had been left in, this movie would have included direct references to the Sir Sean Connery and George Lazenby eras of the Bond franchise. Other writers included John Landis, original Director Guy Hamilton, Stirling Silliphant, Cary Bates, Anthony Barwick, Anthony Burgess, Ronald Hardy, and Derek Marlowe. In total, twelve screenwriters worked on fifteen drafts.
Assistant to Producer Michael G. Wilson saw a photo in an ad of a skier jumping out of a helicopter, and insisted on re-creating the stunt for the opening of this movie. As such, an advertisement inspired the famous opening skiing sequence. It was for Canadian Club Whisky and featured Rick Sylvester jumping off Asgard cliff on Baffin Island, Canada. The ad had been staged elsewhere, and had been performed off the El Capitain Peak, Yosemite Valley, California. The ad read: "If you Space Ski Mount Asgard...before you hit the ground, hit the silk!" Sylvester performed the stunt for this movie, which famously ended with a parachute of the Union Jack opening. Sylvester also did the Meteora mountain fall in For Your Eyes Only (1981).
When Jaws' car crashes into an old man's hut in Sardinia, he says in Italian: "Mamma mia che è successo? Oddio, tutto distrutto!", which roughly translates to: "Oh my, what happened? Oh my god, it's all destroyed!"
In 1977, Milton Reid played the henchman "Sandor" in this movie, and the henchman "Eye Patch" in the spy spoof and James Bond parody, No. 1 of the Secret Service (1977). Reid had applied to play the role of "Oddjob" in Goldfinger (1964), but was unsuccessful. Also, Reid had been uncredited as one of Dr. No's guards in Dr. No (1962), and was also one of Mata Bond's attendants in the Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967).
The pistol Barbara Bach brandishes in Egypt is a .25 caliber Baretta. However, the .25 caliber weapons are looked down upon by all military as not being powerful enough to be reliable, and would never have been used by a secret agent. However, since this is a fictional story based on a fictional novel, reality doesn't matter.
Fekkesh's apartment seen in the film is the real-life Gayer-Anderson Museum in Cairo. The ceremonial hall and rooftop terrace were used in this movie (the rooftop terrace is where the fight scene with Bond and Sandor was filmed).
"Nobody Does It Better" was a hit in the U.S. and the U.K. The song was so successful, that the title has become part of the James Bond universe vernacular. According to the CD soundtrack sleeve notes, it charted in the U.S. on July 23, 1977, and went to number two. It stayed there for three weeks, and was on the U.S. charts for twenty-five weeks. The song, in the U.S., also achieved the classification of being a Gold Single. It entered the charts in the U.K. on August 6, 1977, and peaked at number seven. The soundtrack album charted in the U.S. on August 27, 1977, and went to number forty.
The warship involved in the final scenes is the H.M.S. Fearless. The Fearless has an amphibious deck, where the escape pod from Atlantis was recovered, as life imitating art, the success of Exploration Flight Test 1 on December 5, 2014, where the Orion capsule was recovered by the U.S.S. Anchorage. N.A.S.A. personnel are using this recovery method similar to the escape pod retrieval, instead of a helicopter, which was previously used during the Apollo program.
The Royal World Premiere of this movie was held on July 7, 1977, at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square, London and was attended by Princess Anne, her second Bond launch after Live and Let Die (1973). The date has special significance, as it is abbreviated as 7/7/77, an homage to 007.
In one scene amongst the pyramids, when Jaws is trailing a hiding Agent 007, a still photograph of Sir Roger Moore was used when they needed to have him in the shot. Hardly anyone noticed this during this movie's release. Furthermore, all of the shots of pyramids used, were models.
The fictional H.M.S. Ranger nuclear submarine is based on the real-life Resolution class, where four were constructed as part of the Polaris program. The Royal Navy decommissioned the Resolution class in 1996, with the Vanguard class as its replacement, carrying Trident II missiles. The Soviet submarine is a Delta class, which was replaced in the early 1980s by the Typhoon class (subject of The Hunt for Red October (1990) with ex-Bond Sir Sean Connery).
Plot elements of this movie were re-used for Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). In that movie, James Bond is assigned to investigate an incident concerning a British frigate. He and the beautiful Chinese spy Wai Lin discover media mogul Elliot Carver is behind the British frigate incident, and they set out to prevent Carver from using a stolen missile from the British frigate, as part of his scheme to trigger a war between England and China.
Gerry Anderson (Creator of Thunderbirds (1965)) threatened legal action against the producers, as he felt this movie came too close to a story proposal he had offered them in the 1960s. The suit was dropped, though EON Productions ended up purchasing the rights to Anderson's original proposal.
Visual Effects Supervisor Derek Meddings had the supertanker "Liparus" built like a catamaran, because is had to swallow boats. He also had a Chevrolet 350 V8 engine put inboard, to get the wash behind. Meddings also directed the model. The ship was modelled after a real tanker owned by Shell. The supertanker set was named "the Jonah Set", for the Biblical Jonah, who is swallowed by a whale.
