50 years of James Bond
From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, we revisit all 22 James Bond films
As the twenty-third 007 adventure 'Skyfall' hits cinemas, Time Out's resident gentleman spy Adam Lee Davies takes a trip through Bond's back pages. We got the girls, we got the gadgets, and we got the glamour: truly, all of Bond is here...
Read Time Out's review of 'From Russia With Love'
Villain: Rosa Klebb
At stake: Cold War tit-for-tat
Candy: Daniela Bianchi
Gizmo: Attache case full of tear gas
Theme song: ‘From Russia With Love’, Matt Monro
Quote: 'Oh James, will you make love to me all the time in England?'
If ‘Dr No’ ushered in the trappings of the modern blockbuster, it was ‘From Russia With Love’ that provided the engine. Not only were many of its elements taken up as templates for the later films – a pre-titles action sequence, a sweeping theme song, helicopter action – but the film’s thrilling powerboat chase, morally sketchy ice-blonde and Venetian backdrop would be co-opted by none other than producer George Lucas for the third Indiana Jones romp.
James is sent to Istanbul to scoop up beautiful Russian defector Tatiana Romanova. The SPECTRE villains are also warm for her form and dispatch a highly competent odd couple played by Lotte Lenya and Robert Shaw to scupper the deal. Lenya’s attack on Bond with a pair of killer heels is an iconic piece of villainy, but Shaw and Sean Connery’s gadget-free fight in a cramped carriage on the Orient Express is as spectacularly choreographed and genuinely brutal as any in cinema.
Chosen to follow ‘Dr No’ partly because newly-installed JFK had named Fleming’s book as one of his top ten reads, ‘From Russia With Love’ would set the tone for successive films. It remains Connery’s favourite Bond and still looks fresh as a daisy to this day.