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Seeking revenge for the death of their agent Dr. No, SPECTRE lures Bond into a trap in Istanbul with two tantalizing pieces of bait — a top-secret Soviet encryption device and a leggy blonde beauty — in this taut espionage thriller that is widely considered to be one of the best films in the series.
Looking to heat up the Cold War and seeking revenge for the death of their operative Dr. No, SPECTRE sets a snare for Bond in Istanbul, using two tantalizing pieces of bait: the Lektor, a top-secret Soviet encryption device, and leggy blonde beauty Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi), a secretary at the Soviet embassy who believes she's performing a vital mission for Mother Russia. Racing across the Balkans with both prizes in tow, Bond is dogged by danger on land (a nerve-wracking journey on the Orient Express), air (an impromptu helicopter assault) and sea (a final, high-velocity escape from a flotilla of SPECTRE speedboats). Neatly splitting the difference between the realist and sensational strains of the spy thriller, Sean Connery's second outing as 007 is widely considered to be one of the best of the series, and rightly so. In addition to the first glimpse of cat-stroking SPECTRE mastermind and Bond arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld, FRWL also offers two of the series' best villains: Lotte Lenya (Kurt Weill's beloved and The Threepenny Opera's original Pirate Jenny) as diminutive, dagger-toed Colonel Rosa Klebb; and a pre-Jaws Robert Shaw as buff, bottle-blond assassin Red Grant, who has a memorably brutal set-to with Bond in a tiny train compartment.