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From Russia with Love (DVD)

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Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 1964 / Director: Terence Young / Actors: Sean Connery, Daniela Bianchi ... / DVD released 03 November, 2003 at MGM Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL, Widescreen

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      24.05.2010 15:06
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      Vintage Bond adventure

      From Russia with Love is the second entry in the James Bond series. It was apparently chosen as the follow-up to 1962's Dr No after President Kennedy had named the book as one of his favourites. Directed by Terence Young and released in 1963, the bulk of Fleming's plot is maintained for the film with one or two modifications. SPECTRE planner Kronsteen (Vladek Sheybal) has helped to devise a scheme to steal a Lektor decoder machine from under the noses of the Russians and embarrass MI6. Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) - a Russian cypher clerk from the Istanbul Soviet consulate - is recruited as a pawn to pretend to be in love with British agent James Bond (Sean Connery) and ask for his help to steal the machine in return for British citizenship. MI6 are informed she will only defect to Bond after she saw his photo in an intelligence file.

      SPECTRE agent Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) is placed in charge of the plan which will involve letting Bond steal the Lektor and then having him and Tatiana killed by SPECTRE assassin Red Grant (Robert Shaw) before selling the machine back to the Russians. This audacious plot will also serve as revenge for the death of Dr No. Bond is warned by his boss M (Bernard Lee) that the whole thing may be an elaborate trap but is assigned nonetheless to see if things are legit and hopefully get his hands on the Lektor...

      This is an enduringly classy entry in the James Bond series that benefits from never straying too far from its literary source. One change they did make, and it's one that doesn't really matter, is having SPECTRE pit MI6 and the Soviets against one another. In the novel the scheme was one planned by the Soviet intelligence organisation SMERSH. The change here was doubtless to tie From Russia with Love in with the previous film Dr No. From Russia with Love marks the introduction of many elements and people that would become staples of the series, like the pre-title sequence and title credits with dancing girls - or in this case a bellydancer. The pre-title sequence is rather atmospheric and features Bond apparently being hunted around a moonlit mansion at night by Red Grant. It's all a SPECTRE training exercise though and this ersatz Bond comes to a very nasty end. We also get the first wonderful James Bond score by the great John Barry and the first appearance by Desmond Llewelyn as Q (although not directly referred to by that name yet).

      Despite the fact that the series would soon become much more gadget laden and fantastical, starting with 1963's Goldfinger, and From Russia with Love is remembered by most as being relatively down to earth and gadget free, Bond is still given an attache case containing tear gas talcum powder, a knife, fifty gold sovereigns and a sniper rifle ("That's a nasty little Christmas present") and there are poison tipped shoes and wristwatches that can produce piano wire to garrote people. The film has the first appearance by Ernst Stavro Blofeld (voiced by Eric Pohlmann) although his face remains unseen. His familiar white cat is present and he has some enjoyable Bond villain dialogue when he muses on the similarities between SPECTRE and Japanese fighting fish. "Siamese fighting fish, fascinating creatures. Brave but on the whole stupid. Yes they're stupid. Except for the occasional one such as we have here who lets the other two fight. While he waits. Waits until the survivor is so exhausted that he cannot defend himself, and then like SPECTRE... he strikes!"

      The casting is excellent in From Russia with Love. Pedro Armendáriz is warm and charismatic as Ali Kerim Bey, the British Intelligence Station Chief in Istanbul, and Lotte Lenya was a great choice for the humourless, asexual and stern Rosa Klebb. Most inspired of all though is Robert Shaw, who interestingly was best known as a playwright at the time and didn't act much. His Red Grant remains the most dangerous customer Bond has ever tangled with in the entire series. Shaw dyed his hair blond for the role and worked out to look physically imposing and his encounter with 007 onboard the Orient Express gradually amps up the tension until the exciting and very famous sequence in a carriage. Never again would you fear so much for the safety and life of James Bond. Shaw is impressive here, playing dual roles in a sense, in his guise as the friendly "Captain Nash" and his real identity as a psychotic SPECTRE assassin. "How I do it is my business. It'll be slow and painful." His irritation at Bond's snobbery and elegance is nicely played.

