THE SPY WHO LOVED ME premiered 40 years ago this summer. Roger Moore’s third outing as James Bond found the suave performer finding his stride as 007 in a film that would strive to be the biggest, most spectacular entry in the franchise yet. The Bond producers were always keen to top themselves, and they spared no expense to make it happen with globetrotting locations that ranged from Italy to Egypt and the Bahamas.
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME was the first Bond film I saw on the big screen. My dad took me to see it, and it remains one of the most indelible moviegoing experiences of my life. Needless to say, I’ve been a huge Bond fan ever since and love every James Bond film, great and terrible, warts and all. And I still wish that I could have a Lotus Esprit capable of transforming into a submarine. Two years ago, I was lucky enough to catch the BOND IN MOTION exhibit at the London Film Museum and made my pilgrimage to, among many other amazing Bond vehicles, Wet Nellie herself. Here are a few detail shots below:
Interestingly, the producers of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME felt that marketing Moore as 007 — the character — meant that he should mention Bond’s exploits in every film, including those that headlined Sean Connery and George Lazenby, in the specific TV spots below. “Since we first met you’ve joined me on nine of my missions,” says Moore with his signature arched eyebrow as he addresses the camera directly. Make sure you watch to the last spot that showcases a collection of Bond girls by themselves, urging audiences to see the film. It’s pure gold for 007 enthusiasts. (video courtesy of Mi6-HQ.com)
Many Bond purists will say that THE SPY WHO LOVED ME is simply a retread of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, with submarines being captured by the villain rather than space capsules in order to spark a world war. They are absolutely right. But what makes THE SPY WHO LOVED ME one of the best entries in the Bond franchise is the absolute bravado by the producers and filmmakers to push the envelope on stunts (that killer opening sequence with the ski jump free fall!), vehicles (the Lotus, the Wet Bike), and exotic locales — not to mention the best special effect of all: Roger Moore’s unflappable charisma.
Here are a few key lobby cards from THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. Enjoy!
A little background info on lobby cards I like to regularly share for context: Back in the days before the Internet, movie lobby cards were a powerful tool used by Hollywood studios to lure audiences into the darkened theater. They were the last line of enticement — and sometimes the first — alongside carpet-bombing consumers with coming attractions, movie posters, marquees, publicity stunts, movie program books, and newspaper advertisements for their newest big-screen sensation. With no entertainment websites or blogs available to tease audiences with stills from their films, lobby cards served that purpose for the studio publicity machine. These days, movie theater lobbies have eschewed the traditional lobby card for posters, standees, trailers on repeat, experiential activations and more.
More Lobby Cards to ogle:
- Ridley Scott’s ALIEN Lobby Cards from 1979
- YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE James Bond Lobby Cards from 1967
- Original STAR WARS lobby cards from 1977
- JAWS franchise lobby cards
More James Bond stories:
- How George Lazenby bluffed his way to Bond
- Remembering Roger Moore
- The Art of the International 007 Poster