From Russia with Love (film)

From Russia with Love (film)

Infobox_Film_Bond | name = From Russia with Love

caption = "From Russia With Love" film poster
image size = 160px
bond = Sean Connery
stars= Daniela Bianchi
Lotte Lenya
Robert Shaw
writer = Ian Fleming
screenplay = Richard Maibaum
Johanna Harwood
cinematography = Ted Moore, BSC
director = Terence Young
producer = Harry Saltzman
Albert R. Broccoli
music = John Barry
main theme = From Russia With Love
composer = Lionel Bart
performer = Matt Monro
editing = Peter R. Hunt
distributor = United Artists
released = 10 October 1963 (UK)
8 April 1964 (USA)
runtime = 115 min.
country = UK
preceded_by = Dr. No (1962)
followed_by = Goldfinger (1964)
budget = $2,000,000
worldgross = $78,900,000
admissions = 95.3 million
imdb_id = 0057076
amg_id = 1:18751

"From Russia with Love", released in 1963, is the second film in the James Bond series, and the second to star Sean Connery as MI6 agent James Bond. The film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and directed by Terence Young. It is based on the 1957 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. In the film, James Bond is sent to Turkey to assist in the defection of Corporal Tatiana Romanova, where SPECTRE plans to avenge the killing of Dr. No.

"From Russia with Love" is considered one of the best films in the James Bond series by many critics and by Connery himself, and is still highly regarded more than 40 years after its release.Fact|date=June 2008 Michael G. Wilson, the current co-producer of the series, stated "We always start out trying to make another "From Russia with Love" and end up with another "Thunderball"." In 2004, "Total Film" magazine named it the ninth-greatest British film of all time. [cite web |url= |title=Get Carter tops British film poll |accessdate=2007-07-28 |date=2004-10-03 |publisher=BBC News]

In 2005, the film was adapted into a video game, "". Produced by Electronic Arts, the game featured all-new voice work by Sean Connery as well as his likeness and those of several of the film's supporting cast.


In a mansion garden late at night, James Bond is alternately stalking and being stalked by a tall, blond assassin. Bond is captured and strangled violently to death by the man named Red Grant, using a garrote wire hidden in a watch. Suddenly, huge floodlights switch on and the dead person turns out to be a man wearing Bond's disguise. This completes SPECTRE's training exercise.

Kronsteen, a chess grandmaster and SPECTRE's planner has devised a plot to steal a Lektor decoding device from the Russians, sell it back to them, and teach the British Secret Service a lesson for foiling their operative Dr. No's plans. Ex-SMERSH operative Rosa Klebb is placed in charge of the mission by the megalomaniac Blofeld and has already chosen a female operative, a Russian cypher clerk at the Istanbul consulate. Klebb departs to SPECTRE Island, the organisation's secret training base, and approves Red Grant as an assassin.

In London, M tells Bond that Tatiana Romanova, the cypher clerk at the Istanbul consulate, has contacted their "Station 'T'" in Turkey, asking to defect with a Lektor cryptographic device, which both MI6 and the CIA have been after for years. She has stipulated that she will only defect to Bond, whose photo she has allegedly found in a Soviet intelligence file. Bond flies to Istanbul to meet station head Ali Kerim Bey, and he is followed from the airport both by an unkempt man in glasses, and by Red Grant.

The next day, after Kerim Bey's office is bombed, Bond and Kerim Bey spy on the Russian consulate using a periscope from an underground tunnel beneath the consulate. Seeing rival agent Krilencu, Kerim Bey takes Bond to a rural gypsy settlement, where Kerim Bey plans to lie low while deciding how to deal with Krilencu. However the camp is attacked by Krilencu's henchmen, who fire guns and wield knives against the gypsies. Grant, lurking nearby, shoots a man who is about to kill Bond. Although he is wounded in the attack, Kerim Bey kills Krilencu the next night with Bond's sniper rifle. When Bond returns to his hotel suite, he finds Romanova in bed waiting for him. Bond and Romanova make love, unaware that they are being filmed by Grant and Klebb.

