9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A near-masterpiece from the Golden Age of Bond films . . .,
This review is from: From Russia With Love [DVD] (DVD)
From Russia With Love remains one of the greatest of all Bond movies, in my view eclipsed only by Goldfinger. We are only second in what would prove to be an enduring series (recently added to by the twentieth and latest offering, Die Another Day) so the movie remains relatively true to Ian Fleming's original vision. Fleming died suddenly in 1964, the year after FRWL, and thereafter the film Bond diverged more and more widely from the quite brilliant novels, but here we have a comparatively faithful rendition of the book. You don't have to be a Bond purist to be one of the millions who regard Sean Connery, with his brooding undercurrent of genuine strength and menace not to say brutality, as the definitive Bond, and the late lamented Robert Shaw (here muscle-bound and peroxide blond of hair) makes a splendidly evil villain in the shape of Donovan 'Red' Grant (marvellously malevolent but still toned-down from the homicidal Northern Irish psychopath depicted in the book). As other reviewers have observed, the luscious Daniela Bianchi was surely one of the sexiest in a long line of Bond girls, so, in short, magnificent characters brilliantly played all round in magnificent sets, Istanbul in particular. Add on a tuneful title song from the velvet-voiced Matt Monro and the greatest fight sequence ever filmed (Connery and Shaw hurl themselves at each other on the train with jaw-droppingly realistic savagery) and you have Bond (almost---see above) at his very best. Buy film in format of your choice: watch: repeat regularly.