Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
United Kingdom, 1963. Eon Productions. Adaptation by Johanna Harwood, Screenplay by Richard Maibaum,based on the novel by Ian Fleming. Cinematography by Ted Moore. Produced by Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman. Music by John Barry. Production Design by Syd Cain. Costume Design by Jocelyn Rickards. Film Editing by Peter R. Hunt.
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 Daniela Bianchi 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.
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Song (“From Russia With Love”)