Twelfth James Bond movie made, and tenth in the EON Productions official series. The third Bond movie to star Sir Roger Moore as James Bond. This is the only EON Productions James Bond movie to be made in the same order as its source novel was written. The Spy Who Loved Me was the tenth official franchise James Bond movie produced, and the tenth Ian Fleming James Bond novel written.
Product placements, brand integrations, and promotional tie-ins for this movie include Lotus cars, particularly the Lotus Esprit S1 turbo sports car; Seiko watches, James Bond wears a Seiko 0674 LC watch; a Sony Electronics' video monitor; Q's travel bag labelled BOAC; Shark Hunter underwater submersibles; Ford vehicles including makes Cortina and Taunus; Dom Perignon champagne, particularly a Dom Perignon '52; Bacardi rum; Jetski wetbikes; Kawasaki motorcycles; Bell helicopters; and later Domark's spin-off video game, The Spy Who Loved Me (1990).
A fight sequence was originally envisaged in this movie for the Mummy Room of the Cairo Museum of Antiquities. This was scrapped, but the sequence resurfaced in Moonraker (1979), as the fight between Chang and Bond in the Venini glass showroom.
During the fight scene at the Pyramids between Bond and two K.G.B. Agents, Bond delivers a blow that causes one of the men to, in reflex, cross his arms over his chest, making him resemble a character in old Egyptian drawings.
This movie almost single-handedly changed Americans' views of Russian women. 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 Sir Roger Moore, that the movie had ruined "half his jokes".
Caroline Munro's casting was inspired by an advertisement campaign she had made. She had appeared in Lamb's Navy Rum highly successful campaign, often clad in a nearly unzipped wetsuit, and was the face of the campaign over many years.
Jaws' steel teeth would become an influence in hip-hop culture (known as "grilles" in the Houston, Texas hip-hop scene) a few decades after this movie's release, Houston, Texas rapper Paul Wall, known for wearing grilles, paid homage to Richard Kiel (after Stromberg's line that anyone in contact with the microfilm is to be eliminated) when he grinned in his music video for his hit single "They Don't Know", revealing his diamond-clad grille.
The first line of the Ian Fleming novel read: "I was running away." The last line read: "A Secret Agent? I didn't care what he did. A number? I had already forgotten it. I knew exactly who he was, and what he was, and everything, every smallest detail, would be written on my heart forever."
The hull number on the sail of the U.S. submarine, "U.S.S. Wayne", in Stromberg's supertanker, is 593. This is the number of the U.S.S. Thresher (S.S.N.-593), lost in 1963 with all hands, off the Massachusetts coast.
According to the book "James Bond: A Celebration" (1987) by Peter Haining, who passed away in 2007, "Jules Verne's Captain Nemo was the inspiration for Fleming's Ernst Stavro Blofeld." The book states that the character "has his origins in Caprtain Nemo, the hate-fuelled rebel of Jules Verne's classic novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea." Blofeld was originally intended to be the villain in this movie.
This is the only Eon Productions James Bond movie to be made in the same order as its source novel was written. "The Spy Who Loved Me" was the tenth official franchise James Bond movie produced, and the tenth Ian Fleming James Bond novel written.
Botticelli's Birth of Venus, the painting that hung above the fireplace in Stromberg's dining room, served as the key inspiration for Ian Fleming to create Honey Chile Rider, James Bond's Girl Friday from Dr. No (1962).
The literal translations of some this movie's foreign language titles include: "The Spy That Loved Me" (Spain, Norway, France, and Denmark); "007, My Beloved" (Finland); "The Spy That I Loved" (Portugal); "Beloved Spy" (Sweden); "The Spy That Loves Me" (Poland), and "007, The Spy Who Loved Me" (Brazil).
This marks the first time that one actor playing James Bond had filmed two different gun barrel sequences. Moore's first gun barrel sequence had served for Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), while the second one served for the rest of Moore's outings. The reason for the change was the aspect ratio went from 1.85:1 to 2.35:1, necessitating a newly filmed opening.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld, portrayed in Spectre (2015) by Christoph Waltz, is one of three recurring villains in the official James Bond film franchise. The other two are henchmen Jaws (Richard Kiel), from this movie and Moonraker (1979), and Mr. White (Jesper Christiansen), from Spectre (2015), Casino Royale (2006), and Quantum of Solace (2008). Of these three recurring villains, two, Mr. White and Ernst Stavro Blofeld, appeared in one of the same movies, which is Spectre (2015). Of the three villains, only two, Jaws and Mr. White, are the ones who have always been portrayed by the same actor.
Third Bond movie to have an action scene in a train between James Bond and a villain. Previous ones include From Russia with Love (1963), and Live and Let Die (1973). The next ones include Octopussy (1983), GoldenEye (1995), Skyfall (2012), and Spectre (2015) to date. Skyfall (2012) contained two train action scenes.
