Study Guide

From Russia With Love Genre

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Spy Action Thriller

Who is James Bond? It's a question as difficult to answer as "What is the meaning of life?" or "Is a hot dog a sandwich?" (Yes, btw, according to the Notorious RBG. It's now settled law.)

Anyway, James Bond is a character played by multiple actors, across multiple decades, in many films that strike a variety of tones from serious to wild to campy to ridiculous and back again.

So it's difficult to pin down From Russia with Love's genre. "Bond Films" have kind of become their own genre within the spy-action-thriller category. Lots of action, lots of spy intrigue, and plenty of thrills—plus that extra Bond touch of glamour, wit, and voluptuous women.

As the second entry in the long-running Bond franchise, From Russia with Love serves as the foundation of many Bond hallmarks, like the pre-credits title sequence and a theme song, but it also has a more serious tone than later films, not as many crazy gadgets or major action sequences. It's got an assortment of grim villains instead of one ridiculous megalomaniacal one for Bond to take down.

Critic Gerardo Valero praises From Russia with Love for being more grounded than many other Bond entries. He says, "Unlike other 007s that relied on their action scenes and stunts for success, it is the mainly the human element that made this a great Bond film" (source).

Later Bond films have been criticized for becoming formulaic and predictable. This film has a complex plot and what Valero calls "true chemistry" between Bond and Bey.

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