YMMV / From Russia with Love

The film:

  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The really long, boring Cat Fight between two skimpily-dressed gypsy women has nothing to do with the overall plot and is pretty Narmy in its attempts to be titillating. Toned down from the book, where both women end up completely naked.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Blofeld's Right-Hand Cat, the most widely imitated and parodied aspect of the film.
    • Red Grant is very popular as a Bond villain and inspired many blonde, quiet, muscular henchmen in later Bond films.
    • As far as Bond Lancers go, Karim Bey has a lot of chemistry with Bond.
  • Even Better Sequel: To Dr. No and might have gotten its own in Goldfinger.
  • Fridge Horror: Tatiana, a loyal Soviet clerk that's good at her job and has no malice against anyone, is manipulated by a traitor through her devotion to country to commit treason and played by Bond to defect out of infatuation as the audience fully knows Bond has no intention of settling down with her, likely leaving her to an uncertain future in an enemy country.
    • Karim's off-handed remark that the West and the USSR's respective uses of Gypsies and Bulgars as muscle has ignited a blood feud between them.
  • Fridge Logic: Couldn't the Gypsy Prince decide FOR HIMSELF which girl to marry?
    • And miss the chance to see a Cat Fight over him?
    • It's addressed in the film (or maybe just the book). If he picks one, the other will assuredly murder her and possibly him as well. So they may as well just settle things now.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Bond saying on being issued his Q gadgets, "I shouldn't think I'll need it on this assignment."
    • Sean Connery would later appear in the 1974 film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express. Another film that focuses on Thriller on the Express.
    • In this film Bond faces off against what would be the first in a long line of burly blonde Aryan looking henchmen in the form of Donald "Red" Grant. A little less than 50 years after this film was made the world was given a blonde James Bond (in contrast to the usual dark haired Bonds) in Daniel Craig and darn if they don't look similar.
    • Speaking of which, Connery and Shaw would have a rematch 13 years later as Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin and Marian.
  • Ho Yay
    Kerim Bey: James, life in Istanbul will never be the same without you.
  • Memetic Mutation: From/To [X] With Love.
  • Moral Event Horizon: For most of the film, Grant appears to simply be a professional doing his work. Then he and Bond finally meet and we see what a twisted bastard he really is.
    "My orders are to kill you and deliver the Lektor. How I do it's my business. It'll be slow and painful. The first shot won't kill you. Nor the second. Nor even the third. Not until you crawl over here and kiss my foot!"
  • Narm: Bond checks into his hotel room and casually walks around checking for bugs... with the Bond theme playing in the background the whole time. It's like the Bond canon version of Mike and the bots blurting out "BA-DA-BA-DAAAAAAAAAAA!" during the boring bits of Agent For H.A.R.M..
    • Narm Charm: Having epic music for that mundane scene arguably makes it better. Also kind of helps that Bond kills someone (Bond One-Liner and all) and the music kicks in right on the scene before that.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Bond finding Tanya in his bed. This scene is used to screen test potential James Bond candidates.
    • The Orient Express fight between Bond and Grant. Every so often after this film, Bond gets into a fight on a train, examples are Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Spectre.
    • Bond being chased by a SPECTRE helicopter (not unlike Cary Grant in North By Northwest) and taking it down with his portable sniper rifle.
  • Special Effect Failure: The actor playing Kerim Bey dabs his arm with a red sponge to simulate being shot during the gypsy camp fight.
  • Values Dissonance: Bond slapping Tatiana after Kerim's murder. Granted, Bond is understandably upset over his friend's death and he knows Tatiana has been lying to him, but it seems quite brutish to modern viewers.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: While the story is very good keeping the SPECTRE plot a mystery until Bond finds out would have made for a cool twist.

The novel:

  • Complete Monster: Donovan "Red" Grant note  has been afflicted with a burning urge to kill during the full moon since his youth. Starting with animals, he graduated to vagrants and tramps before becoming a Serial Killer who targeted young woman in his native Ireland. Escaping justice by joining the military, Grant would defect to the Russians after he realized they could offer him the bloodshed he craved. A ruthless, efficient killer, Grant rose to the position of head executioner of the clandestine group SMERSH and was indulged in being allowed to murder with impunity during the full moon. This even extended to Grant being allowed access to prisons with chainsaws during those nights. Bond's chosen executioner, Grant kills his ally Darko Kerim and proceeds to try to murder Bond and his lover, admitting that all he cares about in life is his ability to murder people.
  • Funny Moments: Tatiana asks why British men don't wear cologne like Russian men do. Bond replies "We wash."
  • Designated Hero: Kerim wasted most of his youth being a drunken thug and sexual predator, and even in the present seems to have few regrets, at one point giving a rather long speech in defense of the "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization that both Bond and the narrator appear to agree with. Thankfully toned down in the film; he's still unscrupulous but more lovably so.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Bond finds Q Branch's attaché case (which contains two hidden knives, gold sovereigns and his silencer, but neither the tear gas nor the rifle from the film) to be a bit over-the-top (though of course he ends up using everything), and later he laments that his side doesn't provide handy gadgets like Grant's five-shot copy of War and Peace. It's pretty strange to see the iconic "spy gadget" user lamenting that he doesn't get kit like that.
    • Kerim Bey's given name in the novel was "Darko".
  • Nausea Fuel: Fleming's extremely detailed description of what it feels like to be shot in the heart.
  • Tear Jerker: The chapter "Out of Danger," where Bond has to break the news of Kerim's death to his son and M.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Kerim's kidnapping, imprisoning, and attempting to brainwash a woman into loving him in his backstory is portrayed as a mere "youthful indiscretion" that the Service quickly straightened out of him, rather than the serious crime it would be extremely difficult to redeem oneself from that it would be seen as today. This can definitely hamper modern readers' sympathy for Kerim.
    • Kerim also says that most Turkish people secretly hate democracy and wish for the mass-murdering, serial-raping days of the Sultans to come back.
    • Bond and Tatiana telling Domestic Abuse jokes. Even as playful banter it's doubtful this would fly today outside of a Black Comedy.