From Russia With Love
Release Date: Oct. 13, 1963 - United Kingdom

From Russia With Love

The James Bond film genre reaches full flight in this 1963 follow up to the first Bond film, Dr. No. Released the year after the frightening Cuban Missile Crisis, this spy drama based on an Ian Fleming novel offers a twist on the usual Spy versus Spy plot.  Spectre almost succeeds in obtaining the secret Russian Lektor decoding machine but is foiled by a greedy agent's unwise decision to top off the successful capture of the device by falling prey to Bond's lure of 100 gold coins. The ever alert Bond escapes certain death by evoking the base instinct of greed in Red Grant, Spectre's hired assassin.  

Greed isn't the only human instinct at play in this phenomenally popular sequel to the first Bond film. The plot captivates the audience with appeals to lust, mystery, novelty and adventure.  The real Cold War already had folks on the edge of their seats so this spy adventure was off to running start before it even premiered in the United Kingdom in October 1963. There are plenty of high-tech gadgets in the film: an exploding briefcase, poisonous shoe spike, etc.--but it is not the gadgets, while entertaining, that keep the viewer's attention. Producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman chose Terence Young to direct a superb cast. Of course, there is Sean Connery as the unflappable Bond, and Daniela Bianchi as the sultry Russian Tatiana. Both Connery and Bianchi play their roles to perfection. The trysts between Bond and Tatiana are complemented by excellent performances from: Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb, the Soviet double agent; Pedro Armendariz as Kerim Bey, the British Secret Service conduit in Istanbul; and Robert Shaw as Red Grant, the lowkey covert operator for Spectre with a love of killing and an enduring grudge against James Bond.

Ted Moore won the Best Cinematography Award from the British Society of Cinematographers in 1963 for his work in this film.

Copyright: Peter Fokes (2003)
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