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.

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!


Subscribe on your favorite podcast app