Apr 092014
 

For From Russia With Love’s 50th anniversary, I have a guest post up at The Film Experience.

After 23 official films and 2 unofficial ones, From Russia With Love, the second James Bond adventure, remains the greatest of them all. Considered an iconic film in many ways, it may surprise the casual Bond viewer to note that certain “iconic” aspects of the Bond franchise were missing from or created in this film.

Read the whole thing here.

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  13 Responses to “From Russia With Love: 50th Anniversary”

  1. “FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE” ranks fifth on my list of favorite Bond films. I certainly consider it superior to both “DR. NO” and “GOLDFINGER”. It featured my favorite performance by Sean Connery as James Bond. It’s an elegant, yet suspenseful spy film that reeked from the atmosphere of the Cold War. And it featured a journey above the Orient Express. Unlike many others, I have never been that concerned with a Bond film adhering to the movie franchise’s template.

    Yes, I have a few quibbles about the film. I found that last conversation between Bond and Red Grant before their fight somewhat unrealistic. I found it hard to believe that a first-rate assassin like Grant would waste his time revealing SPECTRE’s plans before making any attempt to kill Bond. I was annoyed by the constant quips from Bond in the movie’s last 20 minutes. And his journey aboard the Orient Express from Istanbul to the Yugoslavian-Italian border took a very short time.

    Aside from these flaws, “FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE” is a favorite of mine.

    • Liz: “I found that last conversation between Bond and Red Grant before their fight somewhat unrealistic. I found it hard to believe that a first-rate assassin like Grant would waste his time revealing SPECTRE’s plans before making any attempt to kill Bond.”

      In the novel, Grant is depicted as having psychological issues. At one point, Bond, still tricked into thinking that Grant was a field agent, makes a mental note to report him as unstable upon returning to England. I’ve assumed the cinematic Grant had those same tendencies along with an extra helping of sadism thrown in.

      There’s also more than a hint of class envy on Grant’s part (“You know the right wine to order, but you’re the one on your knees”) that informs his desire to get his money’s worth out of Bond’s death.

      Given that, Grant’s monologuing didn’t bother me too much. Of course, the device of telling Bond all your organization’s secrets before killing him does get old as the series progresses.

      • Red Grant = HAL 9000

        • Let me put it this way, Mr. Bond. SPECTRE is the most reliable evil organization ever founded. No SPECTRE operative has ever made a mistake or issued distorted demands. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.

  2. Ould oul f ftIt kills me yayto say that George Lazenby’s one and only is the best Bond over Connery’s underrated From Russia, and my fave Goldfinger.
    Connery IS Bond, no one else is in the same galaxy as him.

    Would Hamm consider ever playing Doubul-o-Seven?
    He has such range, that it would be kind of constricting for him, plus Don Draper is basically a Bond without the license to kill.
    It would be intriguing to say the least.

    • tilden, I can normally read typos just fine, but you’ve got to help me out with that first sentence.

      As to Hamm? I am happy for Bond to remain British, and he’s already too old. You want a Bond in his early to mid-thirties so that he can retire at fiftyish and still have a significant body of work left behind.

      • Is Daniel Craig done with Bond? Say it ain’t so!

        • No, but I think next picture will probably be his last. It’s still open.

          • My understanding was that craig was signed for two more and I would be happy that if he did 3 more.

            Personally, I don’t have a problem with a Bond in his early fifties provided they play it as if he is that age. They don’t need to make a big deal of it, but at least allow for Bond to be with women closer to his age (e.g., women in their early 20s should not be swooning over him as he walks by).

            • Hard to believe Casino was released in 2006 (before Mad Men!). Eva Green – so elegant – was 26 and Craig – 38.

              The Daily News reported a “hot tip” that Penelope Cruz will be in the next Bond film. She turns 40 this month.

          • @ Deborah Lipp
            Are there any Bond films you think the world didn’t need? If so which ones?
            One of my favorites is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I think the only too good Blofelds were Max Von Sydow and Telly Salvalas despite the latter’s incongruous accent.

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