From Russia With Love – Pre-Title Sequence Discussion!

Join Dan, Tom and Vicky as we kick off our series into the pre-title sequences of spy movies, with FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE! We'll dive into the statuary in the garden, the importance of every sound we hear and lots more. Subscribe to our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies podcast show through your favorite podcast app - right now! Check out our video version on our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies YouTube channel, complete with the movie scenes we discuss and more!
8 James Bond Movies Discussed by Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans!

Podcast Episode

8 James Bond Movies Discussed by Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans!

Join Dan, Vicky, and Tom as they talk with four members of the SpyMovieNavigator's Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans Facebook group about their favorite James Bond movies.

Join Dan, Vicky, and Tom as they talk with four members of the SpyMovieNavigator’s Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans Facebook group about their favorite James Bond movies.

The topic of today’s discussion:  Tell us your two favorite James Bond movies.  The catch is both of their choices need to have a different actor playing James Bond.

This led to a lively discussion and all six James Bond actors to date are discussed.

Click on the Episode notes to see which movies they chose.

You can leave us a comment here or click the red button to the right to leave us a voicemail message.

Four of our Facebook Group discuss Eight James Bond Movies!

Here is the list of the fans on the podcast along with the movies they discuss and where they are located:

  • Scott Winterroth: (Chicago)
    • The Spy Who Loved Me
    • Tomorrow Never Dies
  • David Lippiatt: (Scotland)
    • From Russia With Love
    • The Man With The Golden Gun
  • Lindsey Cancino: (Bahamas)
      • Goldfinger
      • Skyfall
  • Bryan Herr: (Seattle)
      • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
      • Licence to Kill

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GOLDFINGER – Pre-Title Sequence Decoded!

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Drinking with Bond – Literally!

Join Dan and Tom and they literally mix some Bond cocktails as they discuss the wide variety of drinks of James Bond in the Ian Fleming novels.

From Russia With Love: The United States was far From Russia With Love in 1963 – Part One

How would you feel about a love affair between the US and Russia in 1963? Well, it wasn’t likely, as then the United States was as far as it could be, From Russia With Love. Join James Bond at his…

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FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE – Pre-Title Sequence Decoded!

Podcast Episode

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE – Pre-Title Sequence Decoded!

Join Dan, Tom and Vicky as we kick off our series into the pre-title sequences of spy movies, with From Russia With Love!

Join Dan, Tom and Vicky as we kick off our series into the pre-title sequences of spy movies, with From Russia With Love!

We’ll dive into the statuary in the garden, the importance of every sound we hear and lots more.

Subscribe to our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies show through your favorite podcast app – right now!

View one of our spy movie based videos on our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies YouTube channel!

Related Content

Leave us a comment either on our website, send us an email at info@spymovienavigator.com, or send us a voice mail by hitting the red button on the right that says
Send Us A Voicemail.

Our discussion of the From Russia With Love pre-title sequence looks at:

  • A brief history of pre-title sequences in movies
  • The setting of the garden in From Russia With Love‘s pre-title sequence
  • The use of statues
  • How lighting affects the viewing of the scene
  • Why does James Bond not seem confident in this scene
  • Who and what caused the sound that sounded like a twig snapping
  • Why did the dead guy at the end have a mustache?
  • And More …

 


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James Bond is Like Coca-Cola Which is Why for Bond, This is NO TIME TO DIE!

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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Pre-Title Sequence Decoded!

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YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE – Pre-Title Sequence Decoded

Join Dan, Tom & Vicky as they decode the pre-title sequence of You Only Live Twice!

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Gadgets FRWL & Goldfinger – Can You Believe it?

Podcast Episode

Gadgets FRWL & Goldfinger – Can You Believe it?

Join Tom, Dan and Vicky as they take apart the gadgets in From Russia With Love and Goldfinger - and determine whether we can believe in the gadget or not!   Fun stuff!

 

Join Tom, Dan and Vicky as they take apart the gadgets in From Russia With Love and Goldfinger – and determine whether we can believe in the gadget or not!   Fun stuff!

This is our third podcasts on Gadgets in Spy Movies. Our other Gadget podcasts were on the following and can be found by clicking the links below:

  • Dr. No and Skyfall
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service & Live and Let Die

 

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You can reach us at info@SpyMovieNavigator.com or leave us a voice mail by pressing that red button on the right.

Today’s podcast drilled into the following gadgets:

From Russia With Love

  • Donald “Red” Grant’s garrote watch that he uses to strangle the James Bond look-alike
  • The mask on the James Bond look-alike
  • James Bond’s pager
  • James Bond’s car phone (in 1963, no less)
  • The flame thrower at the training camp
  • The Lektor decoding machine
  • and more…

Goldfinger

  • Seagull scuba mask
  • The laser that Goldfinger wants to use to kill James Bond. “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”
  • The tracking device
  • The Aston Martin DB 5’s modifications
  • Using a nuclear bomb to render the gold unusable for 58 years
  • Oddjob’s hat
  • and more…

 

 


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All About Spy Movies – SpyMovieNavigator

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Examining Ian Fleming’s Original James Bond Manuscripts – Part 2

Join Dan and Tom for Part Two of their journey to The Lilly Library at Indiana University in the USA, as they examine, in-person, all of these wonderful James Bond masterpieces, gaining some insight into the novels and into Ian…

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Examining Ian Fleming’s Original James Bond Manuscripts – Part 1

Podcast Episode

Examining Ian Fleming’s Original James Bond Manuscripts – Part 1

Join Dan and Tom for Part One of their journey to The Lilly Library at Indiana University in the USA, as they examine, in-person, all of these wonderful James Bond masterpieces, gaining some insight into the novels and into Ian Fleming’s way of writing!

Dan and Tom of SpyMovieNavigator.com had the privilege of examining 11 of Ian Fleming’s original James Bond manuscripts – his actual typed pages, with hand-written edits in the margins, crossed-out sections, add-ins and more!  You can see where he changes a name that we all know, and then – there it is in the final published version of the novel!
Come with us to The Lilly Library at Indiana University in the USA, as we examine, in-person, all of these wonderful James Bond masterpieces, gaining some insight into the novels and into Ian Fleming’s way of writing!
This is Part one, covering Casino Royale to From Russia With Love, of a 2-part series!  Look for Part 2 as well!”

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Ian Fleming and the Lily Library 

The Ian Fleming Manuscripts!  Bond from the Page to the Screen! 

How would you like to touch and examine the actual pages that Ian Fleming typed when writing his James Bond novels?  Well, we did and here’s our story! 

Hi, this is Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato from SpyMovienavigator.com – the Worldwide Community of Spy Move Fans – spy movie podcasts, videos, discussions and more!  If you like our podcasts, please give us a 5star rating on iTunes and in Google Play – that helps us a lot!  Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and on Instagram too.  And when you have feedback, an idea for a podcast, something you want to say – just click the red button on our website that says “Send us a Voicemail”, or send us a message and we may include it on our show! 

We like traveling, hunting down spy movie filming locations and other significant places that played a part in spy movies.   Like, when we were in London not too long ago, we stood on the steps, and at the door of Les Ambassadeurs in London.   Of course, we know that is the casino that Bond is playing baccarat in at the beginning of Dr. No – where we first meet Bond on film, and with his now-famous, “Bond. James Bond” introduction to Sylvia Trench and all of us!  It’s also when Ian Fleming met with some of the EON folks early on to solidify a deal to turn the books into films.  

Well, how about visiting a place that owns 11 of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels?  Type-written pages that he typed at Goldeneye in Jamaica!  With Ian Fleming’s hand-written notes, deletions and additions, edits in blue ink?  Well, Indiana University in the State of Indiana in the United States has a special library called, The Lilly Library – and they have the manuscripts!   

The maddening thing is that this is where I got my undergraduate degree.  I knew the library existed and that is was a rare book library.  I knew it had part of the Gutenberg Bible.  They have the letter with George Washington accepting the first presidency of the United States.  I just knew it as a rare book library and never went in there in my four years of study.  Now I find out it had 11 James Bond manuscripts typed and hand-written by Ian Fleming?   What better reason to go visit my alma mater, read the manuscripts and get a chance to see if Mother Bear’s pizza is still as good as I remember (it is). 

Only a fourhour ride for us, we drove down and spent a day and a half pouring over all 11 of the manuscripts.   We photographed every page of Casino Royale, the first novel.   We are trying to get permission to post some of these pictures.   We were able to turn the pages of each manuscript with ungloved hands – touching the very pages that Fleming typed in his typewriter in Jamaica.  And examining every edit he made in all 11 manuscripts.  

This was a thrill beyond belief!  If you are a spy movie fan, and especially as a James Bond fan, we would highly recommend this.   When we drove down there, parked the car in the nearby Student Union parking lot, and were walking to the door of the library, our hearts were racing!  We walked in, signed in, and went into the special room where they brought the manuscripts – from the vault!  SpyMovieNavigator was about to examine in person, the original manuscripts! 

One quick note:  you need to make a reservation for the reading room which you can do online at https://libraries.indiana.edu/lilly-library . You request what you want to read.   We allocated a day and a half and really could have used 3 – 4 days in order to go page-by-page with the manuscript and the published book.  

They brought each manuscript out, 2 at a time – one for Dan and one for Tom.  They set then on foam rubber stands that allowed the book to sit there, opened, on an angle so you can read, and easily turn the pages.   We were not allowed to pick up the books, and of course, not to make ANY marks on these valuable pages.    

Here are the manuscripts that they have.   Now, keep in mind, there may be other editions of these drafts – because there were some things in other drafts that made it into the books, and so on.   The only novel they don’t have is his last one, The Man With The Golden Gun. They don’t have Thunderball either, but that was based on a screenplay that was credited to Kevin McClory, Jack Wittingham, and Ian Fleming.  But that’s a different story we won’t go into this podcast, maybe a later one. 

Here are the 11 they have and we examined: 

  • Casino Royale published 1953  (21st  Movie: 2006) 
  • Live and Let Die – published 1954 (8th Movie: 1973) 
  • Moonraker – published 1955 (11th Movie: 1979) 
  • Diamonds are Forever – published 1956 ( 7th Movie:1971 ) 
  • From Russia With Love  published 1957 (Second Movie: 1963) 
  • Dr. No – published  1958 (First Movie: 1962) 
  • Goldfinger – published 1959 (3rd Movie – 1964) 
  • For Your Eyes Only – published 1960 (From A View to a Kill).  (12th Movie – 1981) 
  • Also part of this short story set: Death Leaves an Echo, Quantum of Solace, Risico 
  • The Spy Who Loved Me – published 1962 (10th Movie: 1977)  
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – published 1963 (6th Movie – 1969) 
  • You Only Live Twice – published 1964 (5th Movie: 1967) 

Fleming used a lot of inserts to make changes.  Sometimes these would be written on the back of the previous page.  Other times they were typed and either inserted or pasted on the page. 

 We’re just going to go through a few of the highlights of paging through these manuscripts, book by book.   We can talk for a couple of hours about this great outing! 

Casino Royale published 1953  (Movie – 1962) 

  • The first page of the book and the manuscript have some slight differences so this isn’t the last manuscript. Many edits in all of the books handwritten by Ian Fleming.  
  • Fleming liked to name people in his books with names similar to real-life people.  Therefore, in the manuscripts, there are some name changes.  The first change is actually a company name change.  Messrs. Lascelles de Mercado was changed to Messrs. Caffrey.  It is interesting to see these as he had to go through other references to those names and change them too.  This was before cut/paste, Word, WordPerfect, Word processors, or even Wite-Out.  
  • What do you think, Petty?  Petty is scratched out.  Hand-written by Fleming is the word: “Penny.”   A couple of sentences later, Miss Pettavel is scratched out, and hand-written in its place is Miss Moneypenny!   OMG!  This is where it happened – right on this page!  Significant name change! 
  • The person who he modeled Pettavel after was based on Kathleen Pettigrew who was the personal assistant to the real-life MI6 director. 
  • CHECK FOR A VERSION RELEASED IN 2013 where Fleming had Bond as the real name, but James Secretan as his real name.  From an article by Susanna Lazarus, April 15th, 2013.  On page 59 in the version we have examined, he says his name is Bond! This isn’t until chapter 7. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2309144/The-names-Secretan–James-Secretan-Early-Ian-Fleming-draft-reveals-nearly-chose-different-007.html  
  • Bentley details: changed it to an almost new 1933. 
  • The Bitch is dead – it’s in there! 
  • Vesper Martini – ingredients described 
  • In describing a member of SMERSH, the name “Maxim Gorki” is changed to “Trotsky” and gives an assassination date of August 22, 1940.  There was a real-life Russian Revolutionary named Leon Trotsky who was killed in Mexico.  Actually, the attack came on Aug 20th and Trotsky died on the 21st.  There was a Russian writer named Maxim Gorky who died in 1936.   

