From Russia With Love

 Release Details - Credits - Music - Cast - Notes

release details
Date of release: 10 October 1963 (UK), 8 April 1964 (US)
Running time: 116 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.66 : 1
Classification: PG (UK)

Alternative titles: Love Greetings From Moscow (Germany), Hearty Kisses From Russia (France), To 007, From Russia With Love (Italy), Love And Kisses From Russia (Belgium), Agent 007 Sees Red (Sweden), Moscow Versus 007 (Portugal), 007 In Istanbul (Finland), The Return Of Agent 007 (Latin America).

Directed by: Terence Young
Produced by: Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli
Screenplay by: Richard Maibaum
Adapted by: Johanna Harwood
Art director: Syd Cain
Director of photography: Ted Moore BSC
Editor: Peter Hunt
Special effects by: John Stears
Stunt work arranged by: Peter Perkins
Main title designed by: Robert Brownjohn
Assisted by: Trevor Bond.

Orchestral music composed and conducted by: John Barry

Main theme: "From Russia With Love"
Performed by: Matt Monro
Written by: Lionel Bart
Highest UK chart position: Song reached number 20; the instrumental version as performed by the John Barry Orchestra, reached number 39.

Musical notes: The opening titles are accompanied by an instrumental version of the song which segues into the James Bond theme. The song itself is used for the end titles (as well as being heard on a radio during the first scene with Bond and Sylvia). The score for the film includes the first use of a piece of music by John Barry known as "007" which would also be used in a number of subsequent films (it is heard here during the gypsy camp battle and when Bond raids the Russian consulate).

James Bond: Sean Connery
Corporal Tatiana Romanova: Daniela Bianchi (dubbed by Barbara Jefford)
Kerim Bey: Pedro Armendariz
Colonel Rosa Klebb: Lotte Lenya
Donald Grant: Robert Shaw
M: Bernard Lee
Kronsteen: Vladek Sheybal
Sylvia Trench: Eunice Gayson
Morzeny: Walter Gotell
Vavra: Francis de Wolff
Train Conductor: George Pastell
Kerim's Girl: Nadja Regin
Miss Moneypenny: Lois Maxwell
Vida: Aliza Gur
Zora: Martine Beswick
Ernst Stavro Blofeld: ? (actually Anthony Dawson with the voice of Eric Pohlman)
Gypsy Dancer: Leila
Foreign Agent: Hasan Ceylan
Krilencu: Fred Haggerty
Kerim's Chauffeur: Neville Jason
Benz: Peter Bayliss
Mehmet: Nushet Ataer
Rhoda: Peter Brayhem
Major Boothroyd: Desmond Llewelyn
Masseuse: Jan Williams
McAdams: Peter Madden.

Captain Nash: Bill Hill
Tempo: Nushet Atear
Mosque Tour Guide: Muhammat Kohen

The gunbarrel: This film is the first to use a pre-credits sequence, but the distinctive gunbarrel opening is of course retained. The sequence reuses the Simmons footage from Dr No, but this time the dot moves continuously across the screen. The arrangement of the Bond theme is similar to that used in the rest of the movie. After the gunshot Bond fades the gunbarrel becomes a dot again. Most prints have the dot simply disappear and the precredits sequence start; however there has been a version in which the dot moves off screen to the right.

Using the title: The title is heard when the film's theme is playing on a radio. Later when Bond is leaving for Istanbul he leaves a photograph of Tania with Moneypenny. On it he writes the phrase "From Russia With Love".