The next day, Romanova heads off for a pre-arranged rendezvous at Hagia Sophia. Bond follows her and stalks the bespectacled man who had followed him at the airport. But unknown to Bond, the man is killed by Grant. When Bond finds the body, he also finds the floor plans for the Russian Consulate that Tatiana was smuggling out for him. Kerim Bey and Bond plan to the day to steal the Lektor and smuggle it back to England. On the appointed day, Bond enters the consulate lobby. Immediately, Kerim Bey sets off an explosive charge in the chamber beneath the building releasing tear gas. In the resulting chaos, Bond is able to find Romanova and flee with the Lektor on the Orient Express. Kerim Bey and a Soviet security officer named Benz, who recognises Romanova, also board the train, but Grant stealthily kills both of them.

The train continues on its journey across southern-central Europe, arriving at Belgrade where Bond arranges for an agent Nash from "Station 'Y'" to meet him at Zagreb. Grant intercepts and kills the real Nash first, boards the train, and meets Bond while impersonating the British operative. He drugs Romanova at dinner with a knock out pill, then overcomes Bond in their cabin. Grant taunts him that SPECTRE has been pitting the Russians and the British against each other. Bond offers to buy his last cigarette for 50 gold sovereigns, luring Grant to open his attaché case, which releases tear gas. In the ensuing struggle, Bond stabs Grant with the throwing knife hidden in the attaché case, and then uses Grant's own garrote wire against him. At dawn, Bond and Romanova leave the train, hijack Grant's getaway truck and drive to a dock, eventually boarding a powerboat. Soon afterwards they are chased by a fleet of SPECTRE's boats. When stray bullets puncture several barrels of fuel stored on his boat, Bond throws them overboard. Pretending to surrender, he fires a signal flare into the fuel, engulfing all the enemy boats in flames.

Bond and Romanova reach Venice and check into a hotel where Rosa Klebb, disguised as a maid, attempts to steal the Lektor. In the climax, Klebb has Bond held at gunpoint but the gun is intercepted by Romanova. Resorting to another plan, she releases her poison-tipped toe-blade. Bond takes a dining chair and pins her to the wall with it, narrowly dodging the poison blade. Finally, Romanova takes aim with the gun and fires it at Klebb, killing her. Riding in a gondola, Bond throws the illicit film of him and Romanova into the canal, and they sail away.


*Sean Connery as James Bond: British Intelligence agent.
*Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana Romanova (voiced by Barbara Jefford):cite album-notes | url= |title= From Russia with Love Ultimate Edition DVD |year=2006 |accessdate=2007-12-30] Soviet Embassy clerk and Bond's love interest. Fleming based Romanova on Christine Granville. ["FILMFAX Magazine" Oct 2003-Jan 2004]
*Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb: Ex-SMERSH Colonel, now Chief Operations Officer for SPECTRE.
*Robert Shaw as Red Grant: SPECTRE assassin and principal Bond enemy.
*Vladek Sheybal as Kronsteen: Chess grand-master and Chief Planning Officer for SPECTRE.
* "?" (anonymous credit for Anthony Dawson) as "Number 1" (Ernst Stavro Blofeld): Chief of SPECTRE and Bond's nemesis.
*Pedro Armendariz as Ali Kerim Bey: British Intelligence Station Chief in Istanbul.
*Walter Gotell as Morzeny: SPECTRE thug.
*Bernard Lee as M: Chief of British Intelligence.
*Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny: M's secretary.
*Desmond Llewelyn as Q: Head of 'Q' Section (British Intelligence gadgetry department).
*Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench: Bond's semi-regular girlfriend.
*Aliza Gur and Martine Beswick as Vida and Zora, respectively: Gypsy girls which are disputing the same man.

The film features the first appearance of Desmond Llewelyn as Major Boothroyd, known as Q, the character he would play in all but two of the series' films until his death in 1999. However, screen credit for Llewelyn was omitted at the opening of the film and is reserved for the exit credits. The Q character appeared in the previous film, "Dr. No", portrayed by actor Peter Burton, and addressed by M initially as "Armourer," and as Major Boothroyd by Bond.


