"She should have kept her mouth shut" - FRWL Appreciation & Discussion

edited June 2017 in Bond Movies Posts: 19,339
This film is at the moment tussling with CR for the #1 spot,but is there at the moment.
It has a certain 'feel' to it,a real Bondian espionage mission,with Connery's best performance,brilliant characterisation in Blofeld,Klebb,Kronsteen,Grant,Kerim Bey etc,the introduction of our Desmond as Q for the first time and the iconic Orient Express scenes from dining to the fight to the death.

What's there not to like about this film ? Personally i cant find a fault in it and wont go looking for one.

Any more FRWL love out there ? I'm expecting a lot peeps !!
«13

Comments

  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    It might not be everyone's favourite but it's arguably th best. The film just oozes cool, atmosphere and sex appeal. The characterisations, the dialogue. I love how Connery's wit and innuendo was handled with subtlety and class unlike a certain Irishman's 'cheese on toast' remarks....Barry's score, the characters and Tanya Romanova, damn, this film is just a classic.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe Still waiting for the Jena Malone Batwoman movie that's never going to be made.Moderator
    Posts: 11,557
    There really isn't anything wrong with FRWL, IMO. It's just that there are films in the cannon which I prefer. If that makes sense.
  • LudsLuds Moderator, Director
    edited March 2011 Posts: 1,973
    It's a film I really enjoy, just outside my top 5 according to my most recent ranking (dated 2006 pre-CR mind you) and I find that there's little not to love. Connery is absolutely fantastic in FRWL, no question about it. The story is brilliantly adapted, and the cast is fabulous. My favourite ally, Ali Kerim Bey plays a strong role and clearly, both Bond and he much respect for each other and the two actors had great chemistry. Grant is a solid henchman, possibly slightly overrated but still excellent. They couldn't have selected a better actor to portray him than Shaw. The movie has multiple classic sequences, such as the billboard mouth ad sequence, the gypsy camp fight, and the introduction of Blofeld. Perhaps it's weakness lies in its villains, Vladek Sheybal is pretty cool as Kronsteen but not very menacing, and I find that even though Lotte Lenya as Klebb was memorable, her physical confrontation with Bond was rather comical. Overall, the movie is more than strong and certainly always a pleasure to watch.
  • DB5DB5
    Posts: 408
    No question about it, FRWL is one of the best Bond films of all time. The reason is precisely because it is so unlike most of the later Bond films. It takes a while to develop, as all the details of Kronsteen's plan are put into place. It's not until two third of the way into the movie that Bond realizes exactly what is going on, how he's been played as a pawn in Kronsteen's game of chess. As others have mentioned, the John Barry score, including the 007 and James Bond themes. And the cast, Connery, Shaw, Lenya, Armenderaz, and the absolutely gorgeous Daniela Bianchi!
  • Posts: 4,731
    Yes indeed, barryt007! From Russia with Love is an iconic, worthy, excellent Bond movie! It's one of the first I saw, and it has always been a favorite. The fact that there isn't a whole lot of action doesn't even bother me, because the story is so compelling and entertaining that I never even think of when the next fight scene is.
  • edited July 2011 Posts: 11,175
    Cracking film. Glamorous, exciting and tense and also relitively faithful to Fleming's book. Connery is great as are Lotte Lenya, Anthoney Dawson and Robert Shaw. However IMO John Barry is the icing on the cake. His score really sets the mood for the rest of the film.
  • Posts: 4,731
    BAIN123 said:
    Cracking film. Glamorous, exciting and tense and also relitively faithful to Fleming's book. Connery is great as are Lotte Lenya, Anthoney Dawson and Robert Shaw. However IMO John Barry is the icing on the cake. His score really sets the mood for the rest of the film.

    Agreed about John Barry's score! I loved "007 Takes the Lektor" and "James Bond Theme with Bongos". Those were very impressive!
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,256
    For me, I think it always will be the best of all the Bond films. Yes, something of this class could be made again but I can't see EON even trying to match it.
  • Posts: 11,175
    For me its the 2nd best after GE (for personal reasons that's always been my favourite).
  • Posts: 4,731
    @Samuel001: You're right, EON could never match FRWL. However, they should at least try to follow the same pattern and style, at least if the future Bond movies want to be sensations!
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,231
    What I love about FRWL is the Ian Fleming cameo(besides what else was listed).
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,256
    What I love about FRWL is the Ian Fleming cameo(besides what else was listed).
    I don't believe that cameo was ever confirmed to be Fleming though it would be nice to think it's him.
  • Posts: 4,731
    @0BradyMoBondfanatic7: What Ian Fleming cameo? I've never heard of this.
  • Posts: 11,175
    There's a scene when the Orient express goes past and a man wearing a "white jumper" is seen next to the train track. That's rumoured to be Ian Fleming. I hope it is.
  • Posts: 4,731
    @BAIN123: Thanks for the clarification! I can't believe I've never heard of this. I'll have to give it a look!
  • While FRWL isn't my favourite Bond film (it's number 3) I would say I likely consider it the "best" one. And not just best "Bond film" but the one which is best as just a film, period.

