51

Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

Watched Dr No today and have to say on Bluray it looks fantastic, The only thing that dates the film for me
is the soundtrack, The score is so 50's Thriller, thank God they got J Barry to give Bond his sound.  ajb007/martini
The opening titles are good and very eyecatching, The film starts with a Bang the Killing of Strangways and his
seceratry ( I'd say it was pretty brutal for 1962 ), Bond and is life style are very well introduced. Showing he's
still up gambeling at 3am ( which might be a refrence to the opening line from Casino Royale " The scent and
smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. " )  Although I do think the guy sitting next
to Bond, Looks like a chubby Ed Miliband.   ajb007/lol
   Looks a little odd these days after all the high Tec offices, and buildings of the modern Bonds, to see that MI6
as Universal Exports, share a floor with a Dentist and a Solicitor.
Loved the little bit of "Trade craft" showing Bond setting a few traps to see if anyone has been in to search his room.
   The sets are also fantastic the use of Copper with the rough stone face, is a beautiful colour combination, the set
where Dent is given the spider is so simple yet so effective and creepy ( very comic book ).
  Ursula Andress, never looked better  ajb007/heart  and you can clearly see Connery's tattoo on his arm  ajb007/biggrin , I think it shows
some of the attitude of Bond ( From the novels ) when HE starts giving orders to his captors.  ajb007/lol
  I haven't actually sat down and watched Dr No in ages, so this was a real treat.  The film has a great Nostalgic feel
as it shows the world as it was when Fleming was writing the books and it's funny to see how much they got right
from the start, even the humour is there. All in all Dr No is a fine Start for the Bond series.
   The Making of documentary is as always interesting and informative.  ajb007/martini
Now to catch up with From Russia with Love.   ajb007/cheers

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

52

Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

I liked the review TP, can't wait to hear what you have to say about From Russia With Love, and why it's not in your top 5 ajb007/wink. I kid of course. Here's my review of Dr. No, minus the sentimental bit.

P.S. Funny to see how you noticed some of the stranger creatures at the casino as well  ajb007/lol  ajb007/cheers


Dr. No

One of the first things that ever really leapt out to me about this film is Sean Connery's performance, and how he plays the role of Bond. From the get-go in the casino, you are looking at a self-confident, suave, quick-witted, and womanizing force on the screen which is hard not to enjoy. He immediately gave off the impression that he can be a very dangerous man when needed. He also looks very fit as well, which allows you to think that he can give anyone who wants it, a scrap. He shows us later on by manhandling the clearly weaker chauffeur (Mr. Jones) who took him to the airport. Even at the end of the film when Bond and Dr. No are shoving on the tiniest of enclosures, I had little doubt that Bond could lose because of what we see saw and an hour earlier. Plus, Dr. No without any hands, was in tough anyway.

Not only did Connery turn in a quality performance, but he was a given a good script for him to work with. He has enough punny one-liners and solid dialogue (dinner with Dr. No), to really show off a Bond as a character that you can really enjoy and root for on the screen.

Ursula Andress' portrayal is one of my favorites in the series. I have always loved, loved, loved Honey. She's stunning, the beautiful blonde hair, the tan body, and gorgeous legs. Whoa! Every time I watch I can't what to see her emerge onto the beach. Ursula plays Honey with a certain sense of naivety or vulnerability that I think helps the character. Honey walks into quite a predicament, and is understandably scared. In the Bond cannon, the Bond girl very rarely just pops up right out of the blue and had no choice but to continue into a dangerous mission. That's what gives Honey a bit uniqueness, and she sets the bar high for her fellow female counterparts to follow.

The plot of the movie is easy enough to follow, and is quite enjoyable. The writers did a good job of using a matter that was quite relevant at that time and it really isn't that difficult to envision.
Dr. No's mystery, is what builds him up to be a great villain. The control he has of Professor Dent, Mr. Jones, and the airport photographer is very interesting and lets your mind fill in the blanks. What does he look like, and what allows him to control and manipulate as well as he does? That's whats I've really come to enjoy about his character. We find out later that he is very cerebral and is well thought out. And when you do get a chance to see him, that eerie music plays, and you soon find out hie much of a maniac he really is.

Bond's two main allies in the picture, are Felix Leiter, and Quarrel the local fisherman. Quarrel is a real fun character and adds a realistic perspective to the film which is greatly appreciated. What gets almost lost about him is, he is only there because he was hired to be there. Quarrel's death is solely the fault of Bond and Leiter, because he had no dog in the fight. He basically foreshadows his doom, by saying how much he was unwilling to go to Crab Key because of the mystery of Dr. No and the dragon. Quarrel is unique because he really is an ally by hire, and not an ally with a government or agenda. With that being said; John Kitzmiller, Connery, and Jack Lord play off of each other well, especially in the nightclub. Every time I watch, I never get sick of Quarrel and Leiter.

