More confidently produced than proto-Bond Dr No, but free of the gadget-driven silliness introduced in Goldfinger, which would come to define the series thereafter. Just a well-made thriller. Great performances from Lenya and Shaw as the baddies. Like others from this era, it follows the novel pretty closely, but smooths out some of Fleming's more warped ideas (e.g. Grant's 'red wine with fish' gaffe is addressed as a joke after his true identity is revealed, rather than being the bit of non-English-gentlemanly behaviour that gives him away). Interesting locations, liberal doses of suspense, intrigue, action and humour, plus the original - and still best - Bond train fight, on the Orient Express no less. Terence Young is one of the best Bond directors, and this is his best Bond film.