Another dark outing for Connery, FRWL sees Bond lured by SPECTRE into their territory as revenge for his interference with Dr. No. Along for the ride is Donald Grant (The cooly ruthless Shaw) who is not what he seems. Naturally Bond realises what is happening just in time and, in a brilliant fight sequence (one of the best in the series) he takes one Grant, who may be his match in every way. However, SPECTRE will not give up so easily and will stop at nothing to make the Secret Agent pay.
This has probably one of the best scripts for a Bond film, full of twists and surprises, not pandering to any audience, and before the time when every Bond film had to have very certain themes planted into it. It seems like a thriller with strong action elements, rather than an action with strong comic elements as the series would progress to, but unfortunately the film is not as good as it should have been. The Bond girls are instantly forgettable, the theme song is awful, and there are few good set pieces. What lifts it though is Rosa Klebb (another strong performance, by Lotte Lenya), helped by a couple of shoe gadgets, and the pre-title sequence which, although not one of the best, would continue in all following Bond movies. The introduction of Q, rather than Boothroyd sparks the beginning of Bond’s use of gadgets and another good relationship in the films. Not memorable enough, difficult when Goldfinger was next, but scores points for being gritty and realistic.
This DVD has a wonderful restoration job in terms of sound and picture quality, making the film seem like a modern action flick. The extras include interviews and commentaries, and are equally as interesting as each other in the series.
As always, leave your comments on the movie and the review- is this one of the more underrated Bond films? Where does in place in your Bond list? Don’t forget to check out my other Bond reviews in the DVD section.