For a low budget film, the brains behind the film did a good job of creating action, drama, and suspense in clever ways. The tarantula is a great example. Bond is at the mercy of this spider and there is little he can do to stop it. With that in mind, the staredown between Quarrel and Bond after they first and both begin walking to the bar is intriguing because of how it is directed. There is just an edge to it (excluding the subtle drop of Underneath the Mango Tree). Even Bond's escape from his cell is so interesting because you aren't sure what's going to happen. What could be hiding in that tunnel?

Ken Adam's sets is something that all Bond fans have come to enjoy over the years, and it all started here. I really like M's office as sort of the typical drab and very serious place where all of Britain's secrets are held. Dr. No's buildings are visually stunning as well, the control room is fantastic, plus the dining room are sophisticated and shown off well. But my favorite is the white room where Dent receives the spider. The dome, with a grid for a ceiling just feels sadistic, and the intensity of that scene alone is built up by the eerie room and it's white walls.

***
Little Things I've Grown to Love
The opening is fantastic, I don't get sick of seeing the flashing lights and Jamaican dancers, and there are no complaints about the Bond theme, that's for sure. Plus, the music playing in the tarantula scenes and when Dr. No is first introduced are both immaculate.

When Bond is in the casino playing chemin de fer, there are few weird looking characters st the card table. When Bond receives the card for him to leave, the guy to his right gives him the weirdest glance. Also the man to the right of Sylvia Trench looks like a British Bob Newhart, and when the camera pans out, you can see a lady with these thick sunglasses on at the table next to him. It's like she's trying to be like Phil Hellmuth or a modern poker player...

On the topic of sunglasses, Leiter's glasses could be the most unintentionally hilarious moment of the film. The last time I saw a pair like those, they were resting on the face of an eighty year-old woman.

A point that proves that Connery is just great in this film is this one. While phoning Playdell-Smith at the airport payphone, he discovers that the chauffeur there is really a baddie. As he's about to hang up, Bond says, "Forgive me if I'm a few minutes late." Then delivers the deadliest glare I've seen in a Bond flick. If looks could kill, the chauffeur, all three blind beggars, Miss Taro, and Dr. No all would have perished. It's so scary. That is the official, "You just screwed with the wrong British secret service agent."

While in the nightclub, the great tune "Jump Up" is played all danced to by all the people. If you look close enough, just as Pus-feller is about to arrive at Bond's table there is some guy that looks hilarious as he shakes his face and all muscles as much as he possibly can.

Bond again ascerts his will on others by the way he rather poshly asks for the slip of paper back from Professor Dent at Dent's office. The icyness of the whole conversation is great anyway, but the way James says, "Ohhh Professor, allow me" and snatches back that bill is excellent.

Again, Bond seems like he is really in control of each situation he's in, even when there is no he is.
When originally captured by Dr. No, Honey and James are both being hosed off from the radiation they received on the island, Bond is still handcuffed. The way he orders himself to be uncuffed is hilarious, he basically just points and says "You, How bout we do something about this first" and gets his wish.

Staying in that scene, I swore for a long time there was a slip by the censors when Honey receives her towel from the baddies. The way the camera is angled, it looks like if you just could maybe make out a nipple or something.... but alas try as I might, (and I did), I was never able to see anything out of the ordinary. It wasn't until recently that I found out she's wearing a skin-coloured bathing suit. Oh well...

While Dr. No and Bond are conversing over dinner, Bond conjures the line, "World domination, same old dream." What an amazing line, considering this is only the first Bond picture and 50 years of world domination attempts still haven't been tried.

***
Little Things I Dislike

Bond and Honey are talking while Quarrel's taking first watch for the dragon. Honey talks about how her father was killed, she was raped, and how she killed her rapist, and Bond looks so completely uninterested. Then at the end, gives a look like, "What the hell kind of woman did I just get to know." I wonder if Sean was told to play it that way, or decided himself to it that way. It just has always irked me.

