Review: From Russia With Love (1963)

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE COVER

“Corporal, I have chosen you for an important assignment. It’s purpose is to give false information to the enemy.”
– Rosa Klebb

SPECTRE is still smarting from the death of Dr No, and wish to punish James Bond (Sean Connery) for his part in taking their colleague down. Kronsteen (Vladek Sheybal) devises an in depth plan to steal a Lektor cryptographic device from the Soviets through the English, then sell it back to the Soviets, all the while playing the two nations off against each other. It cannot really end well. SPECTRE Number 1 puts Number 3, ex-KGB Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) in charge of the mission to kill Bond and get the two nations’ backs up. Klebb gets a beautiful young girl, Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi), to seduce Bond with the story that she is deflecting and has a Lektor is her possession and Donald “Red” Grant (Robert Shaw) to assassinate Bond.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE BOND AND KERIM

“All of my key employees are my sons. Blood is the best security in this business.” – Kerim Bey

M (Bernard Lee) sends Bond on the mission to recover Romanova and the Lektor and bring her back to England safely. She will apparently only go with him after pulling his photograph from a Soviet intelligence file. Bond leaves for Turkey, and befriends the station head Ali Kerim Bey (Pedro Armendáriz). Together they want to spy on the Soviets, and eventually get Romanova in on it so that they are spying from beneath the embassy. Romanova gets the floor plans, and Bond and Kerim plan an invasion. Stealing the Lektor, the three flee onto the Orient Express, where they are sure that they will be safe. Their plans are to successfully help Romanova defect as well as get the Lektor to MI6. Grant, however, has other plans for the trio. Before they know it, there is murder on the train, and Bond finally begins to suspect that there is something suspicious about Romanova.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE TRAIN MURDER

Murder on the Orient Express, anyone?

With Number 1 getting edgy about the outcome of the famous Lektor plan, the efforts to assassinate Bond and turn the Allies against the Soviets grows in crescendo. Klebb herself is sent into the field to handle the issues. What will Bond do with the news that Romanova is a traitor? Will he be able to inform the government of SPECTRE’s evil plan, or will he be taken care of before he has the opportunity to say anything?

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE BOND AND TATIANA ROMANOVA

A 7/10 for From Russia With Love. This story of the girls just falling all over their feet to jump Bond and marry him on the spot after just saying hello is completely beyond me! However, the story was not too bad on this, and again I loved the remastered images and sound, it really made it wonderful to watch. The villains in this one are not so impressive, but it is cool to see a bit more of SPECTRE, as well as seeing Number 1 in all his glory (though never facial). The story was a little bit crazy, and all over the show, but overall not so bad that you could not follow it. I thought the dynamic between Bond and Kerim was highly entertaining, as it was a fun game for them, though at the same time it was serious. Who said work and fun cannot be interlinked? Another good entry to the ever-growing Bond franchise!

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