Film & Water #93 – From Russia With Love

THE FILM & WATER PODCAST

Episode 93: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

Rob welcomes back 007 mega fan John Trumbull to discuss the second James Bond film, 1963’s FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE!

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30 responses to “Film & Water #93 – From Russia With Love

  1. Well, done…I guess. I mean, if you want a guest who likely doesn’t have a 007 tattoo…

    I kid! John won me over the minute he remembered to bring up 007’s only 3-way. Very entertaining job, fellas! And I want to become best friends with John.

    Rob…you’re on notice…

  2. Nice discussion guys. It’s been too long since I’ve seen FRWL as I did have a similar reaction to Rob’s when I saw it the first time around. For my money, one of the better “Bond” movies of recent years was Guy Ritchie’s The Man from UNCLE. It has that cool 1960s vibe of the early Connery films and a sense of fun that’s been lacking from the Daniel Craig 007.

          1. Get over your Guy Ritchie problems

            Tell that to Madonna.

            I will give the movie a chance at some point. Just watching./re-watching the movies for the show keeps me busy enough.

          2. Jumping in to say Man From UNCLE is tremendous. Bought the Blu-Ray tremendous.

            And apparently has got such good buzz now that it is on cable that they have started writing a sequel!

  3. This is due for a rewatch for me as well. I do tend to go straight to Goldfinger for my early Bond fix, or any Bond fix actually. But I recall the opening with Robert Shaw and him “killing Bond” from my first viewing on the ABC Sunday Night Movie! Quite a shocker! Plus Shaw was like a prototype Ivan Drago in this one. Can you imagine the macho BS he and Connery probably spouted at one another while the cameras weren’t rolling? He made little Richard Dreyfuss’ life hell on Jaws…that wouldn’t fly with Connery!

    Rob, I think you really nailed it with the idea of these films being pseudo-travelogues. Kind of like those Dennis the Menace comics our favorite comic writer Alan Brennert was so into as a kid. They opened a window to a world that was just beginning to seem much, much smaller. I have an album from around the time of Goldfinger collecting much of the soundtrack from the first three Bond films: “Songs to read James Bond By”, and all you have to do is listen to it and you realize much of it could come from a series of travel documentaries.

    Great episode! Oh, and tell John that Anthony Dawson plays the Marquis in one of my favorite Hammer films, The Curse of the Werewolf. Of course I’d like to cover that with you myself, but we did it on Super Mates, so I’ll let him have it. 😉

    Chris

    1. Thanks for the high sign on CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, I still need to see that movie, But there are other fine films in Mr. Dawson’s filmography that I could have John on for:

      Dial M for Murder
      Triple Cross
      The Valachi Papers
      Ghoulies II

  4. I forgot to mention that this is BY FAR my favorite on-screen job interview. I feel like every job interview should consist of a brass knuckles punch to the gut. And ONLY a brass knuckles punch to the guy.

      1. Hahaha!

        Where do I see myself in 5 years? My most ambitious desire would be >WHOMP!< …oh, Lord…i'm gonna be sick….

        We'll let you know.

  5. Rob —

    Thanks for a great show. I always finish a Film and Water thinking that the movie really should be seen because you and your guests have such lively discussions. Any film that can generate that kind of feeling has to be worth a look. I actually sought out a boxing film, even though I don’t do sports movies in general, I don’t do boxing movies particularly because of the violence of the sport and I find the leading actor to be stuffy and uptight in most roles. You have made me rethink a lot of my college opinions which were based on being right about all things.

    Oh; Lotte Lenya had received a Best Supporting Actress nomination in 1961; so, getting her was really a coup as John mentioned. For me, though, I knew her name mostly from the song “Mack the Knife”. The song was written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill for the Threepenny Opera and Ms Lotte Lenya, Weill’s widow, was at the studio when Louis Armstrong recorded an English language version of the song. In the part where the song list’s Mack’s romantic conquests, Armstrong added the line ‘Look out for Miss Lotte Lenya’ to the list along with Jenny Diver and Lucy Brown (Jenny Diver was Ms Lenya’s breakthrough role in the original stage production). Bobby Darrin used the same lyric and I think every heard one or both of these versions. Years later, I wrote a college paper on socialist theater of the thirties and learned a lot more about her story.

    Keep going,
    Michael Ridge

    1. Thanks for the info Michael!

      Because we talk mostly older films, we tend to focus on movies I and/or my guest like already, which then tends to create a lot of praise. I’m not going to pretend the show is going to turn anyone on to a James Bond movie they didn’t already know, but…

  6. Okay, here’s something I know is gonna get me in trouble but…of all the versions of Blofeld, I think THIS is the best one. There’s something awesome about a villain whose face you never see and has an amazing voice. Between this and Thunderball, this is how Blofeld should have stayed throughout the series. And this is no offense to Donald Pleasance, I might add. He’s an amazing actor and I know his version of Blofeld has become synonymous with the character but…he didn’t have that voice and I think showing his face took the wind out of the character’s sails.

    You want to know something even more controversial…I kind of like Max Von Sydow’s version from Never Say Never Again. I didn’t love the movie, but his version of Blofeld really reminded me of the one from this and Thunderball.

    1. Jose-

      While I still prefer some of the other Blofelds, there is something to keeping him off screen that’s quite effective, for sure.

      I remembered loving NSNA as a kid, but then I watched it again and i didn’t think it held up. But I might want to cover it on the show anyway. Such an odd little * to the Bond legacy.

      1. I remember watching Never Say Never Again because my dad was getting me into the Bond films and Thunderball is his favorite. So we saw NSNA on cable and I kept thinking “Haven’t I seen this before? And what’s Brad from Superman III and Vicky Vale doing here?”

        Could be worse though…we could’ve had more movies with Charles Gray as Blofeld. Good actor but so wrong for the part.

  7. I personally like the more grounded Bond films better, this one and Casino Royale certainly in my top 5 because of it.

    Great show as usual!

    1. I tend to toggle back and forth. My 5 fav Bonds are:

      Goldfinger
      On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
      The Spy Who Loved Me
      For Your Eyes Only
      Casino Royale

      I guess you could argue only 2 of that list are the more grounded ones.

  8. One of the best Bonds in my personal opinion and I really enjoyed your discussion. As always, Film and Water makes me want to watch these movies again, with fresh eyes. If you ever decide to take on Hawk The Slayer, give me a call.

  9. Don’t forget the 1954 TV version of Casino Royale with Peter Lorre & Barry Nelson as Jimmy Bond!

  10. Like many here in comments, I like the grounded Bond more. Once you get into invisible cars racing through a hotel made of ice, I am checking out a bit.

    So this one, with a cranky woman with a pointy shoe as a true threat resonates. For me I guess I’d give the following list

    Casino Royale
    From Russia
    Goldeneye
    License to Kill
    Majesty’s Secret Service

    As my top 5 and covering all actors.

  11. Ok Rob, I’m just going to lay this out there. If you ever cover “Moonraker” then you’re in no position to take the high ground and claim that touching Brosnan is somehow beneath you. Tread lightly.

  12. Finally got around to listening to this. I’ve only seen FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE once, years ago, and I think I came away from it feeling like Rob used to feel: that it was proto-Bond. The mythos hadn’t fully formed yet. They didn’t have all the classic tropes in place yet. It was a good, solid espionage film, but it didn’t feel like a James Bond movie yet.

    Maybe I should give it another shot and see if my feelings change. I do remember thinking the fight on the train was glorious and suspenseful.

    Great episode!

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