From Russia with Love (1963)

From Russia with Love
Directed by Terence Young
Written by Richard Malbaum; adapted by Johanna Harwood from a novel by Ian Fleming
Eon Productions
Repeat viewing/Amazon Prime

James Bond: So, you’re Tatiana Romanova.

Tatiana: My friends call me Tania.

James Bond: Mine call me James Bond.

My favorite Bond ever is back in another action-packed romp.

Ernst Blofeld is also back as the head of the international terrorist organization SPECTRE. He has lured Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) from the KGB to steal a Soviet encryption device. This involves an elaborate double cross that will draw James Bond into a plot to steal the device for MI-5.  The bait is unwitting and beautiful Soviet agent Tatiana Romanova who will seduce Bond for her country.  Bond is wise to the Soviet-angle but plays along.

The rest of the story involves lots of humor, sex, and gun-play culminating with Bond’s stand-off against SPECTRE henchman Grant (Robert Shaw).

This sophomore effort is no slump but solidifies the franchise’s formula of wit, sex, and violence.  If Zatoichi is a popcorn series, order a double serving for Bond!


The Nutty Professor (1963)

The Nutty Professor
Directed by Jerry Lewis
Written by Jerry Lewis and Bill Richmond
Paramount Pictures
Repeat viewing/Amazon Instant
One of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Dr. Hamius R. Warfield: Kelp, it’s human nature. Kelp, people just don’t like teachers blowing up their kids!

I was not amused.

Despite the fact that he is a moron, Dr. Julius Kreb (Jerry Lewis) is a genius chemistry professor and beloved of all his students.  Beautiful Stella Purdy (Stella Stevens) takes a special interest in him and he in her.  Kreb decides that he needs to boost his sex appeal. Since the gym is not for him, he searches for a chemical solution.

Eventually, he stumbles across a formula that tranforms him into the swinging but obnoxious lounge singer Buddy Love.  Stella is both strangely attracted and repelled by his creation.  And Love transforms back into Kreb at the most awkward moments …

The running time of The Nutty Professor gave me ample time to analyze why I can’t stand Jerry Lewis.  I think it’s basically that his persona is of an infantile idiot.  All comedians play the fool but Lewis takes it that one step further into imbecility.  Bud Abbott strikes me the same way.  I like my comedians clever but eccentric.  The one positive about this movie is there is no food humor, which features prominently in some of his films I like even less.