The Spy Who Loved Me
Remembering Roger Moore, who died on this day in 2017.
Roger Moore often said that his favourite Bond film to have worked on was The Spy Who Loved Me – the tenth entry in the evergreen 007 series (and coincidentally the tenth in the series of Fleming’s novels – though they share only the title) and the third to star Moore. Though plagued with production issues from the offset, including the fractious departure of longtime producer Harry Saltzman and struggles to secure a director (even Spielberg was in the frame at one point) – these setbacks did nothing to stop the film becoming a fan favourite hit on release. The film is notable for the introduction of iconic Bond villain, Jaws, the construction of the 007 stage at Pinewood (then the largest in the world) to house the Stromberg supertanker set, the pre-credits Union Jack parachute scene which caused Prince Charles to stand up in the cinema (and is also a favourite of Alan Partridge) and of course, the unforgettable submersible Lotus Esprit, christened ‘Wet Nellie’ by the crew.
But did you know…
1) Cinematographer Claude Renoir’s eyesight was deteriorating during the shoot and as a result he didn’t feel comfortable overseeing the extraordinarily complex lighting on the supertanker set. Legendary Bond production designer Ken Adam turned to his friend Stanley Kubrick, who then secretly visited Pinewood to advise on the best course of action.
2) Billionaire entrepreneur and galactic level bellend Elon Musk bought the film’s submersible “Wet Nellie’ Lotus (it really did work underwater) at auction in London for £616,000 in 2013, announcing ambitious and – as yet – unfulfilled plans to retrofit the vehicle so it could actually function as a road vehicle and also a submarine. Perhaps he will unveil it at the same time as the Hyperloop?
3) Stuntman Rick Sylvester was hired to perform the pre-credits ski jump after the producers saw footage of his own illegal 3,000 foot parachute jump from El Capitan at Yosemite. The 007 jump would have to be captured in one take from Canada’s Mount Asgard, with little room for error. Disaster almost struck as Sylvester took off too slowly, with his ski clipping the chute, leading to the Union Jack being deployed too late for the following camera helicopter to capture. Luckily, a second cameraman, attached to the rock face, got the shot and Sylvester nabbed himself a $30,000 bonus.