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

2

Comments

  • NSGWNSGW London
    edited March 2017 Posts: 299
    But of course, all of his key employees are his sons.

    Thinking about it Kerim Bey is probably my favourite Bond ally, and I have much respect for the actor knowing his health problems during filming.
  • Posts: 19,339
    Indeed...you wouldn't know he was dying,to look at the way he acted.
    True professional.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,231
    Ouch, I've been rereading some of my comments on this film from five or so years back. How pedestrian! (Sorry, past self)

    Just yesterday I posted my love letter to FRWL on my blog:

    https://fortressoffleming.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/a-fortress-of-fleming-review-from-russia-with-love-1963/

    The review represents my unabridged and comprehensive feelings on this very special film at this point in time and the genius that jam packs it. It's so superlative, and one of the movies I will always bring up when arguing for why the Bond films are pieces of art.
    barryt007 wrote: »
    Indeed...you wouldn't know he was dying,to look at the way he acted.
    True professional.

    Pedro was a class act. I take a moment to address his health and legacy in my review, as it's a very powerful story. You'd never know he was sick while watching the film, and even when facing death he remains one of Bond's cheeriest and warm allies to this day. Truly amazing.
  • JamesBondKenyaJamesBondKenya Danny Boyle laughs to himself
    Posts: 2,588
    Yeah the way he captured the character but yet Made it his own was incredible , his vigor and life, shame he died in real life
  • Posts: 19,339
    He is an ally I like very much,along with Draco and Mathis really.
  • Posts: 19,339
    Bog off GF,this is arguably Connery's best performance ,alongside TB !! ;)
  • Posts: 13,195
    barryt007 wrote: »
    Bog off GF,this is arguably Connery's best performance ,alongside TB !! ;)

    Both in my top 3!
  • Posts: 1,143
    Funny how perceptions change. When I was younger, FRWL was among the least of the Bonds films I was interested in and in the past few years it's the Bond that has risen the most.

    There's something still pure about the FRWL before GF set the template for the films that followed.
  • JamesBondKenyaJamesBondKenya Danny Boyle laughs to himself
    Posts: 2,588
    BT3366 wrote: »
    Funny how perceptions change. When I was younger, FRWL was among the least of the Bonds films I was interested in and in the past few years it's the Bond that has risen the most.

    There's something still pure about the FRWL before GF set the template for the films that followed.

    When I was like maybe 11 FRWL was in like 17th place or something insane. And about 1.5-2 years ago it raised to #2 and is on par with CR for the title of Best bond film
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,231
    BT3366 wrote: »
    Funny how perceptions change. When I was younger, FRWL was among the least of the Bonds films I was interested in and in the past few years it's the Bond that has risen the most.

    There's something still pure about the FRWL before GF set the template for the films that followed.

    I think FRWL has a depth to it, and, really, a very adult subtext to it that I think kids miss. When we're young we usually like the big action Bond films because spectacle is easy for the mind to comprehend, it's kinetic, visceral movement in front of us that gets the excitement going.

    It takes a more grown mind and maturity to appreciate Bond films that are more cerebral or that are more subtle in what they do, however. Kids could enjoy the gypsy raid or helicopter and boat finale of FRWL fine, but the sexual subtext, the geopolitical content, the slow burn cat and mouse game between Bond and Grant, the hot and cold dynamic of Tatiana and her struggle to choose between Klebb and Bond and many other aspects of the film are harder to grasp while young because they require minds that dig beneath the images to find meaning.

    I think I was about 15 when I saw FRWL, so I was already of the mind to appreciate it, and it was love at first sight. But I think trying to watch it much younger may've been harder, as I wasn't yet grown enough to appreciate all the best things about it and I would've been unable to look behind spectacle to see the craft and meaning in it.
  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,689
    There is something tonally perfect that FRWL nails. Much of this is down to Young's direction and all three of his films were in this vein. As bombastic as TB is it also has danger and never dipped into out and out humour the way GF did. I think DN, FRWL and TB have danger all over them. FRWL and DN are my two favourite Connery performances. He is lethal and all business and FRWL has a seductive, exotic quality. I remember being an impressionable thirteen year old and seeing it thinking - this is just about the coolest thing I've seen. I read the book at this time too and both are my favourite Bond film and favourite Bond novel.

