Did the title Q Planes come from Q-Ships?

The movie Q Planes got it’s title post-production.   It is assumed the name was derived from the Q-Ships that were popular in World War I.

These were freighters or steamer designed to look like non-military ships that would be easy targets for German U-boats. The idea was to get the U-boat to surface, and then the Q-ship would reveal its guns and blast away. In the movie Q Planes, no one ever does this with one of the planes. Nor is the term Q Planes ever used in the film!  The title appears to have been thought of more for marketing to UK audiences than for how it relates to the plot.

The British public loved Q-ships in World War I, but they were not terribly effective according to some historians, and even less effective in World War Two. The designation “Q” came from the ships being outfitted in Queensland, Ireland, and it helped promote the idea of “Q” being a designation for taking something ordinary and outfitting it to be a deadly weapon.

This clip lets you see a real Q-Ship.  It’s old footage showing the troops and a Q-ship in action.


Eastern Importations and Amnesia

Here we meet the quirky Major Hammond as he is arrested.  We don’t get his name in this scene, but we learn it soon afterward.  Additionally, we believe two items in this scene (Eastern Importations Company and Major Hammond’s amnesia) have influenced future spy books and movies. We examine these two items below:

  • Eastern Importations Company – This is the sign on the door of the place where the police first meet Major Hammond.  This isn’t Hammond’s company and we don’t learn specifically why he was there.  However, we do learn this was a place that he was investigating, but don’t get the specifics.  We don’t see why this place had any significance to him other than this is where he got hit in the head.
    • Similarly, Ian Fleming used Universal Export for the first time in his 2nd book, “Live and Let Die” as a cover company for the 00’s.  However,  we must note that “Export” was singular, not plural.  In the books and especially in the movies, “Exports” changes from singular to plural.  The movie Dr. No uses the plural form of “Exports”.  However,  On Her  Majesty’s Secret Service uses the singular “Export”.
    • So, did Ian Fleming get his idea of using “Universal Exports” from Q Planes “Eastern Importations”?
  • Amnesia – Major Charles Hammond is acting quirky here. He stays a bit quirky throughout the movie but does seem confused or out of it in this scene.
    • Did a blow to the head give Major Hammond amnesia?
    • Is this a precursor to Jason Bourne and his amnesia?


Q Planes and The Nelson Touch

When we at Spy Movie Navigator watch spy movies, we try to find where a movie may influence or was influenced by a real-world event or another spy movie. Happily, two things from this 11-second clip give us one of each type of influence. Specifically, Q Planes delivers with a phrase right at the end of this clip (“The Nelson Touch”) that has real-world historical significance.  Additionally, we get one phrase that may have influenced the Mission: Impossible series of movies and TV.

  • “You’re acting against instructions” – Major Hammond’s boss tells him “Unofficially, of course, you understand. I’ll give you every facility, but if he finds you out, you’re acting against instructions.”
    • This instantly brings a 20th and 21st Century spy movie fan to the Mission: Impossible TV and movie series.  “As always, should you or any of your IM Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.”
    • Does this line get it’s birth from the movie Q Planes?  Remember, this movie came out in 1939.  The “Mission: Impossible” TV show didn’t happen for another 27 years.
  • Q Planes and “The Nelson Touch” –  Major Hammond says “The Nelson Touch” in response to the above directive.  This phrase brings a real-world reference into the movie.  It refers to Lord Horatio Nelson and what he initially described as one of his battle strategies.  It’s great to see a historical reference in this type of movie.  Q Planes use of the phrase The Nelson Touch brings us to two different eras of history and two different wars.  We discuss this in more detail in our Q Planes podcast.

So, check out this clip and see if you agree with us.


Got a cigarette? What Hammond asks in Q Planes

In this short scene, we see a trope that has been used in many spy movies.  In fact, we see it in spy movies from Hitchcock thrillers through Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible and naturally, many James Bond movies.  Of course, we’re talking about the “Got a cigarette” Spy to Spy password conversation to validate to the other person you are who they think you are. In this case, Hammond asks man: “Got a cigarette?” The man gives him the cigarette.  However,  in reality, it’s a Comm or a note wrapped around the cigarette.

The note says “The supercharger is the enemy’s objective. They may know of proposed flight from secret agent here.”

This is a very important scene for the movie.  The note tells Hammond that he was right about the supercharger. Therefore, Hammond knows he has to remove it before the next test flight.  Thank goodness that note was written on that cigarette.  What would he have done if it wasn’t?

