The Spy Who Loved Me Special Edition DVD Review (R2 - PAL)

"The Spy Who Loved Me Special Edition DVD" - Produced by United Artists

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The Spy Who Loved Me DVD Special Features
Audio Commentary Featuring Director Lewis Gilbert & Crew
"Inside The Spy Who Loved Me" Documentary
"Designing Bond " Documentary
Stills Gallery
Original TV Adverts
Radio Spots
Original Theatrical Trailers
Collectable "Making-Of" Booklet

DVD case synopsis: "James Bond (Roger Moore) and the beautiful Soviet Agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) team up to investigate missing Allied and Soviet Atomic submarines, following a deadly trail that leads to billionaire shipping magnate Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens). Soon Bond and Anya are the world's only hope as they discover a nightmarish scheme of global nuclear Armageddon!"

Vision: Widescreen 2.35:1, subtitles in English.

Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround, hard-of-hearing in English.

The Review: The best Bond of the 1970's gets the full treatment for this Special Edition DVD release. After years of seeing one of my personal favourite Bond films in inglorious pan-and-scan (on worn-out VHS tapes), it's so refreshing to see The Spy Who Loved Me in 2.35:1 widescreen - providing roughly 75% more viewing area!

Two documentaries are graced upon us on this DVD. The "Inside The Spy Who Loved Me" documentary reveals the intrigue behind the film... from the legal wranglings in pre-production, to the fact that the producers had to start from square one with a script - Ian Fleming had decreed that his "The Spy Who Loved Me" book was NOT to be used as the basis for a film. More related to the film's production proper, we are afforded a look at the construction of the famed "007 Stage" which was built at Pinewood Studios as the set for the interior of the "Liparus" supertanker and learn about the planning and execution of the ski-parachute jump for the pre-credits sequence - all in all one of the most interesting "Inside..." documentaries of the series.

Ken Adam is the focus for the second documentary - "Designing Bond". From his superlative work on Dr. No, through on of the most extravagant sets ever built for You Only Live Twice, to his final stint as Production Designer in Moonraker, Adam gives an insight into how and why he came up with such awesome constructions which have seldom been bettered since. Again, very interesting, just a shame that these second documentaries are considerably shorter than the "Inside..." ones, averaging 20 minutes. (Perhaps it would have been better to do what has been done wioth the "Gladiator" DVD and put the film on one disc and the special features on another. That would have mucked up the imaginative menus we see though...).

The rest of the features include an audio commentary by Director Lewis Gilbert and the cast and crew, which provides back-up material to what is already mentioned in the "Inside..." documentary, three trailers, twelve radio spots and six TV spots (the majority of which are narrated by some chap who seems to have a cold...). Thus there's more publicity than usual, always a plus, which allows those too young (like me) to sample Seventies advertising at first hand - such nostalgia! (The sixth TV ad has four scantily clad American ladies almost drooling out phrases like "It's the biggest", "It's the best" and "Roger Moore is James Bond" - why oh why?)

9/10 I think it's the widescreen element which catches it for me. Alright, 2.35:1 widescreen was nothing new to Bond films (all since Thunderball excluding Live And Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun, which were 1.77:1), but seeing perhaps the biggest Bond of all in this way only heightens my enjoyment! Mark off for exceedingly dodgy TV ads.

Approximate Film Running Time: 2hrs

Released in 1977 in Colour

"The Spy Who Loved Me" 1977 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation.

Albert R. Broccoli Presents Roger Moore as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in "The Spy Who Loved Me"
Barbara Bach and Curt Jurgens as Stromberg Produced by Albert R. Broccoli
Directed by Lewis Gilbert Screenplay by Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum Music by Marvin Hamlisch

To buy this DVD, for either Region 1 or 2, click here.

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© Fastrac Publications June 2000. Site written and maintained by Fastrac007. Last updated 5th March 2001.