    I heartily agree with everything said above. I had the honour to see a film print in a rep house a while ago and it looked absolutely stunning. The plot is wonderfully constructed (and complex) and the chess metaphor is brilliant. Bianchi is one of the loveliest women I've ever seen and the audience wasn't sure of her motivation or allegience until the very end - which was a great pleasure to watch.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    edited July 2011 Posts: 28,231
    Correct BAIN123, thanks for confirming that for them. If anyone wants a clear time, Fleming is supposedly the man with the cane in the field at 1hr 16min. It is likely him because he visited the sets quite frequently and had a cane because of his poor health at the time. He was dead before GF released after all.
  • Posts: 4,731
    I watched FRWL last night, and wow! So much better than the last time I watched it! It will most certainly move up in the ranks for me!
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 18,304
    Back in ’62, the folks at EON proved to be outstanding students. It had taken them but one film to figure out what worked and what needed rethinking of some sort.

    Connery is back and his confidence in the role seems greater than ever. The same year he does Marnie (literally and figuratively I suppose...), Connery gives us one of his very best performances as Bond ever. This is the film that demonstrates Bond’s talents as a spy and his skills as a survivor, assassin and clever strategist. Never bored or without some form of a challenge, never clumsy or arrogant but always surprisingly cool yet with a sixth sense, picking up threats and danger wherever he goes, Connery’s Bond in this film makes every man jealous. Granted, he has someone watching over him during the second act, but we need those few moments because they give Spectra extra credit as a powerful adversary for Bond.

    How often indeed does the enemy feel like a force to be reckoned with? How often do you feel like there’s genuine danger involved? In this film, you do. Spectre’s careful planning and meticulous execution overshadow Bond’s exotic adventure. The game is played with lethal moves and treacherous pawns. FRWL benefits tremendously from this. For once we’re dealing with villains you can actually fear. For once we’re dealing with people who command respect because they swirl Bond from one deception into the other, amidst the fierce political and ethnic tensions that exist behind the iron curtain. While so many villains to come are laughable at best, FRWL takes some of the series’ most iconic and thus also most parodied nemeses and turns them into anything but a joke. For this reason alone, FRWL is one of the very best Bond films ever made.

    And there’s even a female villain… a lesbian no less. Kicking against the establishment was one of the things that gave the Bond film their sexiness back in the day. What’s more, the villain isn’t a hot woman, like most of the others from the series. Klebb is portrayed as a woman of little beauty but then, we have Daniela Bianchi, a Hitchcockian blonde, to fill that position. Gorgeous and elegant, she’s a fine addition to the pantheon of Bond girls, replacing Honey’s sexiness with a much more prominent importance to the film’s story.

    Let us also consider Peter Hunt’s wonderful editing and his finest contribution to the series: the PTS. What better way to begin a Bond film than with the gun barrel, a little adventure preceding the actual film and then the amazing opening titles. Speaking of which, while Maurice Binder is often credited as the man who gave us those sensual silhouettes of naked women and the amazingly creative artwork that turn the OT into special experiences of their own, it was actually Robert Brownjohn who came up with the enlightened idea to project the titles on a belly dancer’s well-shaped body. I find this man too often overlooked by critics. Back to Hunt though, with extra gasps of amazement for his brilliant editing of the infamous train fight, which stands in my book as the best man-to-man fight ever showed on film. Ted Moore’s cinematography is of course instrumental in giving the film its charming, exotic vibes.

    Last, but not least, there’s John Barry, the man with the golden touch. Here we arrive at the clearest result of the rethinking I talked about in my opening paragraph. Listen to DN’s score. Then listen to the score for FRWL. The rise in quality reaches vertical slope – it’s that impressive. What a theme song! I’m in fact much more impressed by the instrumental version than by Matt Monroe’s contribution. The way the composition segues into the Bond Theme as Barry’s name is centred on screen, sends a cold chill down my spine each time again. It has the power of a prayer. Along with the fabulous 007 Theme and Barry’s confident use – not overuse! – of the Bond Theme, this score presents one of the golden gems in the Bond legacy. Adding seasoning to an already tasty dish, Barry’s music for FRWL cemented his pivotal role in the creation of the legendary and unmatched sound of Bond.

