'From Russia With Love' revisited

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With 'Quantum of Solace' due to hit our screens soon, we take a daily look back at the 21 official Bond films. Day 2: 'From Russia With Love'

From Russia With Love (1963, Terence Young)

Villain: Rosa KlebbAt stake: Cold War tit-for-tatCandy: Daniela BianchiGizmo: Attache case full of tear gasTheme song: From Russia With Love’, Matt MonroQuote: '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.The story? 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. These are just two of the many excellent set-pieces that enliven the otherwise leisurely pace of what is arguably the best film of the series.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.

James Bond will return in… ‘Goldfinger’

Read our original 'From Russia With Love' review.

Author: Adam Lee Davies



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