      Daniela Bianchi is also memorable as Tatiana although sadly she gave up acting not long afterwards and her voice was dubbed by Barbara Jefford. Her scenes with Sean Connery are enjoyable and laced with playful banter. "No, it's the right size... for me, that is." The bit where Connery orders breakfast and then finds Tatiana in his bed has long been used by Eon Productions to test potential Bonds and you can see James Brolin and Sam Neil playing this scene in their 007 screentests on the internet if you look. Connery himself is smoother than he was in Dr No and now the classic suave cinematic Bond with a nice line in dry quips. "Well, from this angle, things are shaping up nicely." From Russia with Love is relatively low key in comparison to the pictures that followed but not exactly The Seventh Seal. Connery is by no means the serious Bond here that people tend to remember or assume he was either. He could easily be wandering through a Morecambe and Wise That Riviera Touch style caper in parts of the film. Simply put though, Connery looks the part - tall, dark, handsome - and has the right mixture of humour and the ability to punch his way out of trouble if required.

      The franchise would rapidly become more money strewn and spectacular in no time at all so the set pieces here are quite effective for being earthy in contrast to some of the mayhem that followed. Director Terence Young and the editor Peter Hunt make a great team. The train sequence ends in exciting, tense fashion and there is an atmospheric battle at a gypsy camp where Bond is unaware that Grant is watching him. An explosive boat chase and a helicopter sequence - that owes rather a lot to Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest - also add to the appeal of the film, as does the location work in Turkey. From Russia with Love is regarded by many fans to be the best film in the series and it's certainly a strong contender, sitting at the top table with the likes of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Goldfinger and Dr No. While a little dated around the edges, the film still looks great, has a superb cast and supplies a surprising amount of tension. The human element to the story is a strength and its leading man remains the benchmark against which all Bond actors are judged.

      These James Bond Ultimate Editions have superb extras from the Eon vault. On this disc you get: Ian Fleming: The CBC Interview, Ian Fleming & Raymond Chandler, Ian Fleming on Desert Island Discs, Animated Storyboard Sequence, Interactive Guide Into the World of From Russia With Love, Audio Commentary Featuring Director Terence Young and Members of the Cast and Crew, Harry Saltzman: Showman, Original Trailers, TV Spots, Photo Gallery & Radio Communications, and the excellent Inside From Russia With Love documentary.

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        26.04.2010 18:57
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        Wonderfully Good!

        Bond is back in this amazing movie, his second. 6 months after the incidents of Dr. No, Bond is going to a deal with a Russian agent who wants to betray her country, and flee with Bond to England. In exchange, she is going to give him a Lektor Decoder. But what Bond doesn't know is that he is going into an ambush. Not from the russians, but from someone else, who is going to make him fight and kill in the Orient Express, destroy a helicopter and a fleet of boats and ships. This is not the movie that has more action in the series, but is, in my opinion, the best movie of it.
        The "Gun Barrell" starting scene is back, followed by a fake Bond being killed by a henchmen named Donald "Red" Grant.
        The following scene is at Veneza, in a Chess championship, a man named Kronsteen is one of the players. The game is going slow, but he receives a message in a water glass, and finishes the game, winning, in order to go away. At his boss' room, he tells to him and ex-SMERSH agent Rosa Klebb his great plan to obtain a Lektor and kill James Bond, british agent who killed ther agent Dr. No.

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          26.04.2010 09:42
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          A sparkling, fast paced espionage thriller.