    The film has Bond off screen for so long. If you don't count him as the real bond in the PTS then he is off screen for nearly 18 minutes until he first appears with Sylvia Trench. During this time we get wonderful scene after each other. Kronsteen's chess match and the spectre call beneath the glass (even something as simple as that I thought was intriguing and cool as a kid!), Blofeld meeting, Klebb meeting Grant and Spectre Island training camp and then Tania's introduction with the sinister and suggestive Klebb meeting. I think this sequence is important because it is all narrative driven and reveals the characters Kronsteen, Grant, Tania and Klebb for the audience. It also reflects the bisection of the novel from villain set up (and the awesomely crazy Grant backstory) to Bond entering the adventure.

    I think the setup also helps in being invested in the villain's plan - almost like a Hitchcockian effect - similar to Psycho where Norman Bates cleaning up the crime scene makes you empathise with him as the car stops sinking in the swamp for a moment and then the relief as it continues its descent. There's almost a perverse quality to being privy to Grant's shadowing of Bond - saving him at the gypsy camp, killing the Bulgarian, shadowing Bond on the train, killing the real Nash and then finally talking. It is masterful and the kind development and effectiveness that elevates Grant above any of the Bond 'henchman' for me.
  • Posts: 1,143
    There is something tonally perfect that FRWL nails. Much of this is down to Young's direction and all three of his films were in this vein. As bombastic as TB is it also has danger and never dipped into out and out humour the way GF did. I think DN, FRWL and TB have danger all over them. FRWL and DN are my two favourite Connery performances. He is lethal and all business and FRWL has a seductive, exotic quality. I remember being an impressionable thirteen year old and seeing it thinking - this is just about the coolest thing I've seen. I read the book at this time too and both are my favourite Bond film and favourite Bond novel.

    The film has Bond off screen for so long. If you don't count him as the real bond in the PTS then he is off screen for nearly 18 minutes until he first appears with Sylvia Trench. During this time we get wonderful scene after each other. Kronsteen's chess match and the spectre call beneath the glass (even something as simple as that I thought was intriguing and cool as a kid!), Blofeld meeting, Klebb meeting Grant and Spectre Island training camp and then Tania's introduction with the sinister and suggestive Klebb meeting. I think this sequence is important because it is all narrative driven and reveals the characters Kronsteen, Grant, Tania and Klebb for the audience. It also reflects the bisection of the novel from villain set up (and the awesomely crazy Grant backstory) to Bond entering the adventure.

    I think the setup also helps in being invested in the villain's plan - almost like a Hitchcockian effect - similar to Psycho where Norman Bates cleaning up the crime scene makes you empathise with him as the car stops sinking in the swamp for a moment and then the relief as it continues its descent. There's almost a perverse quality to being privy to Grant's shadowing of Bond - saving him at the gypsy camp, killing the Bulgarian, shadowing Bond on the train, killing the real Nash and then finally talking. It is masterful and the kind development and effectiveness that elevates Grant above any of the Bond 'henchman' for me.
    Really enjoy your take here, Major.

    I never really thought about the Bond being offscreen for so long in the film. It's a nice nod to the novel. I recall kind of dreading reading it the first time, fearing so many pages without Bond would be a slog, but I found it involving.

    I also thought about how more of Grant's background could've been in the film, it's really unsettling. But I think Young made the right decision presenting him as he did. Grant is still my favorite henchman in the series as well. Jaws and Oddjob may be huge and overwhelming, but Grant really gives that angel of death vibe. I don't think this will ever be replicated in the films again.


