The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Lewis Gilbert
Bond, James Bond: Roger Moore
Arch Rival: Karl Stromberg (Curt Jürgens)
Bond Girl: Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach)

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

After creating a good impression as Bond in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), Roger Moore delivers a one-two punch with the next film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). As usual two submarines, one each of the Soviet and Britain, vanish and it is found out that someone has devised a tracking system that hunted down these submarines for their use. So each country sends their best agents – 007 James Bond and XXX Anya Amasova – who jointly track down the cause behind the hijacking of the subs. They meet shipping tycoon Karl Stromberg. They also discover his plans of destroying the world (yawn) so that the whole of humanity has to go underwater for survival which – don’t ask me why – Stromberg’s intention. Can Bond and Anya stop this? (Wanna guess?)

The Spy Who Loved Me marks the return of Bond to his old charming ways – one without too much extravagance or compulsion. The film reminds one of From Russia With Love (1963) with its female Soviet spies, minimal body count (well, for most part!) and powerful henchmen. Richard Kiel as the metal-teethed Jaws is a great find and is the most impressive baddie since Goldfinger. Anya is one of the most effective Bond girls. Great stunts, especially the opening ski chase which culminates in a over-the-cliff jump. But does not give the knockout showdown with the boss one expects.

You Only Live Twice (1967)
Lewis Gilbert
Bond, James Bond: Sean Connery
Arch Rival: Ernst Blofeld (Donald Pleasence)
Bond Girl: Kissy Suzuki (Mie Hama)

You Only Live Twice (1967)

You Only Live Twice (1967)

The next installment in the series would be You Only Love Twice, the first Bond film shot in Asia. The film kicks off with strange events in space as a mysterious contraption seems to be swallowing both the American and the Soviet spaceships. Before both the countries pin the blame on each other and jump into another world war, British government asks Bond carry out his investigations in Japan, where they suspect is the hideout of the spacecraft. Bond arrives in the oriental country where he is aided by the local force lead by Tiger Tanaka. He finds out that a local chemical company is shipping rocket chemicals surreptitiously into an unknown area. For this, Bond disguises himself as a Japanese even rigging up a fake marriage with Tanaka’s protégé Kissy Suzuki. Bond sets out on his gyrocopter to find the place, in vain. Finally, with the help of Kissy, Bond finds the secret lair where the craft is and successfully infiltrates it. He meets the Number one of SPECTRE aka Ernst Stavro Blofeld!

If Thunderball was deep inside the water, You Only Live Twice goes aerial. The plot is kept simple and would form the basis of another Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). You Only Live Twice, to an extent, makes up for the heavy blow dealt to the series by its predecessor Thunderball (1965). Blofeld (more famous as Dr. Evil in Austin Powers series!) makes his first appearance after indirectly threatening in previous three films.