          Just a year after the surprise success of Dr No, everyone was brought back again for the next production, From Russia with Love. Sean Connery returns as Bond and finds himself being used secretly by 'Spectre' to steak a Russian decoder.
          Initially, we start in a maze where Bond is running to get away from a villain. We then see the villain called Grant, who is the first real Bond henchman and is stunningly portrayed by Robert Shaw (it was said he only had to turn up to work to look intimidating). Bond is hunted until Grant finds him and strangles him to death. At this point the 'Bond' mask is removed and it turns out to be a henchman (played by editor Peter Hunt as the original stuntman looked too much like Connery in real life). We are also introduced to several other Spectre operatives who would come back later in the film.
          We then cut to Russia, where a renegade female Colonel called Rosa Klebb (secretly with Spectre) recruits and uses Bond girl Tatiana to seduce Bond.
          Meanwhile, in London, a message is sent to MI6 that they can get a Russian decoder. It's clearly a trap, by Bond goes out anyway because he needs the decoder. Upon arriving in Turkey, he meets MI6 operative Kerim Bay and his seemingly endless procession of sons and between them they overcome explosions, shootouts and death to get the decoder, Tatiana and make a rush to the border in a non stop action sequence involving trains, boats, Grant and Klebb.
          This really is the jewel of the Bond films. The Bond franchise is clearly entertaining and successful, but of all the plots this one is by far the best and most believable. The idea of an agent stealing a decoder really works, and the limited gadgetry such as the briefcase with the hidden knife and the sniper rifle are all believable.
          Connery is on form as always, but the man who really steals this is Robert Shaw as ruthless, psychotic Grant.
          This film is also noticeable for the first appearance of 'Q', played by Desmond Llewelyn (though in his he is referred to be is actual name, Boothroyd rather then Q).
          Also, it's the first appearance of Bond supervillain Ernst Blofeld, who is played in person by Anthony Dawson (Professor Dent in Dr No), while the voice was done by Eric Pohlmann.
          A superb Bond film and espionage thriller, and really the best of the lot.

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          25.04.2010 13:17
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          A Cracking Bond film!

          ----------Main Cast ----------
          Sean Connery as James Bond
          Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana Romanova
          Pedro Armendáriz as Ali Kerim Bey
          Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb
          Robert Shaw as Red Grant
          Bernard Lee as M

          -------Plot----------

          This time Bond is after a Russian decoding machine called the Lektor. Bond makes it his mission to find it before the dastardly SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) organisation manages to do so. Bond travels to Istanbul where he meets Russian beauty Tatiana Romanova, but while Bond beds the ladies there are evil plans at work to have him killed. SPECTRE agents Rosa Klebb and Red Grant think they may have led 007 to his imminent death.

          -------Background--------

          After Dr No made some serious money at the box office a sequel was afoot and put into production by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. The film was apparently chosen as the next entry because John F Kennedy had publicly stated that From Russia With Love was his favourite novel.

          ------Best Gadget?---------

          A toss up between Bond's attaché case and Rosa Klebb's knife shoes.

          -----Soundtrack---------

          The brilliant John Barry scores this film and 'the singing bus driver' Matt Monro warbles the main theme. I like the style of the main song, but Barry's amazing '007' which would be used in many of the films down the line tops it for me.

          ------Best Quote----------------

          'Red wine with fish. Well that should have told me something.'

          --------Opinion-----------

          From Russia With Love could be regarded as a pretty pedestrian spy thriller, it's pretty small scale with the plot only really concerned with the apprehension of a small decoding machine from the Russians. I suppose that is so - theres no massive underground lair or world domination afoot, so in that case it is a pretty small scale film. That said, that has absolutely no bearing on the quality of the finished product. From Russia With Love is probably one of the best films in the series because it is consistently entertaining and thrilling. Its also brimming with new ideas and ways to present action.

          Standout scenes for me were the thrilling helicopter attack on Bond and Tatiana where the chopper comes within inches of running Bond over. There are also excellent and claustrophobic scenes onboard the night train where Bond is attacked by Red Grant in his carriage.