As President John F. Kennedy had named Fleming's novel "From Russia with Love" among his ten favourite books of all time in "Life" magazine, producers Broccoli and Saltzman chose this as the follow-up to the cinematic debut of James Bond, "Dr. No". Ian Fleming's novel was a Cold War thriller, however the producers named the crime syndicate SPECTRE instead of the Soviet undercover agency SMERSH so as to avoid controversial political overtones.cite video | year = 2000| title = Inside From Russia with Love | medium = DVD | publisher = MGM Home Entertainment Inc. |people = Martine Beswick, Daniela Bianchi, Dana Broccoli, Syd Cain, Sean Connery, Peter Hunt, John Stears, Norman Wanstall |accessdate = 2007-08-04 | url =]

The film introduced several "firsts" to the series which would become canonized as essential formula elements: the standard pre-title sequence, the Blofeld character, a secret weapon gadget for Bond, a helicopter sequence (repeated in every subsequent Bond film except "The Man With The Golden Gun"), a postscript action scene after the main climax, a theme song with lyrics, and the line "James Bond will return/be back" in the credits.

Although uncredited, the actor who played Ernst Stavro Blofeld, was Anthony Dawson, who had played Professor Dent in the previous Bond film, "Dr. No". In the end credits, Blofeld is credited with a question mark. Blofeld's voice was provided by Viennese actor Eric Pohlmann. It is rumoured that author and James Bond creator Ian Fleming plays a cameo in a location train scene, standing outside the train, wearing grey trousers and a white sweater. [cite web|author =Bryan Krofchok | last =Krofchok | first =Bryan | work =Shaken, Not Stirred |url=|title=Does Ian Fleming have a cameo appearance in the film From Russia With Love?|publisher=Ian Fleming Foundation| year =1995 | month =March |accessdate=2007-07-28 ]

The scene in which Bond finds Tatiana in his hotel bed was used for Daniela Bianchi's screen test, with Dawson standing in, this time, as Bond. The scene later became the traditional screen test scene for prospective James Bond actors. This screen test forms part of the Ultimate Edition DVD series, showing potential candidates auditioning for the role down the years: James Brolin, Sean Bean and Sam Neill along with future 007 Pierce Brosnan. The scene has also been used to audition several James Bond leading ladies, including Maryam D'Abo and Maud Adams. [cite video | year = 2000 | title = Inside Octopussy | medium = DVD | publisher = MGM Home Entertainment Inc. |accessdate = 2007-08-04 | url =] [cite video | year = 2000 | title = Inside The Living Daylights | medium = DVD | publisher = MGM Home Entertainment Inc.|accessdate = 2007-08-04 | url =]

Director Terence Young's eye for realism was evident throughout production. For the opening chess match, Kronsteen wins the game with a reenactment of Boris Spassky's victory over David Bronstein in 1960. [cite web|url=|title=The name is Spassky – Boris Spassky||date=2004-09-02|accessdate=2008-02-16] Production Designer Syd Cain built up the "chess pawn" motif in his $150,000 set for the brief sequence. A noteworthy gadget featured was the attaché case issued by the Q-Branch containing a tear gas bomb that detonates if it is improperly opened, and a folding AR-7 sniper rifle with twenty rounds of ammunition. It also had a flat knife and fifty gold sovereigns, the latter being described by Bond so as to lure Grant and detonate the tear gas bomb. A boxer at Cambridge, Young choreographed the fight between Grant and Bond along with stunt co-ordinator Peter Perkins, a scene which took three weeks to film and was violent enough to worry some on the production. Yet, Robert Shaw and Connery did most of the stunts themselves. The fact that there was not as much light thrown on gadgets and vehicles as in future films has been critically appreciated, since it benefitted the storyline.

