From Russia with Love

1963

Action / Adventure / Thriller

39
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 96%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 83%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 105,057

Synopsis


Downloaded 38,582 times
April 20, 2019

Director

Cast

Desmond Llewelyn as Seaman at Steerage Gate
Lois Maxwell as Vickie Harker
Robert Shaw as The Priest
Sean Connery as The Green Knight
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
959.44 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
115 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.82 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
115 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by laika-lives 8 / 10 / 10

Bond in a Cold Climate

'From Russia With Love' is the second and last of the Bond films to be made without a rigid formula. With 'Goldfinger', the expected elements of the later films would all accrue in a single film, setting a template the series would struggle to escape from (and, for the most part, would not bother trying to). So, like 'Dr. No', there's only a single sex interest (let's not use the term 'love' too lightly), rather than the good-girl-survives, bad/tragic-girl-dies dichotomy that would later structure all the films (bar OHMSS and, interestingly, the Dalton films), and unlike 'Dr. No', the villainous plot is rather small beer and resolutely real-world - to steal a code machine and humiliate the British Intelligence community in the process. There's also no bombastic theme song, although Matt Monro provides an easy-listening version of the theme tune at the end (it's not half bad, actually, although Shirley Bassey's brassy 'Goldfinger' makes it seem antediluvian in comparison). Effectively, this means that it's the last Bond film in which the makers were trying to make a film, not a Bond film. It didn't matter if the motifs were all there or not, it only mattered if it was a good film. Unsurprisingly, it has a good claim to being the best film of the series, and it's certainly the least self-conscious (compare with 'Thunderball', an artificial attempt to replicate 'Goldfinger' but making everything bigger). So, Daniela Bianchi isn't really just the latest 'Bond Girl', but the character at the heart of this thriller - she pretty much is the story. Ursula Andress might have had an iconic entrance in 'Dr. No', but she was so much window-dressing, irrelevant to the plot, arriving late and with almost no agency in the events that unfold around her. By contrast, the crucial pivot of 'From Russia With Love' is whether Bianchi's Tanya will side with Bond or SMERSH - the age old 'love or duty' dilemma. The film also takes time with detours that have little to do with the main plot - as in the sequence at the gypsy camp. There is a real feeling of a functioning world around Bond's escapades, rather than just colourful 'exotic' backdrops. There also isn't an undue emphasis on big action set pieces - Bond's encounter with a helicopter (very 'North by Northwest' - in fact Hitchcock's influence is detectable throughout this film, from the Cathedral sequence, to the cool Blondeness of Bianchi, to the train setting of the second half) and the climactic speedboat chase are well-executed, but miniature next to those of later films. Tellingly, the best remembered action sequence is the fight between Connery and Robert Shaw on the train, and the series would never better this intimate, brutal struggle. Shaw is by far the best of the series' bull-necked heavies - he's intelligent and charismatic as well as forceful, almost a Bond-equivalent. Lotte Lenya and Pedro Armendariz are both excellent in their supporting turns, reminders of a time when the series actually featured fully developed supporting characters, and Bianchi is good - she may lack the overt sex appeal of Andress, but she's a better actress, playing innocent without being either stupid or dull. Connery really grows into the role here, a long way from the pork-pie hatted clod he was in the first film but still untamed and prickly enough to be an exciting screen presence. It was a long slow decline from here to the tubby jobsworth of 'Diamonds Are Forever'. The early Bond films often escape the critical gaze, and when they are subjected to it, it is usually through rose-tinted spectacles. 'Dr. No' is dull and poorly acted, 'Goldfinger' fun but rather shapeless, and 'Thunderball' just tries too hard altogether. 'From Russia With Love' is a polished little gem, a cold-war thriller done with great style, and a minor masterpiece, irrespective of the series around it.

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 9 / 10 / 10

The film introduces "Q" to the series...

