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.

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!


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