          The same level of quality in the film's direction comes from Terrence Young who had previously directed Dr No. Its a very calm and calculating film that reminded me a lot more of The Ipcress File as opposed to a James Bond film - it feels real. You can just imagine this sort of thing going on during The Cold War - and probably did!

          Connery starts to find his feet as Bond in this film. He exudes the calm and charm of later Bond films as well as quipping the occasional clever remark.

          I was also really impressed with John Barry's lush and dramatic score. Its much more operatic and appropriate for a Bond film than the sparse music for Dr No was. Barry would score many Bond films in the future - and of course this film features the Bond theme many times as well as the equally good '007'.

          Although the film's main villain Blofeld is never really seen we are introduced to two classic Bond villains. The evil Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) is a cruel old bag who is very reminiscent of an evil headmistress. Her pointy shoes are one of the most memorable weapons in Bond's film history.

          Red Grant (Robert Shaw) is also extremely effective. Shaw puts in a very good performance as the beefy SPECTRE agent who manages to fool Bond into thinking he is British agent. 'The first one won't kill you; not the second, not even the third... not till you crawl over here and you KISS MY FOOT!' he angrily snarls at Bond in the train carriage.

          ----------In conclusion---------

          From Russia With Love was an amazing film. Yes, its small scale and pedestrian but it's much more engaging because of that. The villains were memorable and the music was superb. The film also had some cracking action set pieces that set the tone for future Bond films.

          An amazing film which cemented the Bond character and set the tone for future adventures!

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            01.04.2009 18:34
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            One of the all time greats

            Lets face it, you couldn't get away with making a James Bond movie like this nowadays, with the blatant sexism and sometimes racism shown in these movies from this time period they wouldn't make it off the cutting room floor, however get past that and the James Bond movies from the 1960's and 1970's are masterpieces and revolutionary for their time.

            The film opens with James Bond in a mansion garden late at night where James Bond ( Sean Connery ) is being stalked and is stalking tall blond assassin Red Grant ( Robert Shaw ) Bond is captured by the Shaw and is strangled to death, suddenly floodlights turn on and the dead person is someone wearing a Bond disguise, and the whole scene is actually a SPECTRE training exercise.
            SPECTRE is planning an evil scheme to steal a Lektor cryptograph from the russians and sell it back to them, all the while punishing MI6 for killing SPECTRE Agent Dr No ( in the previous movie ), a female Cypher clerk from the russian consulate is chosen called Tatiana Romanova ( Daniela Bianchi ) to help execute the plan.
            Back in London M ( Bernard Lee ) tells Bond that Romanova has contacted their station in Turkey offering to defect with the Lektor which MI6 and the CIA have been after for years, her terms are that she will only defect to James Bond who's Photo she found in a Soviet Intelligence file, suspecting foul play and a possible trap M Deploys Bond to intercept Romanova and capture the Lektor.

            From Russia with Love is the 2nd Bond movie in the franchise and in fact the Book this movie is based on was cited by John F Kennedy as one of his 10 favorite books of all time, even though this is the 2nd movie in the franchise it's really the 1st 'real' distinguishable bond movie and the one that would create a number of templates which would be used in all the subsequent Bond movie's until the present day, for instance

            The Standard pre-title Sequence with the moving eye and Bond shooting it.

            The Megalomaniac head of SPECTRE Ernst Blofeld who would appear in numerous other James Bond movies

            A Secret Weapon gadget for Bond invented by Q and used at a certain point in the movie

            A further action scene after the main climax and the movie ending with the "James Bond will be return / be back in...." statement

            and as a result this movie feels like the first "True" James Bond movie, it has a great story, has some great well developed characters and of course features the one true bond ..Sean Connery. It is a little cheesy in parts, and the bond girl Daniela Bianchi is not the finest actress you'll come across and there is a questionable sequence with two Gypsy females fighting it out that I doubt would be able to feature in anything nowadays besides a low budget porno, but its things like this that helped develop the Bond formula and made the series ( and sean connery ) legendary.

