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.

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.

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!


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