Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Flick Pick: From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love
(United Artists, 1963)

A quick follow-up to the runaway success of Dr. No, the film was chosen for production because JFK had mentioned it as one of his ten favorite books in a LIFE magazine piece; it ended up being the last film he personally screened, on November 20, 1963.
The budget was doubled by UA (to $2M), and Connery was given a $100K bonus on top of his $54K salary to return by way of thanks for the success of the first one. It also introduced a number of "Bond" conventions, introducing the opening sequence, the first appearance of Q and his gadgets, and the "James Bond Will Return" convention at the end of the final credits.
Given the bigger budget, the film was much more lavish and international, setting another tone that continued afterwards. It all paid off, critically as well as financially, bringing in just short of $80M, a nice increase on the nearly $60M return on Dr. No.

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