    All things combined, FRWL nears perfection in every respect. Being only the second Bond film, it is outstanding in each art form present. People may call a film this old ‘boring’, ‘unwatchable’, ‘unpleasant’ or even downright ‘outdated’. They know not of what they speak. FRWL is my go-to reference when anyone gets irrationally critical of films from the old days. FRWL has stood the test of time far better than AVATAR or TRANSFORMERS ever will. Relying on skill, rather than on unethically large budgets, on real artists, rather than on computers, on one of Flemings best stories ever, rather than on cliché driven scripts with a level of predictability that exceeds my home cooking and plot holes one can fly the Millennium Falcon through, FRWL is an unparalleled work of art. It oozes 007 from start to finish, it immerses us in two of James Bond’s finest hours. This film redefined the spy genre, it lifted Connery’s Bond to immortality. This is the quintessential Bond film and my love for it cannot be disputed. A toast, to one of the best Bond films ever.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,231
    Just got done reliving the joy. What can be said that hasn't already been noted? It's no secret that the film is one of the best. The first appearance of the Bond theme in the opening, an amazing PTS and theme to start the film. Great plot, villains, and a Bond girl you never knew if you could trust. The beautiful setting of Turkey, an amazing set of pieces on the Orient Express including Bond and Grant fighting to the death. The first appearance of Q, who wasn't even Q yet. The real fun with him started in GF. Great pieces that took away from the mission: Bond debugging his room, then moving to the bridal suite, a gypsy dance followed by a gypsy fight, romancing Tatiana for measure. A very character motivated film, with great FOILS in a faceless Blofeld, Klebb and Kronsteen. Allies to amaze us like M, Moneypenny, Kerim, and a brief and last appearance of Sylvia Trench. A great last twenty minutes, where it seems that Klebb is going to be killed, but Kronsteen bites it. Bond faces Klebb with a chair and Tatiana silences the SPECTRE agent for good. And one of the greatest Bond endings, showing Bond throwing his sex tape into the waterways of Venice. All in all, FRWL is one of the best, not only in the Connery years but for the whole franchise.
  • This one was my father's personal favorite, and one of my wife's as well, and has been a top 5 for me for many years. Recently I got to see the Blu-Ray edition while acting in a commercial that is being submitted to Doritos, and it looked even better than it always has. A true classic and not much more I could say in praise that others haven't. Except I'd disagree about the music. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but Barry didn't yet have the "Bond sound" down like he would in 1964. It's certainly a step up from Dr. No, which I consider a top 10 film, both in style (more detective in DN and more spy in FRWL) and music.

    Speaking of 1964, that was when Marnie was at least released so I'm guessing Dimi must mean Sir Sean actually filmed it in 1963. I always think of GF when I think of Marnie.
  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,691
    This is my favourite Bond film and therefore one of my favorite films of all time. It is near flawless to me and you can't really say that about many other Bond ones. (as much as I love Goldfinger I could poke holes in it all day!) FRWL has the best atmosphere. The idea that Bond is being outmaneuvered and we can see it all but he can't is brilliantly executed. The entire train sequence gets the hairs standing on end with the foreboding tension of Grant finally interacting with 007 and their face off is as good as any in the series. (aided by two great actors in Shaw and Connery - and they're both so physical as well.) Terence Young is actually my favorite Bond director. I really wish they'd brought him back for something like Diamonds Are Forever (or kept with Peter Hunt and changed the tone back...but that's a different discussion!) overall I love the balance between cold war style espionage and Bond 60s cool. And while i enjoy all the bond films in their evolving styles (and i recognise how vital Moore's OTT adventures were in keeping the franchise alive.) I cannot speak highly enough of this gem. It is the film by which I measure each new Bond film by.
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    DarthDimi wrote:
    Back in ’62, the folks at EON proved to be outstanding students. It had taken them but one film to figure out what worked and what needed rethinking of some sort.

    Connery is back and his confidence in the role seems greater than ever. The same year he does Marnie (literally and figuratively I suppose...), Connery gives us one of his very best performances as Bond ever. This is the film that demonstrates Bond’s talents as a spy and his skills as a survivor, assassin and clever strategist. Never bored or without some form of a challenge, never clumsy or arrogant but always surprisingly cool yet with a sixth sense, picking up threats and danger wherever he goes, Connery’s Bond in this film makes every man jealous. Granted, he has someone watching over him during the second act, but we need those few moments because they give Spectra extra credit as a powerful adversary for Bond.

    How often indeed does the enemy feel like a force to be reckoned with? How often do you feel like there’s genuine danger involved? In this film, you do. Spectre’s careful planning and meticulous execution overshadow Bond’s exotic adventure. The game is played with lethal moves and treacherous pawns. FRWL benefits tremendously from this. For once we’re dealing with villains you can actually fear. For once we’re dealing with people who command respect because they swirl Bond from one deception into the other, amidst the fierce political and ethnic tensions that exist behind the iron curtain. While so many villains to come are laughable at best, FRWL takes some of the series’ most iconic and thus also most parodied nemeses and turns them into anything but a joke. For this reason alone, FRWL is one of the very best Bond films ever made.