For a seemingly smart villain, and intelligent manipulator of people, Dr. No makes some really really dumb choices. This is a man that seems to have the means to do whatever he needs to eliminate those in his way and he chooses, a one-off assassination attempt from long range (a scene that I always forget about because it's just awful), and the slight chance that if you put a spider in Bind's room it will kill him. That one is destroyed by basic common sense. Aren't there so many more effective ways that could be tied to eliminate him? The fact it takes two ridiculous attempts to realize that you know somebody to actually hunt him down and shoot him, shouldn't happen for a smart guy like Dr. No. Also he gives Bond an escape route from his cell. It's almost like he asked to be killed. (Answered now, thanks Barbel)

After Bond delivers Miss Taro to the authorities, why does he stay at her house? Why does he assume someone will come to kill him? Why would Professor Dent assume Bond is still at her house? If anyone has an answer to that, I would be grateful.

***
Overall, Dr. No is one of the finest films in the Bond cannon. It has always had a special place in my heart for making me the fan I am today. 52 years after the fact, I still think that it holds up today, and provides two hours of entertainment for the average guy. Connery really shows he has the stuff to play Bond, and that's what puts it over others in the series.
10/10

53

Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

I think Bond overheard miss taro, saying that she'd keep Bond there, so he knew
Someone would be along for a visit.  ajb007/biggrin , at least that's how I explain it to myself.  ajb007/lol

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

54

Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

A little trivia, much of which I'm sure is know by many, but might add a little
Fun to the mix.  ajb007/biggrin

The character Sylvia Trench was to be a recurring character, and Lois Maxwell
Was to have played the role.
When Bond saves Honey at the end, she's strapped at an angle ( apparently to be
Drowned ) the scene was to have her covered in crabs ( loads of jokes here  ajb007/lol  )
But the crabs died.  ajb007/lol
and I only discovered recently that Max von Sydow  was offered the role of Dr No.
( although, this might be a movie myth ? )

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

55

Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

DR. NO (1962)

All in all, a pretty good introduction to James Bond. It is quite easy to see how one might get enticed into this man's world - he drinks, he smokes, he gambles and, most of all, he has his way with as many women who will willingly go to bed with him.

Note the way Connery plays it when Bond enters M's office; a little bit of trepidation, like a naughty schoolboy being sent to the headmaster's office. For his part, M hardly seems to bear Bond's presence (Being confined to continual deskwork for 8 hours a day can possibly make one jealous, perhaps?  ajb007/lol ).

What I picked up the most from DN is that it is very much a detective story. It is not quite an espionage thriller, or OTT bubble gum adventure, nor is it an action-filled "caper". Its a story-driven film, with a few action sequences mixed in.

What I liked:

-Sean Connery being absolutely cool
-Ursula Andress looking irresistible in THAT bikini; no further words need be said
-Joseph Wiseman, although getting relatively short screen time, makes quite an impression as Dr. No
-Jack Lord looking classy - giving us a taste of things to come in "Hawaii Five-O" several years later
-Eunice Gayson, looking as equally attractive as Ms. Andress
-The unforgettable score
-Good car chase, good production values for its time, and an awesome "dragon" tank

What I didn't like (or felt could have been improved):

-Bond's assignment could have been expanded upon
-Bond had Dent dead to rights - why didn't he just wait to get ALL the information he seeked, BEFORE killing him?
-Re-watching it again, some of the old magic wore off, and I didn't find it as entertaining this time around


*Interesting Anecdote: One of my previous viewings of this film was on August 5, 2012 - the day before the 50th anniversary of the Jamaican Declaration of Independence from Britain. I had no knowledge of this event (or its significance), and would not know about it until later on.

"Well, he certainly left with his tails between his legs."

56

Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

Just my opinion but  I think Bond killed Dent firstly because he tried
To kill Bond in a very cowardly way, ( I'm sure Bond was ticked off
with that ) and because Bond had made up his mind that Dr No was
Guilty.  ajb007/biggrin
It's only a little thing but I love the second bullet he gives Dent ( and very
well " sold " by Anthony Dawson  ).  ajb007/martini

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

57

Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

From Russia With Love;

The PTS idea was Harry Saltzman's  ajb007/martini  and the start of FRWL is very atmospheric and looks great onBluray.
The titles are eyecatching and very stylish, The introduction of Grant is superb, I'm amazed at how Contemporary
the story is, I could see it being filmed today  ajb007/bond  ( No Remakes please ).
  A slow build up, a steady burn with many memorable scenes, I love the expressions on Moneypenny's face as she
and M with some top brass listen to Bond's tape of questions.  ajb007/lol  To the WTF look on Bond's face when Nash gives
him his business card.
The highlight has to be the confrontation and fight between Bond and Grant. Very well written, with some good lines for both.
You can tell the actors are gining it 100%. This fight is a masterpiece and IMHO has never been bettered, ( The fight in
Goldeneye- Bond v Trevelyan is very good and the Staircase fight from CR comes very close ) It really looks like Two guys
trying to beat the sh1t out of each other!  ajb007/cheers  None of the wrist/arm locks from some of the modern movies, just Brutal
violence, Filled with tension. I could easily see Craig filming something like this for Bond today.
  The following Boat chase, is a more fun filled affair, with the final twist  of the last attack on Bond. ( Which in the book almost
killed Bond ).
The commentary is fascinating and well worth a listen, even to hear how Bond's arrival at the airport is filmed to match Bond's
arrival in Dr No.  ajb007/smile

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

58

Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

Agree completely that Connery is at his coolest here. The parts where Connery is checking for bugs and setting tracking traps is great fun.

Part of the reason you see why this film was so successful and launched the franchise into the historic frenzy it went, is from the exotic locales. Jamaica is used great and is absolutely stunningly filmed. The bits at the jump up club are great with Quarrel, Leiter, and Puss Feller.

Favorite part is Bond playing cards while waiting for Dent to return. Just great espionage stuff.

59

Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

From Russia With Love

If you asked someone to imagine a spy thriller from the 60’s, what they would see in their minds eye, would be From Russia With Love. This is it. This is the big one. It’s the king of the hill. The toppermost of the poppermost. From Russia With Love is the epitome and zenith of the Bond franchise. The one that was never eclipsed.

When I saw it for the first time, it was July 2, and the night before Dr. No had dazzled and delighted my eyeholes. I was now a huge Bond fan of exactly 24 hours, and couldn’t wait until 9:00 that night to watch the next one. But, I wasn’t expecting an experience like this. Then again, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I assumed that maybe they were going to build onto the SPECTRE angle, and try to really delve into aspect of the plot. And sure enough, they did and delivered my favourite Bond adventure, From Russia With Love.
***
If you thought Sean couldn’t improve upon his performance from Dr. No, then you were proved wrong by this film. Connery is even better! His acting just flows throughout the movie, how he can transition from the jokey Bond to serious and deadly one is just like a switch. Take for an example the scene where Bond is entering Moneypenny’s office. He says “And for my next miracle….” with a big grin on his face, he then transitions to the down to work one when he discovers M’s in the room as well. It’s little things like that, that have always convinced that Connery is Bond.

Daniela Bianchi looks gorgeous as Tatiana Romanova, and shows us show pretty good acting chops in the process. She convinces me she’s madly in love with James rather easily. Hey, she even has Bond a little fooled as well. Tatiana has always been one of my favorites, especially when her hair is all done up in the train in the blue dress. Whoa! Connery was blessed with some of the best Bond girls, I tell ya.

Kerim Bey is one of the finest allies Bond has ever had, the once circus freak, turned Station T Turkey leader, he really is one of the more enjoyable associates Bond has had. He’s funny, and there is great on-screen chemistry between Connery and Pedro Armendariz that really makes you believe that there friendship is genuine. When Kerim Bey says “James, life just won’t be the same without you,” I believe him.

The score produced by John Barry is so good as well. The music is played at all the right times, especially at a scene like the gypsy camp fight. Although, I've never been crazy about the title song done by Matt Munro, the opening credits are still entertaining, and not one to skip.

I think a lot of Bond aficionados would agree with me on this, a Bond movie can only be a strong as its villain. And when you discuss From Russia With Love, the villains are just superb. Beginning at the PTS, Red Grant gives the essence of someone that could mangle your still beating heart from your chest, and then bite into it. Maybe a little graphic but still, he’s that scary. His calmness too is what sets him apart. When Bond fires aimlessly into the hedges, they zoom in on Grant and he delivers a wry, sadistic smile that sends chills down your spine. It also helps that Grant is humongous. If calmness and ruthlessness was all you had but you were 5 1”. Then I’m not as worried as someone like Grant who is taller and seemingly stronger than Bond, and can take brass knuckles to the abdomen. Ouch!

The smaller cast of villains impress as well. The vile Rosa Klebb played by Lotte Lenya is excellent. Her character just screams…. Soviet, with the great accent and cold-hearted ruthlessness. Kronsteen is one that I also particularly enjoy. A grandmaster at one of my favorite games (chess), he uses his skills of anticipation, tactics, and strategy to devise the evil scheme that SPECTRE will use. Plus, that look Kronsteen gives to the waiter who delivers the water, that slow composed glare, is purely from the eyes of a psychopath, and is great to watch.

Then there’s Blofeld. A stroke of genius it was to not reveal him to the camera, and shoot the scenes from his perspective. The deep, Polish voice is chilling, and makes you wonder even more what the appearance of our main future antagonist is. It’s moves like these that make you think they really knew what they were doing when it came to on screen intensity, and SPECTRE, (until You Only Live Twice that is.)

One of the best things that this film does, it balances the storyline and action sequences perfectly. And really how entertaining are they? The gypsy camp battle is great, as you watch Bond, not particularly engaging with anyone, but floating to fist fight to fist fight either pushing them into the water, or knocking the tent down over them. It really shows the quick think abilities of Bond under the most pressure. (That’s put to the test in the train as well.)
The helicopter fight is great too. Besides the overly similar references to the Hitchcock classic North by Northwest, it’s entertaining, and the close-up of shots of the baddies chucking the grenades always makes me giggle a little. They’ve always looked a bit silly to me. With the boat chase at the end, there really are some overlooked scenes at the end of From Russia With Love, that maybe don’t get the respect they deserve.

If you had to show one scene to show a buddy who had never seen a Bond film, what scene would you show them? I would choose hands down, the train fight. It’s the best fight scene in any of the Bond’s. What makes it so good is the cunning it takes just so that Bond has a chance. We’ve never seen Bond so helpless, in so much trouble. He’s on his knees, and about to be shot by someone that is his mental and physical equal. And there’s almost nothing he can do about it. He got played, fooled.
When Bond brings the case into play we know what’s going to happen and Grant doesn’t. He’s found his ticket out! Bond can’t even believe his luck, when Grant exclaims, “Put your hands back into your pockets.” Bond gives this face which is excellent. He can hardly contain his jubilation. Finally the tear gas cartridge goes off and what ensues is the most brutal fight in the Bond cannon. The window gets smashed, the lights go out, one of them gets thrown onto Romanova. It reaches a critical mass when Grant finally gets him into a full-nelson and begins to choke with the deadly suffocating watch. I’m going to admit it. I yelled at the screen, “USE THE KNIFE IN THE CASE!!!” And surely Bond does it and stabs Grant with that convient dagger. Thanks Q. Then chokes him with his own fancy watch. What a scene! Punctuated by the underrated one-liner, “How’s that, old man!”
After the train fight, the second best scene is the finale with Klebb’s last shot at getting the Lektor. You can see it unfolding before Bond does, and that’s what makes it great. With Bond at the phone saying, “Well, it should be pretty routine from here on in.” To the near end of his life coming seconds later, the drama is just too delicious. Bond getting momentarily double-crossed, Klebb pointing the gun at him ready to fire, Romanova saving his life, the poison-tipped shoe, to the last seconds where Romanova essentially does (eeny-meeny-miny-moe, or however that’s spelled) to decide who to shoot; Bond or Klebb. Just an excellent sequence from beginning to end.
***
Little Things I Love About the Film
The awkwardness of when Morzeny tries to grab Klebb’s elbow when she arrives at SPECTRE island. That’s just too funny haha.
Two Bond films, and two funny looking pairs of glasses. That might be the first pair of Coke bottle glasses that Klebb wears when she’s briefing Romanova.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought that the guy tailing Bond looks like an older, foreign Connery. You can sort of see it in his face, his eyebrows. I’ve always found a resemblance.

How about that faint yelling noise you can hear when in the transition shot of the temple, right before Kerim and his lady-friend are about to go at it. Always thought that was interesting.

When Bond and Kerim Bey are walking down the steps of the underground reservoir, Kerim is telling him the history of it, why it was build and so on. When he finishes the story, all Bond has to say is “Really?” The delivery is what makes it funny.
At the gypsy camp, when Bond is relaying to Kerim about how hospitable the hosts have been to him, the leader replies, “Tank you, Tank you.” In a funny sort of voice. Sometimes I say it in the middle of a conversation, and everyone around me gives we a weird look because no one I’ve ever met gets the joke. I’ll probably never meet someone that will get the reference when I bring it up. But, if I do, and it’s a lady, she’s a keeper.

Me, probably like you,  had never really imagined Bond and M traveling abroad with each other before. But when Bond says so, “Once me and M had an interesting experience in Tokyo.” I was intrigued to get the end of that story. Oh well.
***
Little Things I Dislike About the Film
The end scene is kind of cheesy. The way Bond’s hand just kind of flutters up and down when he lets the film go. Weird man.

