Truck vs. Helicopter

We call this clip Truck vs. Helicopter. This helicopter chase scene sets the stage for the rest of From Russia With Love.  And, we will see this in many spy movies to come.  Helicopter chases are now a staple item in spy movie.  The first helicopter searching for a “spy” is in The 39 Steps from 1935, a Hitchcock produced movie.

It appears only for a few seconds, but it is the beginning of the use of this vehicle in pursuits throughout dozens of movies, and spy films for sure. Many Bond movies, Mission: Impossible movies and more of the best of the rest use helicopters in chases.  Check The Spy Who Loved Me, SPECTRE, M:I Fallout and others.

Of course, this scene is inspired by the airplane chase scene in the 1959 Hitchcock movie, North By Northwest.

Q Gadgets and Scotland

This scene again shows how in tune Q is in what gadgets Bond might need for a mission, as his smart looking piece of luggage with the AR-7 comes in very handy once again.  Bond shoots one of the henchmen just as he is about to drop a grenade.  Instead, getting shot, he drops the grenade in the helicopter and it blows up.

SpyMovieNavigator took a trip to Scotland looking for Bond locations.  While there, we tried to find the rock that Bond was hiding under when he shot down the helicopter and we could not find it! We were close to the location and should have been able to find it, but we could not.

SpyMovieNavigator did find the pier that Bond drives the truck onto, when he and Tania escape by boat, only to be chased by SPECTRE boats.  This was supposed to be in Istanbul, but was actually shot in Scotland!   See our related videos and podcasts.  This Truck vs. Helicopter is a future scene in a lot of spy movies!

Klebb’s Final Assault

Klebb’s Final Assault –  Just when you think it’s safe…Kleb shows up once again, in Venice, as Bond and Tania are ready to depart.

Rosa  Klebb draws a pistol on Bond and directs Tania to open the door.  Twice Tania reassures Bond that she knows nothing about Klebb being there, by shaking her head left and right while looking directly at Bond – twice – to show Bond her loyalty is to him.  Look for this subtle gesture in the clip.  We all feel relief that Tania is on the “good” side.

In real life, there are spy defections and good guys going to the bad side, or bad guys going to the good side – depending on your perspective.    As Mathis says in Quantum of Solace, in Talamone, Italy:  “When one is young, it is very easy to distinguish between right and wrong, but as one gets older, it becomes more difficult.  The villains and the heroes get all mixed up.”  That sums up the spy business.

Klebb then, for some reason, takes Bond’s pistol out of his shoulder holster and throws it on the floor.   Why not just shoot him right then and there?   She took a chance that Bond may overcome her as she reaches for his pistol.  And why take the pistol if you are just going to shoot him anyway?  But she does.

But at least she was going to shoot Bond and not have some elaborate scheme for him to die.  Then she backs to the door, and is about to shoot him – and Bond is pretty calm.  Of course, Tania to the rescue.

The thing to note here is that Klebb now has the poison shoe blade device that killed # 5 in SPECTRE # 1’s office. Here, she is willing to use it to kill Bond and retrieve the Lektor.  She knows the price of failure.  Here in the film, Bond escapes the poison blade, and Tania – who Kleb still thinks is on her side, foils Klebb’s plans to kill Bond. Here in the film, Bond escapes without injury.  However, in the novel by Ian Fleming, Bond is punctured by the poison blade/needle, and his fate is unknown.

In the film, as below, Klebb’s attempts to kill Bond with a pistol and with the poison shoe blade are foiled by Tania as she shoots Klebb, and Klebb, evil incarnate.  Klebb’s final assault is her final assault – and she is finally dead.

As in many Bond films, you never know when it’s over – but now, the danger is over at least!

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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