  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,231
    Very much agree with what you said, @Major_Boothroyd. We will never see another Bond film ballsy enough to leave 007 out of the action for 17 minutes like FRWL does, but boy does Sean make up for it when he arrives.

    I agree that the opening, shifting from Kronsteen to Klebb to Blofeld and everyone else involved in the Spektor plot does a brilliant job of crafting the web Bond will be ensnared in, and though we know the plan it's impossible not to be gripped by it. On top of this, Bond and M's meeting is juxtaposed with the earlier one with Klebb and Tatiana, as the spy and girl get acquainted with each other only through photographs, though the tension of Tatiana's meeting really makes it stand out sharply from M's briefing.


    I think one of the greatest strengths of the film, and what the book lacks for structure and pacing's sake, is the ability to shadow Grant and follow him as he does his thing in Istanbul. I love the creepy and ominous backstory to the character in the novel and how he's built up as this wereman, but I feel he's a wasted character because the way the story was set up we lose track of Grant right after he takes the mission and we never hear of him again until he's about to die. For all the lead up to him being Bond's enemy, the symbol of England he wants to destroy, it all feels very anticlimactic because I never feel the novel is leading to a face-off between them (and even the fight itself is rather poor and over before you know it).

    Where the film improves, however, is in its ability not to be glued to Bond's perspective as Fleming was forced to. Instead we can take a small break from Bond to see Grant orchestrating his plan, manipulating the Turks and Bulgars and watching Bond from the shadows. Because we get these shots and see Grant forming his plan and moving Bond like a chess piece after every major moment in the plot (framing Kerim for the Bulgar death/protecting Bond at the camp/making sure Bond gets the map of the consulate/killing Nash and taking his place/getting Bond dead to rights on his knees) we're with him every step of the way and in effect, the film actually feels like it's building to Bond and Grant's final brutal face-off. That section of the film on the train takes its time and is a slow burn as we watch Bond and Grant play off each other, and nothing feels right. It's only a question of when things will get undone, and the ultimate pay off in the fight is like an ecstatic release. Just explosive, and Sean and Shaw are perfectly riveting to watch. Grant makes my damn skin crawl, especially when he gives Bond that sick smile.


    I may be in the minority here, as it's often named one of the better novels, but seeing FRWL as a film before reading the novel really hurt my perception of the book. I just find the movie far better and certainly more effectively paced, though a lot of why that is is down to what films can do and what books can't. The book couldn't have given us chapters between Bond's story to give us Grant's POV in Istanbul to see what he's doing, so that aspect of their rivalry is never actively built up like it easily can in film because pacing isn't as hurt by sidetracking. To do what the film did with Grant, showing us his side of the action, Fleming would've had to make tons of extra chapters from his perspective, often repeating details we just read from Bond's POV, and that just wouldn't have flown. That being said, so much is lost in the book that the film has, and Bond and Grant's rivalry is the movie for me, in many ways. Being able to see what Grant is doing also gives him such credibility as a threat, something that the book again fails to meet to such a degree because we never really see him do anything. To not have that feeling of momentum in the book around Grant just leaves me empty and makes the storytelling feel lacking.

    I think Maibaum and co. really helped the pacing of the film surrounding the Lektor/Spektor too, because the movie improves on the idea Fleming had in the book. In the book Tatiana tells Bond she will get the decoder herself, and we never actually see this happen, though it would be exciting to see Bond break or sneak into the consulate to get the device. The scriptwriters of the film understood how great it would be if Bond had to actually get the decoder himself instead of Tatiana just giving it to him, so that's what we get. We actually see him working to receive the plans as he attempts to try and break the Lektor out of Russian hands, and him getting the decoder is added on top of all the other tension moments in the film to make it more packed with suspense and danger. Again, that the book lacks a retrieval of the Spektor hurts it, as does the fact that it never feels important. In the film it feels like more than a McGuffin because we know why Bond must have it and experience the hell he goes through to get his hands on it, giving it importance, but in the book so much of this context is stripped away outside what we learn of it in M's briefing.

