Bond v0.2 - From Russia with Love
From Russia with Love
True to my word, part two of the legacy has been consumed, digested, and now is to be recycled for the world wide web to read (or not as the case may be!). Once more, I sat down last night with “the gang” to be thoroughly engrossed by the spectacle that is the original Bond. This time round of course, it was the legendary film, From Russia with Love. Although not too far removed from the earlier Dr. No, it’s plain to see that this is a much more developed film, and in many ways, a lot more mature.
Mature may seem a little out of place with the Bond franchise, but it applies here. Whereas Dr. No was much like a detective film, with some action thrown in, From Russia is much more of an action/spy thriller. We also see the first introduction of both “Q” and his gadgets. While not the fiction we see later, these seem to be plausable tools of the trade. A briefcase with hidden compartments/weapons/currency and a booby trap to boot! Lo and behold it’s this last feature that saves the day - what a co-incidence!
I am of course being a little too critical here. The cliche of ”the-Bond-gadget-saving-the-day” is only in it’s infancy here; and hell, it’s got to start somewhere! Unfortunately we missed out on the stylish feature of Felix Lighter’s wonderful and oh-so-sixties horn rimmed sunglasses - but this time we were treated instead to the latest in appalling fashion with the coke-bottom bottle glasses, paraded by the evil hench woman, Rosa Klebb - who has been forever immortalised as Frau Farbissina in Austin Powers! She truly is a hideous old woman! Just checking her IMDB profile shows that she was born in 1898!!! That’s something you don’t see in the latest blockbusters…
Anyway - back on track.
Music… John Barry, legendary composer of Bond, Midnight Cowboy and many more - along with many many more. He was really onto a good thing with Bond. Uncredited for his work with Dr. No, he gets front billing for his work in From Russia. Part of what makes Bond Bond, is the overall style, and the music is a very important part of this. From the title tracks, to the quiet mood building music, it really helps to cement the title as a legendary piece of cinema. Having said that, it’s quite interesting to see how it’s not only used, but also abused. There’s a quiet scene where Bond checks into a hotel room, and while doing the typical spy thing of checking behind paintings, in light fixtures, and testing the phone for taps… the subtle mood music builds to a wild crescendo… while he’s essentially putting his clothes away! Somewhat overuse of a good thing??
A great story, well told with plenty of action, romance, worldy sights, and Bond wisecracks. All up, it’s a great film, and does well to develop from where Dr. No left off. It positively embellishes the good, and subtly erases the not-so-good of the old. This really is a case of a sequel being greater than the original. Although, given the limited budget, and unknown waters they were straying into with Dr. No, it’s no surprise they’ve taken some further “risks” to make the film that much more enjoyable.
James Bond will return in… Goldfinger
Thanks for reading!