From Russia With Love (1963) Movie Review: Bond Gets Brutal

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for every iconic element spoofed ad nauseum in future films

Take a Drink: if something specifically makes you think of Austin Powers

Take a Drink: for one of Bond’s 99 Problems

Take a Drink: for puns

Do a Shot: for Lady Fight!

Do a Shot: for Robert Plant Fight!

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –

Dr. No started 007 off with a bang, but From Russia With Love gave the franchise a more serious tone, however briefly, which fans of the current Daniel Craig-led generation will appreciate.

bond-octopussy-clown

It took awhile to get back there.

After the death of Dr. No, Spectre dispatches the acerbic Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lanya) and her Terminator Red Grant (Robert Shaw) to get revenge on Bond, James Bond (Sean Conner, baby), who’s in Turkey helping potential double agent Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) defect… to his pants.

A Toast

Part of the fun of watching the first few Bond films is in seeing how the franchise blueprint came together.  Many of the iconic Bond characteristics got their From Russia With Love- the globe-hopping! (after the success of the first, the Broccolis doubled the budget), the gadgets! 98% of Austin Powers‘s jokes!

However, the installment is far from the less perilous-feeling, more exaggerated plots and villains to follow.  Lanya and particularly Shaw provide a vicious edge and aura of invincibility that come to a head in a knock-down, drag-out train compartment fight whose realistic brutality wouldn’t be matched in the series until Daniel Craig’s wicker chair ordeal.

I bet Ikea gives him PTSD

Anthony Dawson delivers an underrated voice-only performance as Blofeld, a role he might have kept if he hadn’t played another Bond-dispatched character in the previous film, and Pedro Armendariz, who would die shortly after the film, has a great rapport with Connery and delivers a moment of real pathos near the end.  Beautiful Istanbul makes an argument that it’s the star of the film, but Connery’s effortless suaveness and confident masculinity further support his claim as Best Bond.  Bianchi mostly just looks good.  They even dub her voice.

Beer Two

Exposition: 100% spoken, honeybunches.  Subtlety’s not present, or even necessarily wanted, which extends to the film’s sexism, casual racism… all that good Mad Men stuff.  Bond + 1960s= unavoidable, though, sugar tits, and the franchise has lower depths to sink to in those regards.

from-russia-with-love-girlfight

Not that this one doesn’t take its best swing at Sexism.

Verdict

From Russia With Love is both and uncommonly dangerous-feeling entry in the Bond cannon and codifies many of its tropes, bad habits, and iconic elements.

2beers

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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