            This movie is not only an essential part of a James Bond Collection, but an essential part of any movie buff's collection.

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              22.01.2009 14:46
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              super

              How were Brocolli and Saltzman going to follow up the amazing Dr No. Well they picked a good one and From Russia With Love turned out to be not only a worthy sequel but a film which may have just eclipsed Dr No.
              Sean Connery returns as Bond and finds himself caught up in Russian politics as he rushes to retrieve vital government information. Along the way he brushes with the beautiful Daniela Bianchi, who turns in a decent performance as Tatiana Romanova. Possibly more interesting than the plot as a whole are the bad guys; Rosa Klebb and Red Grant. Ballet star Lotte Lenya delivers a tense and gripping performance as the evil Klebb and the viewer is literally on the edge of their seats whenever she is on screen spitting her dialogue. Robert Shaw is grand as the tall and handsome Red Grant, well spoken and built like a tower, he is a real match for Bond.
              Some terrific scenes play out like the gispy fight and the train fight at the end and all in all the film captures the true essence of the Bond films, very good indeed

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              17.11.2008 15:37
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              This film should be mandatory viewing for everyone!

              Bond is given an assignment to travel to Russia to acquire a Soviet cypher machine known as Lektor from a defecting Russian agent. Arriving in Russia, 007 realises too late that this a trap set by SPECTRE to avenge the death of Dr No and finally defeat Britain's greatest secret agent.

              Think of James Bond and I'll wager most of the images in your mind come from this film. The opening is superb: 'Bond' creeping through the garden of a mansion and being ambushed by the fearsome Red Grant only to be revealed as an elaborate SPECTRE training exercise. The fight scene on the Orient Express is also a classic and has ever since made me wary of anyone who orders red wine with fish! Sean Connery is at his best in this film as a very sophisticated, masculine Bond. And who could forget arch villainess Rosa Klebb and her poison-tipped shoes!

              This is my absolute favourite of all of the Bond films and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

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                11.08.2008 20:07
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                A good watch while you wait for Quantum of Solace

                From Russia With Love is potentially my favourite Bond film from the Sean Connery era. Sean had definitely found his feet in this one but the stories had not yet fallen into the absurdity that they would when George Lazenby took over for a spell, and then Sean returned and then when Roger Moore took on the role. This was good clean (mostly) fun, before the series fell victim to its own success (Goldfinger) and all subsequent outings were measured against it. This tells the story of James Bond helping a Russian agent with lots of information in her head (yes of course she has to be female so that James can work his charms on her) to defect to Great Britain. Of course if this was going to be easy then it would not be worth seeing the film. Suffice to say there is a Soviet Agent with his sights on Bond and he may just be the match that the double 0 agent has been waiting for. A thrilling film from start to finish (the train scene) it is a must see for all Bond fans and a good starting point for someone who wants to get into the series.

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                  11.08.2008 00:59

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                  The first film Dr. No had established the Bond films with their mix of espionage, sex, violence and gadgets. The second From Russia With Love was infinitely better and for a Bond film surprisingly gritty. From Russia With Love featured an altogether more gripping and exciting screenplay than many of the somewhat formulaic sequels. As it was made in 1963 it was still made against the background of the Cold War and indeed the Cuban Missile Crisis had been only a couple of years before. The enemy were seen as the Communists in Russia who sought supremacy over the West. Espionage and counter-espionage was a hot topic selling truckloads of books by Ian Fleming, John Le Carre and others.
                  Sean Connery returned as Bond again and I know many people, myself included still regard him as the best and quintissential Bond. Connery displays just the right amount of cool authority in the role. Robert Shaw (as seen in Jaws and The Sting) plays the villainous Red Grant as a member of SPECTRE who is not only trying to kill Bond but also try to destabilise Russian relations with the West. Shaw as usual puts in a first rate performance. There is the obligatory Bond Girl in the shape of Daniela Bianchi who is a much better actress than many of the 2D girls who followed. She is really quite plausible and enchanting at the same time.