    I also find the second on the train lacking, again for the awkward pacing of it all. The movie was allowed to juxtapose Bond's movements on the train with Grant's, so instead of just getting a quick view of where Bond is at like in the book, the film shows Grant doing his work, getting Nash and fooling Bond. As I said above, we actually get to see the trap being laid out and that gives the action, suspense and tension time to build and breathe. In the book we rush to Kerim's death, Bond sees Grant through the window and before we know it it's all over. It simply comes too soon.

    And that's really the strength of FRWL, as it used only what the film medium could do to pace the story better and give more context. In the film Krilencu is an actual character that we get to see more of and we understand why he should die and what part he plays, just as the action in the gypsy camp is allowed to be a full out war when it's only a scuffle in the book that again goes by too quickly. Thanks to Daniela Bianchi's performance, Tatiana is also given a lot more emotional life and depth than I feel the book gives us, and it's far easier to sympathize with her as she faces the tug of war between Bond and Klebb. Having her in the finale with Bond to face Klebb really adds something, and her making her final choice to join Bond is a great one. The movie couldn't have ended with Bond taking the poison blade to the leg and "dying," so I think Maibaum and co. found a great way to reshape some of the story to make it fit together better.

    I just found it hard to go from watching the film to reading the book, because I felt the former improved so much and when you already know what's coming at each moment the book has little to give despite it being the original article. What I will say is that Fleming gave writers a great foundation to build on, and without him Maibaum and the other writers wouldn't have had anything to work with.

    I also think the casting department should be hailed for their work in selecting the actors for everyone in the cast, as it may be the most perfect series of castings in one Bond film that we've ever had. Sheba is every bit a cold and computer-like Kronsteen, Lenya is utterly captivating as the Soviet sickle Klebb, Shaw is an impeccably sinister and sick-minded Grant, Bianchi delivers all the emotion and depth of Tatiana and Armendáriz never misses a note as the perfect Kerim, truly coming off as the “wonderful man who had carried the sun with him” that Bond describes him to be in the book (and all this while facing cancer!).


    If ever a Bond film could be classed as "perfect," this one gets closest and the fact that FRWL is a film in the series gives the franchise such credibility as true pieces of art. After watching this film I don't think casuals could walk away thinking Bond films are only about bikini-clad women, vodka martinis, fast cars and one-liners.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,141
    This film doesn't get talked much on the forum. I mean there is not much to say about perfection.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,231
    royale65 wrote: »
    This film doesn't get talked much on the forum. I mean there is not much to say about perfection.

    True. :)) And when it is talked about it's usually only in relating to what it does better than another movie. I think the pacing is a bit rough leading to the end with Klebb in the hotel, but as a full package goes it doesn't get much better. A true to form espionage thriller with style, sex and bite.
  • Posts: 19,339
    Basically it IS the best Bond film when it comes down to it.
    Thats why it is always bouncing around in my top 3 competing with CR & OHMSS.
  • Posts: 13,195
    For me, this is also quite possibly the classiest Bond film. Just look at Bond and Grant and their suits – to name just one thing!
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,141
    I first saw From Russia With Love when I saved up all my pocket money and splurged on this film, plus its predecessor, on VHS. My burgeoning Bond collection in those days consisted of TWINE (just been released on VHS!) and AVTAK, then quickly followed by DN and FRWL. Those were simpler times..... (I can still remember going into the supermarket - maybe it was Woolworths thinking about it - and seeing all the glorious Bondage on VHS... Which one to choose!? Plus they had a special on "Buy Bond, Get Bond Free!". Ah, memories...)

    Anyway, I loved it then. Still love it now.

    I agree @barryt007 - those are the top three for me, although FRWL sits proudly on top of my Bondian tree.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,231
    For me, this is also quite possibly the classiest Bond film. Just look at Bond and Grant and their suits – to name just one thing!

    When I think of classy I think of glamour, and one of things I enjoy about the movie is that it's kind of rough and unglamorous at times, or most of the time; Bond bleeds, gets dirty, and there's always some danger to him coming. But, an interesting thought.

