24 November 2014

James Bond From Russia with Love


From Russia with Love 1963
Director: Terence Young
  • Based on the novels  by Ian Fleming
  • Cast: Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Lotta Lenya, Daniela Bianchi, Pedro Armendariz , Bernard Lee, Eunice Gayson, Lois Maxwell
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Sean Connery  The Rock, First Knight, Murder on the Orient Express, Goldfinger, Marnie, Dr. No, From Russia with Love, The Longest Day and others of the early Bond films but I’m not sure which ones
    • The others: in various old films and TV series
  • Why? Curious. Hal and I saw several Bond films in a Bond festival in the early 70’s and enjoyed them. Sean Connery is the only Bond we have ever seen.  Friends have said later actors have been good too. And with Judi Dench they can’t be all bad.  So we bought the box...
  • Seen:  Once previously. Now November 21, 2014.
Did this film make fun of the Cold War? Did it make it worse? Increase hatred of the Soviet Union? Create a feeling of affection for what we were insistently told were the enemy?  Are these ridiculous questions?  It’s just an amusing film...or....propaganda or....what?
James Bond 2.  After Dr. No I’m not expecting profound political astuteness.  I’m hoping to be mindlessly entertained.
It’s a film with extreme self-confidence.  It knows it’s a success. It has all the ingredients of Dr. No only more so.  More espionage.  More “girls”. More tongue-in-cheek.  More sophistication. More cleverly lethal devices. More nearly naked hairy Sean Connery as lover boy.  More convoluted non-story. More senseless (literally – it doesn’t make sense) violence. It’s slyer and funnier and more chaotic.  James Bond is nastier and less likeable.
So, mindless? Yes. In spite of all the more-ness it’s less entertaining than its predecessor and my tolerance level is lower.
But the scenes from Istanbul are wonderful, the music is great and it’s a nice cat.  So again...

2 * of 5

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