                  Bianchi plays Tatiana Romanova a Russian spy who is double crossed by Shaw in the stealing of a decoder. The plot is well executed with many twists and turns along the way. The end is a little predictable but presented very well.
                  The film also features the use of some exotic locations such as Venice and Istanbul which add to the overall nice look of the film. The photography is well worthy of mention too. The director Terence Young controls the action tautly including some superb sequences on the Orient Express and with a helicopter.

                  Whilst From Russia With Love was a very good film this only serves to show the paucity of later Bond films. The quality of the writing fell as the budgets for stunts as gadgets rose. The later Bond girls were plastic and merely included to appeal to the male audience. Like many of the Bond films it is ultimately a fantasy and a bit of nonsense and should not be taken too seriously. The films are made with the producers tongue placed firmly in the cheek.

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                  22.06.2008 20:58
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                  A great action film

                  Sean Connery returns in the second installment of the James Bond series following the success of Dr No.The film was released in 1964 during the height of the cold war.

                  In this film Bond is assigned the mission of retrieving the Lektor a Russian coding device that America and the Uk are desperate to get there hands on.It later becomes clear that Spectre are involved and are trying to kill Bond as revenge for him killing Dr No.The film has a notable pre title sequence were the films hit man Grant is shown killing a man dressed as Bond with a Sean Connery mask on.The film has good acting by Sean Connery and the other main actors.

                  Some of the films stunts effects are not great but that is to be expected in a film that is 44 years old.The film is available from £5.99 on play.com for the 2 disc edition.

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                    13.05.2008 14:43
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                    From Russia From Love (1963)

                    Terence Young takes the directing helm again for the second James Bond film from EON productions. The first, Dr No, launched Sean Connery onto the international screen, and brought us the charismatic British agent James Bond.

                    The Plot

                    Crime organisation S.P.E.C.T.R.E. has created a device that will decode Russian secrets and upset the world order. Secret agent James Bond 007 is sent to Istanbul to retrieve the device. He has to overcome S.P.E.C.T.R.E.'s agents first of all, though, including the strong 'Red' Grant and ex-KGB Rosa Klebb, devious and dangerous.

                    The Cast and Performances

                    Sean Connery once again assumes the role of James Bond, and oozes charisma once again on the screen. Robert Shaw is formidable as 'Red' Grant, as is Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb. Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell return as M and Miss Moneypenny, and Daniela Bianchi is sexy as Bond Girl number 2, Tatiana Romanova.

                    My Opinion

                    Many consider this the best Bond film of all of them. I was not too sure about it. The performances are very good, and we are introduced to some scary villains in Red and Rosa, and the organisation S.P.E.C.T.R.E. raises its ugly and sinister head, but I rated Dr No higher than From Russia With Love. The direction and plot are okay, but I think Young did a better job in Dr No.

                    The scenery is once again breathtaking, and the special effects, while limited and dated, are impressive. Perhaps it was the tale itself that I was not as enamoured with, but I was not hugely impressed by this Bond film.

                    Conclusion

                    A good film, but not great.

                    The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £5.98.

                    This review may also be posted on ciao.co.uk.

                    Thanks for reading.

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                      31.01.2002 14:53
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                      I believe that this is the best ever bond film that has ever been made. Sean Connery waas the best bond and the gadgets in this film are some of the best in the bond collection. In this film, there is the most famous bond car ever to be seen. forget the BMW's and lotus, this is the aston martin db5. The basic story is that james bond is sent to istanbul, because a former agent of spectra says that she will abandom the terrerist group to supply Bond with a coding device. But he must come to istanbul to retrieve it. The problem is that spectra wants james bond dead. From there on there is a superb plot, but i will no truin it for you now. Watch it and be amazed. As you could have guessed there is a extremely beautiful bond girl. This bond girl is Daniela Bianchi and she is very sexy. By the end the audience meets the leader of spectra. He retains a spectacular likeness to Dr Evil, in the austin powers movies, both of them. This makes it amusing for todays audience as we can only imagine Mike Myers sitting there. Overall I think that this film is the best of the bond collction, because it has alot of class, bond girls, gadgets, cool cars and guns. What more do you expect from a Bond film, eh?

