FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE Bond: Sean Connery - 2 tusks Continuing the great portrayal of the character from the first movie. Connery here seems a little less raw than he did in Dr. No and that is missed. But still, he has that sense of cool under fire that's hard to pull off. And he's still fairly edgy, if not a little toned down from the first outing.
Girl: Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana Romanova - 1 tusk Maybe it's a bit of the Lazenby Effect going on here, but Bianchi doesn't live up to the bar set by Ursula Andress. Maybe it's because she comes across as too reliant on Bond and falls for him too quickly. It could also be the fact that her role in the plot is not entirely clear for quite some time thus making her hard to trust.
Gadgets: Briefcase - 1 tusk First "gadget" so to speak in a Bond film. Sometimes the gadgets make an appearance and then there's this idea that we have to see them in use later in the movie. And I agree with that. It's the old "show a gun in act one, it better go off by act three" thing. Here, the briefcase becomes too convenient as the knife, tear gas and coin aspect of it all get used in one scene.
Opening Theme: Instrumental version of "From Russia with Love" - 1 tusk Later in the movie, the opening song is heard sung by Matt Monro. Not especially appealing to me.
Villain: Robert Shaw as Red Grant - 2 tusks Good main villain. Over the course of the movie, proved himself to be a worthy adversary to Bond. The best kind of villains are the one you believe can best the hero. This movie also has other villains such as Klebb and the introduction of Blofeld. All of them well-played.
Pre-title opening sequence - 0 tusks Since Bond doesn't appear in the movie for something like 20 minutes, the producers use this little trick to get Connery seen before the movie opens. Kind of pointless and builds up tension only to have it fizzle out. I guess it's supposed to make the villain scary, but when it turns out he doesn't actually kill Bond, there's no real reference to compare his abilities to.
Story: Starts out slow, but builds to some great scenes. Just a great classic Cold War spy movie. There were some great characters in the movie and the multiple villain approach worked out well, too. Once the action starts, there are some great scenes. Despite the convenience factor of the briefcase, the final fight between Bond and Grant was good.
All in all, another good Bond film, although, the pressure of producing a good sequel to a great first movie causes this movie to falter a bit. And, another good restoration job on this film. And some more great extras to boot.