We think Leslie Bradley was the actor playing the man Hammond got the note from.  He was also the assistant in the scene in Hammond’s office.  His role was uncredited and it was such a brief shot of his face. Therefore, although we’re not certain it was him, we believe it was.  The uniform he had on said “Barrett & Ward” which is the airplane company who’s airplanes went missing.   So, even though he was passing notes, he looked like he worked for the airplane company. Just as any good spy would.


Did this inspire the James Bond gun barrel scene?

We all know the iconic gun barrel scene in the James Bond series of movies. First, you see the gun barrel.  Then, James Bond turns and shoots toward the camera, and the red blood drips down. This was actually filmed through a gun barrel. However, it does have a similar look to this lens aperture in Q Planes. Therefore, we have to ask: Was this scene in Q Planes the genesis of the gun barrel scene we see in almost every James Bond movie?

This quick scene is interesting. A villain aims some sort of ray toward a plane. Somehow, the ray appears to cause an electrical problem on the plane bad enough to take the plane down. Look closely, as they fire, the apparatus they use makes it look like a camera lens aperture opening. Yet, it looks somewhat familiar to James Bond fans.

We hear it wasn’t the inspiration but it is close enough of an image to make us wonder.

The plane is nabbed to get the supercharger

This scene is a key plot point in Q Planes.  First, this plane is incapacitated in flight. It is targets by a ray beam and loses power.   After that, it makes a perfect water landing. Finally,  the plane is nabbed to get the supercharger. Watch closely and you’ll see the plane being hoisted into the ship, the SS Viking. The crew is captured as it gets out of the plane.  Remember, at this point in the movie, the villains believe the supercharger was on board.  Fortunately, due to the message in the cigarette, Major Hammond has the supercharger removed from the plane before its departure.

Similarly,  this plot is repeated in differing forms in some James Bond movies. For instance, in You Only Live Twice, a space capsule is captured in space. In The Spy Who Loved Me, it’s a submarine that gets captured. In both of these cases, the goal is to get what’s inside whatever was captured.  Also, in Thunderball and Never Say Never Again, a plane or missile is diverted, capturing them for the nuclear payload they carry.   Whereas the plane was nabbed to get the supercharger in Q Planes, these James Bond movies, alter the purpose of nabbing the item.  As you might expect, we discuss these similar plot points in our podcast called “Q Planes (1939) -aka Clouds Over Europe“.


Jenkins is almost run down

The villains almost run Jenkins down

In this scene from Q Planes, the jig appears to be up for Jenkins.  Here, Jenkins is almost run down by a car as the villains try to kill him.  However, Major Hammond just happens to be at the scene and saves him.  Hammond’s ubiquitous umbrella is used to save the day for Jenkins.  What a creative use of the umbrella here.

However, Jenkins’ has only been given a short respite from death as we see later in the movie.

As we know, Jenkins is “working” for Barrett and Ward.  However, in reality, he is working for the Northern Salvage Company.  This German company appears to be a front for the German government.  Predictably, things don’t go well for him at Northern Salvage and his days are numbered.

A Parallel in Atomic Blonde 

There are numerous examples of people being run down by vehicles in spy movies.   One excellent example comes from the 2017 movie, Atomic Blonde.   In the opening scene of this movie, a man is trying to escape his pursuers.  He’s running and climbing over fences. Unfortunately for him, there was no Major Hammond there to pull him away before the front of the car did its death-invoking deed.  However, the first impact doesn’t kill him.  Therefore, we get to see him run over a second time.

One difference in Q Planes is that Jenkins isn’t running.  Instead, he is darting around, looking paranoid before the car tries to run him down.

Hammond is confused by women

This fun scene lets us see how Major Hammond is confused by women.  It reminds us of this conversation from the 1964 movie “My Fair Lady”.   Henry Higgins complains about women to Colonel Pickering.  Whereas Major Hammond says nice things about women to McVane but at the same time complains about them,   Henry Higgins only complains about them before breaking in the the song “Why Can’t a Women be More Like a Man”.   However, something seems to be familiar between these two scenes.


A Bondian Breakout and Fight


Tony McVane’s and his crew are captured.  Therefore, he has a chance to talk with the crew captured earlier.   McVane then leads a Bondian-like breakout by smashing the door with a large pole (where was that pole before?).