    You mention Grant and Bond's suits; for a review of FRWL I did I spent so much time discussing just that aspect of the film alone for a while, as it seems like Grant studied Bond so much that he started dressing like his target to blend in, like he was impersonating the quintessential Englishman. I think this was a conscious choice on part of the costume department, to make Grant dress like Bond to make it seem like he'd robbed his closest, etc.

    An excerpt from the review that makes this point:
    "It’s clear from the wardrobe sported by Grant that he has studied James Bond’s style intensely in order to replicate it, and it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine that he tracked down the spy’s tailor to get suits that explicitly recalled his target’s own. Like an actor, Grant is slipping into a role and is dressing with a Britishness about him that masks his motivations. It’s almost off-putting to see him copying Bond in such a heightened way, as he’s able to do it so well; if he wasn’t a SPECTRE hired killer you’d think he was just 007’s biggest fan. For this reason, when Bond and Grant finally meet on the Orient express it’s the equivalent of Elvis meeting one of his impersonators in Vegas. What an image that is…"
  • Posts: 13,195
    For me, this is also quite possibly the classiest Bond film. Just look at Bond and Grant and their suits – to name just one thing!

    When I think of classy I think of glamour, and one of things I enjoy about the movie is that it's kind of rough and unglamorous at times, or most of the time; Bond bleeds, gets dirty, and there's always some danger to him coming. But, an interesting thought.

    You mention Grant and Bond's suits; for a review of FRWL I did I spent so much time discussing just that aspect of the film alone for a while, as it seems like Grant studied Bond so much that he started dressing like his target to blend in, like he was impersonating the quintessential Englishman. I think this was a conscious choice on part of the costume department, to make Grant dress like Bond to make it seem like he'd robbed his closest, etc.

    An excerpt from the review that makes this point:
    "It’s clear from the wardrobe sported by Grant that he has studied James Bond’s style intensely in order to replicate it, and it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine that he tracked down the spy’s tailor to get suits that explicitly recalled his target’s own. Like an actor, Grant is slipping into a role and is dressing with a Britishness about him that masks his motivations. It’s almost off-putting to see him copying Bond in such a heightened way, as he’s able to do it so well; if he wasn’t a SPECTRE hired killer you’d think he was just 007’s biggest fan. For this reason, when Bond and Grant finally meet on the Orient express it’s the equivalent of Elvis meeting one of his impersonators in Vegas. What an image that is…"

    Interesting, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7!
    There are of course other (classy) elements that one could mention (and you are totally right with FRWL being unglamorous too – an optimal balance perhaps?):
    The suits are the first thing that comes to mind. You are also right about the wardrobe similarity between Bond and Grant – and the reason behind it.

    There is also the hotel scene with Bond and Romanova (who is the perfect balance of the innocent and glamorous Bond girl). The beautiful scenery in Istanbul is another. And perhaps (and most importantly) the train sequence. There is a different glamour (again) to train traveling in films. Not only in FRWL of course: Murder on the Orient Express and North by Northwest are other examples.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,231
    For me, this is also quite possibly the classiest Bond film. Just look at Bond and Grant and their suits – to name just one thing!

    When I think of classy I think of glamour, and one of things I enjoy about the movie is that it's kind of rough and unglamorous at times, or most of the time; Bond bleeds, gets dirty, and there's always some danger to him coming. But, an interesting thought.

    You mention Grant and Bond's suits; for a review of FRWL I did I spent so much time discussing just that aspect of the film alone for a while, as it seems like Grant studied Bond so much that he started dressing like his target to blend in, like he was impersonating the quintessential Englishman. I think this was a conscious choice on part of the costume department, to make Grant dress like Bond to make it seem like he'd robbed his closest, etc.