Though not credited, Charles Gray has an offscreen cameo, as the narrator heard in the pyramid scene. This makes Grays third participation in an official Bond movie, with his first appearance as Henderson in You only live twice, and more noticable as Bonds arch nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Diamonds are forever.
The American submarine shown in the movie is referred to as the "U.S.S. Wayne". In reality, there has been no U.S. sub given this name. The only U.S S. Wayne on record, was an American "Attack Transport" (A.P.A.-54) during World War II. The sail number shown (593) was used on the U.S.S. Thresher (S.S.N. 593) a Permit-class submarine, which sank with all hands during a test dive to maximum depth, on April 10, 1963.
Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz claims that Catherine Deneuve wanted to play the female lead and was willing to cut her normal rate from four hundred thousand dollars per picture to two hundred fifty thousand dollars, but Producer Albert R. Broccoli would not pay above eighty thousand dollars.
The label (but not the cover) on the original soundtrack LP, lists Paul Buckmaster (not Marvin Hamlisch, who received credit for everything else on the LP) as composer to the source music heard at The Mojaba Club.
Though the last James Bond movie co-produced by Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli was The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), the dissolution of the partnership did not occur until after that movie was released. Saltzman was involved with this movie during early pre-production (until his twenty million pound slice of James Bond in December 1975), as was original Director Guy Hamilton together with John Landis, a young writer at the time.
Vehicles featured included a white Lotus Esprit S1 turbo sports car adaptable Perry submarine-car, which was also known by the production as "Margie Nixon" and "Wet Nellie"; an Arctic Enterprises Wetbike hydrofoil water motorcycle; Jaws' Telephone Service gray Sherpa Van; a yellow and black Kawasaki Z900 motorcycle, with black and yellow sidecar; Hovercraft Speedboat jettisoned from Atlantis; black and yellow two-seater Shark Hunter submersibles (mini wet submarines); two black-and-yellow Bell 206 JetRanger helicopters; black Ford Taunus; the Liparus oil tanker, that includes a Mini Moke; Westland HH-3 Sea King and Westland Wessex HC Mk 2 helicopters; 1977 Ford Cortina 2.3 Ghia; H.M.S. Ranger, U.S.S. Wayne, and Soviet Potemkin submarines; a Stromberg Enterprises company motorboat; a magnetic levitation Maglev monorail train inside Liparus; a small bus; and a spherical underwater escape pod for exiting Atlantis.
Tom Mankiewicz, who worked on the three preceding Bond movies, claims he was called in to do an extensive re-write of the script. Mankiewicz says he did not receive credit because Producer Albert R. Broccoli was limited to the number of non-English people in key positions he could employ on the movies, in order to obtain Eady Levy's assistance.
The cavernous submarine pen inside the Liparus seems quite gigantic, but in reality it is no larger than the Strictly Come Dancing (2004) ballroom, since both that scene and the TV show come from the George Lucas Stage at Elstree Studios.
According to a 2019 episode of Motor Trend's "Auto/Biography" television series, a Lotus executive parked a prototype version of the Esprit outside the offices of Albert Broccoli and his staff. After a while, the car garnered so much attention that Broccoli and Lotus made a deal to feature the Esprit as latest "Bond car." As per the above show, a total of 11 were used in the film, including 6 submersible versions. However, only one of the underwater cars, the "Wet Nellie" actually had propulsion and maneuverability -- the other five were built for one-off effects shots, such as the missile firing out of the roof. In 1979 the Wet Nellie was purchased by a stuntman and placed into a storage facility, prepaid for 10 years. When the aroragenagreement expired without being renewed, the storage locker was blind-auctioned, the winner paying $5.00. Motor Trend's interviewed the couple who purchased that auction, with the husband stating that he had absolutely no idea what the car was (as he has never seen the Bond film), and the wife remembering that the car was full of rust and "held together with bungee cords." Elon Musk of Tesla Motors bought the car in 2013 at auction for £550,000, at the time stating plans to turn the car from a "wet" submersible (in which the operators needed to wear SCUBA gear) to a true submarine, where driver and passenger could remain in normal clothes and breathe without additional equipment.
Victor Tourjansky: Uncredited as the man with the bottle, who wonders whether he's hallucinating at seeing the Wet Nellie drive out of the water. He repeated the gag in the following two movies: in Moonraker (1979), he is drinking in Venice when Bond drives his gondola out of the water, and in For Your Eyes Only (1981), he is a patron of the lodge, at which Bond skies off the table. His main job was Assistant Director.
Michael G. Wilson: The screenwriter is a man in the audience at the Pyramid Theatre. He is sitting in the row behind Fekkesh and XXX at the Pyramid Show. He is also seen as a guard on the Liparus tanker.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Though there is an Ian Fleming novel "The Spy Who Loved Me", this movie doesn't use any elements of the novel. In that sense, it is the only Fleming James Bond novel not to be made into a movie as of now.