From Russia with Love (1963)

This James Bond film starring Sean Connery as 007, finds Bond being thrown together with a beautiful Russian agent in an attempt to steal a Lektor coding device which the woman is willing to take from the Soviets. It began as an obvious trap for Bond but he gathers his briefcase and heads to Istanbul. There he is assisted by Kerim Bey who helps him spy on the Russians, hides him with a group of gypsies, and after escaping he knocks off a Russian agent. There is a small mishap at the hagia Sophia but the infiltration goes as planned and they escape with the Lektor aboard a train. Little do they know what danger they are in and all too soon Bond is fighting for his life against a trained assassin. Only then does he realize the British and Soviets had been manipulated by SPECTRE. Before they can get away completely Bond must stave off a helicopter and a fleet of SPECTRE speed boats. Finally in Venice it looks like Romanova has gotten the best of 007 and yet together they fend off a foe with deadly kicks. All that is left to do is a romantic gondola ride after a job well done. This film has the combo of action and romance that has become the expectation for Bond movies. The supporting cast includes Daniela Bianchi, Robert Shaw, and Pedro Armendariz.

4/5 Stars

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