    An excerpt from the review that makes this point:
    "It’s clear from the wardrobe sported by Grant that he has studied James Bond’s style intensely in order to replicate it, and it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine that he tracked down the spy’s tailor to get suits that explicitly recalled his target’s own. Like an actor, Grant is slipping into a role and is dressing with a Britishness about him that masks his motivations. It’s almost off-putting to see him copying Bond in such a heightened way, as he’s able to do it so well; if he wasn’t a SPECTRE hired killer you’d think he was just 007’s biggest fan. For this reason, when Bond and Grant finally meet on the Orient express it’s the equivalent of Elvis meeting one of his impersonators in Vegas. What an image that is…"

    Interesting, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7!
    There are of course other (classy) elements that one could mention (and you are totally right with FRWL being unglamorous too – an optimal balance perhaps?):
    The suits are the first thing that comes to mind. You are also right about the wardrobe similarity between Bond and Grant – and the reason behind it.

    There is also the hotel scene with Bond and Romanova (who is the perfect balance of the innocent and glamorous Bond girl). The beautiful scenery in Istanbul is another. And perhaps (and most importantly) the train sequence. There is a different glamour (again) to train traveling in films. Not only in FRWL of course: Murder on the Orient Express and North by Northwest are other examples.

    There definitely is a radiance to Ms. Bianchi; she's as gorgeous as she is innocent, which is a lot! Agreed about the train setting too. I think SP really nailed that feeling of richness and class/glamor with the train sequence there too. It was like Bond had been transported back to the 50s/60s for a moment, in his nice white dinner jacket and Madeleine dressed to the nines. The entire film really is a vintage treat in the modern era.
  • edited October 2017 Posts: 13,195
    There definitely is a radiance to Ms. Bianchi; she's as gorgeous as she is innocent, which is a lot! Agreed about the train setting too. I think SP really nailed that feeling of richness and class/glamor with the train sequence there too. It was like Bond had been transported back to the 50s/60s for a moment, in his nice white dinner jacket and Madeleine dressed to the nines. The entire film really is a vintage treat in the modern era.

    SP certainly looks good. The content doesn't do much for me, but you can't argue with the visual appeal it has. There is something with Bond and trains - preferably those with sleeping compartments (TSWLM and LALD) and dining cars!
  • Posts: 19,339
    For me, this is also quite possibly the classiest Bond film. Just look at Bond and Grant and their suits – to name just one thing!

    When I think of classy I think of glamour, and one of things I enjoy about the movie is that it's kind of rough and unglamorous at times, or most of the time; Bond bleeds, gets dirty, and there's always some danger to him coming. But, an interesting thought.

    You mention Grant and Bond's suits; for a review of FRWL I did I spent so much time discussing just that aspect of the film alone for a while, as it seems like Grant studied Bond so much that he started dressing like his target to blend in, like he was impersonating the quintessential Englishman. I think this was a conscious choice on part of the costume department, to make Grant dress like Bond to make it seem like he'd robbed his closest, etc.

    An excerpt from the review that makes this point:
    "It’s clear from the wardrobe sported by Grant that he has studied James Bond’s style intensely in order to replicate it, and it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine that he tracked down the spy’s tailor to get suits that explicitly recalled his target’s own. Like an actor, Grant is slipping into a role and is dressing with a Britishness about him that masks his motivations. It’s almost off-putting to see him copying Bond in such a heightened way, as he’s able to do it so well; if he wasn’t a SPECTRE hired killer you’d think he was just 007’s biggest fan. For this reason, when Bond and Grant finally meet on the Orient express it’s the equivalent of Elvis meeting one of his impersonators in Vegas. What an image that is…"

    Interesting, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7!
    There are of course other (classy) elements that one could mention (and you are totally right with FRWL being unglamorous too – an optimal balance perhaps?):
    The suits are the first thing that comes to mind. You are also right about the wardrobe similarity between Bond and Grant – and the reason behind it.

