From Russia With Love
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Release Date: May 27, 1964

Director: Terrence Young
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Sean Connery
Daniela Bianchi
Pedro Armendáriz
Lotte Lenya
Robert Shaw
Bernard Lee
Desmond Llwellyn
Eunice Gayson
Walter Gotell
Francis De Wolff
George Pastell
Nadja Regin
Lois Maxwell
Aliza Gur
Martine Beswick
Vladek Sheybal
James Bond
Tatiana Romanov
Kerim Bey
Rosa Klebb
Donald 'Red' Grant
Sylvia Trench
Vavra, the Gypsy Leader
Train Conductor
Kerim's Girl
Miss Moneypenny
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The best of the James Bond movies. Excellently written and directed. The acting is top-notch. There is plenty of sex and violence to boot, with humor in abundance. This movie is probably best known for its high level of intrigue that is so lacking in future Bond films.

SPECTRE (The Special Executive for Terror, Revenge and Extortion) plots to steal a Lektor decoding device from the Russians. In order to accomplish this and remain anonymous, SPECTRE will dupe the British Secret Service into stealing it for them and discrediting MI5. SPECTRE will play the Russians against the British and make them both patsies. Of course, an added bonus is that the British would no doubt send their best agent, James Bond, to accomplish such a high level mission. SPECTRE can avenge themselves for the killing of their operative, Dr. No. An added bonus with the Lektor is the promise of a beautiful Russian file clerk who is under orders to fall in love with Agent 007 and can help him steal the decoder.

This mission takes Bond to Istanbul where the cold war is about to heat up. Bond employs the help of Kerim Bey, head of Station T: Turkey. Bey is the foreign version of M but still gets out into the field when circumstances dictate. Assassination attempts on Bey and the killings of Russian agents starts the plot rolling. Even Bond is caught in the web of intrigue. He plays right into SPECTRE's hands by discovering all of the bugging devices in his hotel room. He is then given exactly the room that SPECTRE wants him in.

After several adventures with Kerim Bey, Bond finally meets the exquisite Tatiana Romanova, one of my personal favorite "Bond Girl". Daniela Bianchi is not one of the best actresses but she is extremely sexy. This meeting only furthers the intrigue. Bond and Tanya are filmed making love as part of SPECTRE's over all plot.

The cat and mouse game continues as MI5 makes their plans, the Russians keep a close eye on 007 and SPECTRE killer Grant keeps the game tilted in favor of the British. Suspicious murders keep 007 on his toes throughout leading up to the confrontation with Grant aboard the Orient Express to Paris. This is probably the best one-on-one fight scene in movie history as both Bond and Grant gain the upper hand, momentarily.

The story is the best of any Bond film before action and gadgets dominated all of the later Bond films. Director Terrence Young keeps up the action and suspense throughout with taut editing. John Barry thankfully takes over as the music composer/arranger and gives us one of the best sound tracks, easily providing an aural theme to coincide with the Eastern locales. Sean Connery improves on his portrayal of James Bond cementing him in history as the best 007. With out Connery, the Bond franchise might never have survived for 40 years.