From Russia with Love (1963)
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Really, really good. This Bond film showcases a lot of classic old-fashioned spying like people tailing other cars, watching on important meetings via hidden periscope, and a simple yet exciting "acquire device and get out" kind of plot. Daniela Bianchi gives a great performance as one of the best bond girls and all of the characters are well fleshed out and entertaining. Plus Loads of fight scenes that just keep coming when you think the movie is almost over. It's a tough call but just barely beats out Dr. No and Goldfinger for me as my #1 Bond film.
From Russia with Love is, in even more down to earth than Dr. No. Though the locations are more varied (Turkey is especially well used) and SPECTRE is involved, there's no mad science on show, even when you consider Q Branch's first official appearance. This is about Bond "turning" a Russian agent to get his hands on a cypher machine, not realizing that both he and the girl are playing into SPECTRE's hands. Plenty of twists, and as a consequence of the added realism, the final fight is dirty and edgy. A special prize must go to Pedro Armendáriz, however, whose Ali Kerim Bey is a most delightful and zesty character. It was his last role and having been recently diagnosed with an illness, he knew it and brought everything to it. Very funny, and I'd love it if his army of sons showed up in a Bond film some day.
Although i liked Dr. No better, this is still a really great Bond movie.
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In 4 official lists
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This movie ranks #63 in Marshall Julius's Action! The Action Movie A-Z
This movie ranks #71 in Time Out's The 101 Best Action Movies Ever Made
This movie ranks #409 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office
This movie ranks #544 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown