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From Russia with Love (1963 | Sean Connery, Robert Shaw)

Arguably the best ever Bond film. The script is tight and witty, the baddies are unforgettably bad – their evil scheme is the brain child of a chess grand-master, one of them uses her shoe to stab people – and Sean Connery is Bond.
The second of the James Bond films and the one where the series really got into its stride, thanks to expert plotting and Young’s tight direction.
Connery was by now firmly ensconced as Ian Fleming’s agent 007, sent to Istanbul to steal a Russian decoder with the help of a turncoat secretary (Bianchi), unaware that the entire plot has been engineered by the shadowy organization SPECTRE to undermine East-West relations. Equally memorable are Bond’s adversaries, the diminutive spymaster Rosa Klebb (Lenya) and the hulking, ice-cold Soviet assassin Red Grant (Shaw).
Next up was the classic Goldfinger, before things got too weighed down by gags and gimmicks.
Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one. – Blofeld

Sean Connery as James Bond
Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana “Tanja” Romanova
Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb
Bernard Lee as M
Desmond Llewelyn as Q
Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
Pedro Armendáriz as Ali Kerim Bey
Robert Shaw as Donovan ‘Red’ Grant
Vladek Sheybal as Kronsteen
Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench
Walter Gotell as Morzeny
Francis de Wolff as Vavra
Nadja Regin as Kerim’s Girl
Aliza Gur as Vida
George Pastell as Train Conductor
Martine Beswick as Zora
Jan Williams as Masseuse
Peter Madden as McAdams
Anthony Dawson as Ernst Blofeld
Hasan Ceylan as Foreign Agent
Neville Jason as Kerim’s Chauffeur
Peter Bayliss as Benz
Nusret Ataer as Mehmet
Peter Brayham as Rhoda
Julie Mendez as Girl Dancing During Opening Titles
Bill Brandon as Gypsy (uncredited)
Moris Farhi as Gypsy (uncredited)
Alf Mangan as Gypsy (uncredited)
Dido Plumb as Gypsy (uncredited)
Ernie Rice as Gypsy (uncredited)
Fred Wood as Gypsy (uncredited)
Andre Charisse as Hotel Concierge (uncredited)
Hugo de Vernier as Hotel Porter (uncredited)
Victor Harrington as Chess Tournament Spectator (uncredited)
Aileen Lewis as Chess Tournament Spectator (uncredited)
Barbara Jefford as Tatiana Romanova (voice) (uncredited)
Jim O’Brady as Krilencu’s Henchman (uncredited)
Eric Pohlmann as Ernst Stavro Blofeld (voice) (uncredited)
Bob Simmons as James Bond in Gunbarrel Sequence (uncredited)
Gordon Sterne as SPECTRE Helicopter Pilot (uncredited)
Nikki Van der Zyl as Sylvia Trench / Receptionist (voice) (uncredited)
Pat Ryan as Naval Officer Listening to Bond’s Tape (uncredited)
Michael Culver as Man in a Punt (uncredited)
Elizabeth Counsell as Woman in a Punt (uncredited)
Bedri Çavusoglu as Police (uncredited)
Director: Terence Young
Producers: Harry Saltzman, Albert R Broccoli
Writers: Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood
Photographer: Ted Moore
Composer: John Barry
UK | 115 minutes | 1963

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