 

Live and Let Die – published 1954 

  • Title page IN RED INK: “The Undertaker’s Wind”, which is scratched out in blue ink, and above it printed in blue ink: “Live and Let Die”.   “Live and Let Die was also written in on the left side of the title page and scratched out.    
  • 134 manuscript pages Bond in America – because he did well with the CIA in the Casino job (Bond handling the Jamaican end for the British) 
  • All the gold coins minted before 1620.  Over 1000 have shown up in the US in the last few months 
  • Mr. Big stands for Buonaparte Ignace Gallia.  Plus he is huge height and bulk.  This was added to the story as an insert at x on page 11`.  Chapter 3 
  • There is a hand-written insert for Page 18,  “and don’t go stirring up a lot of trouble for us.  This case isn’t ripe yet.  Until it is, our policy with Mr. Big is “live and let live.”  Bond looked quizzically at Dexter.  “In my job,” he said, “when I come up against a man like this one, I have another motto.  It’s ‘live and let die.”   This is cool because this is an edit to the story and now a big part of it! 
  • Description of Solitaire page 36 
  • Solitaire: Her real name was added as a written in the edit by Fleming at the top of page 53: to Bond: “I will just tell you my real name.   It is Simone Latrelle, but you can call me what you like.” 

 

From Russia With Love  published 1957 

  • Puts chapter titles 
  • Donovan Grant – the result of a midnight union between a German professional (The Mighty O’Donavanweight lifter and a Southern Irish waitress (Grant).  Behind a circus test just outside of Belfast.  Page 11 in the original manuscript 
  • Lots of background details on Grant and his life.  Kills Dr. Baumbartner as a test.   Then put into training for Russians.  He was an advanced manic depressive.  He carried out many executions for the soviets 
  • Head of SMERSH was General Brubozabou – schikovknow as G. 
  • Soviets agree that an act of terrorism against the British Secret Service would be their next move – looking for a target of someone who is admired and whose destruction would cause dismay.   They decide on Bond who had twice frustrated the operations of SMERSH – at the Casino with LeChiffre and Mr. Big.  And another adds Drax (Moonraker) WHO WAS FOILED BY Bond.  The most recent info was Bond having something to do with a diamond affair, from Africa to America,  Pages 38 – 42.  Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker had already been published – so some acknowledgment of previous missions and books.   
  • Bond’s scar: “three-inch scar showing whitely down the sunburned skin of his right cheek”  Page 43.  Page 44: Expert pistol shot, boxer, knife-thrower, does not use disguises; languages French and German; smokes heavily; vices; drinks but not to excess and women.  Knows the basic holds of Judo 
  • Kronsteen and Klebb get the orders to kill Bond.   Page 52 
  • Biela Klebb changed to Rosa Page 54 and  Fleming must scratch out Biela and insert Rosa from now on! 
  • Romanov gets recruited by Klebb page 58 and the dialogue is very very close to the movie.  It is a remarkable job in the movie to capture this moment.   
  • Klebb picks Grant page 75 
  • Bond in a funk page 84 because Tiffany Case, his love of several months, had left him.  They had gotten on very well, because M asked him to explain, and there “was some idea we might get married”  Page 89.  But she then met some American on the Military Attaché staff and they both went to America.   Fleming writes in the next top margin (page 90) that M was secretly pleased and the last thing he would want is “for Bond to be permanently tied to one woman’s skirt” and that is in the final print version of the book! 
  • Bond prefers to fly on the 13th of the month because no one wants to and he has fewer passengers to deal with and gets better service.  “I always choose the thirteenth whenever I can”  Page 97 
  • During a very rough part of the flight to Istanbul, Bond gets concerned, and Fleming writes in the bottom margin with an arrow to where it should be placed: “Bond “smelled the smell of danger.   It was a real smell, something like the mixture of sweat and electricity you get in an amusement arcade.”    Fleming describes Bond as going into his hurricane room – the kind of strong room they have in the middle of their homes in the tropics to protect themselves – he only did this when things were “beyond his control and no other possible action could be taken”   Page 100. 
  • Kerim: “Common blood is the best security” talking about his sons and uncles working with him. 
  • In the manuscript, the chapter titles The Tunnel of Rats – has pages 121 – 177 lined out in pencil.  Yet a lot of it is in the book.   Then again with CHAPTER TWENTY THREE from 178-187, and again for Chapter twenty-four FROM 188-195 and CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE from 196-20-5, and CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX from 206-213 and CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN from 214-220 
  • CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT is NOT lined out from 221–  228  

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Spy Movies & Real-World Connections – Part 1

Podcast Episode

Spy Movies & Real-World Connections – Part 1

Have you ever thought about how events in the real world and other movies could affect and work their way into some of our favorite spy movies? Well, think about it a minute because that’s what we are going to explore today on Spy Movie Navigator. Join Dan and Tom as they explore the unique connections between spy movies and the real-world impact on what goes into a spy movie! This is Part 1 of a multi-part series! If you have any suggestions on what to include in a future podcast, send them to Dan@SpyMovieNavigator.com

Many movies get ideas for their scenes from either other movies or real-world events.  Think about the jet-pack in Thunderball or the dinner jacket that 007 reveals when removing the wet suit in Goldfinger.  Were these ideas made up for the movie or were they based on real events?  Spy Movie Navigator is starting an on-going series of podcasts that cover scenes like these.   We will tie the scene back to either another movie or a real-life event of which the scene may have been based.

In this episode, Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato will examine the first six James Bond movies and look at the roots of some of their scenes.  We’ll discuss those two scenes from Thunderball and Goldfinger and also look at many other scenes in these films to identify their roots.

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HOW EVENTS IN THE REAL-WORLD AFFECT WHAT GOES INTO SPY FILMS – Part 1

Have you ever thought about how events in the real world and other movies could affect and work their way into some of our favorite spy movies?  Well, think about it a minute because that’s what we are going to explore today on Spy Movie Navigator.  (MUSIC) 

Hi, this is Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato at Spy Movie Navigator.com – the Worldwide Community of Spy Movie Fans – Spy Movie podcasts, videos, discussions and more! 

Let’s start by looking at some of the Bond films –  the biggest success franchise in all of spy films and a few others. 

The first real fact is, of course, Ian Fleming got the name James Bond from one of his favorite books, Birds of the West Indies, by…. James Bond. 

Dr. No was written in 1957 by Ian Fleming, published in 1958, and was his 6th James Bond novel.   The movie Dr. No, EON Production’s first Bond movie, came out in 1962.   So, here is the first instance the real world affecting this spy movie: 

  1. By 1962, both the Soviet Union and the USA were launching astronauts into space, so far ahead of the theme in the novel where the USA was launching test missiles.   In the novel, Dr. No says he is working with the Russians to disrupt American test missiles, in the movie, he is disrupting American space flights.  Also, in the movie both the East and the West have rejected his services, and so he is a member of SPECTRE Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion), and not working with the Russians.  The cold war between Russia (the Soviet Union) and the US in real life was heating up by the time the movie came out, so here, the movie was influenced by real world happenings.   
  1. And, in a subtle nod to life happening,  the painting of the Duke of Wellington by Francisco de Goya was stolen August 21st, 1961 from the National Gallery in London.   It was still missing when EON Productions was filming Dr. No.  So,  In Dr. No, when Bond is in Dr. No’s lair, he walks through the lair about to step up a couple of steps, stops and looks at a painting on an easel – it is the Duke of Wellington!  So, if you are watching Dr. No and don’t realize the painting he stops to look at is this real-life stolen Duke of Wellington, you just think, ah Bond finds that painting interesting.   Once you know the reallife incident, then this adds a brilliant glow to this scene, where the writers for EON Productions were indeed very clever and inventive.   By the way, the painting was eventually recovered in real-life and now hangs in Gallery A at the National Gallery in London once again – we saw it there while visiting Gallery # 24 where in SPECTRE, Bond meets the new Q. 

From Russia With Love – 1963 – released in 1963 by EON Productions as their second James Bond film, and Ian Fleming’s 5th James Bond novel published in 1957 (the year the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite), was heavily influenced by the times – and the Cold War.   The tensions between the US and the Soviets was at an all-time high.  Remember, the Cuban Missile Crisis (the showdown between Russia and the US) was in October 1962, the year EON was filming From Russia With Love.  So, once again, EON Productions was brilliant in their release of From Russia With Love! 

  • In addition, check out the book,  “For Your Eyes Only – Ian Fleming + James Bond” by Ben Macintyre.  Here he tells of the attempt to murder Bond on the Orient Express by SMERSH was based on a US Naval attaché in Romania, Eugene Karp, who was more than likely trying to escape from Russian agents.  He boarded the Orient Express in Bucharest in February 1950, and his body was found in a railway tunnel near Salzburg.  It was never proven the Soviet assassins did it, but it is highly probable.      
  • Even SMERSH is from the Russian Smyert Shpionam = “death to spies” – and we will see this is The Living Daylights 

 

 

Goldfinger – 1964 released in 1964 by EON Productions as their third James Bond film, based on Ian Fleming’s 7th novel of the same name, published in 1959.  In the pre-title sequence in the movie (not written in the novel) is James Bond in a wet/dry suit emerging from the water, setting explosives, and then removing his wetsuit (really a dry suit) to reveal a perfectly neat and crisp white dinner jacket, bow tie etc.    Ah, you are thinking like we were thinking – what is the chance of that really happening or being able to happen?!   

Well, let’s talk to MI6 about a similar WW-II operation!  In an article by David Harrison in April 2010 for The Telegraph, he reveals that a Jeremy Duns,  a British writer, was researching a new book.  He found out that a Dutch spy used a very similar technique to infiltrate a German-occupied mansion in the Netherlands during WW-II  From the water, he emerged in a wetsuit.  Underneath this specially designed wetsuit, he wore the evening wear.  His evening wear would make him look like he belonged, and he could slip past the guards into the party.   He was supposed to extract two comrades and escape.   Well, Jeremy Duns thinks that a Brit screenwriter, Paul Dehn, who was called in to polish up the Goldfinger script, knew about this WW-II incident, because he was a former intelligence officer in WW-II.  Hmm!   The original script did not have this scene, and, as said, it was not in the novel.     He feels it is too much of a coincidence that this scene was written into the screenplay by Paul Dehn, who most certainly was aware of this WW-II operation!  True real-life incident put into the movie! 

Skipping ahead, at the point in the film where Bond is captured by Goldfinger’s henchmeafter another great car chase scene, Bond finds himself strapped to a metal table, as Goldfinger is about to demonstrate his new toy – a laser beam.  Here in the film, the laser beam is directed at the base of the table and is guided to rise-up between Bond’s legs, into his crotch and eventually kill him.   In the book by Fleming, published March 23 1959, there were no lasers yet – and so this device was a table saw.   The laser was not invented until 1960.   The first working laser was built on May 16, 1960 by Theodore H. Maiman at Hughes Research Laboratories based on the theoretical work of Charles Hard Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow.   The term laser came to be an  acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.”   Again, EON Productions was brilliant at integrating a real-life happening, the invention of the laser, into this film which was being shot in 1963 for release in 1964.  And at the time, this was a very high-tech scene in Goldfinger!  We cannot think of another film of any kind using a laser before Goldfinger, so here is another first for EON Productions!   

This scene is famous the world-over for the laser, and for the dialogue: Bond: “ You expect me to talk?”  Goldfinger” “No, Mr. Bond I expect you to die!”   

   

 

Thunderball – 1965 Thunderball was Ian Fleming’s 9th James Bond novel, published in 1961, and EON Production’s 4th James Bond 007 movie, which opened in 1965.   Thunderball probably would have been the first movie produced but there were some copyright issues that were delayed in settlement.  Kevin McClory and Fleming had worked on a script that never made it to production.   Fleming used part of it for Thunderball, and eventually a settlement was reached.  Thunderball is the only early EON production  movie where the producers are not listed as “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.  Here they are listed as Executive Producers (which is a lesser status) and McClory is listed as the producer.   Also, McClory got the right to produce his own James Bond film based on his Thunderball contributions and eventually did Never Say Never Again which is basically the same story.   

But we digress!   In Thunderball, SPECTRE is at it again.  So, we get away from the US versus the Soviet Union and have this other entity as the enemy again.   Remember in Dr. No we were introduced to SPECTRE.   

Of course, by 1961 when the novel was published, we had lots of atomic bombs in the world, and there was an arms race between the Soviet Union and the US.  So, atomic weapons were on everyone’s minds.    

  1. The basis of this story is based in real life – people were worried about a nuclear war and atomic weapons.   Here, two atomic weapons are hijacked by SPECTRE who threaten to destroy a major city either in the US or in the United Kingdom.  So even though EON Productions did not make this their first Bond film, in 1965 the world was very aware of the threat from major powers building up supplies of nuclear weapons.    So, the topic was hot. 
  1. The sky hook, which recovers Bond and Domino at the end, is an actual real-life device developed by Robert Fulton for the CIA in the 1950s.  By letting up a line from the ground with a self-inflating balloon, a specially equipped plane can fly by and scoop up the line and the one or two personnel it was designed to retrieve.  Cool!  A real-life gadget at the time.   
  1. In 1956, a Soviet cruiser came to Britain, with Nikita Khrushchev on a state visit to Britain.   He was the former Premiere of the Soviet Union.  It was also in 1956 where, Khrushchev said: We will bury you” while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow on November 18, 1956.  So Soviet/Western relations were not good.   So on this visit to Britain, Britain wanted to get a look at this new Soviet ship – some reports say to examine for mine-laying hatches, or sonar equipment, and other reports, like from Peter Wright’s book, “Spycatcher,”  Britain’s Naval Intelligence  wanted information on the potential new propeller system this ship had.  So MI6 sent a scuba diver down (actually, two were reported as being sent) and one was a great diver, Lionel Crabb.  Crabb never returned from this mission, and a headless, handless body was found 14 months later dressed in the scuba gear he had worn on that date (April 15 1956).  MI6 covered up the mission, saying Crabb was lost in some underwater exercise.   Many theories floated about, one being that Soviet sentries were stationed underwater to guard the ship, caught Crabb, cut his air hose and brought him aboard and he later died.  Other theories say he was shot underwater by a Soviet sniper.   

