Ian Fleming's tenth Bond adventure isn't, properly, a Bond adventure, although he is in it.

This is first and foremost the story of Vivienne Michele. She is a perky Canadian girl, who has recently returned from five years in London. The first chapters tell her life history, including her romantic/sexual encounters with a British cad and a cold but technically inspiring German. She ends up at a motel in the Adirondacs, working as bookkeeper for two weeks. A rest stop with pay, on her quest to ride her Vespa to Florida.
A rest stop that very nearly ends her life.

The motel managers, an unpleasant couple, leave Viv in charge of the place for a couple days at the end of the season, promising the motel owner will arrive to pay her and do the final lockup.

Instead, two gangsters1 show up. They assault and threaten Viv, but she is a sideline to their real mission, which is to burn down the motel for the insurance money. Viv is the patsy, set up from the time she took the job.

Then James Bond arrives, having had a fortuitous flat. He's driving down from a counterassassination in Toronto, heading for Washington. He explains all this to Viv, and mentions briefly that SPECTRE was peripherally involved. The thugs make their move, but are outgunned by Bond and Viv, who proves suprisingly resourceful. Or perhaps it's not so suprising. Bond's girls tend to run to a type -- strong, masculine, outdoorsy, capable. Hmmm.

After Bond saves the day (and sexually awakens the girl) he leaves in darkness, taking time to contact the police and make sure she gets the rewards. She rides off into the morning on her Vespa, swearing to never forget Bond2.

1 Don't get me wrong, I love Fleming, but his "American Gangster" characters are always unsatisfying, shallow, and cliched. These two, the alopecic Sluggsy and the jail-gray Horror (short for Horowitz), speak in the most laughable and stilted dialect you can imagine. If Babelfish had a setting for Bad Gangster movie, this is what you would get.

"Say, Horror! This is some bimbo!  Git an eyeful of
 those knockers!  And a rear-end to match!  Geez, what a
"Ixnay, Sluggsy.  I said later.  Leave the stupid slot be."

2 Since Viv is never mentioned again, I assume that Bond forgets her pretty damned fast.

Bond under Water


The book is noded, enter the movie... Directed by Lewis Gilbert and released in 1977, this movie pits Roger Moore for his third (an in the opinion best) appearance as James Bond against Curd Jürgens (yet another german to play the villain) as Carl Stromberg. This movie also has the first apprearance of one of Bond's most memorable adversaries: Richard Kiel as the steel-toothed Jaws.


When a British and Russian submarine disappear without a trace, and the only link is a microfilm detailing the movements of the British submarine, it becomes clear that someone has devised a way to track submarines. Both sides send out their best agents to recover that microfilm in Cairo, the British James Bond and the Russians Major Anya Amasova Codename: Triple-X, who naturally proceed to competing for possession of the film at first.

James Bond: Which bullet has my name on it? The first or the last?
Major Anya Amasova: I have never failed on a mission commander!
James Bond: Then one of us is bound to be gravely disappointed, 'cause neither have I!

But they soon join forces to fight the crazed shipping billionaire Carl Stromberg. He wants to create a better world under the sea, while destroying the world above with nuclear missiles with the stolen submarines. And if that is not enough trouble already, Bond also has to best the unbeatable Jaws (How much damage can he take?), and then Anya finds out that James had killed her lover in the teaser and swears to kill Bond for it...


The Bond Girl roster is expanded with Barbara Bach as the dangeous russian agent Major Anya Amasova. Also appearing are Caroline Munro as Naomi, as well as the unnamed "Austrian Cabin Girl" from the pre-credits teaser, but both are there for looks only, the only real Bond-Girl is Anya.

Q (the late Desmond Llewelyn), who is referred to by his true name Major Boothroyd on film for the first time, provides Bond with a lot of goodies. First of these is the unforgettable Lotus Car - which became a submarine, equipped to fire under-water missiles, as well as sea-to-air missiles from the car bonnet. Bond also gets a special sea-bike, a cigarette case converted into a microfile viewer, a special watch with tape read off and various hidden weapons, especially knives.

Q: Now I want you to take good care of this equipment.
James Bond: Have I ever let you down, Q?
Q: Frequently!

Oh, and we get to see two nuclear explosions!

AFAIR correctly, this movie contains to only time somebody else refers to Bond's marriage at the end of On her Majesty's Secret Service. Bond quickly changes the subject, though, not wanting to dig up more sad memories... In For your Eyes only Bond is seen laying flowers on his dead wife's grave.

Although the end credits tell us that James Bond will return in: For your Eyes Only, the next film was to become Moonraker instead.

To finish up and complete the writeup, here is a nice link to all things Bond:

Previous Bond: The Man With The Golden Gun, James Bond will return in: Moonraker

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