For the first time, we are introduced to the leader of Spectre, Ernst Stavros Blofeld known as number one, and whose face remains hidden until "You Only Live Twice." His goal is to steal a new decoder, the Lektor, from the office of the Russian consulate, heats up the Cold War by killing and attacking the Russians and the British, through their respective agents, the Bulgarians and the Gypsies... Spectre has a feeling of resentment against Bond, because he eliminated Dr. No... He instructed number 5: "Let his death be a particularly unpleasant humiliating one." Sean Connery's second portrayal of the Secret Agent 007 is right on target... Our patriot-libertine is always ready to seduce a pretty spy for his country... He is hard during his interrogation of Tatiana... That slap must have hurt... He has trouble disabling his vicious adversaries... His ultimate match with Klebb's poisoned toe cap left him sweaty... Luckily Tatiana knows which side to stand... The charming Daniela Bianchi is Tatiana Romanova, a young Greta Garbo... She plays a pawn in Spectre blackmail scene... She knows her defection is fake but doesn't know that Klebb is a Spectre agent who will try to acquire the Lektor, and trap Bond at the same time... She also ignores that behind the mirror above the king sized bed, Spectre agents are secretly filming her love making with Bond from a cabinet de voyeur... In his final appearance, Pedro Armendariz plays Bond's most memorable Turkish Ally, the delightful Ali Kerim Bey, head of Station T, in Turkey... Kerim Bey is the perfect combination of aggression and intelligence... (Dying of cancer and hospitalized in Los Angeles, this great Mexican actor, took a pistol from under his pillow and shot himself...) Lotte Lenya plays number three, Rosa Klebb, former head of operations for SMERSH, and now a sadistic Spectre agent placed in control by the mysterious number one, who found Donald "Red" Grant fit enough for duty... This repugnant lady recruits the good-looking Tatiana from the Istanbul consulate... For her, "Training is useful, but there is no substitute for experience." Robert Shaw is "Red" Grant, a psychopath training on Spectre island who has to take the decoding device from Bond... He is, perhaps, the most memorable assassin who succeeds in making Bond kneel... Walter Gotell (later known as General Gogol) makes his first appearance in the series... Vladek Sheybal plays the master planner, Spectre top operative on the mission, number five, Kronsteen... He is a chess master known as the "Wizard of Ice." His plan involves using Bond and Russian cipher clerk Tatiana as pawns... Fred Haggerty plays the Bulgarian killer Krilencu... The way he is dealt with is very original... "From Russia with Love" introduces "Q" to the series... Desmond Llewelyn isn't called "Q" yet, but the credits refer to him as Major Boothroyd, the equipment officer... "From Russia with Love" is a straight spy adventure with lots of action and beautiful women: The attractive masseuse oiling Grant in the garden of Spectre training camp; Sylvia Trench, the "interesting old case" who returns to frolic in a canoe on the Thames; Kerim's slinky mistress lying on the settee, chews 'her breads and whines for attention;' Leila, the belly dancer at the Gypsy camp overwhelming Bond with her abdominal skill; the stunning two Gypsy girls (Vida and Rosa) whom Bond is told to select the victor in their Gypsy fight to the death; the lovely Tatiana lying naked in Bond's bed with only a black ribbon tied around her neck... "From Russia with Love" is a splendidly entertaining film against exotic Istanbul and Venice backgrounds...

Reviewed by bishop_guido 9 / 10 / 10

Best of the Bonds?

The first three Bonds (Dr. No, FRWL, Goldfinger) are without question the best in the series, though From Russia with Love may well be the best of the best. It has all things we look for in a great Bond film - exotic locales, sinister villains, beautiful women - but it was made before Goldfinger established the ingenious-yet-demented-supervillain-plus-indestructible-henchman formula as canonical, so its plot line may surprise viewers reared on the later Bond films. For one thing, there's little or nothing in the way of gadgetry (though Q does provide our hero with a pretty nifty briefcase). Beyond a brief encounter with the faceless Number One, there's no arch-villain looming over the action, and the henchmen are at once less invulnerable and more interesting than most of their successors in the series. Particularly memorable, of course, are Lotte Lenya as the hatchet-faced Colonel ("She's had her kicks") Kleb and Robert Shaw as the brutish Donald "Red" Grant. Kleb's edgy menace is neatly offset by her terror at the prospect of failure (an option which Number One refuses to countenance); her subtle come-on to Tatiana Romanova was positively daring by 1963 standards, and she manages to do for footwear what Goldfinger's Odd Job went on to do for head gear. Grant is no superman, but a vicious, small-time thug, recruited by SPECTRE and transformed into a fearsome enforcer; his bitter encounter with Bond on the train speaks volumes about the class tensions that still underlay British society in the post-war era. Connery, for his part, gets to build on the character he first fleshed out in Dr. No. His Bond really emerges here as a complex man, formidable but flawed. He's genteel and sophisticated, but he doesn't always keep his cool; unlike the too-often unflappable Roger Moore, Connery's Bond betrays both anger and fear when the circumstances seem to warrant it. He intervenes chivalrously to stop a fight between two Gypsy women, but he's not above slugging a woman in the service of his mission. I've always enjoyed the humanizing chemistry between Connery and Pedro Armendariz's larger-than-life Kerim ("I've led a fascinating life") Bey, the most charming of Bond sidekicks; their friendship comes across as genuine and multi-dimensional. Today's viewers (especially women) will likely find Daniela Bianchi's Tanya ("I LOVE you, James") Romanova an uncomfortably passive damsel-in-distress, but, hey: she's drop-dead gorgeous and has some nice scenes with Connery. The Turkish and Balkan settings are spectacular and the train sequence at the end is both exciting and suspenseful. Cold War scenario notwithstanding, this one has aged very well. Shake yourself a pitcher of vodka martinis and spend a Friday night watching Dr. No, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger.

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