Now, you will remember in Thunderball, Bond is sent to inspect the hull of the Disco Volante, Largo the villain’s boat.  Bond is discovered too by Largos frogmen, as Bond was taking photos of the hull to determine if there was an underwater hatch.   Bond, more luck than Crabb, escapes.  The photos showed an underwater hatch which leeds Bond to think Largo’s entire operation (the theft of the plane carrying to nuclear missiles) might be underwater – including the plane that was hijacked.  Is there a connection between the Crabb event and these scenes in Thunderball?  The MI6 officer in charge of the Lionel Crabb underwater deployment and mission was Nicholas Elliott – a friend of Fleming’s! 

  1. In the 1958 movie, Silent Enemy(based on a true story) – 2 British battleships are sunk in Alexandria by explosives set under their hulls.  The explosives, in real life, were being set by Italian scuba-divers, who were launched from a submarine using what they called, “underwater chariots” – which in Thunderball and other spy movies to come – were the underwater sleds used to transport the bombs, get divers to certain locations underwater, etc.!  In real life, they were using these underwater chariots to bring frogmen to the British ships where they would attach torpedoes and mines.  The British had to figure this out and stop it – and here, Lionel Crabb (who we mentioned earlier) was in charge of the operation to infiltrate the enemy shipdestroy their capabilities of continuing to blow up British ships!   So, in this movie we see real-life events.  Of course, we see in The Spy Who Loved Me, Stromberg’s (the villain) ship, the “Liparus,” has underwater bow hatches that capture the Soviet and US submarines (with nuclear weapons aboard).   

In the same movie, Silent EnemyALSO, there is a great underwater battle of frogmen, cutting breathing hoses and more – just like in Thunderball and additional spy movies to come.   The Thunderball underwater scenes, filmed in the Bahamas, were set the standard for future underwater battles, and the potential connections to real-life events from World War 2 makes Thunderball underwater hull investigations, and underwater battles with frogmen and underwater sleds even more grounded in reality.   

Also in Thunderball, the jet pack, was real and flown by Bill Suiter, who demanded using a helmet which is why Sean Connery as Bond puts on a helmet when he takes off.   

  1. Though the movie came out in 1965, Fleming’s 9th novel was published in 1961.  And it foreshadowed the threat of the Cuban Missile Crisis to the US Florida cities (like Miami, Cape Canaveral etc).  

 

You Only Live Twice – 1967 Ian Fleming’s 12th novel published in 1964 (counting the For Your Eyes Only collection of short stories, and it’s the last novel published before his death), and EON Production’s 5th James Bond 007 film which opened in 1967.  The movie has little to do with the actual novel.   Here, the beginning of the movie depicts the death of James Bond, complete with obituary in the newspapers.   There is a burial at sea for Commander Bond, and when the body sinks to the bottom of the ocean, scuba divers retrieve the body and bring it to the awaiting submarine where it is taken aboard, the wrappings open, only to reveal a live James Bond who quips, “Request permission to come aboard, Sir.” 

Thank God Bond is alive – we were worried, right?   His death was faked to throw off the enemy .  Of course, that means they knew who James Bond was, which is often the case, but that’s another podcast! 

  1. The faked death of spies is definitely grounded in reality.  Google Arkady Babchenko, faked his own death because being very critical of Vladimir Putin, he was certain that he would be killed by the KGB.  In a huge real-life situation in World War-II, Operation Mincemeat (Google it!) the Allies floated the body of a dead man with fake papers identifying him as a Captain who the Germans had been tracking. With papers indicating an invasion of Sardinia Italy and Greece instead of Sicily, to mislead the Germans.  Some stories say the fictitious name of the dead man was Captain William Martin, while other reports say the Germans were aware of the supposed dead man and felt he really knew something.  Regardless, the deception worked.  And the source of the plan came from Rear Admiral John Godfrey and his assistant, Lieutenant Commander Ian Fleming.    Yep!
  2. We all remember Henderson, the contact Bond meets in Japan and who has key information, was based on Richard Hughes, a reporter and double agent who worked for Ian Fleming at one point during WW-II.  Hughes did a lot of Bond-like things.  Hughes spent a great deal of time in Japan.   Hence, a great place to film this movie.  Google The extraordinary untold Japan story of ‘You Only Live Twice’ by Damian Flanigan, special to the Japan Times.   Great story!
  3. “Little Nellie,” the one-man autogyro that Bond flies to do surveillance in Japan was a real-life invention, developed by Ken Wallis, a Royal Air Force guy, in the early part of the 1960s.  The one used in the movie was modified, of course.  
  4. Of course, the Space Race played a part here too – the US and Soviet Union at the time were racing each other for outer space advantages and achievements.   So, SPECTRE capturing Soviet and US space capsules is a natural, given the times in 1967, two years before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin will land on the moon on the US Apollo 11. 

 

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – 1969 Ian Fleming’s 11th novel, published in 1963; and EON Production’s 6th James Bond 007 movie, showing in 1969.  The first Bond movies without Sean Connery, George Lazenby steps in to be Bond and to be bonded – married – to Teresa Di Vincenzo (Tracy) – played by Diana Rigg. 

In his mountain-top laboratory, posing as an allergy clinic, at Piz Gloria (Schilthorn, Switzerland  Blofeld is brainwashing young women to deliver a chemical agent that will stop plants and animals from reproducing- creating a tremendous food crisis.  The setting is spectacular – we have been to Piz Gloria about 10,000 feet up! 

  1. In 1968, there was an experiment done by the US Army at Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah.  Through a malfunction of a spraying nozzle, a toxic chemical was released and almost 30 miles away, over 6,000 sheep were found dead.   There was no definitive connection to the agent released and the sheep deaths, but traces of the toxic chemical were supposedly found on the carcasses.   So, draw your own conclusion!   So, when OHMSS comes out in 1969, chemical warfare and potential devastation to life through chemicals was very much real.
  2. The Soviet Union was ramping up chemical warfare research, while the US began to downgrade ours.  Again, what Blofeld was thinking was not out of the realm of possibility! 

 


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From Russia With Love: The United States was far From Russia With Love in 1963 – Part Two

Podcast Episode

From Russia With Love: The United States was far From Russia With Love in 1963 – Part Two

How would you feel about a love affair between the US and Russia in 1963? Well, it wasn’t likely, as then the United States was as far as it could be, From Russia With Love. James Bond at his best! Join Dan and Tom as they search for the love in From Russia With Love! This is Part 2 of a 2 Part show on From Russia With Love.

From Russia with Love is the second EON Productions entry into the film series and it is an outstanding film. Many choose From Russia with Love as one of their favorite James Bond movies, and we have to agree – this is definitely one of our top 5 Bond films ever made by EON Productions because of the screenplay, the cast, and just how well the story unfolds before our eyes. This is a top-notch Bond!

In today’s podcast, Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato will take an in-depth look at this movie.  They’ll discuss how many of the things that come out in this movie set the stage for later films in the franchise.  They’ll also look at how real-world events and scenes from earlier movies may have influenced From Russia with Love.

This is Part 2 of a 2 Part show on From Russia with Love.

Related Content

From Russia With Love

How would you feel about a love affair between the US and Russia in 1963? Well, it wasn’t likely, as then the United States was as far as it could be, From Russia With Love.

Join us now as we search for the love in From Russia With Love!

5th Ian Fleming James Bond 007 novel (1957), 2nd EON Productions James Bond 007 film (1963). When Ian Fleming wrote the novel, the Soviet Union had not yet launched Sputnik, the first satellite ever put into space. But by October 4th, 1957, Sputnik was successfully launched which began the official space race between the then Soviet Union and the United States – so the subject matter of the film was very much on everyone’s mind worldwide – what will happen in space, and what will tensions between the US and the Soviet Union bring to the world.   Another great choice by EON Productions to produce this film in 1963. Any advantage one super-power could gain on the other would be a strategic plus for that country.

The movie is all about James Bond heading to Istanbul to attempt to retrieve the Lektor, the top-secret Russian decoding machine.

Actors:

From Russia with Love is the second EON Productions entry into the film series and it is an outstanding film. Many choose From Russia With Love as one of their favorite James Bond movies, and we have to agree – this is definitely is one of our top 5 Bond films ever made by EON Productions because of the screenplay, the cast, and just how well the story unfolds before our eyes. This is top-notch Bond!

Here is as 2 minute plus a trailer to whet your appetite for the film, and to refresh your memory as to the tremendous number of great action shots and theatrical shots that we will see in many more spy movies to come throughout the next 5 plus decades.

The exotic locations, the tremendous explosions, the intrigue, the beauty of the photography and sets – all rolled up into one great film! The clip is fast-paced, as are many parts of the film. This is one of the best spy movies ever! The villains are true villains, from Red Grant, Kronsteen, to Rosa Klebb – and of course, Blofeld – who has people obeying orders in fear of death.

https://youtu.be/VqAOf66o1Wg

Pre-Title Sequence
In one of the most intriguing pre-title sequences, the mood is dark, the setting is dark, and we see Bond pursued by an agent (SPECTRE).

Pre-Title Sequence in a setting we are not familiar with and with a very perplexed and worried look upon James Bond’s face – he really does not look confident, which makes us viewers nervous.   He has a gun in hand, as he walks cautiously around these dark grounds with statuary and foliage – lot s of hiding places. Until, from behind, Bond is strangled to death.   For 1 minute and 52 seconds, he was pursued and killed.   Bond, dead. But wait… .ala Mission: Impossible’s use of masks, the mask is lifted off of Bond to reveal that it was really someone else. Note that the Mission: Impossible television series does not start until 3 years after the filming of From Russia With Love, so here, the film could have possibly influenced one of the major components of Mission: Impossible television series, and later the films! Of course, The List of Adrian Messenger was released in June 1963 and was the first we know of to heavily use make-up and facial masks as disguises, which are peeled off at the end of the film. So perhaps, From Russia With Love was influenced by The List of Adrian Messenger (not a spy movie per se) and then later influences the spy television series, Mission: Impossible and the subsequent films.

There is a great article written about some of this by Jeremy Dunns, April 14, 2015. Read it!

John F. Kennedy was President of the US then, and Ian Fleming actually met President Kennedy.   Kennedy was quoted as saying that From Russia With Love was one of his 10 favorite books.   The Fleming novels took off in sales after that.   Of course, later in 1963-1964, the film was released, but President Kennedy had been assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.

The subject matter of the film, obtaining a Soviet Lektor (which is an encoding device to protect communications – much like the Enigma machine in WW-II) which was stolen by SPECTRE, giving the West an advantage over the Soviets, was very much in vogue at the time. In the film, Russia is very much aware of James Bond already, and the pre-title sequence demonstrates how they are training to be able to kill Bond.   So, the tension of the film is established immediately.

SPECTRE Briefing

In this clip, we get a glimpse into the existence of SPECTRE and how SPECTRE works its evil plans.   We even see here a reference to Dr. No – and that by stealing the Lektor from the Russians, and setting up the plan for the Russian girl to theoretically defect and provide the Lector to the British, MI6 will most certainly send Bond, and then SPECTRE can exact their revenge on Bond for the death of Dr. No. So, we see for the first time a reference to a previous Bond movie – we will see others in future Bond movies. Here you see, Number One, stroking a white cat, but you never see his face.   Kronsteen in Number 2 and Rosa Klebb Number 3. High-level planning to get the Lector and kill Bond too.

The attention to detail for the sets continues EON Productions meticulous execution of fabulous sets, many built at Pinewood Studios outside London, and of course many scenes filmed on location – which SpyMovieNavigator is focused on with our videos.

Tatiana and Klebb (Head of Operations for SMERSH) Have A Meeting

Here we see the behind the scenes plan for getting the Lektor.   Tatiana Romanov works for Russia, and she thinks Klebb is still head of operations for the Russians (SMERSH). This set is in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and you can still find this very building (an inn) that was used to shoot this scene.   Again, a great set, nice lighting, a believable meeting. The set details make the movie most believable, and the locations feel very real. This scene sets up the rest of the movie, with two characters here who will appear at the very end of the movie as well. The atmosphere really shows at this moment, Tatiana is not in control, and the cat walking past her ads to the intrigue and dark atmosphere, as does the creaking door, all while Shaw watches her enter. Colonel Klebb, with a threatening baton/whip in hand, demonstrates that she is in complete control, and reinforces that with, after Tatiana says about making love to Bond, ”And if I refuse?” Klebb sternly rebukes, “Then you will not leave this room alive.” Note, when Klebb places her hand on Tatiana’s knee to wrestle complete control of the situation, Tatiana is very uncomfortable and shifts her legs. Klebb may have same-sex tendencies, and others have written at length about this. We think this scene might have been filmed in Istanbul as well, and we are investigating.   The exterior of the building it is said was Istanbul.

