Watched: February 16 2019
Director: Terence Young
Starring: Sean Connery, Daniela Bianchi, Pedro Armendáriz, Lotte Lenya, Robert Shaw, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell
Runtime: 1h 55min
James Bond is back indeed. And boy is he sexist!
SPECTRE are angry with Bond (Connery) for doing his job and killing Dr No in the last movie. Rude. They decide to take revenge by killing him, but first seducing him to get some sort of plot device. So they send Tatiana Romanova (Bianchi) to do the latter and Donald Grant (Shaw) to do the former.
Of course, Romanova instantly falls for the irresistable (and slightly rapey) Bond, and she betrays everything she has been brought up to believe in for that sweet, sweet D. Grant is not so lucky.
Plots thicken, gadgets are used, people are betrayed and double-crossed, enemies are slain and cats are cuddled. It’s everything you’d expect from a James Bond movie, but not everything has aged well.
Let’s start with the things we liked about this movie. We loved the cat, Klebb (and her glasses), all the gadgets, Miss Moneypenny (who doesn’t love her?), the furniture, the helicopter shoot-out and the action in general. All of that was amazing and fun.
However, there are so many things that are questionable. From Romanova’s complete surrender after one encounter with the charsmatic spy, to the (completely gratuitous) gypsy girls “gifted” him to have his way with, the portrayal of women reads like an immature boy’s fantasy. One who’s never met an actual real-life woman and certainly never had a relationship.
Now, we expect a bit of casual sexism in our old-timey action movies, and we’ve seen the Bond films years ago so we should have remembered, but this was just ridiculous. It’s so over the top that it almost seems like a parody, but a parody of itself. A very strange viewing experience indeed. And while it isn’t a movie we particularly liked, it is certainly an interesting one to view in 2019. In a strange way we’re actually looking forward to the rest.
What we learned: Not all cool things from the 60s have aged particularly well…
Next time: Jason and the Argonauts (1963)