Pedro Armendariz was recommended to Young by director John Ford to play the role of Kerim Bey. After experiencing increasing discomfort on location in Istanbul, Armendariz was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Filming in Istanbul was terminated, the production moved to England, and Armendariz's scenes were brought forward so that he could complete his scenes without delay. Though visibly in pain, he continued working to film his portions of scenes and post-production sound recording. After returning home, Armendariz took his life while under treatment at the UCLA Medical Center. Remaining shots after Armendariz left London had a stunt double and Terence Young himself as stand-ins.

After the unexpected loss, production proceeded, experiencing complications from rewriting by Richard Maibaum during filming. Editor Peter Hunt set about editing the film while key elements were still to be filmed, helping to restructure the opening scenes. Hunt and Young conceived of moving the training exercise on a Bond double to preface the main title, a signature feature that has been an enduring hallmark of every Bond film since. The briefing with Blofeld was rewritten, and back projection was used to refilm Lotte Lenya's lines.

Behind schedule and over budget, the production crew struggled to complete production in time for the already-announced premiere date that October. On 6 July 1963, while scouting locations in Argyll, Scotland, for that day's filming of the climactic boat chase, Terence Young's helicopter crashed into the lake with Art Director Michael White and a cameraman aboard. The craft sank into 40–50 feet of water , but all escaped with minor injuries. Despite the calamity, Young was behind the camera for the full day's work. A few days later, Bianchi's driver fell asleep during the commute to a 6 a.m. shoot and crashed the car; the actress' scenes had to be delayed two weeks while her facial contusions healed.

Most of the film was based in Istanbul including the Basilica Cistern and Hagia Sophia, with the initial MI6 office in London, England. SPECTRE Island and the interior scenes of the Orient Express were filmed at Pinewood Studios with some footage of the train. In the film, the train journey was set in Eastern Europe. The journey and the truck ride were shot in Argyll, Scotland, and Switzerland. The end scenes for the film were shot in Venice.However, to qualify for the British film funding of the time, at least 70% of the film had to have been filmed in Great Britain or the Commonwealth. [ [ Crossing the cinematic pond: British film funds gaining favor among U.S.-based producers. (Up Front). | Los Angeles Business Journal (August, 2003) ] ]


"From Russia with Love" is the first Bond film in the series with John Barry as the primary soundtrack composer. [cite web|url=|title="From Russia With Love" (1963) at Soundtrack Incomplete|accessdate=2007-07-28|publisher=Loki Carbis] The theme song was composed by Lionel Bart of "Oliver!" fame and sung by Matt Monro,cite web|url=|title=Listology: Rating the James Bond Theme Songs|accessdate=2007-07-28|] although the title credit music is a lively instrumental version of the tune beginning with Barry's brief "James Bond is Back" then segueing into Monty Norman's "James Bond Theme"). Monro's vocal version is later played during the film (as source music on a radio) and properly over the film's end titles.cite web|url=|title=Listology: Rating the James Bond Theme Songs|accessdate=2007-07-28]

In this film, Barry introduced the percussive theme "007" – action music that came to be considered the 'secondary James Bond Theme'. The arrangement appears twice on the soundtrack album; the second version, entitled "007 Takes the Lektor", is the one used during the gunfight at the gypsy camp and also during Bond's theft of the Lektor decoding machine.cite video | year = 2000 | title = The Music of James Bond | medium = DVD | publisher = MGM Home Entertainment Inc. |accessdate = 2007-08-04 | url =] The completed film features a holdover from the Monty Norman-supervised "Dr. No" music; the post-rocket-launch music from "Dr. No" is played in "From Russia with Love" during the helicopter and speedboat attacks.