A Smart Looking Piece of Luggage: Briefcase

As Bond is called into M’s office to get the details of his assignment to Istanbul to recover the Lector, we see Q Branch, the quartermaster (Boothroyd), for the first time, played by Desmond Llewelyn. This first scene with Q is one of my favorite scenes in any Bond movie because you just have to love Q! I have loved Q played by Llewelyn from this moment forward, and enjoy every moment he is in a scene.   He is a special character and here we see him for the first time. Bravo, Desmond!

And Q does give Bond a rather smart piece of luggage, which, of course, will come in very handy.  From here on out, Q is very much in tune with what field agents might need!

https://youtu.be/Vu4yHOssCJA

Bond Lands in Istanbul
https://youtu.be/ahf_ceRT2EU

After leaving M’s office, knowing that he is Instanbul-bound, he signs the photograph that M wants back and gives it to Miss Moneypenny with the inscription, “With Love” to which Bond adds above it, “From Russia!”   Notice Moneypenny’s face – looking longingly at Bond. All the Connery movies have these playful interactions between the two. This is a very tightly written scene, reinforcing the rendezvous with Tatiana Romanov, the mission to get the Russian Lektor, and the title of the movie. Brilliant piece of writing here to get the viewer absolutely hooked, and one of the many reasons, From Russia With Love is a fan favorite.

At the airport in Istanbul, we are again left with unknows as there is a suspicious man following him out of the airport (the Bulgarian) and another in a car observing Bond. We will grow to know both of their roles very precisely soon. And, as in Dr. No, a driver is sent for him, but this time, through validation through a spoken code, it is an ally, not an adversary.

Bond makes it to the hotel safely, but tailed, and checks into Room 32.   He quickly searches for bugs and finds one behind a painting.   As if one bug is not enough, he keeps looking for more – in the chandelier and then checks the phone with an electronic device.   Of course, he will switch rooms.   This scene shows again the mystery of who is following him, and the thoroughness that 007 exhibits in the execution of his duties. Between Dr. No, and From Russia With love, we are beginning to learn who James Bond is: A tough assassin in Dr. No and a thorough, untrusting agent in From Russia With Love. 

James Bond and Karim at Cistern

Bond heads to Istanbul to meet Karin Bey the MI6 agent in Instanbul, and to talk about meeting Tatiana Romanov (who thinks she is working for Russia under Klebb who has defected to SPECTRE) who can get the Lektor. After a bomb goes off in Bey’s office, and he is wondering why the Russians are acting like this, Bond tells him maybe it is because he is here. Then SPECTRE will steal the Lektor and sell it. Here, Karim Bey takes Bond beneath his offices and to the underground cistern where he uses a periscope to spy on the Russian embassy.

This location is actually near the Aya Sofia Mosque. There is an entrance fee, but when you enter, you walk down the steps that Bond and Karim walk down in this scene.   Very cool!

The Gypsy Camp

Bey uses the gypsies for information. This has caused tension with the rival gypsy groups.   This is a beautiful scene on a beautiful evening, with belly dancing, and even a serious fight between two gypsy women . We quickly see that Krilencu is involved here as well, and it is also clear that Klebb’s assassin is nearby too, though Bey took precautions not to be followed.   The assassin is at this point protecting Bond because he needs Bond to get the lector first. Bey is wounded in the arm.

Krilencu was trying to kill Bey. So, next Bey and Bond head to where Bey knows Krilencu lives. Bey feels he better kill Krilencu before Krilencu gets another chance to kill Bey.   So, Bond, with his trusty Ar-7 briefcase rifle, heads to the known living location of Krilencu.

https://youtu.be/xsL7T32XG3M

Krilencu Hideout

https://youtu.be/iSUR050VECM

Here Bond and Bey take care of Krilencu so there is no other chance Krilencu will get Bey.   Bey’s sons are security police, in on the attack.   This is a touching scene, and you see how close Bond and Bey are – almost like a Felix Leiter kind of closeness.   It also highlights how much Bond and MI6 agents in the field are assassins.   This is a clear-cut assassination – shooting an unarmed nemesis as he escapes.   A perfect set-up.

 It’s the Right Size

https://youtu.be/jaA7_aOD2ig

When Bond gets a new suite at the hotel because of the bugged suite, he returns to it to find Tatiana Romanov in his bed.   This is the first time they meet when she says to him that she thinks her mouth is too big, and Bond says, “it’s the right size . . . for me that is.”   Again, we see Bond is flirtatious with women, and even while kissing her, he is asking her about the Lektor, where it is, and how she can draw a map of the consulate. It is obvious they will sleep together from the dialogue, and Tania (her friends call her that) looks fabulous and inviting – Daniella Bianchi is perfect for Tania.   We also discover that behind the mirrors, they are being filmed – part of a plan to do away with them both later in the film.

Red Grant Kills Foreign Agent

https://youtu.be/C96t9J5c6TU

Tania obviously got the plan of the consulate and will leave it at the Aya Sofia as Bond had suggested. The Blue Mosque is seen in the background as Tania approaches Aya Sofia. We see more intrigue here- nothing goes quite that simple in a Bond movie. You will see some familiar faces we saw at the airport when Bond landed in Istanbul. Remember, Tania is leaving the plan for the Consulate in a small container for Bond. But one of the guys we saw at the airport, is tracing her and goes to retrieve it before Bond.   But he is killed by the other man we saw at the airport following Bond – later identifying himself as Red Grant.   But he does not take the compact container – why not?

Remember, this is a complex plan – Tania thinks she is working for the Russians, and Klebb and Shaw have other plans. They want Bond to get the plan. And this all comes out in this scene. And you can still visit Aya Sofia and it is exactly the same as it was in the movie!

 Ferry Boat Encounter

https://youtu.be/S9yL6DAWYIg

Ferry Boat Encounter – In this clip, Bond is clandestinely meeting with Tatiana Romanova on a ferry boat in Istanbul, on the Bosphorus.    Here, he has a camera gadget that conceals a tape recorder and pretends to be taking pictures of Tatiana.   But in reality, he is recording her describing the physical attributes of the LEKTOR, the Russian decoding machine.

Bond is calm, cool, and very directive – completely in control of the encounter.  Watch his face, listen to the well-written dialogue.  He is in command.

She also describes where it is kept in the consulate, when it is used, and so on.  Clearly, Tatiana is starting to fall for Bond. We will see, of course, in many more Bond films, and certainly in other spy movies along the way – where the spy wins over a key ally in a woman.  This has happened in spy movies since the first one, The 39 Steps in 1935.

So check out the beautiful scenery, the Ferry Boat Encounter, as Bond advances the opportunity to get the LEKTOR.  We must call-out Daniela Bianchi, who is stunning as Tatiana, both in beauty and in her role.  She is voiced by British actress, Barbara Jefford.  Bianchi, an Italian actress, was 1st runner-up in the Miss Universe contest of 1960.  She steals lots of scenes in our opinion and was perfectly cast.

As a way to see Istanbul, this  Bosphorus River Ferry is a very good way to do it according to many who have traveled to Istanbul.

Russian Clocks are Always Right – Escape with the Lektor

https://youtu.be/EsAXWF9wDd0

The Lektor is the reason Bond is in Istanbul, and here he receives clearance from M to proceed with the mission.   Note Bond tells Kerim Bay that they will execute the plan for getting the Lektor out of the Russian Embassy on the 14th after Bey asks the 13th? Bey is to explode a bomb at 3 PM, and here Bond asks if the clock is correct as he checks his watch as well.   The gates when Bond walks through to access the Russian Embassy are still around, but not near the other filming locations. When the bomb goes off, chaos ensues, and Bond gets into the room where Tania has the Lektor, with team gas in the air, mask on Bond, and she says that she thought it was going to be the 14th but today is the 13th.   The question is why did Bond tell Karim in his office that it would be the 14th, but then they executed it on the 13th?   Perhaps they were being cautious in case anyone overheard, but it is not absolutely clear in the clip.

Train Fight
https://youtu.be/WmTs5bF0-mQ

One of the greatest train fights in all cinema, this one is brutal, painful, and dangerous. In 1935, in The 39 Steps, we see a train chase in a spy movie pretty much for the first time.   From Russia With Love takes this to new heights, which will impact many future spy movies – with tremendous train fights and chases like Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, Mission Impossible (1996), SPECTRE, Bourne Ultimatum (2007), and others. This is one of the best train fights of all time.

The acting is superb by both Robert Shaw and Connery.   Shaw, as Grant, is tremendous, and you see the vulnerability of Bond clearly and also how Q’s gadgets can save the day when used properly.

This train fight is a tremendous scene and a turning point in From Russia With Love. Remember, in the pre-title sequence, Shaw was training to kill Bond, and his plan has worked flawlessly to this point.   But, when Bond gets the better of the ole boy, the tide turns. Grant is dead, not Bond.

SpyMovieNavigator has a signed Sean Connery photo of him in the train car.   Very cool.

Truck vs. Helicopter

https://youtu.be/4oD3vvgb3vk

In what will become a staple item in future spy movie films, this helicopter chase scene sets the stage for the rest of From Russia With Love, and for many spy movies to come.   The first helicopter searching for a “spy” is in The 39 Steps from 1935, a Hitchcock produced movie. It appears only for a few seconds, but it is the beginning of the use of this vehicle in pursuits throughout dozens of movies, and spy films for sure.   Many Bond movies, Mission: Impossible movies and more of the best of the rest.

This scene again shows how in tune Q is in what gadgets Bond might need for a mission, as his smart looking piece of luggage with the AR-7 comes in very handy once again.

SpyMovieNavigator was actually in Scotland looking for Bond locations, and we tried to find the rock that Bond was hiding under when he shot down the helicopter and we could not find it!   We were close to the location and should have been able to find it, but we could not.

 Death of Kronsteen

https://youtu.be/v7cEnaXU8Ec?t=4

We know very little about SPECTRE at this point, but this scene highlights how brutal and unforgiving SPECTRE is, and we get a glimpse of # 1, albeit from shoulders down, as he is stroking a white cat, as we flashback to the cat that walked by Tania as she was on her way to meet Klebb for the first time.   SPECTRE wants the Lektor as they have made arrangements with the Russians to return it to them, for a price. The atmosphere this scene creates is one of terror – terror for # 3 and # 5, but terror and tremendous tension for the viewing audience, as we realize the SPECTRE will stop at nothing, does not tolerate failure, and, as Blofeld says, SPECTRE always delivers what it promises.

Here we see for the first time, the poison blade that pops out of the shoe of the assassin here, as he kicks # 5 with it. How long does it take for Kronsteen to die? 12 seconds and # 1 is not happy that it takes that long.   Bond is up again an evil organization!

Klebb’s Final Assault
https://youtu.be/-SXbmeFCnTM

Just when you think it’s safe…Klebb shows up once again, in Venice, as Bond and Tania are ready to depart.   The thing to note here is that Klebb now has the poison shoe bald device that killed # 5 in SPECTRE # 1’s office. Here, she is willing to use it to kill Bond and retrieve the Lektor.   Here in the film, Bond escapes the poison blade, and Tania – who Klebb still thinks is on her side, foils Klebb’s plans to kill Bond.   Here in the film, Bond escapes without injury, though in the novel by Ian Fleming, Bond is punctured by the poison blade, and his fate is unknown.

In the film, as below, Klebb’s attempts to kill Bond with the poison shoe blade and with a pistol are foiled by Tania as she shoots Klebb.   Twice Tania reassures Bond that she knows nothing about Klebb being there, by shaking her head left and right while looking directly at Bond – twice – to show Bond her loyalty is to him.   We all feel relief that Tania is on the “good” side, and Klebb, evil incarnate – is finally dead. As in many Bond films, you never know when it’s over – but now, the danger is over at least!

Escape to Venice
After the helicopter chase scene in which Bond and Tatiana escape, they force the driver to take them to the dock where Red Grant was supposed to meet them and escape.   This scene was actually shot in Scotland, and SpyMovieNavigator has visited the dock location.

We could not find a clip of the pick-up truck arriving at the dock, but in our videos below this is what the dock and the bluffs look like now. In the movie, the pier is in great shape as the yellow truck drives onto the pier and stops at the end.   Then, Bond, Tatiana, and the truck driver board the escape boat on their way to Venice, Italy (this was supposed to be taking place in Turkey, but this scene was shot in Scotland)!.   The dock today is a bit dilapidated, and if you are watching this online, you can see that.   But we found the actual dock in Scotland, and this is the place where the final escape with the Lektor takes place, and the ensuing chase by the SPECTRE boats.   A very key location in the movie.   In our video, you can also see where. In the distance, the chase scene begins, as the bluffs and hills are pretty much the same.

You will see the bluffs and water that appear in our video above in the boat chase scene which appears in the film, below.   Very cool to be there, and Scotland is a beautiful country!