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                        08.12.2001 02:46
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                        Whenever you watch a James Bond film you can normally depend on an exciting start to the film and a spectacular finale. Well this film starts OK, but the ending unfortunately is a bit disappointing. Most of this film is based in Istanbul and there are some good location shots around this beautiful city. The story follows a plot by Spectre to capture a Russian de-coding machine and to kill James Bond in the process. Colonel Rosa Klebb (Ex Russian Secret Service) persuades the beautiful Tatiana Romanova (played by Daniela Bianchi) to seduce James Bond and to give him the information to capture the Lector de-coding machine. The film then follows James Bond as he tries to get the machine back to England and Spectre try to kill him and capture the de-coder. Sean Connery is excellent as James Bond, although there are not as many special effects as in some of the later films. This was Sean Connery’s second film as James Bond and of course there are a collection of beautiful women and fights, with quite a bit of killing. There is only one real chase sequence, but these were made much more dramatic and spectacular in his other films, but this boat chase is OK. This was the first Bond film in which we were introduced to Q (played by Desmond Llewelyn), who later became a much more important character in all of the Bond films. I suppose as the Bond films became more popular the makers were able to spend more money on the films and so the special effects became more dramatic. When you remember that this film was made in 1963 (38 years ago) you realise that for that time it really was a ground braking film for that era. It is still a good film, but it is a little bit dated now. If like me you do enjoy James Bond films then you will have to watch this film, but do remember just how long ago it was made.

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                          24.09.2001 03:55
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                          The second edition of the Bond series. From Russia with love was one of the classics too. The film boasts a number of outstading elements. One of these is the pre-credits seqeunce were Grants attcks a fake Bond. Another being the introduction of Q and the Bond gadgets. Bonds assignment in this film is to un-cover a decoding machine called 'Lektor'. This is currently held by the Russians. Bond is helped by Soviet agent- Romanova. SPECTRE, a secret national crime organisation, tries to prevent Bond from finding the 'Lektor' but are un- succesful. On his missions, bond encounters many enemies- one of wich is Donald 'Red' Grant. Actor, Richard Shaw, gives a brilliant performance. Grant has two roles in this film, and altenates well between them. As Grant- he is aruthless killer, though he has to have a disguise and become 'Nash'. Talkative and obnoxiously talkative. Grant and bond encounter towards the end of the film and give stunning fight on the train. Bond comes out victorious, but it was not easy. A classic moment from any Bond film. Q made his first appearnce in a Bond film here. It was fairly short in comparison to other films. He was portrayed as maybe an un-interesting bureacrat. This aside, he came up with some pretty cool gadjet. One of the more famous inventions is the Attache case. In the train battle- it saves Bonds life. It contained many smaller gadgets- which would, as always, proove to be usefull in the long run. Bond couldn't complete his assigment alone, so, mainly, two people helped him through. One of these was the lovely Tatiana Romanova. She manages to steal the 'Lektor' and Bond retrieves it from there. Bond manages to seduce her and she is remember as one of the more memorable bond gals. The other person to help Bond is kerim Bey. He spies on the soviets and there workers. Kerim plays a vital role in 007's theft of Lektor. He was played very well and wa
                          s a very charasmatic character- another memorable Bond ally. So the second Bond film rolls into the cinemas- and once again, was a huge hit world-wide. It is hardly surpsing as it was very well directed and acted. 007 is as normal, exceptional, the Bond girls were at their best and the emeny came across very well. Even minor character roles were played sururbly. As a big Bond fan, I should know my films and I know this one was great. Top marks to 'From Russia with love'. Thanks for reading IB