Why is the original dialogue muted when Grant and Bond first meet. I swear they’re doing their third rendition of Can I Borrow a Match, No I Use a Lighter. And also, most of Morzeny's lines don't seem to much up with his mouth, if his mouth if is moving all.
When Bond enters his hotel room he turns the tap on for a bath. Then it just keeps running. This is an error that has always bugged me a bit.
***
Overall, there is little doubt in my mind that From Russia With Love is the best Bond film. There really isn’t a bad performance to be found, and the villains in particular are just superb. The first film in the SPECTRE miniseries arrives with a bang.
10/10

60

Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

samurai4114 wrote:

From Russia With Love

If you asked someone to imagine a spy thriller from the 60’s, what they would see in their minds eye, would be From Russia With Love. This is it. This is the big one. It’s the king of the hill. The toppermost of the poppermost. From Russia With Love is the epitome and zenith of the Bond franchise. The one that was never eclipsed.

When I saw it for the first time, it was July 2, and the night before Dr. No had dazzled and delighted my eyeholes. I was now a huge Bond fan of exactly 24 hours, and couldn’t wait until 9:00 that night to watch the next one. But, I wasn’t expecting an experience like this. Then again, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I assumed that maybe they were going to build onto the SPECTRE angle, and try to really delve into aspect of the plot. And sure enough, they did and delivered my favourite Bond adventure, From Russia With Love.
***
If you thought Sean couldn’t improve upon his performance from Dr. No, then you were proved wrong by this film. Connery is even better! His acting just flows throughout the movie, how he can transition from the jokey Bond to serious and deadly one is just like a switch. Take for an example the scene where Bond is entering Moneypenny’s office. He says “And for my next miracle….” with a big grin on his face, he then transitions to the down to work one when he discovers M’s in the room as well. It’s little things like that, that have always convinced that Connery is Bond.

Daniela Bianchi looks gorgeous as Tatiana Romanova, and shows us show pretty good acting chops in the process. She convinces me she’s madly in love with James rather easily. Hey, she even has Bond a little fooled as well. Tatiana has always been one of my favorites, especially when her hair is all done up in the train in the blue dress. Whoa! Connery was blessed with some of the best Bond girls, I tell ya.

Kerim Bey is one of the finest allies Bond has ever had, the once circus freak, turned Station T Turkey leader, he really is one of the more enjoyable associates Bond has had. He’s funny, and there is great on-screen chemistry between Connery and Pedro Armendariz that really makes you believe that there friendship is genuine. When Kerim Bey says “James, life just won’t be the same without you,” I believe him.

The score produced by John Barry is so good as well. The music is played at all the right times, especially at a scene like the gypsy camp fight. Although, I've never been crazy about the title song done by Matt Munro, the opening credits are still entertaining, and not one to skip.

I think a lot of Bond aficionados would agree with me on this, a Bond movie can only be a strong as its villain. And when you discuss From Russia With Love, the villains are just superb. Beginning at the PTS, Red Grant gives the essence of someone that could mangle your still beating heart from your chest, and then bite into it. Maybe a little graphic but still, he’s that scary. His calmness too is what sets him apart. When Bond fires aimlessly into the hedges, they zoom in on Grant and he delivers a wry, sadistic smile that sends chills down your spine. It also helps that Grant is humongous. If calmness and ruthlessness was all you had but you were 5 1”. Then I’m not as worried as someone like Grant who is taller and seemingly stronger than Bond, and can take brass knuckles to the abdomen. Ouch!

The smaller cast of villains impress as well. The vile Rosa Klebb played by Lotte Lenya is excellent. Her character just screams…. Soviet, with the great accent and cold-hearted ruthlessness. Kronsteen is one that I also particularly enjoy. A grandmaster at one of my favorite games (chess), he uses his skills of anticipation, tactics, and strategy to devise the evil scheme that SPECTRE will use. Plus, that look Kronsteen gives to the waiter who delivers the water, that slow composed glare, is purely from the eyes of a psychopath, and is great to watch.

Then there’s Blofeld. A stroke of genius it was to not reveal him to the camera, and shoot the scenes from his perspective. The deep, Polish voice is chilling, and makes you wonder even more what the appearance of our main future antagonist is. It’s moves like these that make you think they really knew what they were doing when it came to on screen intensity, and SPECTRE, (until You Only Live Twice that is.)

