From Russia With Love (Special Edition)
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Directed with consummate skill by Terence Young, the second James Bond spy thriller is considered by many fans to be the best of them all. Certainly Sean Connery was never better as the dashing Agent 007, whose latest mission takes him to Istanbul to retr
- Audio Commentary featuring Director Terrence Young and members of the Cast and Crew
- Inside From Russian With Love Documentary
- Harry Saltzman - Showman Documentary
- Animated Storyboard Sequence
- Original Promotional Trailers
- Radio Spots
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Top Customer Reviews
Music and credit sequence: great Barry score, but the actual "From Russia with Love" theme -- a forgettable pop tune by some wanna-be Andy Williams crooner or other -- is saved for the end. Barry's first Bond score also included the "Second Bond Theme", which has become the high-energy trumpet-blaring companion to any particularly triumphant action sequence in all later Bond films (and often used at the start of the end credits). Strange to say, Maurice Binder did NOT helm the the credit sequence, which featured the credits superimposed on a near-nude belly-dancer. Binder merely went on to perfect the form, starting with the next film in the franchise, "Goldfinger".
Bond Girl: quite uniquely, only one: Daniela Bianchi, who is one of the franchise's very best. Not only is she gorgeous -- Bianchi was a Miss Universe runner-up -- but she appears to have great chemistry with Connery. Watching her horse around with different alluring outfits in the train compartment is a highlight, as is the "recording scene" where Bianchi describes the Lektor machine. The tape gets back to MI6, where M and Moneypenny get to hear exchanges like, "Are you going to make love to me when we get back to England, James?" "Yes, day and night!" By the way, I don't count the menage-a-trois with the two pugilistic gypsy girls; they don't even speak English, nor do they die.
Gadgets: again, only one, but it must've been totally cool in 1963: a bullet-firing briefcase that carries a hidden throwing knife, 50 "gold sovereigns", and is booby-trapped with tear gas if opened the wrong way. I presume the studio made a small killing after the film's release, selling toy briefcases to blown-away 12-year-olds. In any case, it certainly beats the gadget from "Dr. No", which was simply Bond's upgrade from a WWII-era service pistol made by Beretta to the Walther PPK. This film also introduces Desmond Lllewelyn as "Q". The banter between Bond and Q -- mocking from the former, irritation from the latter -- would commence with the next film.
I particularly liked Kerim Bey -- both the character himself and as portrayed by Pedro Armendariz. The producers didn't try this too often in the series, but I rather think Bond improves when working with world-weary station chiefs and other pros. Bond has sidekicks, of course, but they're usually either the "Girl" or just comic relief. His partnership with Our Man in Istanbul further adds to what is a pretty realistic movie. I like the Cold War machinations: Russians manipulating the Bulgarians who manipulate the local gypsy population. I wish the series had always kept at least one foot on earth, as they do here. By the way, the world-weariness was, sadly, enhanced by Armendariz' literal world-weariness: the poor man was dying from cancer with a horrible rapidity during shooting; he ended his own life soon after leaving the set.
Kennedy-era cool. A Bond movie that's an actual spy movie. What's not to like? "From Russia with Love" is the pinnacle of the series, in my estimation. 5 out of 5.
In the scene where Tatiana Romanova appears with two co-workers leaving the Russian Consulate in Istanbul, speaking in Russian,
our olde pre-recorded VHS tape Close-Captioning displayed the following conversation;
Are you sure you don't want to come
I have some shopping to do.
We'll see you later as the hostel.
Don't be late. Goodbye for now.
Goodbye for now.
Goodbye for now.
This DVD Close-Captioning displayed; “Speaking in Russian” without a translation.
The Subtitle option displayed nothing while the women conversed, and you only hear the exchange in Russian.
Good video and sound quality.
Re-mastered appears to include darkening the frames to reduce ‘grainy’ picture.
(Later on, especially in the Roger Moore era, Bond is portrayed as an inconsequential and sometimes doltish victim who somehow survives while others work to defeat the bad guy.)
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