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                          07.09.2001 19:49

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                          Film: From Russia With Love Film Number: 2 Year: 1963 Bond: Sean Connery Bond Girl: Tatiana Romanova Villain(s): Blofeld, SPECTRE Sidekick(s): - Song: Matt Munro Director: Terence Young M: Bernard Lee Moneypenny: Lois Maxwell Pre title scene: The film starts with Bond and Grant appearing to be hunting one another around some grounds. After a while Grant sneaks up on Bond behind him and strangles him with his wristwatch chord. The viewer is left to think that Bond is dead, but it turns out that "Bond" was only an agent with a 007 mask on and the whole ordeal was a training exercise for Grant. Plot: The plot revolves around a Lecktor (I think that’s how you spell it!) coding machine which the British want to get their hands on and send Bond to recover it for them. He is sent to Turkey and finds the machine but then SPECTRE mount an effort to get the machine. The Bond girl is a false defector who is working for the evil (and also defected) Rosa Klebb but in the end she falls for Bond. After some good scenes in a gypsy camp, Bond and Tatiana return on the Orient Express, only to be confronted by Red Grant who is pretending to be another MI6 agent. However, Bond escapes and leaves the train, and has to steal a truck to escape. He is then faced with a helicopter chasing over fields which is a scene reminiscent of a certain Cary Grant film (North by Northwest if you are not sure!!). The film ends with Bond killing Klebb who is pretending to be a cleaner in a hotel in an attempt to steal the Lecktor Comment: This is an average Bond film put seems a bit dated compared to later films in terms of action. Although it does not drag, it seems very slow and not tight packed and constant as later films have become. However, the plot is good and straight forward allowing the script writers more time to develop the charact
                          er of Bond. The gadgets used in this film are good and for once actually seem realistic and feasible which is a plus. There have been 19 James Bond films to date (excluding the almost comical and unofficial Never Say Never Again). I feel that this film rates at number 13. You will have to read the rest of my Bond related opinions if you want to know which film was my favourite. Of course, you will probably agree with my rankings, but I think that adds to the whole beauty of the 007 series - everyone has their favourite for different reasons

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                      • Product Details

                        Directed with consummate skill by Terence Young, From Russia With Love, the second James Bond spy thriller, is considered by many fans to be the best of them all. Certainly Sean Connery was never better as the dashing Agent 007, whose mission takes him to Istanbul to retrieve a top-secret Russian decoding machine. His efforts are thwarted when he gets romantically distracted by a sexy Russian double agent (Daniela Bianchi), and is tracked by an assassin (Lotte Lenya) with switchblade shoes, and by a crazed killer (Robert Shaw), who clashes with Bond during the film's dazzling climax aboard the Orient Express. From Russia with Love is classic James Bond, before the gadgets, pyrotechnics and Roger Moore steered the movies away from the more realistic tone of the books by Ian Fleming. --Jeff ShannonOn the DVD: The "making of" documentary details the many problems that beset this production: actor Pedro Armendariz (Kerim Bey) was diagnosed with terminal cancer halfway through shooting so all his scenes had to be done before he became too ill to work (he died shortly afterwards); a helicopter carrying the director and designer crashed into a lake, but despite being narrowly rescued from drowning Young was shooting half an hour later; and Italian actress-model Daniela Bianchi's car crashed en route to location. Key scenes had to be reshot after the production had wrapped, and because of script problems and rewrites, much of the film's structure was assembled in the editing room. The audio commentary is another montage of interviews from cast and crew that is alternately absorbing and irritating (exhaustive biogs of every player too often run over key scenes that would have benefited from analysis). An appreciation of flamboyant co-producer Harry Saltzman, trailers and stills complete the package. --Mark Walker