Up to date information on the comings and goings in The Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum. Also a behind the scenes look at how the museum operates and how the museum team is working after our capacity expansion project to which grew our capacity from 60 to 420 in July 2010!

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, a Review by Les

Posted by Christine On 14:59

The Spy Who Loved Me-Cold War Cinema -June 21nd, 2011. Guided tour a 6:00 pm and movie showing at 7:00 pm. Call for reservations 613-839-0007.

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME - The Bond Saga Continues With Gadgets, Guns & Girls

Ian Fleming aficionados were probably upset in 1977. Not only had they to wait two and one half years for the next new movie to come out, but for the first time a Bond movie did not follow the same story-line as the book of the same title. The book told a story from a heroine's point of view and only introduced Bond well into the tale.

Agent 007 devotees were pleased however in 1977. When this movie was released, on the seventh day of the seventh month of the seventy-seventh year of the last century (7,7,77), it clearly followed the Bond film formula - beautiful women, gadget laden cars, megalomaniac villains, exotic locales, extreme explosions, dangerous henchmen, violent fights on trains, witty double-entendres to titillate and amuse, and more beautiful women. With a budget twice the size of any of the previous nine Bond movies this one really delivered. In this, the third Roger Moore Bond, there was a return to the more gentlemanly and witty secret agent.

Fleming allowed his 1962 book title to be used for the movie, but not his story. Based upon a script developed by fifteen writers who started work in 1976, the Director and Production Designer crafted a film to thrill Bond movie watchers, even those of today.

The movie reflects the 1970's era of "detente". The Cold War's strained relations between the super-powers had relaxed a little. After all, there was parity in nuclear weapons and Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) was the anticipated result of using the weapons. When I first heard use of the word "detente" during the Cold War I was reminded of the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas (yes, I had to look up the date and name). This treaty divided the globe into two hemispheres, one for the Spanish and one for the Portuguese. This treaty allowed each nation to pursue their aspirations for empire in the New World without fighting each other.

I interpreted the 1970's detente to be a thaw in the Cold War between the East (Soviet Union and allies) and the West (US and allies) so that leaders could focus on domestic requirements, leaving the "empires" of the other alone. The U.S. was financially and emotionally drained by the Vietnam War. The Soviet Union could no longer bear the financial burden of the arms race and feared improved relations between the U.S. and China. By 1975 Space Race tensions were eased with the joint U.S. Soviet Apollo-Soyuz space project. The project consisted of the first ever docking of the space craft from different nations. Indeed, it was the last manned U.S. space flight until the launch of the Space Shuttle in 1981.

Detente is reflected in this movie through cooperation between the best British spy, who we know is James Bond 007, and the best Soviet spy, who we learn is agent Triple X, as their nations fight a common threat - someone is stealing their nuclear weapons laden submarines.

The symbol XXX has many meanings. Don't get excited, this movie intends the symbol to be a warning sign of danger. In radio communications XXX is an indication of urgency, just under an SOS. In computer programming XXX warns programmers of a problematic or misleading code. From the very beginning there are strong indications that Bond should be very careful as his former adversary becomes his partner. Reflecting the 1970's women's liberation movement, James Bond must now share the stage with a female spy, a spy who is his equal. She is just as intelligent, just as lethal and just as resourceful as Bond. She is - "Triple X".

Come to the Diefenbunker to enjoy a movie and slip back to a time when the bunker was still in use. Perhaps not as impressive as the villain's lair in the movie, the bunker remains an engineering marvel nevertheless. Not just Bond fans and engineers, but Cold War buffs and troglodytes will enjoy the Diefenbunker movie night experience.

Watch the movie closely, which of the six host country's construction capabilities are insulted? Which host country provided a great mountain from which to Base Jump? Which country allows smoking in its submarines? Which spy used to advertise for a popular alcoholic beverage manufacturer and now has their character use the same product in this movie? What is a "Wetbike"? Did they really play "Lawrence of Arabia" theme music at some time during this movie? Does James Bond's gun ever miss fire? Did I mention the beautiful girls?