The novel approach: Like Dr No the main change made from the novel is the introduction of SPECTRE to the film; in Fleming's version the plot against Bond is co-ordinated by SMERSH rather than a third party manipulating the British and Soviets. The decoding machine was originally called a Spektor but this is changed to Lektor in the film for obvious reasons. Also, the final part of the film was opened out with the addition of the helicopter and boat scenes after the lengthy sequence on the Orient Express. There is also a slight change to the title, since Fleming's novel is called "From Russia, With Love", including a comma that was omitted from the movie title.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: M, who is referred to as "the head of British intelligence" by Blofeld, and Moneypenny return from the first film. However, the movie is notable for the first appearance of Desmond Llewelyn as Q. However, although Q Branch is referred to for the first time, Llewelyn's character is only referred to as the Equipment Officer and he is credited as Boothroyd, which was the name of the Armourer played by Peter Burton in Dr No. Indeed, Llewelyn was only cast when Burton proved unavailable. Certainly, Q's role in this film is very similar to the Armourer in the first movie and his testy character has yet to be established.
The Universal Exports cover name for the Secret Service is used again when Bond phones in when he is bleeped, although he abbreviates it to "UnivEx" (the only time that this form is used).
When Bond is in Istanbul he is helped by another overseas station, Station T (Turkey), which is headed by the jovial Kerim Bey who enjoys the challenge of intelligence duties in the Balkans after starting life as a circus strongman. Most of the key employees in the station, which uses a rug shop as a cover, are Kerim's sons. When he is fleeing on the Orient Express Bond asks for help from Station Y (presumably Yugoslavia, although this isn't given). Captain Nash is sent to meet Bond in Zagreb, but unfortunately he meets Grant first. Later, Bond is helped by someone called Paul Maxwell in Venice, who is presumably from an Italian station (Maxwell doesn't appear but Bond speaks to him on the telephone).
It is established that the Service has a recognition code so that its operatives can tell each other apart which involves one of them asking for a light and being offered a cigarette letter. However, the code is known to SPECTRE who forced it from an agent in Tokyo.

Locations: SPECTRE island, the organisation's training camp in an undisclosed location (but presumably somewhere near the Adriatic); London (including some nearby countryside where Bond and Sylvia are enjoying punting); Istanbul, Turkey; across Yugoslavia on the Orient Express (stopping at Belgrade and Zagreb heading for Trieste).

The villain: There is no one villain, other than the SPECTRE organisation itself, which was mentioned in Dr No. SPECTRE is based on an island in an unknown location and also uses a luxury yacht. It has a logo consisting of an octopus. The head of the organisation appears (see "Recurring characters" below), but there are three main operatives featured in the movie.
Kronsteen is SPECTRE Number 5 and the Director of Planning who is responsible for the plot against Bond. He is Czechoslovakian and also uses his skills playing chess. He is killed when his fool-proof plot fails.
Colonel Rosa Klebb is SPECTRE Number 3. She was formerly head of operations for SMERSH, the Soviet Intelligence organisation, until she defected to SPECTRE. For some reason the Russians kept her defection quiet (Bond didn't know about it). Klebb is shot by Tania.
The final member of the team is Donald Grant, a psychotic killer used as an assassin by SPECTRE. He was a convicted murderer who escaped Dartmoor prison in 1960 before being recruited by SPECTRE in Tangiers in 1962. He was killed by Bond.

The girl: Corporal Tatiana Romanova (her friends call her Tania), a cypher clerk working at the Russian consulate in Istanbul who was used as a pawn in SPECTRE's plot. She trained to be a ballerina but grew an inch over the regulation height. She had three lovers before Bond and thinks that her mouth is too big.

Bond's conquests: Four - Sylvia, Vida and Zora (the gypsy girls), and Tania.

Gadgets: Bond is ahead of the time in having both a pager and a car phone. Later he uses a small bug detector and a tape recorder that is hidden inside a camera. However, the main gadget is the black leather attache case which is now standard equipment for operatives (Captain Nash has one as well as Bond). It contains 20 rounds of ammunition, a flat throwing knife and 50 gold sovereigns, as well as a canister of tear gas disguised as a tin of talcum powder that explodes if the case is not opened in the correct manner. Also part of the kit is a 0.25 calibre AR7 folding rifle with an infra-red sight. Not to be outdone, Grant also has a deadly toy in the form of a watch containing a garotting wire. Also of importance is the Lektor machine, which can decode all of the Russian's top secret transmissions. It is a typewriter shaped machine weighing about 10 kg. It is both self calibrating and manual with an in-built compensator. It has 24 symbol keys and 16 code keys.

