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Non-Review Review: From Russia With Love

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

Dr. No demonstrated that Ian Fleming’s suave British secret agent could make it to screen. Sean Connery’s James Bond was on the pop culture map, but perhaps just short of becoming a pop culture icon – that was a sequel or two away. Of course, a second movie was pushed into development, with a rich library of Fleming’s novels to adapt – as faithfully or as loosely as the producers might like. When President Kennedy, one of the other “coolest men of the sixties”, announced that From Russia With Love was his ninth favourite novel of all time, it seemed th choice had been made. Rumour has it that Alfred Hitchcock was at one point intended to direct the film, but Terrence Young’s From Russia With Love is still a wonderfully iconic Bond film, which represents a pretty large step from “an entertaining espionage movie” to “globe-spanning spy franchise”.

Bond was already making a splash at this stage of his career...

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