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From Russia with Love [1963] (1 disc)

Director:Terence Young
Writer:Berkely Mather
Richard Maibaum
Composer:John Barry
Length:115 minutes
(1 hour 55 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Sorting Category:Action
Sorting Tub:Golf
IMDB Rating:7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:96%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Synopsis: James Bond falls into an assassination ploy involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that appears to have been targeted by SPECTRE.

Reaction: More normal and down-to-earth than the reputation the Bond movies have earned. Could be shorter and it's definitely of its time, but not bad.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Terence Young => Director
Berkely Mather => Writer
Richard Maibaum => Writer
John Barry => Composer
Ian Fleming => Novel
Aliza Gur => Vida
Anthony Dawson => Ernst Blofeld
Barbara Jefford => Tatiana Romanova (voice) (uncredited)
Bernard Lee => 'M'
Bob Simmons => James Bond in Gunbarrel Sequence (uncredited)
Daniela Bianchi => Tatiana
Desmond Llewelyn => Boothroyd
Eric Pohlmann => Ernst Stavro Blofeld (voice) (uncredited)
Eunice Gayson => Sylvia
Francis De Wolff => Vavra (as Francis de Wolff)
Fred Haggerty => Krilencu
John Ketteringham => Fake James Bond (uncredited)
Julie Mendez => Girl Dancing During Opening Titles (uncredited)
Lois Maxwell => Miss Moneypenny
Lotte Lenya => Rosa Klebb
Martine Beswick => Zora (as Martin Beswick in opening credits)
Nikki Van der Zyl => Receptionist (voice) (uncredited) / Sylvia Trench
Nusret Ataer => Mehmet (as Nushet Ataer)
Pedro Armendáriz => Kerim Bey (as Pedro Armendariz)
Peter Bayliss => Benz
Peter Brayham => Rhoda
Peter Madden => Mc Adams
Robert Shaw => Grant
Sean Connery => James Bond
Vladek Sheybal => Kronsteen
Walter Gotell => Morzeny
William Hill => Captain Nash (uncredited)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • The collapsing rifle given to Bond isn't a gimmick, but was an Armalite AR-7 survival rifle which was a production item which actually does disassemble and fit into its stock. However it fires the .22 long rifle cartridge, not .25 caliber as was stated in the film. As of 2015, it is still in production by the Henry Repeating Firearms company. It is one of very few firearms that will float when dropped into water.
  • The love scene between Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi caused censorship problems in Britain. In the scene, a sweating SPECTRE cameraman films James Bond and Tatiana Romanova in bed from a cabinet de voyeur. The British Board of Film Censors mandated to producers Albert R. Broccoli and [?] Harry Saltzman that the voyeurism in the scene was too explicit and to keep the footage of the cameraman as minimal as possible or face risking having the whole sequence censored.
  • The opening scene where "James Bond" is stalked and killed by Red Grant was originally written to appear later in the film. However, editor Peter R. Hunt figured it would work better as a teaser at the start of the movie, thus instigating the now-traditional pre-credits sequence. The man who originally played James Bond's double looked so much like Sean Connery that director Terence Young had to re-shoot the scene with a man with a mustache.
  • When then President John F. Kennedy listed Ian Fleming's book among his top ten favorite novels of all time, a list published in [Life Magazine], March 17, 1961, the producers decided to make this the second [James Bond] movie. According to the book Death of a President (1964) by [?] William Raymond Manchester, this was the last motion picture JFK ever saw, on a private screening in the White House, November 20, 1963.
  • A scene was cut just before Bond meets Romanova on the ferry. Bond tries to lose his mysterious pursuer and hops into a taxi. Bond takes control of the taxi's brakes, causing the following Bulgarian to run into the back of the taxi as a third car joins the pile-up. The driver of the third car turns out to be Kerim Bey. When the angry Bulgarian protests to Bey, he is told "My friend, this is life", while Bond makes good his escape in the British Embassy's Rolls Royce. Young shot the scene ten times to get the long ash on Bey's cigar that actor [?] Pedro Armendariz[?] insisted on. It wasn't until a private screening week before the film's release that Young's twelve year old son spotted that the Bulgarian had in fact already been killed by Grant in the mosque, so it was cut.
  • Although he had his reservations about the choice of Sean Connery for the part of James Bond, after seeing him in this film writer Ian Fleming was completely won over by the actor.
  • Final [James Bond] movie viewed by Ian Fleming.
  • Years earlier, Alfred Hitchcock was originally considered as director, with James Bond being played by Cary Grant and [?] Grace Kelly lured out of retirement to play Tatiana Romanova. These ideas were scrapped after Vertigo failed at the box office. The helicopter chase scene is a homage to Hitchcock's cropduster sequence in North by Northwest.
  • The scene in which James Bond and Tatiana Romanova first meet in the hotel suite has since been used as an audition scene for potential Bond actors and Bond girls. This can be seen in the "making of" documentaries for other [Bond] films including Octopussy.
  • Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny) named this as her favorite 007 film.
  • Though he isn't shown actually taking it, it is implied that Bond keeps Grant's garrote watch, as the watch appears in On Her Majesty's Secret Service when Bond cleans out his desk, as well as in a deleted scene in A View to a Kill when the Paris police return Bond's property.
  • Albert R. Broccoli once named this film along with The Spy Who Loved Me and Goldfinger as his three favorite [James Bond] movies, according to an interview with the [Hollywood Reporter]'s [?] Robert Osborne.
  • As a guest on the "Tonight Show" Robert Shaw explained that he was required to stand on a wooden crate opposite Sean Connery due to being considerably shorter than Connery (some 6 plus inches).
  • Hoping for an end to the Cold War, producers Albert R. Broccoli and [?] Harry Saltzman didn't want James Bond's main enemy to be Russian, so for the film version his nemesis is the fictitious criminal organization SPECTRE, seeking revenge for the death of their operative, Dr. No.
  • Sean Connery said that this movie was his personal favorite out of the [Bond] films he did.
  • The helicopter (carrying director Terence Young during filming) crashed over water, trapping the director below the surface for a considerable time in an air bubble inside the copter's canopy. He was rescued and then immediately went back behind the camera with his arm in a sling.
  • From Russia with Love marks the last appearance of the Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson) character, who also appeared in Dr. No. The original plan was for Sylvia to appear in each film as Bond's regular girlfriend, continually frustrated when Bond is called away for his next assignment. This idea was, obviously, scrapped.
  • During the helicopter sequence towards the end of the film, the inexperienced pilot flew too close to Sean Connery, almost killing him.