This is an interesting part of the film. There is a huge James Bond-type shoot-out.   A lot of guys get shot down with machine guns, pistols, and more.  But we never feel McVane is going to get killed. 

Just as often happens in Bond movies, his team got the better of a large crew with just a few guys.  But it wasn’t over yet. And of course, the bad guys had black uniforms and the good guys white. After all, this is a Black and White film.


A Case of Mistaken Identity

Roger Thornhill gets mistaken for someone named George Kaplan.  This simple mistake will cause Roger many problems.   Notice how he is put in the back seat of the car between two henchmen.   We’ve seen in another movie – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  Listen to our podcast on North by Northwest where we go into more detail about this car ride.

Mr. Townsend’s Death

In this scene, Roger learns that Mr. Townsend is not the man he thinks he is. Roger (Cary Grant) finally meets the real Mr. Townsend and realizes he’s been duped. In this clip, we see the meeting at the United Nations building and what happens to Mr. Townsend.  Pay attention to the camera angles – fantastic – especially the last one!

Now this is a train scene

Most Erotic Conversation!  Of all the train scenes we’ve seen in spy movies, this clip shows one of the most erotic conversations ever.  It puts any conversation between James Bond and a Bond Girl to shame.  And this is in 1959!

The quips between Eve and Roger are amazing.  They even had to dub out a line that was too risqué. Watch Eve’s lips in the clip and see what you think!  Listen to our podcast to hear our take on this scene!

It’s a crop duster – look out!

One of the Most Famous Scenes in ANY Movie: Check out this scene that foretells something similar in From Russia With Love.  It’s a crop duster, Roger – DUCK or you’ll lose your head.  Fabulous photography and directing here.  You can feel the tension and fear.  As Hitchcock once said, “I just want to scare the hell out of people.”  This is one of his most famous scenes, ever, to do just that.

Getting Out Of A Bad Situation

We’ve seen auction scenes in spy movies since North by Northwest (think Octopussy), but we can’t think of one before this movie.  In this scene, Roger must use his wits and create a diversion to get out of a bad situation at an auction.

The way he does this is both funny and brilliant.  We want-to-be spies must remember this scene when we’re up against it.

The Precursor To Bond’s Appeal To Women?

This scene is short but impactfully funny.  Roger is trying to escape and ends up cutting through this woman’s room.  At first, she’s aghast.  Then she sees Roger and changes her tune. She only utters the same word twice.  Both times have very different meanings.   Roger’s reaction is wonderful.

This movie came out four years before the James Bond movie Dr. No, but Roger’s sex appeal to women here sure carries over to the Bond series.

When the girl shoots the hero

Will Eve Shoot Roger?  This scene in North By Northwest was shot on location at the Mount Rushmore restaurant.   Another fabulous scene, where Hitchcock builds up suspense for a big finish to this scene.   Little things, like Leonard (Landau) straightening his tie as he walks over to Eve and Philip Vandamm  Also,  pay close attention to the boy behind Eve – so natural and perfect.

Mount Rushmore

A great spy movie needs great scenery.  Check out this clip of Roger & Eve as they try to escape Leonard (Martin Landau) on Mount Rushmore.  Again, great tension, great anticipation, great photography – the hallmarks of a Hitchcock film, and this spy film!  We will see lots of Bond films with great fight scenes taking place in perilous places – some of that began here.

All’s well that ends well

The movie ends with Roger and Eve on Mount Rushmore.  He’s just proposed but Leonard is still pursuing them.   More tension, and then a great Hitchcock cut takes us to the final scene.   Train through the tunnel . . . concludes the film that Hitchcock mastered as a very sensuous movie in 1959!  We will see many spy movies to come, where the spy and the woman unite at the end!

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!

Cistern, From Russia With Love
Cistern – When Kerim Bey and Bond boat to the periscope!


Cistern, Istanbul, From Russia With Love
Kerim Bey and James Bond on in Cistern, boating way to spy on Russian Consulate with periscope


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.

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.

Blue Mosque, From Russia With Love, Istanbul
Blue Mosque , in Shown in Background in clip as Tanya, then Bulgarian spy walk into Aya Sofia

Here is a shot of the two columns and archway that the tour group walks past near the beginning of the clip.

Aya Sofia, Istanbul From Russia With Love
Tour group in clip walks past these columns and archway.

Once inside Aya Sofia, in the clip, Tanya is standing right where we indicate with the yellow arrow!

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!

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.


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