Venice – Canal Scene Ends the Movie

https://youtu.be/-Slk80uIzBg?t=6

The boat scene in Venice, when Tania and Bond are now relaxing with the mission complete, the establishing shots are of the Doge Place, the Bridge of Sighs, the Venice canals. It looks like green-screen stuff with eh actors super-imposed against the background. One of the things see here in the background, is the Bridge of Sighs – for a short time behind Bond and Tania.   The Bridge of Sighs, in olden times, was the bridge prisoners would cross over from the courtyard where they were sentenced to death or to prison and maybe even to the execution area – so they knew they would never cross that bridge again or see the beautiful view of Venice they could see through the bridges barred windows. Hence, the sighs.   Here, in From Russia With Love, there could be a couple of meanings: 1) That Bond and Tania are now beyond the danger zone – they passed under the Bridge of Sighs and the mission is accomplished; they are out of danger; 2) or, it can be a sexual symbol – Bond is reviewing the film of he and Tania making love in the bridal suite (that Tania did not know about as you recall) – and Grant was going to use this film as the reason Tania and Bond were dead – one was going to use it as blackmail against the other, then murder and suicide. So, the film had enough sexual content to be potent.   Bond is looking at it now and Tania asks what it is, and Bond just says that he will show her all as they pass from canal to canal – to the Grand Canal., which can be taken as metaphors or symbols.   It is a pleasant moment for the two of them, as they wrap up their mission, and their passion.   And they are now in the safety zone! And Daniella Bianchi as Tania was just perfect casting – she is stunning! Tell us what you think!


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From Russia With Love: The United States was far From Russia With Love in 1963 – Part One

Podcast Episode

From Russia With Love: The United States was far From Russia With Love in 1963 – Part One

How would you feel about a love affair between the US and Russia in 1963? Well, it wasn’t likely, as then the United States was as far as it could be, From Russia With Love. Join James Bond at his best! Join Dan and Tom as they search for the love in From Russia With Love!

From Russia with Love is the second EON Productions entry into the James Bond film series and it is an outstanding film. Many choose From Russia with Love as one of their favorite James Bond movies, and we have to agree – this is definitely one of our top 5 Bond films ever made by EON Productions because of the screenplay, the cast, and just how well the story unfolds before our eyes. This is a top-notch Bond! This is Part 1 of a 2 Part show on From Russia with Love.

In today’s podcast, Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato will take an in-depth look at this movie.  They’ll discuss how many of the things that come out in this movie set the stage for later films in the franchise.  They’ll also look at how real-world events and scenes from earlier movies may have influenced From Russia with Love.

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From Russia With Love

How would you feel about a love affair between the US and Russia in 1963? Well, it wasn’t likely, as then the United States was as far as it could be, From Russia With Love.

Join us now as we search for the love in From Russia With Love!

5th Ian Fleming James Bond 007 novel (1957), 2nd EON Productions James Bond 007 film (1963). When Ian Fleming wrote the novel, the Soviet Union had not yet launched Sputnik, the first satellite ever put into space. But by October 4th, 1957, Sputnik was successfully launched which began the official space race between the then Soviet Union and the United States – so the subject matter of the film was very much on everyone’s mind worldwide – what will happen in space, and what will tensions between the US and the Soviet Union bring to the world.   Another great choice by EON Productions to produce this film in 1963. Any advantage one super-power could gain on the other would be a strategic plus for that country.

The movie is all about James Bond heading to Istanbul to attempt to retrieve the Lektor, the top-secret Russian decoding machine.

Actors:

From Russia with Love is the second EON Productions entry into the film series and it is an outstanding film. Many choose From Russia With Love as one of their favorite James Bond movies, and we have to agree – this is definitely is one of our top 5 Bond films ever made by EON Productions because of the screenplay, the cast, and just how well the story unfolds before our eyes. This is top-notch Bond!

Here is as 2 minute plus a trailer to whet your appetite for the film, and to refresh your memory as to the tremendous number of great action shots and theatrical shots that we will see in many more spy movies to come throughout the next 5 plus decades.

The exotic locations, the tremendous explosions, the intrigue, the beauty of the photography and sets – all rolled up into one great film! The clip is fast-paced, as are many parts of the film. This is one of the best spy movies ever! The villains are true villains, from Red Grant, Kronsteen, to Rosa Klebb – and of course, Blofeld – who has people obeying orders in fear of death.

https://youtu.be/VqAOf66o1Wg

Pre-Title Sequence
In one of the most intriguing pre-title sequences, the mood is dark, the setting is dark, and we see Bond pursued by an agent (SPECTRE).

Pre-Title Sequence in a setting we are not familiar with and with a very perplexed and worried look upon James Bond’s face – he really does not look confident, which makes us viewers nervous.   He has a gun in hand, as he walks cautiously around these dark grounds with statuary and foliage – lot s of hiding places. Until, from behind, Bond is strangled to death.   For 1 minute and 52 seconds, he was pursued and killed.   Bond, dead. But wait… .ala Mission: Impossible’s use of masks, the mask is lifted off of Bond to reveal that it was really someone else. Note that the Mission: Impossible television series does not start until 3 years after the filming of From Russia With Love, so here, the film could have possibly influenced one of the major components of Mission: Impossible television series, and later the films! Of course, The List of Adrian Messenger was released in June 1963 and was the first we know of to heavily use make-up and facial masks as disguises, which are peeled off at the end of the film. So perhaps, From Russia With Love was influenced by The List of Adrian Messenger (not a spy movie per se) and then later influences the spy television series, Mission: Impossible and the subsequent films.

There is a great article written about some of this by Jeremy Dunns, April 14, 2015. Read it!

John F. Kennedy was President of the US then, and Ian Fleming actually met President Kennedy.   Kennedy was quoted as saying that From Russia With Love was one of his 10 favorite books.   The Fleming novels took off in sales after that.   Of course, later in 1963-1964, the film was released, but President Kennedy had been assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.

The subject matter of the film, obtaining a Soviet Lektor (which is an encoding device to protect communications – much like the Enigma machine in WW-II) which was stolen by SPECTRE, giving the West an advantage over the Soviets, was very much in vogue at the time. In the film, Russia is very much aware of James Bond already, and the pre-title sequence demonstrates how they are training to be able to kill Bond.   So, the tension of the film is established immediately.

SPECTRE Briefing

In this clip, we get a glimpse into the existence of SPECTRE and how SPECTRE works its evil plans.   We even see here a reference to Dr. No – and that by stealing the Lektor from the Russians, and setting up the plan for the Russian girl to theoretically defect and provide the Lector to the British, MI6 will most certainly send Bond, and then SPECTRE can exact their revenge on Bond for the death of Dr. No. So, we see for the first time a reference to a previous Bond movie – we will see others in future Bond movies. Here you see, Number One, stroking a white cat, but you never see his face.   Kronsteen in Number 2 and Rosa Klebb Number 3. High-level planning to get the Lector and kill Bond too.

The attention to detail for the sets continues EON Productions meticulous execution of fabulous sets, many built at Pinewood Studios outside London, and of course many scenes filmed on location – which SpyMovieNavigator is focused on with our videos.

Tatiana and Klebb (Head of Operations for SMERSH) Have A Meeting

Here we see the behind the scenes plan for getting the Lektor.   Tatiana Romanov works for Russia, and she thinks Klebb is still head of operations for the Russians (SMERSH). This set is in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and you can still find this very building (an inn) that was used to shoot this scene.   Again, a great set, nice lighting, a believable meeting. The set details make the movie most believable, and the locations feel very real. This scene sets up the rest of the movie, with two characters here who will appear at the very end of the movie as well. The atmosphere really shows at this moment, Tatiana is not in control, and the cat walking past her ads to the intrigue and dark atmosphere, as does the creaking door, all while Shaw watches her enter. Colonel Klebb, with a threatening baton/whip in hand, demonstrates that she is in complete control, and reinforces that with, after Tatiana says about making love to Bond, ”And if I refuse?” Klebb sternly rebukes, “Then you will not leave this room alive.” Note, when Klebb places her hand on Tatiana’s knee to wrestle complete control of the situation, Tatiana is very uncomfortable and shifts her legs. Klebb may have same-sex tendencies, and others have written at length about this. We think this scene might have been filmed in Istanbul as well, and we are investigating.   The exterior of the building it is said was Istanbul.

A Smart Looking Piece of Luggage: Briefcase

As Bond is called into M’s office to get the details of his assignment to Istanbul to recover the Lector, we see Q Branch, the quartermaster (Boothroyd), for the first time, played by Desmond Llewelyn. This first scene with Q is one of my favorite scenes in any Bond movie because you just have to love Q! I have loved Q played by Llewelyn from this moment forward, and enjoy every moment he is in a scene.   He is a special character and here we see him for the first time. Bravo, Desmond!

And Q does give Bond a rather smart piece of luggage, which, of course, will come in very handy.  From here on out, Q is very much in tune with what field agents might need!

https://youtu.be/Vu4yHOssCJA

Bond Lands in Istanbul
https://youtu.be/ahf_ceRT2EU

After leaving M’s office, knowing that he is Instanbul-bound, he signs the photograph that M wants back and gives it to Miss Moneypenny with the inscription, “With Love” to which Bond adds above it, “From Russia!”   Notice Moneypenny’s face – looking longingly at Bond. All the Connery movies have these playful interactions between the two. This is a very tightly written scene, reinforcing the rendezvous with Tatiana Romanov, the mission to get the Russian Lektor, and the title of the movie. Brilliant piece of writing here to get the viewer absolutely hooked, and one of the many reasons, From Russia With Love is a fan favorite.

At the airport in Istanbul, we are again left with unknows as there is a suspicious man following him out of the airport (the Bulgarian) and another in a car observing Bond. We will grow to know both of their roles very precisely soon. And, as in Dr. No, a driver is sent for him, but this time, through validation through a spoken code, it is an ally, not an adversary.

Bond makes it to the hotel safely, but tailed, and checks into Room 32.   He quickly searches for bugs and finds one behind a painting.   As if one bug is not enough, he keeps looking for more – in the chandelier and then checks the phone with an electronic device.   Of course, he will switch rooms.   This scene shows again the mystery of who is following him, and the thoroughness that 007 exhibits in the execution of his duties. Between Dr. No, and From Russia With love, we are beginning to learn who James Bond is: A tough assassin in Dr. No and a thorough, untrusting agent in From Russia With Love. 

James Bond and Karim at Cistern

Bond heads to Istanbul to meet Karin Bey the MI6 agent in Instanbul, and to talk about meeting Tatiana Romanov (who thinks she is working for Russia under Klebb who has defected to SPECTRE) who can get the Lektor. After a bomb goes off in Bey’s office, and he is wondering why the Russians are acting like this, Bond tells him maybe it is because he is here. Then SPECTRE will steal the Lektor and sell it. Here, Karim Bey takes Bond beneath his offices and to the underground cistern where he uses a periscope to spy on the Russian embassy.

This location is actually near the Aya Sofia Mosque. There is an entrance fee, but when you enter, you walk down the steps that Bond and Karim walk down in this scene.   Very cool!

The Gypsy Camp

Bey uses the gypsies for information. This has caused tension with the rival gypsy groups.   This is a beautiful scene on a beautiful evening, with belly dancing, and even a serious fight between two gypsy women . We quickly see that Krilencu is involved here as well, and it is also clear that Klebb’s assassin is nearby too, though Bey took precautions not to be followed.   The assassin is at this point protecting Bond because he needs Bond to get the lector first. Bey is wounded in the arm.

Krilencu was trying to kill Bey. So, next Bey and Bond head to where Bey knows Krilencu lives. Bey feels he better kill Krilencu before Krilencu gets another chance to kill Bey.   So, Bond, with his trusty Ar-7 briefcase rifle, heads to the known living location of Krilencu.

https://youtu.be/xsL7T32XG3M

Krilencu Hideout

https://youtu.be/iSUR050VECM

Here Bond and Bey take care of Krilencu so there is no other chance Krilencu will get Bey.   Bey’s sons are security police, in on the attack.   This is a touching scene, and you see how close Bond and Bey are – almost like a Felix Leiter kind of closeness.   It also highlights how much Bond and MI6 agents in the field are assassins.   This is a clear-cut assassination – shooting an unarmed nemesis as he escapes.   A perfect set-up.

 It’s the Right Size

https://youtu.be/jaA7_aOD2ig

When Bond gets a new suite at the hotel because of the bugged suite, he returns to it to find Tatiana Romanov in his bed.   This is the first time they meet when she says to him that she thinks her mouth is too big, and Bond says, “it’s the right size . . . for me that is.”   Again, we see Bond is flirtatious with women, and even while kissing her, he is asking her about the Lektor, where it is, and how she can draw a map of the consulate. It is obvious they will sleep together from the dialogue, and Tania (her friends call her that) looks fabulous and inviting – Daniella Bianchi is perfect for Tania.   We also discover that behind the mirrors, they are being filmed – part of a plan to do away with them both later in the film.

Red Grant Kills Foreign Agent

https://youtu.be/C96t9J5c6TU

Tania obviously got the plan of the consulate and will leave it at the Aya Sofia as Bond had suggested. The Blue Mosque is seen in the background as Tania approaches Aya Sofia. We see more intrigue here- nothing goes quite that simple in a Bond movie. You will see some familiar faces we saw at the airport when Bond landed in Istanbul. Remember, Tania is leaving the plan for the Consulate in a small container for Bond. But one of the guys we saw at the airport, is tracing her and goes to retrieve it before Bond.   But he is killed by the other man we saw at the airport following Bond – later identifying himself as Red Grant.   But he does not take the compact container – why not?