One of the best things that this film does, it balances the storyline and action sequences perfectly. And really how entertaining are they? The gypsy camp battle is great, as you watch Bond, not particularly engaging with anyone, but floating to fist fight to fist fight either pushing them into the water, or knocking the tent down over them. It really shows the quick think abilities of Bond under the most pressure. (That’s put to the test in the train as well.)
The helicopter fight is great too. Besides the overly similar references to the Hitchcock classic North by Northwest, it’s entertaining, and the close-up of shots of the baddies chucking the grenades always makes me giggle a little. They’ve always looked a bit silly to me. With the boat chase at the end, there really are some overlooked scenes at the end of From Russia With Love, that maybe don’t get the respect they deserve.

If you had to show one scene to show a buddy who had never seen a Bond film, what scene would you show them? I would choose hands down, the train fight. It’s the best fight scene in any of the Bond’s. What makes it so good is the cunning it takes just so that Bond has a chance. We’ve never seen Bond so helpless, in so much trouble. He’s on his knees, and about to be shot by someone that is his mental and physical equal. And there’s almost nothing he can do about it. He got played, fooled.
When Bond brings the case into play we know what’s going to happen and Grant doesn’t. He’s found his ticket out! Bond can’t even believe his luck, when Grant exclaims, “Put your hands back into your pockets.” Bond gives this face which is excellent. He can hardly contain his jubilation. Finally the tear gas cartridge goes off and what ensues is the most brutal fight in the Bond cannon. The window gets smashed, the lights go out, one of them gets thrown onto Romanova. It reaches a critical mass when Grant finally gets him into a full-nelson and begins to choke with the deadly suffocating watch. I’m going to admit it. I yelled at the screen, “USE THE KNIFE IN THE CASE!!!” And surely Bond does it and stabs Grant with that convient dagger. Thanks Q. Then chokes him with his own fancy watch. What a scene! Punctuated by the underrated one-liner, “How’s that, old man!”
After the train fight, the second best scene is the finale with Klebb’s last shot at getting the Lektor. You can see it unfolding before Bond does, and that’s what makes it great. With Bond at the phone saying, “Well, it should be pretty routine from here on in.” To the near end of his life coming seconds later, the drama is just too delicious. Bond getting momentarily double-crossed, Klebb pointing the gun at him ready to fire, Romanova saving his life, the poison-tipped shoe, to the last seconds where Romanova essentially does (eeny-meeny-miny-moe, or however that’s spelled) to decide who to shoot; Bond or Klebb. Just an excellent sequence from beginning to end.
***
Little Things I Love About the Film
The awkwardness of when Morzeny tries to grab Klebb’s elbow when she arrives at SPECTRE island. That’s just too funny haha.
Two Bond films, and two funny looking pairs of glasses. That might be the first pair of Coke bottle glasses that Klebb wears when she’s briefing Romanova.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought that the guy tailing Bond looks like an older, foreign Connery. You can sort of see it in his face, his eyebrows. I’ve always found a resemblance.

How about that faint yelling noise you can hear when in the transition shot of the temple, right before Kerim and his lady-friend are about to go at it. Always thought that was interesting.

When Bond and Kerim Bey are walking down the steps of the underground reservoir, Kerim is telling him the history of it, why it was build and so on. When he finishes the story, all Bond has to say is “Really?” The delivery is what makes it funny.
At the gypsy camp, when Bond is relaying to Kerim about how hospitable the hosts have been to him, the leader replies, “Tank you, Tank you.” In a funny sort of voice. Sometimes I say it in the middle of a conversation, and everyone around me gives we a weird look because no one I’ve ever met gets the joke. I’ll probably never meet someone that will get the reference when I bring it up. But, if I do, and it’s a lady, she’s a keeper.

Me, probably like you,  had never really imagined Bond and M traveling abroad with each other before. But when Bond says so, “Once me and M had an interesting experience in Tokyo.” I was intrigued to get the end of that story. Oh well.
***
Little Things I Dislike About the Film
The end scene is kind of cheesy. The way Bond’s hand just kind of flutters up and down when he lets the film go. Weird man.

Why is the original dialogue muted when Grant and Bond first meet. I swear they’re doing their third rendition of Can I Borrow a Match, No I Use a Lighter. And also, most of Morzeny's lines don't seem to much up with his mouth, if his mouth if is moving all.
When Bond enters his hotel room he turns the tap on for a bath. Then it just keeps running. This is an error that has always bugged me a bit.
***
Overall, there is little doubt in my mind that From Russia With Love is the best Bond film. There really isn’t a bad performance to be found, and the villains in particular are just superb. The first film in the SPECTRE miniseries arrives with a bang.
10/10

Excellent review of an outstanding Bond film. Well done! ajb007/martini

"Felix Leiter, a brother from Langley."