    There is also the hotel scene with Bond and Romanova (who is the perfect balance of the innocent and glamorous Bond girl). The beautiful scenery in Istanbul is another. And perhaps (and most importantly) the train sequence. There is a different glamour (again) to train traveling in films. Not only in FRWL of course: Murder on the Orient Express and North by Northwest are other examples.

    There definitely is a radiance to Ms. Bianchi; she's as gorgeous as she is innocent, which is a lot! Agreed about the train setting too. I think SP really nailed that feeling of richness and class/glamor with the train sequence there too. It was like Bond had been transported back to the 50s/60s for a moment, in his nice white dinner jacket and Madeleine dressed to the nines. The entire film really is a vintage treat in the modern era.

    Your last few sentences there are how i feel about parts of SP,and why i think its ratings will go up in time with many,and people new to Bond in the future.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,231
    barryt007 wrote: »
    For me, this is also quite possibly the classiest Bond film. Just look at Bond and Grant and their suits – to name just one thing!

    When I think of classy I think of glamour, and one of things I enjoy about the movie is that it's kind of rough and unglamorous at times, or most of the time; Bond bleeds, gets dirty, and there's always some danger to him coming. But, an interesting thought.

    You mention Grant and Bond's suits; for a review of FRWL I did I spent so much time discussing just that aspect of the film alone for a while, as it seems like Grant studied Bond so much that he started dressing like his target to blend in, like he was impersonating the quintessential Englishman. I think this was a conscious choice on part of the costume department, to make Grant dress like Bond to make it seem like he'd robbed his closest, etc.

    An excerpt from the review that makes this point:
    "It’s clear from the wardrobe sported by Grant that he has studied James Bond’s style intensely in order to replicate it, and it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine that he tracked down the spy’s tailor to get suits that explicitly recalled his target’s own. Like an actor, Grant is slipping into a role and is dressing with a Britishness about him that masks his motivations. It’s almost off-putting to see him copying Bond in such a heightened way, as he’s able to do it so well; if he wasn’t a SPECTRE hired killer you’d think he was just 007’s biggest fan. For this reason, when Bond and Grant finally meet on the Orient express it’s the equivalent of Elvis meeting one of his impersonators in Vegas. What an image that is…"

    Interesting, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7!
    There are of course other (classy) elements that one could mention (and you are totally right with FRWL being unglamorous too – an optimal balance perhaps?):
    The suits are the first thing that comes to mind. You are also right about the wardrobe similarity between Bond and Grant – and the reason behind it.

    There is also the hotel scene with Bond and Romanova (who is the perfect balance of the innocent and glamorous Bond girl). The beautiful scenery in Istanbul is another. And perhaps (and most importantly) the train sequence. There is a different glamour (again) to train traveling in films. Not only in FRWL of course: Murder on the Orient Express and North by Northwest are other examples.

    There definitely is a radiance to Ms. Bianchi; she's as gorgeous as she is innocent, which is a lot! Agreed about the train setting too. I think SP really nailed that feeling of richness and class/glamor with the train sequence there too. It was like Bond had been transported back to the 50s/60s for a moment, in his nice white dinner jacket and Madeleine dressed to the nines. The entire film really is a vintage treat in the modern era.

    Your last few sentences there are how i feel about parts of SP,and why i think its ratings will go up in time with many,and people new to Bond in the future.

    @barryt007, being a fan of vintage Hollywood, I get a kick out of how the whole team from the costume department to production design and everyone in between seemed to make a conscious effort to have SP feel of an earlier time. The style of Bond with his jackets and polos recalling the best of the old age (namely Steve McQueen who is an obvious influence on Dan's style) to the great suits he wears that feel ripped out of a 50s/60s spy film, with my favorite get-up being the khakis and suit coat he wears in Morocco that just have that vintage vibe to them. Then you have Madeleine, very old school in her choice of dress and formal wear, again recalling the 40s/50s/60s.

