From Russia With Love (1963)

From Russia With Love (1963)

Directed by: Terence Young

Starring: Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Lotte Lenya

This is the second Bond film and they hadn’t quite found their stride yet. Not that it doesn’t have many of the same elements from Dr. No or other later films, it just doesn’t quite have a good balance of the structure yet.

James Bond is sent to Russia to escort a SPECTRE defector (HA!) back into the free world, and also to get a code machine from SPECTRE so MI5 can break their codes. SPECTRE are the bad guys, by the way. Kinda like the Soviets, except fake and therefore it won’t affect sales of the movie in Russia.

The biggest sin of From Russia With Love is that it’s just kinda boring. It drags for long sections with nary an exploding moonbase or seventy naked woman pileup. As just a normal film, this is fine (or even a boon), but as far as the modern perception of what needs to be in a Bond film goes, it’s patently unacceptable. HOW DARE THEY?!

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