James Bond: From Russia with Love (1963)

A Russian hotty wants to defect, and bring with her a decoding machine. However, she’ll only defect straight into the arms of everyone’s favourite super spy, Mr. James Bond. It all sounds too good to be true, and of course, it is. 

I was disappointed that this wasn’t actually set in Russia, since I’m completely obsessed with the place. Instead it was set in Istanbul, which meant that my friend who’d been there was piping up with ‘I’ve been there… I’ve been there… I haven’t been there’ every few minutes.

While it had a good gypsy girl fight, and James Bond starred in his own sex tape (à la Tulisa, Paris Hilton and that Screech off Saved by the Bell – not together), I also had to suffer through an interminable train journey, where everyone just got confused about who was double crossing who, and I lost interest.

It seems that this is considered to be one of the best Bond movies, but I’d have to disagree. While I say да to James Bond, I say нет to this particular instalment.

James Bond: Dr No (1962)


When I was growing up, they used to show James Bond films on telly every Sunday afternoon. I think I only got involved in them somewhere in the glory days of Roger Moore, so a group of us are having regular Bond nights to watch from the start. First up, Dr. No.

James Bond boots it off to Jamaica to investigate someone’s disappearance, and see if it’s got anything to do with something the CIA are looking into. He has some fights, and some sex, much as you’d expect him to do.

The main Bond girl of the film is Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), who learned everything she knows from an encyclopaedia (which she hasn’t finished reading yet), and, like the rest of Jamaica, seems to be obsessed with singing ‘Underneath the Mango Tree’.

The villain, Dr. No, reminded me very much of my Japanese uncle. Just a bit more evil, and with metal hands, which my uncle sadly lacks.

So, pretty good, fairly fast paced, exciting, but it didn’t feel as slick as the later films. Pretty catchy theme, though.