Thursday, October 4, 2012
From Russia With Love (Terence Young, 1963) Review
With Dr. No defeated, James Bond (Sean Connery) is laying low but has to be called back by the MI6 in order to deal with a brand new threat, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (???). The catch? Well, Blofeld doing his own dirty work and sends people after him. Bond must retrieve a stolen encrytor device that the Russians took and must defeat Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) and her henchman Red Grant (Robert Shaw) with the help of Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi).
This are definetly upgraded in this film. For one, the setting is much better. Jamacia basically amounted to a couple of beaches while the new setting of Russia looks great. It really brings out the world of James Bond and would set the bar for locations yet to be visted by the spy. The villians are also great in this one. Blofeld needs no introduction and the fact you never see his face really adds to the powerful figure that he is...and I like his cat. Rosa Klebb doesn't look so threatening but relys on weaponry instead such as a posion tipped blade in her boot. Lastly, theres Red Grant who will go down as one of the best James Bond henchman (but the best is yet to come...you might know who it is. Here's a clue: look up Robert Shaw's most famous role in 1975).
The action is top notch! There are some classic and memorable scenes featured here such as the murder on the Orient Express (no, seriously) and the climactic boat chase that features lots of fire and explisions. Bond himself is better than he was the last time. It's this point that Sean Connery cements himself as the icon of Bond (What? You though it was Goldfinger that did that?). This film also introduces Desmond Llewelyn as Q (called Major Boothroyd in this one) but isn't as good as Q would later be. This is simply his establishing role.
From Russia With Love is a great improvement on Dr. No and is the film that introduces many Bond cliches such as Q, a theme tune, Blofeld and the more developed character of Bond. Dr. No may have started the series but From Russia With Love is really were it became clear that this would be a tremendous franchise. Get ready, because the next film is probabaly the most famous and is the preffered one...I may beg to differ.
Improves everthing about the first film and then some. Everything about Bond stemmed from this film.