From Russia with Love (1963)

from russia with love poster 1963 movie james bond
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Classic Bond

Gets a little long at the end

Movie Info

Movie Name:  From Russia with Love

Studio:  Eon Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  October 10, 1963 (UK)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


The Iron Curtain heats up!

SPECTRE has a plan.  They are setting the Russians off against the British by setting up James Bond (Sean Connery) into believing there is a potential Soviet defector named Tatiana Romanove (Daniela Bianchi) willing to give up a coveted Lektor.  Traveling to Istanbul, Bond is aided by Ali Kerim Bey (Pedro Armendáriz) in a quest make first contact with Tatiana and get her out of the country.  Unfortunately, Tatiana thinks she is still working for SMERSH and both James and Tatiana are being hunted by a SPECTRE hitman named Donald “Red” Grant (Robert Shaw) who is out to silence them both!

Directed by Terence Young, From Russia with Love adapts Ian Fleming’s 1957 spy novel.  The second film in the James Bond series, From Russia with Love followed Doctor No in 1962 and was a bigger hit than the previous film.  Matt Monro performs the title track “From Russia with Love”.  The movie was adapted into a video game in 2005.


I’ve taken on shark! You’re no match for me!

James Bond is cool calm and collected and this is one of his best adventures.  The movie has everything you’d expect from a Bond film and it is the film that introduced a lot of what is now considered Bond cliches.  If you’ve seen any of the parody films like Austin Powers, most of the ideas for these films came from From Russia with Love (combined with Goldfinger and Thunderball).

The story of From Russia with Love is a lot closer to the source material than other Bond films.  The movie has an odd beginning with the true James Bond not showing up until about twenty minutes into the film.  The movie is full of espionage and battles, but I find it drags a bit in the end after the escape from the train despite the helicopter and boat chase.


I’m gunning for you, Bond!

Connery is still the quintessential Bond.  He has that charm but believable toughness that a lot of the Bonds didn’t possess.  He’s joined by the charming Daniela Bianchi as his “Bond woman” (Bianchi was voiced by Barbara Jefford).  The movie introduces Desmond Llewelyn as weapons expert Q (who appeared in Bond films until The World Is Not Enough in 1999).  The movie also introduces Blofeld (played by Anthony Dawson and voiced by Eric Pohlmann).  Pedro Armendáriz was dying as he portrayed Ali Kerim and the limp his character sometime has is the cancer that was killing him (Terrance Young had to stand in for him in a few scenes).  Walter Gotell makes his 007 premiere as an agent of SPECTRE before returning later as Gogol.  The stand-out of the movie is Robert Shaw as the suave assassin that actually gets the best of Bond a few times.


I’ll light you up!

The movie is sleek and good looking.  I recommend all the early Bonds in HD because the cleaned-up versions of the film are so much better and alive than versions you’ve seen over the years.  The great locations and imagery also are aided by the clean transfers.

From Russia with Love is one of the more important James Bond film in that it establishes a lot of what James Bond “is”.  The movie sets up SPECTRE, the opening sequences, Q, Blofeld, and other things you’ve come to expect from Bond.  It is one of the essential James Bond films.  From Russia with Love was followed by Goldfinger in 1964.

Preceded By:

Doctor No (1962)

Followed By:

Goldfinger (1964)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response