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.
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.
Here is a shot of the two columns and archway that the tour group walks past near the beginning of the clip.
Once inside Aya Sofia, in the clip, Tanya is standing right where we indicate with the yellow arrow!
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!
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.