From Russia With Love

(GB, 1963, 115 mins, DCP)
CAST Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Lotte Lenya, Daniela Bianchi, Bernard Lee, Pedro Armendariz, Lois Maxwell
Introduced by Bond expert Murray Gillespie


When MI6 gets a chance to get their hands on a Lektor decoder, Bond is sent to Turkey to seduce the beautiful Tatiana, and bring back the machine. With the help of Kerim Bey, Bond escapes on the Orient Express, but might not make it off alive.

Although producer Cubby Broccoli has said it refined what a Bond movie is, From Russia with Love is in many ways a grittier, more muscular thriller than Dr No and most of the films that followed. Working with twice the budget of Dr No, Terence Young established a more visceral edge, rooting in the movie in its principal Istanbul location and making the most of the way SPECTRE plays off Cold War enemies Russia and Great Britain in the cunning plot. The villains are a particularly memorable crew, with Lotte Lenya as Rosa Kleb ("number three"), a blond Robert Shaw as her muscular assassin, and the anonymous ’?’ as cat-loving "number one" (aka Blofeld). The highlight? Probably the brutal fight in a sleeping car compartment on a trans-europe express.

"Highly immoral in every imaginable way; it is neither uplifting, instructive nor life-enhancing. Neither is it great film-making. But it sure is fun." Richard Roud, The Guardian (1963)