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

samurai4114 wrote:

Little Things I Dislike About the Film
The end scene is kind of cheesy. The way Bond’s hand just kind of flutters up and down when he lets the film go. Weird man.

He's waving goodbye to the canister of film he's just thrown in the water.


samurai4114 wrote:

Why is the original dialogue muted when Grant and Bond first meet. I swear they’re doing their third rendition of Can I Borrow a Match, No I Use a Lighter.

They are using that coded greeting and by not hearing Grant's voice yet it's just another way to ramp up the tension....

Great review though  ajb007/martini

YNWA: Justice For The 96

A spectre of my mortal soul

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

Just a reminder for anyone who wants to. That in August  you can review Goldfinger
And Thunderball. On any format  all opinions  and thoughts not just on the films but
On the DVD/ bluray  even vhs  ajb007/biggrin , special features and documentaries.  ajb007/biggrin

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

My only problem with FRWL is the use of the Bond theme. It's used too much.

Have you ever heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?"

" I don't listen to hip hop!"

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

In the early films the Bond theme did seem to be played. A Lot !  ajb007/lol
Although I do like it.  ajb007/cheers

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

Watched GF on bluray and once again am really happy with the transfer.
Comparing it to how it's shown on TV, it's so clear and fresh looking.
Apart from all the usual highlights, I really love the " little old lady "
Gatekeeper firing the machine gun  ajb007/martini  ( very Hitchcock ). I like to think
Of her as Goldfinger's Mum.  ajb007/lol
  The documentary on GF is also well worth a watch. Now roll on TB
Which in on ITV 4 tonight, so I can compare that with the bluray version.  ajb007/lol

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

Thunderball :
  Not to talk about the Plot as I'm sure everyone knows it by now.  ajb007/lol
The Bluray looks good better than the dvd but IMHO not as good as the job they did with
The eariler films. Although it has some fantastic Documentaries too many to list but a
few highlights would be ....
MI6 Commentaries – Disc producer John Cork hosts not one but two excellent assemblages of audio interviews featuring Terence Young, editor Peter Hunt and many of the cast and crew. The second track is especially notable for playing the alternate theme song "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" by Dionne Warwick in sync with the opening titles.
Thunderball Boat Show Reel (SD, 3 min.) – An alternate version of the scuba battle that was originally used for publicity at boat shows.
The Secret History of Thunderball (HD, 4 min.) – A brief look at some of the alternate dialogue takes that have wound up in different versions of the movie, some deleted footage, and a comparison of the actors' real voices to their final dubbed counterparts.

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

So I take it there are new Special Features on the Blu-Ray discs that do not appear on the DVD SE and DVD UE discs?

I have a Bluray player but only a handful of Bluray discs currently, so0 please forgive my ignorance in this matter!  ajb007/smile

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

So far I think they have done a great job with the Documentaries, interviews
Deleted scenes  and audition tapes in all the Bonds, DVD or bluray.  ajb007/cheers
Loads of very interesting stuff, in fact so much that I sometimes forget stuff
That I had known  ajb007/lol  if that makes sense.  ajb007/biggrin

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

Thunderpussy wrote:

So far I think they have done a great job with the Documentaries, interviews
Deleted scenes  and audition tapes in all the Bonds, DVD or bluray.  ajb007/cheers
Loads of very interesting stuff, in fact so much that I sometimes forget stuff
That I had known  ajb007/lol  if that makes sense.  ajb007/biggrin

Are there new documentaries on the Bond film Blurays would you say?

I have the Casino Royale Bluray Deluxe edition and it has a lot of new documentaries for instance.

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

I was wandering around the local British Heart Foundation earlier today and came across TB and YOLT on Laserdisk  ajb007/martini

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

AlphaOmegaSin wrote:

I was wandering around the local British Heart Foundation earlier today and came across TB and YOLT on Laserdisk  ajb007/martini

Was that a pre-DVD format? I've heard of it but that's about the height of it, AOS.

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

It was pre -DVD. The Disks were the same size as Vinyl Records and I beleave that they can go for rather high Prices now  ajb007/martini

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8B9QtAQ1_pE
I found this video about a guy and his collection of Bond laserdiscs.
Looking on Amazon there are a few about for around $9 or £5 or so.

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

200 Laserdisk Releases?  ajb007/insane

Ask nicely and I may buy you one TP  ajb007/wink

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Bond Bluray Film Club

ajb007/lol  I'm guessing the difficult part is trying to find a player.  ajb007/biggrin

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."