Remember, this is a complex plan – Tania thinks she is working for the Russians, and Klebb and Shaw have other plans. They want Bond to get the plan. And this all comes out in this scene. And you can still visit Aya Sofia and it is exactly the same as it was in the movie!

 Ferry Boat Encounter

https://youtu.be/S9yL6DAWYIg

Ferry Boat Encounter – In this clip, Bond is clandestinely meeting with Tatiana Romanova on a ferry boat in Istanbul, on the Bosphorus.    Here, he has a camera gadget that conceals a tape recorder and pretends to be taking pictures of Tatiana.   But in reality, he is recording her describing the physical attributes of the LEKTOR, the Russian decoding machine.

Bond is calm, cool, and very directive – completely in control of the encounter.  Watch his face, listen to the well-written dialogue.  He is in command.

She also describes where it is kept in the consulate, when it is used, and so on.  Clearly, Tatiana is starting to fall for Bond. We will see, of course, in many more Bond films, and certainly in other spy movies along the way – where the spy wins over a key ally in a woman.  This has happened in spy movies since the first one, The 39 Steps in 1935.

So check out the beautiful scenery, the Ferry Boat Encounter, as Bond advances the opportunity to get the LEKTOR.  We must call-out Daniela Bianchi, who is stunning as Tatiana, both in beauty and in her role.  She is voiced by British actress, Barbara Jefford.  Bianchi, an Italian actress, was 1st runner-up in the Miss Universe contest of 1960.  She steals lots of scenes in our opinion and was perfectly cast.

As a way to see Istanbul, this  Bosphorus River Ferry is a very good way to do it according to many who have traveled to Istanbul.

Russian Clocks are Always Right – Escape with the Lektor

https://youtu.be/EsAXWF9wDd0

The Lektor is the reason Bond is in Istanbul, and here he receives clearance from M to proceed with the mission.   Note Bond tells Kerim Bay that they will execute the plan for getting the Lektor out of the Russian Embassy on the 14th after Bey asks the 13th? Bey is to explode a bomb at 3 PM, and here Bond asks if the clock is correct as he checks his watch as well.   The gates when Bond walks through to access the Russian Embassy are still around, but not near the other filming locations. When the bomb goes off, chaos ensues, and Bond gets into the room where Tania has the Lektor, with team gas in the air, mask on Bond, and she says that she thought it was going to be the 14th but today is the 13th.   The question is why did Bond tell Karim in his office that it would be the 14th, but then they executed it on the 13th?   Perhaps they were being cautious in case anyone overheard, but it is not absolutely clear in the clip.

Train Fight
https://youtu.be/WmTs5bF0-mQ

One of the greatest train fights in all cinema, this one is brutal, painful, and dangerous. In 1935, in The 39 Steps, we see a train chase in a spy movie pretty much for the first time.   From Russia With Love takes this to new heights, which will impact many future spy movies – with tremendous train fights and chases like Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, Mission Impossible (1996), SPECTRE, Bourne Ultimatum (2007), and others. This is one of the best train fights of all time.

The acting is superb by both Robert Shaw and Connery.   Shaw, as Grant, is tremendous, and you see the vulnerability of Bond clearly and also how Q’s gadgets can save the day when used properly.

This train fight is a tremendous scene and a turning point in From Russia With Love. Remember, in the pre-title sequence, Shaw was training to kill Bond, and his plan has worked flawlessly to this point.   But, when Bond gets the better of the ole boy, the tide turns. Grant is dead, not Bond.

SpyMovieNavigator has a signed Sean Connery photo of him in the train car.   Very cool.

Truck vs. Helicopter

https://youtu.be/4oD3vvgb3vk

In what will become a staple item in future spy movie films, this helicopter chase scene sets the stage for the rest of From Russia With Love, and for many spy movies to come.   The first helicopter searching for a “spy” is in The 39 Steps from 1935, a Hitchcock produced movie. It appears only for a few seconds, but it is the beginning of the use of this vehicle in pursuits throughout dozens of movies, and spy films for sure.   Many Bond movies, Mission: Impossible movies and more of the best of the rest.

This scene again shows how in tune Q is in what gadgets Bond might need for a mission, as his smart looking piece of luggage with the AR-7 comes in very handy once again.

SpyMovieNavigator was actually in Scotland looking for Bond locations, and we tried to find the rock that Bond was hiding under when he shot down the helicopter and we could not find it!   We were close to the location and should have been able to find it, but we could not.

 Death of Kronsteen

https://youtu.be/v7cEnaXU8Ec?t=4

We know very little about SPECTRE at this point, but this scene highlights how brutal and unforgiving SPECTRE is, and we get a glimpse of # 1, albeit from shoulders down, as he is stroking a white cat, as we flashback to the cat that walked by Tania as she was on her way to meet Klebb for the first time.   SPECTRE wants the Lektor as they have made arrangements with the Russians to return it to them, for a price. The atmosphere this scene creates is one of terror – terror for # 3 and # 5, but terror and tremendous tension for the viewing audience, as we realize the SPECTRE will stop at nothing, does not tolerate failure, and, as Blofeld says, SPECTRE always delivers what it promises.

Here we see for the first time, the poison blade that pops out of the shoe of the assassin here, as he kicks # 5 with it. How long does it take for Kronsteen to die? 12 seconds and # 1 is not happy that it takes that long.   Bond is up again an evil organization!

Klebb’s Final Assault
https://youtu.be/-SXbmeFCnTM

Just when you think it’s safe…Klebb shows up once again, in Venice, as Bond and Tania are ready to depart.   The thing to note here is that Klebb now has the poison shoe bald device that killed # 5 in SPECTRE # 1’s office. Here, she is willing to use it to kill Bond and retrieve the Lektor.   Here in the film, Bond escapes the poison blade, and Tania – who Klebb still thinks is on her side, foils Klebb’s plans to kill Bond.   Here in the film, Bond escapes without injury, though in the novel by Ian Fleming, Bond is punctured by the poison blade, and his fate is unknown.

In the film, as below, Klebb’s attempts to kill Bond with the poison shoe blade and with a pistol are foiled by Tania as she shoots Klebb.   Twice Tania reassures Bond that she knows nothing about Klebb being there, by shaking her head left and right while looking directly at Bond – twice – to show Bond her loyalty is to him.   We all feel relief that Tania is on the “good” side, and Klebb, evil incarnate – is finally dead. As in many Bond films, you never know when it’s over – but now, the danger is over at least!

Escape to Venice
After the helicopter chase scene in which Bond and Tatiana escape, they force the driver to take them to the dock where Red Grant was supposed to meet them and escape.   This scene was actually shot in Scotland, and SpyMovieNavigator has visited the dock location.

We could not find a clip of the pick-up truck arriving at the dock, but in our videos below this is what the dock and the bluffs look like now. In the movie, the pier is in great shape as the yellow truck drives onto the pier and stops at the end.   Then, Bond, Tatiana, and the truck driver board the escape boat on their way to Venice, Italy (this was supposed to be taking place in Turkey, but this scene was shot in Scotland)!.   The dock today is a bit dilapidated, and if you are watching this online, you can see that.   But we found the actual dock in Scotland, and this is the place where the final escape with the Lektor takes place, and the ensuing chase by the SPECTRE boats.   A very key location in the movie.   In our video, you can also see where. In the distance, the chase scene begins, as the bluffs and hills are pretty much the same.

You will see the bluffs and water that appear in our video above in the boat chase scene which appears in the film, below.   Very cool to be there, and Scotland is a beautiful country!

Venice – Canal Scene Ends the Movie

https://youtu.be/-Slk80uIzBg?t=6

The boat scene in Venice, when Tania and Bond are now relaxing with the mission complete, the establishing shots are of the Doge Place, the Bridge of Sighs, the Venice canals. It looks like green-screen stuff with eh actors super-imposed against the background. One of the things see here in the background, is the Bridge of Sighs – for a short time behind Bond and Tania.   The Bridge of Sighs, in olden times, was the bridge prisoners would cross over from the courtyard where they were sentenced to death or to prison and maybe even to the execution area – so they knew they would never cross that bridge again or see the beautiful view of Venice they could see through the bridges barred windows. Hence, the sighs.   Here, in From Russia With Love, there could be a couple of meanings: 1) That Bond and Tania are now beyond the danger zone – they passed under the Bridge of Sighs and the mission is accomplished; they are out of danger; 2) or, it can be a sexual symbol – Bond is reviewing the film of he and Tania making love in the bridal suite (that Tania did not know about as you recall) – and Grant was going to use this film as the reason Tania and Bond were dead – one was going to use it as blackmail against the other, then murder and suicide. So, the film had enough sexual content to be potent.   Bond is looking at it now and Tania asks what it is, and Bond just says that he will show her all as they pass from canal to canal – to the Grand Canal., which can be taken as metaphors or symbols.   It is a pleasant moment for the two of them, as they wrap up their mission, and their passion.   And they are now in the safety zone! And Daniella Bianchi as Tania was just perfect casting – she is stunning! Tell us what you think!


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From Russia With Love Trailer

From Russia With Love Trailer  Here is a 2 minute plus trailer to whet your appetite for the film, and to refresh your memory as to the tremendous number of great action shots and theatrical shots that we will see in many more spy movies to come throughout the next 5 plus decades. This is one of the best James Bond 007 films, so we will go over the movie scene by scene to see what it has to offer, and how it relates to other spy movies.  So oftentimes, one spy movie will influence another, and real-life events influence what goes into spy movies.  We will look at this all! Join us by contributing your comments and insights as we go through this movie.  This From Russia With Love trailer is just the beginning!

Pre-title Sequence

In one of the most intriguing pre-title sequences, the mood is dark, the setting is dark, and we see Bond pursued by an agent (SPECTRE).  Pre-Title Sequence in a setting we are not familiar with and with a very perplexed and worried look upon James Bond’s face. He really does not look confident, which makes us viewers nervous. He has a gun in hand, as he walks cautiously around these dark grounds with statuary and foliage – lots of hiding places. Until, from behind, Bond is strangled to death. For 1 minute and 52 seconds, he was pursued and killed. Bond, dead. But wait...ala Mission: Impossible’s use of masks, the mask is lifted off of Bond to reveal that it was really someone else.

Masks in Use

Note that the Mission: Impossible television series does not start until 3 years after the filming of From Russia With Love, so here, the film could have possibly influenced one of the major components of Mission: Impossible television series, and later the films! Of course, The List of Adrian Messenger was released in June 1963 and was the first we know of to heavily use make-up and facial masks as disguises, which are peeled off at the end of the film. So perhaps, From Russia With Love was influenced by  The List of Adrian Messenger (not a spy movie per se) and then later influences the spy television series, Mission: Impossible and the subsequent films. There is a great article written about some of this by Jeremy Dunns, April 14, 2015. Read it! "From Russia With Love" was Ian Fleming’s 5th James Bond 007 book, published in 1957, and the second EON Productions film about our master spy hero. Timely released in 1963 during the ramp-up of the space race between the US and Soviet Union -  the two giant and powerful countries were at each other’s throats.

Fleming Gets a Boost from the U.S. President

John F. Kennedy was President of the US then, and Ian Fleming actually met President Kennedy. Kennedy was quoted as saying that "From Russia With Love" was one of his 10 favorite books. The Fleming novels took off in sales after that in the US.  Of course, later in 1963-1964, the film was released, but President Kennedy had been assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. The subject matter of the film, obtaining a Soviet Lektor (which is an encoding device to protect communications – much like the Enigma machine in WW-II).   It was stolen by SPECTRE,.  But if obtained by Bond it would give the West an advantage over the Soviets.  This topic was very much in vogue at the time. In the film, Russia is very much aware of James Bond already, and the pre-title sequence demonstrates how they are training to be able to kill Bond. So the tension of the film is established immediately.

SPECTRE Briefing

SPECTRE Briefing In this clip, we get a further glimpse into the existence of SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion), and how SPECTRE works its evil plans. We even see here a reference to Dr. No – and that by stealing the Lektor from the Russians, and setting up the plan for the Russian girl to theoretically defect and provide the Lektor to the British, MI6 will most certainly send Bond.  Then SPECTRE can exact their revenge on Bond for the death of Dr. No. So we see for the first time a reference to a previous Bond movie – we will see others in future Bond movies. Here you see, Number One, stroking a white cat, but you never see his face. Kronsteen is Number 2 and Rosa Kleb Number 3. High-level planning to get the Lektor and kill Bond too.  And we will see the SPECTRE cat in future Bond movies as well. Why a cat?  Cats do have this aura of independence, superiority, ability to survive on their own and surviving dangerous situations - after all, cats have nine lives.   So, maybe that is why cats play a role in films and stories - sometimes as docile animals, and sometimes as a symbol.  The fact that he is stroking a white cat is of note.  Black cats often have had the label of evil, something bad lurking nearby to get you - black cats and Halloween, for example. But here, it is a white cat.  Much like on the original Dr. No publicity poster, where Dr. No was in white, and Bond in a dark suit, here we see white associated with evil.   Even in "101 Dalmatians, " Cruella has a white cat.  The times they are a-changing. The attention to detail for the sets continues EON Productions meticulous execution of fabulous sets, many built at Pinewood Studios outside London, and of course many scenes filmed on location – which SpyMovieNavigator is focused on with our videos.  This SPECTRE briefing is a key scene.

