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The Spy Who Loved Me [1977)

I hate to be a downer, but this one just doesn’t cut it.  It is as bad as You Only Live Twice.  It even shares the same essential plot as that clunker.  The common theme between these two films is the director:  Lewis Gilbert.  The sad conclusion is that Gilbert did not have the auteurist touch of Guy Hamilton or Terence Young.

At least there’s the ski jump (with Union Jack parachute).  At least Jaws (Richard Kiel) is magnificently creepy.  At least there is Barbara Bach (though her acting doesn’t register as highly as her physique).  Curd Jürgens is a snoozer villain.  Don Knotts might have been scarier.

Perhaps the best part of the movie is the song.  It is genuinely great!  “Nobody Does It Better” was written by Marvin Hamlisch and sung by Carly Simon.  Sadly, it’s all down hill from the opening credits.

 

-PD

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