    Add in the obvious Casablanca influence on the Moroccan scenes in and around the hotel, the glamor of the train section and the old fashion Bond and Madeleine wear, and you have a movie that partially feels removed from the current day and has slipped into the past. The film is very much about the theme of the past coming back to haunt you (as it does Bond) but the past from a cultural sense also comes back in a meta way through the fashions, sets and all the other bells and whistles. It's fascinating how SP uses those vintage aspects to contrast against the more modern, tech based stuff, showing those two worlds Bond can inhabit.

    Perhaps we should continue a discussion of this kind of an appropriate thread...
  • Posts: 19,339
    I dont think there is an actual committed SP discussion thread...i normally do them and i havent thought about it.
    There are a few odd ones scattered about but not an 'official' one .
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,231
    @barryt007, I've always treated this as the SP appreciation thread, which it might as well be (and it's in the title):

    https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/13846/spectre-appreciation-topic-and-why-you-think-the-24th-bond-film-was-the-best-spy-film-of-2015#latest

    But I've learned my lesson about bumping SP threads like that, and probably won't bother. One day I'll do an SP review on my Bond blog and put all my thoughts in that, but I don't have any patience for discussing it on here.
  • Posts: 19,339
    @barryt007, I've always treated this as the SP appreciation thread, which it might as well be (and it's in the title):

    https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/13846/spectre-appreciation-topic-and-why-you-think-the-24th-bond-film-was-the-best-spy-film-of-2015#latest

    But I've learned my lesson about bumping SP threads like that, and probably won't bother. One day I'll do an SP review on my Bond blog and put all my thoughts in that, but I don't have any patience for discussing it on here.

    That title is just a red flag for bad arguments ...a dangerous thread.
  • Major_BoothroydMajor_Boothroyd Republic of Isthmus
    Posts: 2,689
    I - like many of you similarly tasteful people ;-) have FRWL, CR, OHMSS as my top three - but they're always in that order. The other two have tragic love stories attached to them with development of Bond as a character and agent. Both of them he is insubordinate and both have the unique aspects of 'new Bond' (Lazenby) or 'reboot Bond' (Craig).

    However, FRWL is a stone cold thriller from start to finish. It doesn't have those other aspects particularly with Bond's character - here he is full formed and ready for the mission. There's a 'make-it-up as he goes along' quality to Craig's Bond - where he is almost always impulsively reactive. Connery has those impulses too but they're not as all consuming or dictating his actions so much. Connery is coolly detached, patient and like a coiled spring fires into life when he needs to. It is what I love about the final act - hijacking Grant's escape route, stealing the truck, sniping the helicopter, attacking the boats with fire. I know it gets criticised for being a sequence of set pieces that aren't exactly viscerally exciting but I enjoy them and shows Bond smarts and coolness under pressure.
  • Posts: 19,339
    I - like many of you similarly tasteful people ;-) have FRWL, CR, OHMSS as my top three - but they're always in that order. The other two have tragic love stories attached to them with development of Bond as a character and agent. Both of them he is insubordinate and both have the unique aspects of 'new Bond' (Lazenby) or 'reboot Bond' (Craig).

    However, FRWL is a stone cold thriller from start to finish. It doesn't have those other aspects particularly with Bond's character - here he is full formed and ready for the mission. There's a 'make-it-up as he goes along' quality to Craig's Bond - where he is almost always impulsively reactive. Connery has those impulses too but they're not as all consuming or dictating his actions so much. Connery is coolly detached, patient and like a coiled spring fires into life when he needs to. It is what I love about the final act - hijacking Grant's escape route, stealing the truck, sniping the helicopter, attacking the boats with fire. I know it gets criticised for being a sequence of set pieces that aren't exactly viscerally exciting but I enjoy them and shows Bond smarts and coolness under pressure.

    Very good points and I agree with all of them.
    All 3 films are totally different ,which is why they will always ,barring a miracle,be my top 3 .

  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,874
    My favourite Bond film - yet to be surpassed - and probably favourite Bond book. Have just finished reading the Folio Society's edition which is an excellent one for book collectors. Would love a £5 note for every time I've read this book!
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