    And there’s even a female villain… a lesbian no less. Kicking against the establishment was one of the things that gave the Bond film their sexiness back in the day. What’s more, the villain isn’t a hot woman, like most of the others from the series. Klebb is portrayed as a woman of little beauty but then, we have Daniela Bianchi, a Hitchcockian blonde, to fill that position. Gorgeous and elegant, she’s a fine addition to the pantheon of Bond girls, replacing Honey’s sexiness with a much more prominent importance to the film’s story.

    Let us also consider Peter Hunt’s wonderful editing and his finest contribution to the series: the PTS. What better way to begin a Bond film than with the gun barrel, a little adventure preceding the actual film and then the amazing opening titles. Speaking of which, while Maurice Binder is often credited as the man who gave us those sensual silhouettes of naked women and the amazingly creative artwork that turn the OT into special experiences of their own, it was actually Robert Brownjohn who came up with the enlightened idea to project the titles on a belly dancer’s well-shaped body. I find this man too often overlooked by critics. Back to Hunt though, with extra gasps of amazement for his brilliant editing of the infamous train fight, which stands in my book as the best man-to-man fight ever showed on film. Ted Moore’s cinematography is of course instrumental in giving the film its charming, exotic vibes.

    Last, but not least, there’s John Barry, the man with the golden touch. Here we arrive at the clearest result of the rethinking I talked about in my opening paragraph. Listen to DN’s score. Then listen to the score for FRWL. The rise in quality reaches vertical slope – it’s that impressive. What a theme song! I’m in fact much more impressed by the instrumental version than by Matt Monroe’s contribution. The way the composition segues into the Bond Theme as Barry’s name is centred on screen, sends a cold chill down my spine each time again. It has the power of a prayer. Along with the fabulous 007 Theme and Barry’s confident use – not overuse! – of the Bond Theme, this score presents one of the golden gems in the Bond legacy. Adding seasoning to an already tasty dish, Barry’s music for FRWL cemented his pivotal role in the creation of the legendary and unmatched sound of Bond.

    All things combined, FRWL nears perfection in every respect. Being only the second Bond film, it is outstanding in each art form present. People may call a film this old ‘boring’, ‘unwatchable’, ‘unpleasant’ or even downright ‘outdated’. They know not of what they speak. FRWL is my go-to reference when anyone gets irrationally critical of films from the old days. FRWL has stood the test of time far better than AVATAR or TRANSFORMERS ever will. Relying on skill, rather than on unethically large budgets, on real artists, rather than on computers, on one of Flemings best stories ever, rather than on cliché driven scripts with a level of predictability that exceeds my home cooking and plot holes one can fly the Millennium Falcon through, FRWL is an unparalleled work of art. It oozes 007 from start to finish, it immerses us in two of James Bond’s finest hours. This film redefined the spy genre, it lifted Connery’s Bond to immortality. This is the quintessential Bond film and my love for it cannot be disputed. A toast, to one of the best Bond films ever.

    beer-cheers-toasting.jpg
  • Posts: 19,339
    This film always battles for the #1 spot on my ratings ,along with OHMSS and CR ..no other film comes close to these 3.

    As we were saying on the other thread,from the moment Bond and Tatiana board the Orient Express,until the moment they leave it,for me,its one of the best sequences in the whole Bond series of films.
  • Posts: 11,175
    FRWL is the only film I think is pretty much perfect.
  • Posts: 19,339
    I agree...its hard to fault it...maybe some of the gypsy fight ? but that's being picky.
  • NSGWNSGW London
    Posts: 299
    Its always been in my top 5 but on last revisit its taken the top spot I'm pleased to say. Amazing how well it holds up, everything about it works so well and the dialogue is top notch. My favourite line might just be 'I'm not mad about his tailor, are you?' Does anyone have a particular quote that stands out for them? There's so many great ones to choose from.
  • Posts: 19,339
    When Bond pushes the guy off the boat saying "just isn't your day is it ?"...

    I use that quote all the time when something happens to someone in real life,saying it the same way ConneryBond does haha !!
  • NSGWNSGW London
    Posts: 299
    Thats a great one, I would enjoy using on a daily basis.

    James Bond: Pardon me, do you have a match?
    Kerim's Chauffeur: I use a lighter.
    James Bond: Better still.
    Kerim's Chauffeur: Until they go wrong.
    James Bond: Exactly.

    I still need to find someone who would respond appropriately if I asked them for a match...
  • edited March 2017 Posts: 19,339
    Hahaha you might find someone in here,but in the big wide world,i don't think so matey.
    And don't forget,the chauffeur is another one of Kerim's many sons !!
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