The second James Bond movie, “From Russia With Love,” gets the ball rolling with regard to what we expect of a James Bond movie: the gadgets, the henchman, and more elaborate, action sequences.  “FRWL” has Sean Connery — as Bond, James Bond — teaming up with a female, Russian agent in order to steal a Russian, decoding device (and I’m not talking about some cheap, piece of plastic that tells you to drink more Ovaltine).  Unknown to Connery and the Russian chick, SPECTRE is behind the plans to have Connery and the Russian chick steal the decoder so that SPECTRE can steal it from them.

Shadowing Connery is Robert Shaw (yeah, that same, abrasive fisherman from “Jaws”), who plays the henchman SPECTRE uses to make sure the decoder eventually gets into their evil hands.  An early scene with Shaw is one of my memorable, movie moments of “FRWL.”  A high-ranking, female (and possibly lesbian) SPECTRE agent played by Lotte Lenya is assessing the fitness of Shaw.  She puts on brass knuckles on one of her hands, then hits Shaw in the midsection.  Shaw barely reacts, and Lotte scurries off saying something like, “He’s fit enough.”  What the hell!  I would’ve been like, “I’m no longer fit because you hit my liver with brass knuckles, b@#*h!”

Another memorable, movie moment of “From Russia With Love” is the scene when Lotte is interviewing the Russian chick for the assignment of seducing Connery in order to get him to help steal the decoding machine.  Lotte clearly shows her sexual desire for the Russian chick by touching her leg and caressing other body parts.  I was very surprised to see this in a movie that was made in 1963; about as surprising as seeing a NYC, DMV worker without an attitude.

The number one, most memorable, movie moment of “From Russia With Love” is the introduction of Q, the man who gives James Bond all the gadgets that will give him the edge over his enemies.  The scene takes place with little fanfare: Q introduces Connery to the briefcase gadget (hidden throwing knife, tear gas surprise, gold coins, an AR-7 rifle that collapses in its own stock, and cartridges for the rifle) while inside M’s office.  Although Q’s explanation of the briefcase gadget is as boring as someone reading the ingredients of a Yoplait yogurt, it is still very exciting to see how it all started!

So for those of you James Bond fans, this is a movie that you should watch again if you haven’t watched it in many years, because it’s the one that puts the Bond movies in the direction that it took for the next 5 decades.

M

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