Mission: From Russia With Love
Released: October 13, 1963
Bond: Sean Connery
Director: Terence Young
Budget: $2.2 Million
U.S. Boxoffice: $24.8 Million
Worldwide Boxoffice: $78.9 Million
Running Time: 118 Minutes
UnivEx Rating: 007
Villain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Scheme: The theft of a LEKTOR and the embarassment of MI6
Henchmen: Rosa Klebb, Red Grant
Girls: Sylvia Trench, Zora, Vida, Tatiana Romanova
Allies: Ali Kerim Bey
Bond's Kill Count: 13
Bond's Conquest Count: 4
Review written by DrNoItAll
I watched a good portion of FRWL last night and this viewing has reconfirmed that this is a top 5 Bond movie for me(as if there was any doubt).
I really don't have any criticisms of this movie; I suppose the gypsy camp could be criticized, but I think it definitely adds a unique flavor to the movie and, like many of the earlier Bond movies, brought moviergoers into contact with exotic locales and peoples that they never had really seen before.
I think one of the reasons why FRWL is a bit more overlooked than GF, TB, YOLT, TSWLM is that it's not exactly the type of movie you think of when you think of Bond. Istanbul is hardly exotic looking; rather, it comes across as a decaying relic where a conflict between the West and communism is not overt, but can be implied and detected. Danger seems to lurk around every corner and it seems as if everybody has chosen allegiances to one side and is tracking the other.
Connery is very solid, depicting a James Bond as a true Cold War British agent than probably any other movie in the series. When he meets Kerim Bey's chaffeur, there is a level of distrust, even after the correct lines of identification have been uttered. I love how these same lines come into play later with the resourceful Grant, whose presence looms over everything that goes on in the movie before that fateful revelation to Bond on the train. There is a little game of cat-and-mouse of the St. Sofia cathedral, the type of tactic I could see coming straight out of "How to Spy 101". The movie plays a true spy thriller, full of political intrigue, characters of questionable trustworthiness, and behind-the-scenes machinations.