Tatiana and Klebb (Head of Operations for SMERSH) Have A Meeting

Here we see the behind the scenes plan for getting the Lektor. Tatiana Romanov works for Russia, and she thinks Rosa Klebb is still head of operations for the Russians (SMERSH). This set is in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.  And you can still find this very building (an inn) that was used to shoot this scene. Again, a great set, nice lighting, a believable meeting. The set details make the movie most believable, and the locations feel very real. This scene sets up the rest of the movie, with two characters here who will appear at the very end of the movie as well.

Tatiana Approaches the Building to Meet Klebb

The atmosphere really oozes out at this moment.  Tatiana is approaching the door she must enter to meet Klebb.  Tatiana is not in control, and the cat walking past her ads to the intrigue and dark atmosphere.  So does the creaking door, and we see that Red Grant (the one who killed "Bond" in the pre-title sequence) watches her enter. Colonel Klebb, with a threatening crop/whip in hand, demonstrates that she is in complete control.  She reinforces that with, after Tatiana says about making love to Bond, ”And if I refuse?” Klebb sternly rebukes, “Then you will not leave this room alive.”  Klebb played brilliantly by Lotte Lenya, is a vision of evil.  She oozes evil. Note, when Klebb places her hand on Tatiana’s knee to wrestle complete control of the situation, Tatiana is very uncomfortable and shifts her legs.  There are theories that Klebb had lesbian tendencies.  This playful and unnecessary touch of the knee fuels the theories as well as her looking at Red Grant at the training camp strictly as a tool to accomplish her mission and nothing else. We think this scene might have been filmed in Istanbul as well, and we are investigating. The exterior of the building it is said was Istanbul.

A Smart Looking Piece of Luggage: Briefcase

A smart looking piece of luggage - Bond is called into M’s office to get the details of his assignment to Istanbul to recover the Lektor.   We see Q Branch, the quartermaster (Boothroyd), for the first time played by Desmond Llewelyn. In Dr. No, we saw Boothroyd replace Bond's Beretta with a Walther PPK.   This first scene with Q is one our my favorite scenes in any Bond movie because you just have to love Q! Admittedly, I  have loved Q played by Llewelyn from this moment forward, and enjoy every moment he is in a scene. He is a special character and here we see him for the first time. Bravo, Desmond!

Gadgets - The Beginning of a Long Trend in Spy Movies - A Smart Looking Piece of Luggage

It's M's office, which we are familiar with now, and it is comfortable.   But, this is where dangerous missions are assigned.  And here, Q is offering up for the first time in a Bond EON Production film, gadgets he can use.  Dr. No did not have many gadgets - a geiger counter was the big one.  Here we see an array of cool things, all in a single briefcase. As we discover, this briefcase is "standard issue" because we will see another MI6 agent with one later.  So, gadgets will define many, many spy movies to come, not just Bond movies, mostly because of this scene! And Q does give Bond a rather smart piece of luggage, which, of course, will come in very handy.  An ordinary-looking briefcase, with a retractable knife, a collapsible AR-7 rifle, gold sovereigns.  Also, it has tear gas canister that is set-off by the latches that open the briefcase. Brilliant!  From here on out, Q is very much in tune with what field agents might need!  And somehow, most of Q's gadgets that he provides to Bond get used. This is a smart piece of luggage will come in very handy on the train when Bond and Red Grant get into one of the best train fight scenes ever filmed!

Bond Lands in Istanbul

Bond lands in Istanbul - After leaving M’s office, knowing that he is Istanbul-bound, he signs the photograph that M wants back and gives it to Miss Moneypenny with the inscription, “With Love” to which Bond adds above it, “From Russia!” Notice Moneypenny’s face - looking longingly at Bond. All the Connery movies have this playful interaction between the two. This is a very tightly written scene, reinforcing the rendezvous with Tatiana Romanov, the mission to get the Russian Lektor, and the title of the movie. Brilliant piece of writing here to get the viewer absolutely hooked.   And one of the many reasons, From Russia With Love is a fan favorite and was Sean Connery's favorite Bond film that he made.

Bond Lands in Istanbul

At the airport in Istanbul, we are again left with unknowns.  There is a suspicious man following him out of the airport (the Bulgarian) and another in a car observing Bond. We will grow to know both of their roles very precisely and very soon. And, as in Dr. No, a driver is sent for him.   But this time, through validation through a spoken code, it is an ally, not an adversary. Bond makes it to the hotel safely, but tailed, and checks into Room 32. He quickly searches for bugs and finds one behind a painting. As if one bug is not enough, he keeps looking for more – next, in the chandelier.  And then checks the phone with an electronic device (another gadget we have not seen until now). Of course, he will switch rooms. This scene shows again the mystery of who is following him, who knows he is there, and the thoroughness that 007 exhibits in the execution of his duties.  Of course, in the real-life spy world, the agent wants to blend in, almost disappear. Here, lots of people know Bond is in Istanbul.  Cover blown!  Compared to the Mission: Impossible movie series, where the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is generally stealth, in many Bond films, Bond is well known, and the enemy often knows where he is! Between Dr. No, and From Russia With Love, we are beginning to learn who James Bond is: A tough assassin in Dr. No and a thorough, untrusting agent in From Russia With Love.

James Bond and Karim at Cistern

James Bond and Karim at Cistern - Bond heads to Istanbul to meet Karin Bey the MI6 agent in Istanbul, and to talk about meeting Tatiana Romanov (who thinks she is working for Russia under Kleb who has defected to SPECTRE) who can get the Lektor. After a bomb goes off in Bey’s office, and he is wondering why the Russians are acting like this, Bond tells him maybe it is because he is here.  Once again, where is all the clandestine cover?!  Then SPECTRE will steal the Lektor and sell it. Here, Karim Bey takes Bond beneath his offices and to the underground cistern where he uses a periscope to spy on the Russian embassy.

James Bond and Karim at Cistern

This location is actually near the Aya Sofia Mosque. There is an entrance fee, but when you enter, you walk down the steps that Bond and Karim walk down in this scene. Very cool!

SpyMovieNavigator On Location!

Again, one of our colleagues got these actual shots for us at the Cistern!  Beautiful! [caption id="attachment_3131" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Cistern, From Russia With Love Cistern - When Kerim Bey and Bond boat to the periscope![/caption]   [caption id="attachment_3132" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Cistern, Istanbul, From Russia With Love Kerim Bey and James Bond on in Cistern, boating way to spy on Russian Consulate with periscope[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_3130" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Cistern, Istanbul, From Russia With Love, Kerim Bey, James Bond Bond and Bey in the underground Cistern built in the 1600s, on way to spy on Russian Consulate.[/caption] Kerim Bey is played by Pedro Armendáriz, who is flawless.  He was suffering from cancer during the filming of From Russia With Love (one of the reasons he is limping in a lot of scenes).  But he wanted to complete it.  He ended up committing suicide not long after the filming was complete, knowing it was just a matter of time for him to die from his cancer.  Very sad.   He was tremendous in this film.  His son, as a tribute, later appeared in Licence to Kill in a small role. Also, Kerim's lover in a scene when the bomb goes off in his office, the one who calls him away from his desk, saving his life, Nadja Regin,  passed away in April 2019.   She also appeared in Goldfinger, as Bonita, the belly dancer.

The Gypsy Camp

The Gypsy Camp - Bey uses the gypsies for information. This has caused tension with the rival gypsy groups. This is a beautiful scene on a beautiful evening, with belly dancing, and even a serious fight between two gypsy women. We quickly see that Krilencu is involved here as well, and it is also clear that Klebb’s assassin, Red Grant,  is nearby too, though Bey took precautions not to be followed. The assassin is at this point protecting Bond because he needs Bond to get the Lektor first. Bey is wounded in the arm in the shootout.  Bond was almost shot, but Red Grant shoots the guy who was going to shoot Bond. Krilencu was trying to kill Bey. So, next Bey and Bond head to where Bey knows Krilencu lives. Bey feels he better kill Krilencu before Krilencu gets another chance to kill Bey. So Bond, with his trusty AR-7 briefcase rifle, heads to the known living location of Krilencu. The Gypsy Camp is a beautiful scene, with lots of scenic details, great close-ups, strong dialogue.  It was quite elaborate a scene for the time  - previous spy movies had much simpler sets in general.  It was filmed at Pinewood Studios, north of London.

Krilencu Hideout

Krilencu Hideout - Here Bond and Bey take care of Krilencu so there is no other chance Krilencu will get Bey. Bey’s sons are security police, in on the attack. This is a touching scene, and you see how close Bond and Bey are – almost like a Felix Leiter kind of closeness. When Bey tells Bond, I am already in your debt, Bond replies, "How can a friend be in debt?"  It also highlights how much Bond and MI6 agents in the field are assassins. This is a clear-cut assassination – shooting an unarmed nemesis as he tries to escape.  A perfect set-up.

The AR7 Rifle

The AR-7 collapsible rifle, that is part of Bond's briefcase kit, in real life is a small-caliber rifle.  Developed by Fairchild Engine and Aircraft Corporation's ArmaLite Division in 1959, it as designed as a .22 caliber rifle that can fire 8 rounds.   Bond's rifle, was theoretically rechambered for a larger caliber, like. 25 caliber, and for some reason is a single shot.   So, assassinating someone with a small-caliber single-shot rifle is questionable,  but in this case, Krilencu is climbing out a window and will fall a couple of stories after hit - and because Krilencu is screaming as he is falling, clearly he is not dead yet.   The impact is assumed to have killed him. The Krilencu Hideout is no more! The AR7 really is a survival backpack type of weapon. We will see this rifle again in the movie, as Bond eludes the helicopter chasing him, and he uses it to shoot one of the henchmen who is about to drop a grenade.  We also see it again in Goldfinger, as it is the rifle used by Tilly Masterson who tries to shoot Goldfinger from the hill, and almost hits Bond, and seen again in Bond's car in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.  Keep an eye out for t! The AR-7 is also seen in many other movies and television shows, some related to spy stuff.

It’s the Right Size

It's the right size - When Bond gets a new suite at the hotel because of the bugged suite, he returns to it to find Tatiana Romanov in his bed. This is the first time they meet. When she says to him that she thinks her mouth is too big,  Bond says “it’s the right size . . . for me that is.” Of course, this is a sexual reference to the size of his manhood, and naturally, she says her mouth is too big, and Bond, knowing what size he is, says, "it's just the right size . . . for me that is."  Can't get more direct than that.   If she thought her mouth was too small, and he said it's the right size, what would we think?!  This is clever dialogue, which illuminates us as to how Bond works, gives us more details of his physique, and shows his confidence literally in bed with women. Again we see Bond is flirtatious with women, and even while kissing her, he is asking her about the Lektor, where it is, and how she can draw a map of the consulate, and that they should meet at Saint Sophia where she can leave the map. This is the next scene we will examine. Though he may be enjoying the moment, he knows what his job is and never forgets it.  It is obvious they will sleep together from the dialogue, and Tania (her friends call her that) looks fabulous and inviting.  Again, Daniela Bianchi is gorgeous and perfect as Tania. We also discover that behind the mirrors, they are being filmed – part of a plan to do away with them both later in the film.  Bond wants the Lektor - and whatever he must do to get it, he will.  And it is clear in this scene.  And, apparently it is the right size.

Red Grant Kills Foreign Agent

Red Grant Kills Foreign Agent - Tatiana obviously got the plan of the consulate and will leave it at the Aya Sofia as Bond had suggested. The Blue Mosque is seen in the background as Tania approaches Aya Sofia.

SpyMovieNavigator On Location!

One of our colleagues visited Istanbul and we have a couple of shots of the interior of Aya Sofia that appear in the movie, with Blue Mosque in background.  You can see this all inthe movie clip. Here is the Blue Mosque, which appears in the background as Tanya, then the Bulgarian spy enter Aya Sophia. [caption id="attachment_3092" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Blue Mosque, From Russia With Love, Istanbul Blue Mosque , in Shown in Background in clip as Tanya, then Bulgarian spy walk into Aya Sofia[/caption] Here is a shot of the two columns and archway that the tour group walks past near the beginning of the clip. [caption id="attachment_3096" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Aya Sofia, Istanbul From Russia With Love Tour group in clip walks past these columns and archway.[/caption] Once inside Aya Sofia, in the clip, Tanya is standing right where we indicate with the yellow arrow! [caption id="attachment_3093" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Aya Sofia, Istanbul, Fromm Russia With Love In the clip, when Tanya walks into Aya Sofia, she is right where our yellow arrow is indicating! We were there![/caption]

Tanya Enters Aya Sofia

We see more intrigue here - nothing goes quite that simply in a Bond movie. You will see some familiar faces we saw at the airport when Bond landed in Istanbul. Remember, Tania is leaving the plan for the Consulate in a small container for Bond. But one of the guys we saw at the airport, is tracing her and goes to retrieve it before Bond. Note that there is a tour group going through Saint Sophia, led by a guide who is telling them all about the history of the columns they are seeing and more.   Reports are it was a real tour group!  EON Productions and the writers are brilliant again.  This is a tense scene, and Bond is hoping that Tania and he can pull this off .  Can she leave the plan, and can Bond retrieve it unknown to anyone. While Tania is about to hide the plans near a column, the tour guide is pointing out a particular column, the "wishing column" where tourists have come for centuries, pacing their right hand and middle finger in the hole, making their wish.   No coincidence that he is saying this as Tania is hiding the plans, and Bond is wishing all goes well with this plan.   Once again, something happening as a backdrop is meaningful to what we see happening on the screen.  Simply and elegantly done.

