From Russia With Love (1963)

TERENCE YOUNG

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBBUnited Kingdom, 1963.  Eon Productions.  Adaptation by , Screenplay by ,based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Golden Globe Awards 1963.  

James Bond’s adventures continue, just as fast and fantastic as they were the first time around.  In this second installment, Bond (Sean Connery) is sent to Istanbul to recover a Russian decoder machine that a defecting agent plans on giving to the British government. Is the agent for real, or is this a plan by the infamously evil SPECTRE organization to lure Bond into a trap? One look at sexy  and you know that they can go ahead and lure away, because our hero will get the girl and emerge the victor no matter what. Berlin cabaret singer Lotte Lenya gained a new notoriety for herself in her performance as the sadistic Rosa Klebb, clad in knife-tipped shoes dipped in poison, while Robert Shaw does a great beefcake routine as the hired thug who nearly takes Bond out in a fantastic fight sequence on a train. This was the first Bond film to feature the pre-credits teaser as well as the trademark theme song; it isn’t as flashy as the next adventure Goldfinger, but it features what is probably the very best screenplay ever written for a Bond film. It has a filmmaking quality unlike any other in the series.

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