Release and reception

"From Russia with Love" premiered on 10 October 1963 at the Odeon, Leicester Square in London. The following year, it was released in 16 countries worldwide. It grossed $24 million at the North American box office, [cite web|url=|title=From Russia, with Love (1964)|accessdate=2007-07-28|publisher=Box Office Mojo] and $78 million worldwide. [cite web|url=|title=From Russia With Love|work=The Numbers|publisher=Nash Information Service|accessdate=2008-03-16] It is Sean Connery's favourite Bond film, and was received positively by critics. James Berardinelli considers it his favourite Bond, [cite web|url=|title=Top 100 Runner Up: From Russia with Love|publisher=Reelviews|author=Berardinelli, James|accessdate=2008-03-16] Neil Smith of "BBC Films" called it "a film that only gets better with age", [cite web| title=From Russia With Love (1963)| url=| work=BBC| accessdate=2008-03-16] and Jay Antani of Filmcritic praised the "impressive staging of action scenes". [cite web|url=| title=From Russia With Love| last=Antani| first=Jay|| accessdate=2008-03-16] Norman Wilner of MSN chose "From Russia with Love" as the best Bond film, [cite web|url=|title=Rating the Spy Game|publisher=MSN|author=Norman Wilner|accessdate=2008-03-04] while IGN listed it as second. [cite web|url=|title=James Bond's Top 20|publisher=IGN|date=2006-11-17|accessdate=2008-03-04] "Entertainment Weekly", however, put the film at ninth, criticizing the slow pace. [cite web|url=,,1560072_14,00.html|title=Ranking the Bond Films|author=Benjamin Svetkey, Joshua Rich|date=2006-11-15|accessdate=2008-03-16] On 29 July 2007, it became the first James Bond film to be broadcast on BBC. [ [ "From Russia With Love" to make BBC TV debut] "" URL accessed 30 July 2007]

The film's cinematographer Ted Moore won the BAFTA award and the British Society of Cinematographers award for Best Cinematography. [cite web|url=|title=Awards at Yahoo Movies|accessdate=2007-07-30] At the 1965 Laurel Awards, Lotte Lenya stood third for Best Female Supporting Performance, and the film secured second place in the Action-Drama category. The film also received a Golden Globe nomination for the song "From Russia with Love". [cite web|url=|title=Awards won by From Russia with Love|accessdate=2007-08-01]

Video game adaptation

The "From Russia with Love" video game was developed by Electronic Arts and released on 1 November 2005 in North America. It follows the storyline of the book and film, albeit adding in new scenes, making it more action-oriented. One of the most significant changes to the story is the replacement of the organization SPECTRE to OCTOPUS because the name SPECTRE constituted a long-running legal dispute over the film rights to "Thunderball" between United Artists/MGM and the late writer Kevin McClory. Most of the cast from the film returned in likeness. Connery not only played Bond, but also recorded his voice to the character. Featuring a third-person multiplayer deathmatch mode, the game depicts several elements of later Bond films such as the Aston Martin DB5 from "Goldfinger" (1964) and the rocketbelt from "Thunderball" (1965).

The game was penned by Bruce Feirstein who previously worked on the film scripts for "GoldenEye", "Tomorrow Never Dies", "The World Is Not Enough", and the 2004 video game, "". Its soundtrack was composed by Christopher Lennertz and Vic Flick. [cite video game
title = From Russia with Love
developer = Electronic Arts
publisher =
date =2005-11-01
platform =
version =
level =
language = English
isolang =
quote =

The game begins with a standard pre-title sequence in which Elizabeth Stark, the British Prime Minister's daughter, is kidnapped by OCTOPUS while attending a party. Fortunately, Bond was assigned to attend the party; he defeats OCTOPUS' henchmen and rescues Stark. Soon, OCTOPUS conceives a plan to avenge the death of Dr. Julius No. The plan involves the theft of a Soviet encoding machine known as the Lektor with the help of a defecting Soviet agent, Romanova, being used by OCTOPUS to lure Bond into a trap; their ultimate goal is to let him obtain the Lektor and then ambush and kill him. Romanova is sent by Rosa Klebb, a KGB agent who has secretly defected to OCTOPUS. Her immediate subordinate, Red Grant, protects Bond through the first half of the game and attacks him in the second. The game ends with a final assault on OCTOPUS headquarters.


External links

*imdb title|id=0057076|title=From Russia with Love
*amg movie|id=1:18751|title=From Russia with Love
*rotten-tomatoes|id=from_russia_with_love|title=From Russia with Love
*mojo title|id=fromrussiawithlove|title=From Russia with Love
* [ MGM's site on the film]
* [ Studio and censor cuts]

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