Red Grant Kills Foreign Agent

But he is killed by the other man we saw at the airport following Bond – later identifying himself as Red Grant. But he does not take the compact container – why not? Remember, this is a complex plan – Tania thinks she is working for the Russians, and Klebb and Shaw have other plans. They want Bond to get the plan. And this all comes out in this scene. And you can still visit Aya Sofia and it is exactly the same as it was in the movie!

Ferry Boat Encounter

Ferry Boat Encounter - In this clip, Bond is clandestinely meeting with Tatiana Romanova on a ferry boat in Istanbul, on the Bosphorus.    Here, he has a camera gadget that conceals a tape recorder and pretends to be taking pictures of Tatiana.   But in reality, he is recording her describing the physical attributes of the LEKTOR, the Russian decoding machine. Bond is calm, cool, and very directive - completely in control of the encounter.  Watch his face, listen to well-written dialogue.  He is in command. She also describes where it is kept in the consulate, when it is used, and so on.  Clearly, Tatiana is starting to fall for Bond. We will see, of course, in many more Bond films, and certainly in other spy movies along the way - where the spy wins over a key ally in a woman.  This has happened in spy movies since the first one, The 39 Steps in 1935. So check out the beautiful scenery, the Ferry Boat Encounter, as Bond advances the opportunity to get the LEKTOR.  We must call-out Daniela Bianchi, who is stunning as Tatiana, both in beauty and in her role.  She is voiced by British actress, Barbara Jefford.  Bianchi , an Italian actress, was 1st runner-up in the Miss Universe contest of 1960.  She steals lots of scenes in our opinion, and was perfectly cast. As a way to see Istanbul, this  Bosphorus River Ferry is a very good way to do it according to many who have traveled to Istanbul.

Russian Clocks are Always Right – Escape with the Lektor

Russian Clocks are Always Right  - The Lektor is the reason Bond is in Istanbul, and here he receives clearance from M to proceed with the mission. Note Bond tells Kerim Bay that they will execute the plan for getting the Lektor out of the Russian Embassy on the 14th: after Bey asks the 13th? Did he change the date just in case?  Or was this a precaution on Bond's part in case there were any bugs planted?  Even Tania, as we see, thought it was going to be the 14th. Bey is to explode a bomb at 3 PM, and here Bond asks if the clock is correct as he checks his watch as well. The gates when Bond walks through to access the Russian Embassy are still around, but not near the other filming locations. When the bomb goes off, chaos ensues, and Bond gets into the room where Tania has the Lektor, with tear gas in the air, mask on Bond, and she says that she thought it was going to be the 14th but today is the 13th. The question is why did Bond tell Karim in his office that it would be the 14th, but then they executed it on the 13th? Perhaps they were being cautious in case anyone overheard, but it is not absolutely clear in the clip.  But the fact that it happens the day before it was expected to, indicates perhaps that Bond trusted no one, and maybe Tania would leak out the plan, or someone in Bey's organization would.  And if it leaked out that it would be the 14th, well, too late.  Bond gets the Lektor on the 13th.   Obviously, Bey knows the exact date and time since he explodes the bomb precisely at 3 PM... on the 13th! And yes, Russian Clocks are Always Right!

Train Fight

Train Fight - One of the greatest train fights in all cinema, this one is brutal, painful, and dangerous. In 1935, in The 39 Steps, we see a train chase in a spy movie pretty much for the first time. From Russia With Love takes this to new heights.  This will impact many future spy movies with tremendous train fights and chases like Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, Mission Impossible (1996), SPECTRE, Bourne Ultimatum (2007), and others. This is one of the best train fights of all time. The acting is superb by both Robert Shaw and Connery. Shaw, as Red Grant, is tremendous, and you see the vulnerability of Bond clearly and also how Q’s gadgets can save the day when used properly.  Both are trained, cold killers.  This scene is violent, perfectly done. No movement is wasted.  And Grant is as cocky as them come.  We see that in a lot of villains in films, especially in spy films as the protagonist is always super-confident, cocky and assured.  Goldfinger, in the next Bond film released, has the same cocky arrogance. This train fight is a tremendous scene, brutal, and a turning point in From Russia With Love. Remember, in the pre-title sequence, Shaw was training to kill Bond, and his plan has worked flawlessly to this point. But, when Bond gets the better of the ole boy, the tide turns. Grant is dead, not Bond. SpyMovieNavigator has a signed Sean Connery photo of him in the train car. Very cool.

Truck vs. Helicopter

We call this clip Truck vs. Helicopter. This helicopter chase scene sets the stage for the rest of From Russia With Love.  And, we will see this in many spy movies to come.  Helicopter chases are now a staple item in spy movie.  The first helicopter searching for a “spy” is in The 39 Steps from 1935, a Hitchcock produced movie. It appears only for a few seconds, but it is the beginning of the use of this vehicle in pursuits throughout dozens of movies, and spy films for sure. Many Bond movies, Mission: Impossible movies and more of the best of the rest use helicopters in chases.  Check The Spy Who Loved Me, SPECTRE, M:I Fallout and others. Of course, this scene is inspired by the airplane chase scene in the 1959 Hitchcock movie, North By Northwest.

Q Gadgets and Scotland

This scene again shows how in tune Q is in what gadgets Bond might need for a mission, as his smart looking piece of luggage with the AR-7 comes in very handy once again.  Bond shoots one of the henchmen just as he is about to drop a grenade.  Instead, getting shot, he drops the grenade in the helicopter and it blows up. SpyMovieNavigator took a trip to Scotland looking for Bond locations.  While there, we tried to find the rock that Bond was hiding under when he shot down the helicopter and we could not find it! We were close to the location and should have been able to find it, but we could not. SpyMovieNavigator did find the pier that Bond drives the truck onto, when he and Tania escape by boat, only to be chased by SPECTRE boats.  This was supposed to be in Istanbul, but was actually shot in Scotland!   See our related videos and podcasts.  This Truck vs. Helicopter is a future scene in a lot of spy movies!

Death of Kronsteen

Death of Kronsteen - We know very little about SPECTRE at this point, but this scene highlights how brutal and unforgiving SPECTRE is, and we get a glimpse of # 1, albeit from shoulders down, as he is stroking a white cat, as we flashback to the cat that walked by Tania as she was on her way to meet Klebb for the first time. SPECTRE wants the Lektor as they have made arrangements with the Russians to return it to them, for a price. So, the atmosphere this scene creates is one of terror – terror for # 3 and # 5, but terror and tremendous tension for the viewing audience.   We realize the SPECTRE will stop at nothing, does not tolerate failure, and, as Blofeld says, SPECTRE always delivers what it promises.

Death of Kronsteen - Poison Kills . . . in . . . listen to it . . . 12 seconds

Here we see for the first time, the poison blade that pops out of the shoe of the assassin here, as he kicks # 5 with it. How long does it take for Kronsteen to die? 12 seconds, and # 1 is not happy that it takes that long. Notice the musical dings - there are 12 counting down his death!  Bond is up against an evil organization!  The death of Kronsteen shows how evil SPECTRE is.   The only way out of SPECTRE seems to be death. There are many real-life incidents in the spy business where poison is used to try to eliminate the enemy.  From this,  many scenes in spy novels and movies take their origin.  Remember, Ian Fleming was a Naval Intelligence office and very involved with secret agents, plots, and plans in World War - II.  It has happened often in real life.   Listen to our podcast about How Real Life Events Affect What Goes Into Spy Movies. We will see the poison shoe blade again.  In the novel, "From Russia With Love," there were poison knitting needles as well.

Klebb’s Final Assault

Klebb’s Final Assault -  Just when you think it’s safe...Kleb shows up once again, in Venice, as Bond and Tania are ready to depart. Rosa  Klebb draws a pistol on Bond and directs Tania to open the door.  Twice Tania reassures Bond that she knows nothing about Klebb being there, by shaking her head left and right while looking directly at Bond – twice – to show Bond her loyalty is to him.  Look for this subtle gesture in the clip.  We all feel relief that Tania is on the “good” side. In real life, there are spy defections and good guys going to the bad side, or bad guys going to the good side - depending on your perspective.    As Mathis says in Quantum of Solace, in Talamone, Italy:  "When one is young, it is very easy to distinguish between right and wrong, but as one gets older, it becomes more difficult.  The villains and the heroes get all mixed up."  That sums up the spy business. Klebb then, for some reason, takes Bond's pistol out of his shoulder holster and throws it on the floor.   Why not just shoot him right then and there?   She took a chance that Bond may overcome her as she reaches for his pistol.  And why take the pistol if you are just going to shoot him anyway?  But she does. But at least she was going to shoot Bond and not have some elaborate scheme for him to die.  Then she backs to the door, and is about to shoot him - and Bond is pretty calm.  Of course, Tania to the rescue. The thing to note here is that Klebb now has the poison shoe blade device that killed # 5 in SPECTRE # 1’s office. Here, she is willing to use it to kill Bond and retrieve the Lektor.  She knows the price of failure.  Here in the film, Bond escapes the poison blade, and Tania - who Kleb still thinks is on her side, foils Klebb’s plans to kill Bond. Here in the film, Bond escapes without injury.  However, in the novel by Ian Fleming, Bond is punctured by the poison blade/needle, and his fate is unknown. In the film, as below, Klebb’s attempts to kill Bond with a pistol and with the poison shoe blade are foiled by Tania as she shoots Klebb, and Klebb, evil incarnate.  Klebb’s final assault is her final assault - and she is finally dead. As in many Bond films, you never know when it’s over - but now, the danger is over at least!

Venice – Canal Scene Ends the Movie

Venice – Canal Scene  - The gondola scene is in Venice, andTania and Bond are now relaxing with the mission complete.  The establishing shots are of the Doge Place, the Bridge of Sighs, the Venice canals. It looks like green-screen stuff with the actors superimposed against the background. One of the things we see here in the background is the Bridge of Sighs – for a short time behind Bond and Tania.

Some Venice History

Historically, The Bridge of Sighs, in olden times, was the bridge prisoners would cross over from the courtyard where they were just sentenced.  Maybe sentenced to death or to prison and maybe even to the execution area.  So, they knew they would never cross that bridge again or see the beautiful view of Venice they could see through the bridge's barred windows.  Hence, the sighs. Here, in From Russia With Love, there could be a couple of meanings: 1) That Bond and Tania are now beyond the danger zone – they passed under the Bridge of Sighs and the mission is accomplished; they are out of danger;  ahh! 2) or, it can be a sexual symbol - Bond is reviewing the film of he and Tania making love in the bridal suite (that Tania did not know about it as you recall) – and Grant was going to use this film as the reason Tania and Bond were dead.    Grant would stage it so it looked like one was going to use it as blackmail against the other.  Then murder and suicide. So the film had enough sexual content to be potent. Bond is looking at it now and Tania asks what it is, and Bond just says that he will show her,  all as they pass from canal to canal – to the "Grand Canal," which can be taken as sexual metaphors or symbols for certain parts of a woman.   Or sometimes a canal is just a canal! In conclusion, the Venice – Canal Scene is a pleasant moment for the two of them, as they wrap up their mission, and their passion. And they are now in the safety zone!  And Daniela Bianchi as Tania was just perfect casting – she is stunning!  Tell us what you think!

From Russia with Love

From Russia With Love, editorial content, 007, James Bond, spy movie podcasts, EON Production movies, espionage, Sean Connery
From Russia With Love poster

From Russia With Love is the 5th Ian Fleming James Bond 007 novel (1957), 2nd EON Productions James Bond 007 film (1963).

In this curation of the movie, we talk about other movies as they relate to From Russia With Love and lots of other insights into the scenes like:

  • The Pre-title sequence is unique – and we discuss the use of masks here, and how The List of Adrian Messenger, and later Mission: Impossible TV series and movies use masks.
  • President Kennedy boosts Ian Fleming book sales
  • No throwbacks
  • Cats in films
  • Istanbul – Klebb demonstrates same-sex tendencies
  • Bring on the gadgets
  • Mission: Impossible versus Bond
  • On location at some film sites
  • AR-7 rifle specs
  • Bond and Tania sex talk
  • On location at the Blue Mosque
  • Bosphorus River Ferry
  • Fight to the death on the Orient Express
  • Other movies mentioned here in relation to From Russia With Love: The 39 Steps, The Spy Who Loved Me, SPECTRE, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, North by Northwest, Quantum of  Solace
  • SpyMovieNavigator on location in Scotland
  • SPECTRE – a job for life. . .
  • Venice gondola scenes and Venice canals, Bridge of Signs, – a discussion of potential meanings

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