From Russia With Love (1963)
Reviewed on 2010 August 23
The second 007 movie, with Bond having to thwart a plot by the Russians to use him as a cat’s paw.
Bond (Sean Connery) learns from MI6 that a beautiful Russian agent named Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) is supposedly in love with him and would bring him quite a wedding present to emigrate to England: a decoder machine. A Cold War era Russian woman falling for a sight-unseen English agent, even one as made of win as Bond, is suspicious. The only way to determine what SPECTRE is trying to accomplish with this honeypot is to take the bait. Bond treks to Istanbul to meet with an ally, Kerim Bey (Pedro Armendariz) and discovers that the scheme is even more convoluted than he expected.
After the success of Dr. No, Cubby Broccoli and the rest of the power behind Dr. No decided to out-gonzo themselves with this. It has twice the budget of Dr. No, and twice the pace. The plot is wilder, there are more women running around for the men and even fancier ’60s finery for the women Bond fans to covet, and this time a faceless archvillian who can run an evil agency without putting down his pet cat. This is the first movie to show us such a large team of agents, some of whom multi-tasked by working for both SMERSH and SPECTRE.
Three chocolate morsels, and your favorite vodka-based drink with a li’l caviar.