Recurring characters: Bond is first seen spending time with Sylvia Trench, again played by Eunice Gayson, who he met in Dr No. It is mentioned that Sylvia has not seen Bond for six months. It was originally intended that Sylvia would be a regular character, creating a running joke with Bond always being called away from her. However, this film was the character's final appearance.
From Russia With Love also introduces us to the head of SPECTRE, who would feature in a number of subsequent films. Although referred to on screen only as Number 1 he is named as Ernst Blofeld in the end credits. However the producers chose to create an atmosphere of mystery about the character; his face is not seen and an actor credit is replaced by a question mark. Here, Blofeld was actually played by Anthony Dawson (who was Professor Dent in Dr No) and his voice was dubbed by Eric Pohlman. Interestingly, it can be seen that Blofeld has hair, in contrast to the bald persona that would become famous. Blofeld's trademark white cat (which is never named) is established here.

Continuity: There are two references to the previous film. Kronsteen says that the SPECTRE plot is targeted against Bond partly in revenge for his killing of Dr No, and later Sylvia mentions her previous time with Bond when he got called away to Jamaica. Sylvia also refers to her golfing hobby, which was established in the first film.

Cameos: There is a credible rumour that Ian Fleming himself makes a cameo appearance in the film. The scene in question is when the Orient Express passes Kerim Bey's puzzled son. To his right there is a figure of a grey-haired man in a white sweater and dark trousers who is leaning on a cane. He also looks towards the camera as the train passes behind him. The theory that this is Fleming is supported by photographs of Fleming visiting the location filming for From Russia With Love in which he is dressed in similar clothes and is carrying an ornate cane.
Production manager Bill Hill appears as the real Captain Nash. In addition, the woman filming Bond and Tania from the bridge in Venice at the end of the film was the wife of director Terence Young.
Although not strictly a cameo, Terence Young himself also appears in the film, doubling at times for Pedro Armendariz, who played Kerim Bey and was seriously ill during the filming (indeed, he committed suicide shortly after filming completed).

Cuts: The film lost a sequence where Grant comments on the film that he has of Bond in bed with Tania ("What a performance!"). This explains Bonds comment in the gondola at the end of the finished film ("He was right you know"). An Istanbul sequence was cut involving Kerim Bey preventing the Bulgarian agent from following Bond by crushing his car. This scene was deleted when it was noticed that Bond had killed the Bulgarian agent earlier in the movie!

I didn't catch the name?: Bond doesn't give his trademark introduction anywhere in the film, probably due to the fact that everyone seems to have a pretty good idea of who he is.

Vodka Martinis: Bond doesn't consume any during the film. Instead he drinks medium coffee with Kerim Bey and then takes wine with dinner on the Orient Express.

Gambling: Again none, other than M and Bond's decision to go for the Lektor when everything is obviously a trap!

Bond bits: Bond has brown eyes and a scar at the base of his back. He drives a green vintage Bentley (consistent with the Bond of Fleming's novels).

Other trivia: Bond mentions a time that he was in Tokyo with M and they had an "interesting experience". When Bond and Tania are on the Orient Express their cover is a married couple called David and Caroline Somerset who are returning to their home in Derbyshire after a business trip; they have no children. Miss Moneypenny has never been to Istanbul.

Anything else?: The opening chess game between Kronsteen and McAdams was based on a famous match between Boris Spassky and David Bronstein (won by Spassky).
The hatch in the side of the building which acts as Krilencu's escape route is disguised by the mouth of Anita Ekberg in a poster for a film called "Call Me Bwana". This 1963 Bob Hope movie was produced by Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli and their names can be seen on the poster.
The receptionist at Bond's Istanbul hotel has the same voice as Honey Rider in Dr No; this is due to the fact that both were dubbed by Monica van der Syl (who also dubbed Claudine Auger in Thunderball).
From Russia With Love was the first film to announce its sucessor in the end credits; a trend that would be continued until Octopussy. The end credits feature an error, claiming that the James Bond theme was composed by Monte Norman (instead of Monty Norman).

The Bond Film Informant was compiled by Matthew Newton. © Copyright MJ Newton. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission unless otherwise stated.

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