Agent 007 is back in the second installment of the James Bond series, this time battling a secret crime organization known as SPECTRE. Russians Rosa Klebb and Kronsteen are out to snatch a decoding device known as the Lektor, using the ravishing Tatiana to lure Bond into helping them. Bond willingly travels to meet Tatiana in Istanbul, where he must rely on his wits to escape with his life in a series of deadly encounters with the enemy
- Last movie that JFK saw, in a private screening at the White House (Nov. 20, 1963). Ironically, JFK marked From Russia With Love as one of his top 10 all-time favorite books too.
- The knife shoe used by Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) was an actual weapon used by the K.G.B.
After his first mission in Jamaica, Bond is back in Istanbul, Turkey. His mission, trying to get his hand on a secret decoder. But, as you can expect, the mission will not be easy.
DR. NO II
The second film of the series is very similar to Dr. No. This time, there is no secret base that ends up in explosions. Instead, we follow a more mature spy film. The movie is very good, except for one sequence which is really bad, the one with the gypsies. This one is totally immature and, well... just plain bad. The two female gypsies going at each others... We can see that men wrote this script.
What's great about this film is the introduction of Blofeld, the evil mastermind behind SPECTRE. But what's great too is that he doesn't die in this film. We can see that the producers start to lay out the ground for a franchise that would go on.
Blofeld, caressing his cat and saying to people – referred as numbers – that this is the last time they failed him, was really iconic.
Not only I love trains but I loved how this movie used trains, for the first time in the franchise. This will become a classic in the James Bond films. Trains have a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that makes it very entertaining. And the final battle in the train is very violent because very realistic. I loved it.
The end of the film with the helicopter chase and then the boat chase is very fun as well and is still enjoyable to watch almost 60 years later. Very carefully crafted.
For the first time, Bond gets introduced to real gadgets. This time, an exploding suitcase. Q is the Equipment Officer and already starts to play with toys.
James Bond gets laid twice – once with Sylvia and once with Tatiana, who simply jumps in his bed without even knowing him...
Like Dr. No, I give it 6 out of 10. Very good. I preferred Dr. No, but they are equally as good if you ask me.
There's a saying in England: Where there's smoke, there's fire!
From Russia With Love is directed by Terence Young and adapted to screenplay by Richard Maibaum & Johanna Harwood from the Ian Fleming novel of the same name. It stars Sean Connery, Daniela Bianchi, Lotte Lenya, Robert Shaw & Pedro Armendáriz. Music is by John Barry and cinematography by Ted Moore.
James Bond's second cinematic outing has 007 sent on a mission to Istanbul to try and acquire a Russian cypher machine known as Lektor. It's a trap set up by SPECTRE, who formulate a plan to upset the world order whilst murdering Bond in revenge for his killing of their agent Dr. No.
Spy Hard! A certain JFK had announced From Russia With Love as being one of his favourite books, thus making the minds up of producers Broccoli & Saltzman to make Fleming's Cold War thriller the follow up to Dr. No. It's a favourite of many a Bond aficionado because it represents one of the few occasions where Bond was still down to earth as a person, a hard working agent forced to do detective work. The adaptation is very literate as well, with a high fidelity to the source material a major bonus to Fleming's fans. The story is tautly told, often with dark tints the deeper Bond gets into things, and a number of excellently constructed set pieces fill out the latter half of the picture. It's not hard to understand why Connery cites this as his favourite Bond film.
Though it is mostly free of the gadget excess that would become a trademark of the franchise, it's still very much a quintessential Bond movie. Exotic locations and exotic foes, eye poppingly gorgeous ladies (Bianchi smouldering like few others can), pre-credits sequence, the snazzy title credits (here on a dancing lady), title song crooned by a big name (Matt Munro), Barry's blending of the Bond theme into the score, Blofeld (a faceless Anthony Dawson) and an impressive cast list. One of the film's big strengths is the cast assembled, Connery (firmly moving into iconic realm) is aided considerably by the presence of Lenya, Shaw and Armendáriz, while the first appearance of Desmond Llewelyn as Boothroyd (latterly to be known as Q) is a telling point in the series.
With a $2 million budget in the coffers, the makers were able to really push the boat out technically, and so they were rewarded as the pic went on to gross nearly $79 million Worldwide. Crucially it became apparent that James Bond was popular outside of Britain, the template had been set, what would they do with the next Bond outing we all wondered? 8/10