Bond is on the run from some guy- who tracks him down and kills him, turns out, this is a guy in a mask, and the assassin is pronounced good with his time in killing him, roll credits.
We start off with . . .CHESS?
Yeah, that will get the kids excited.
One dude beats the other, and we skip over to a redheaded Russian looking at fish. Gotta love the 60s.
A man with a white cat shows off two fish fighting the other. The redhead is Number 3, in SPECTRE, having defected to the Russians. Blah Blah Blah, Dr No is name dropped, then James Bond’s name is dropped. We get the plot. Frame Bond for stealing a Lektor- basically a Russian coding machine and get him killed. Number 3 recruits a hot Blonde to use as bait for Bond. Sending a message to MI6 that the woman will defect only to him with the Lektor, since she has fallen in love with his picture. Number 3 also hires the top bad guy from Spectre’s recruiting grounds.
Bond takes off to meet up with her, going to Istanbul and we are introduced to Ali Kerim Bey, who is just a ton of fun. Here is a man that knows everything, and for once in the Bond Films, I stop caring about Bond, and want more of his sidekick. We get a fun little diversion with a telescope in the Russian Embassy and then Ali Kerim Bey takes Bond to a gypsy camp. There is a whole lot of noise here, none of it really means anything, other than Bond gets to decide what woman is the best, so he beds them both, Bond gets to watch a belly dancer and a fight breaks out, that is entertaining, but if you watch it shot for shot, it really funny. I do enjoy how Bond will just walk up to someone, whack them, and wander off. And yes, wander is the correct term. Finally we get back to the main story, with the hot blonde waiting in Bond’s hotel bed. Behind the scene, they are being filmed by Spectre. We then get a good bit of fun with the Blonde and Bond, with Bond swinging around the information back to M for verification. Being interested in the Lektor, Bond steals the machine, escaping on the Orient Express.
Now the movie really picks up in the enclosed space.
So how is From Russia with Love?
Once you actually get to the train, this movie is excellent. The interaction of Robert Shaw (yes, that Robert Shaw) and James Bond is a ton of fun, and the interaction with the lady is a bit of fun, she really falls for Bond, maybe a bit too hard, but who are we to question the power of Bond’s Magic Penis?
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about Ali Kerim Bey, He is just an awesome sidekick, and could easily carry his own movie. Bey is just having a ball and it shows. I really do think that Sean Connery has to run to keep up the entire time they are in Istanbul. The problem is, most of the things around Instanbul slow the story TO A CRAWL. I’m loving Kerim Bay, but all his good stuff is wrapped around the dull stuff.
I can see why this is a lot of people’s number one or number two favorite James Bond film. The goodness of the beginning and the pure greatness of the ending can make any movie really good, and this is no excpetion. I’m not sure I’m going to say it’s my favorite Bond, that is still Goldfinger, but it’s a notch below. Solid 7 movie. If you like older, slower movies, this is a great watch, and Sean Connery is coming to his own.
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