Category: Reviews

“From Russia With Love”: Aktuelt’s film review (1963)

Film review, 21 December 1963

 
Several Danish film critics expressed their dislike of the James Bond 007 films during their original release in the early 1960's. The highly regarded Bjørn Rasmussen, M.A., who reviewed films for the Danish daily Aktuelt and hosted the film programme "Filmorientering" on national Danish television during the 60's, dismissed the Bond films as "sensationalist entertainment marked by poor taste" in his reference book "Filmens Hvem-Hvad-Hvor" (1967). He did however note that "From Russia with Love" (1963) was "the best in the series".

When EON Productions' "From Russia with Love"  was released into Danish theatres in December 1963, Bjørn Rasmussen was markedly less kind in his scathing review for Aktuelt:

”Agent 007” returns

Christmas programming at Nørreport Cinema is brutal entertainment

With the pulp thriller ”From Russia with Love” (1963), Nørreport [Cinema] picks up from ”Dr. No”. This is a coarsely brutal, sensational serial based on Ian Fleming's vulgar novels, issued in Denmark by [Sven] Hazel's publishing house (of all!). The films, as well as the novels, are brimming with straightforward suspense, devoid of probability and based on the spectator not having time to detect the obvious gaffes.

This time, a so-called ”Lektor” is to be smuggled out and change hands from Russian to English ownership. We are not dealing with a lecturer [”lektor” in Danish, ed.] but a decoding machine. Fights, murders, sex, and speed is mobilized as well as all kinds of spies for all kinds of nations. They are secretly spying on each other nonstop. The most repulsive of them all would be Lotte Lenja [sic], the widow of Kurt Weill, evil incarnate and an efficient member of the international crime organization ”Spectre” who are also out to get the Lektor.

In the middle of all this nonsense, a glimmer of something truly cinematic shines through as is often the case with rudimentary pulp thrillers such as this. But [the film] is dreadfully simple and unpleasant to watch.

Written by Bjørn Rasmussen
Translation by Bond•O•Rama.dk

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“Dr. No”: Politiken’s film review (1963)

Danish daily Politiken’s review of “Dr. No”, 7 April 1963

Bang on Jamaica

”Agent 007, Operation Murder” [sic], adapted from Ian Fleming's eponymous detective novel, starts out with a terrific bang, but quickly turns silly before ending in utter balderdash.

The agent James Bond, 007 to his friends and colleagues, is sent to Jamaica partly to investigate the homicide of a few English security men, partly to figure out who have been thwarting the American rocket launches from Cape Canaveral through mysterious radiation.

The perpetrator of all this evil-doing is a mad half-Chinese who has built a nuclear station so huge that it makes Risø [a Danish atomic research facility opened in 1958, ed.] look like a village school. Bond solves all of this in stride; the Americans finally manage a successful launch; the nuclear man and his extensive staff go up with a loud uranium bang, and the hero celebrates by being indecent towards a cute lass in a bikini.

007 is played by Sean Connery, who isn't half bad an actor. In America, they call him the new Lemmy; he plays the lead in a series of adaptations of Ian Fleming's other books. May they be somewhat more substantial than the film mentioned.

Written by "fano"
Translation: James Bond•O•Rama.dk

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“Dr. No”: Berlingske Tidende’s film review (1963)

Danish daily Berlingske Tidende’s review of ”Dr. No”, 7 April 1963

Childish cynicism

English detective film at Nørreport [Cinema]

The most amazing thing about the screen version of Ian Fleming's ”Dr. No” is really that it was made in England. Its shameless exploitation of violence and sex, and the pulpiness of its whole approach, differs substantially from the many recent British detective films dealing with serious problems.

”Dr. No” is entirely devoid of that kind of ambition. The protagonist is the unscrupulous Secret Service agent James Bond, a hard-boiled and hard-hitting comic book hero. He divides his time equally between vodka martinis, forthcoming girls and the disarmament of nasty gangsters, and his gamut of emotions is exceptionally limited. This superman for all immature souls is confidently played by Sean Connery, although his steely lack of conscience is by no means a match for Ralph Meeker's unforgettable Mike Hammer in ”Kiss Me Deadly”.

The skilled director Terence Young places Connery in a long series of effectively hair-raising situations without skimping on the semi-sadistic seasoning. The tone of the entire film is so incredibly cynical that it borders on the harmlessly infantile, so shamelessly ”pulpy” in its effects that it almost becomes entertaining.

By pim (Morten Piil)
Translation: James Bond•O•Rama.dk

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