Friday, March 8, 2019

A Look Back At The Great James Bond Film 'From Russia With Love'


I loved Dr. No when I saw the film as a pre-teen, but I truly became an Ian Fleming aficionado when I read all of Ian Fleming's James Bond thrillers after seeing the film From Russia With Love. In my view, From Russia With Love is the best Bond novel, as well as the best Bond film. And Sean Connery remains the best Bond.

Director Terence Young was mostly faithful to Ian Fleming's novel, save from changing the villain from the Soviets to the international criminal organization SPECTRE, which Ian Fleming created in a later novel, Thunderball. (The plot made more sense with the Soviets as the bad guys).

In addition to Sean Connery as Bond, Terence Young hired some fine actors to portray Ian Fleming's great characters. (See the below photos).  The inspired casting included Robert Shaw, who was truly menacing as Grant the assassin. I believe the fight aboard the train with Bond and Grant is the best fight scene on film.

Cinemaretro.com offers a look at Joe Dante's "Trailers from Hell" video with director Brian Trenchard-Smith analyzing From Russia With Love.

You can watch the video clip via the below link:

www.cinemaretro.com/index.php?/archives/10398-TRAILERS-FROM-HELL-PRESENTS-FROM-RUSSIA-WITH-LOVE.html


You can also watch a documentary about the making of From Russia With Love via the below link:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a5sxgqy0_U

2 comments:

  1. I also believe this film (along with OHMSS)are the best examples of EON staying close to Fleming's novels. I also disliked (and still do) having them substitute SPECTRE for SMERSH as the villains. It just over complicated the plot and the idea they did it so they would not cause problems with Soviet relations was just silly. I thought the helicopter attack at the end was also an unnecessary bit of action..I once saw the film on a friend's DVD - had to leave for a moment when the scene was about to appear and returned after missing it. It didn't affect the quality of the film or the plot overall nor did I miss seeing it.

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  2. Ian, I agree. The helicopter scene was, I think, a homage to Hitchcock's North by Northwest. Terence Young, it seems to me, was influenced quite a bit by Hitchcock, which is not always a bad thing. Thanks for writing.

    Paul

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