007 Casefile: ‘From Russia With Love’
Following on from last weeks Case File and Review of Dr. No, we bring you the facts and lowdown of Bond’s second outing!
The Mission: MI:6 is contacted by a Russian cypher clerk in Istanbul, Tatiana Romanova, who wants to defect and is offering the sought after Lektor decoder as part of the bargain. Although M and Bond agree that it’s very likely a trap set but their Russian counter-parts SMERSH the chance to obtain a Lektor is considered worth the risk and 007 is dispatched to Turkey.
Locales: Istanbul, Venice.
Gadgets: The suitcase, supplied by Q Department, features a hidden knife, fifty gold sovereigns, an infra-red sniper rifle and a tear gas booby trap.
Vehicle: Bond is without a car and instead relies on trains and boats to get around.
Sidekicks: Station Head Ali Kerim Bey is Bond’s contact in Istanbul and becomes an invaluable ally. The two become quick friends while playing the spy game in the city, with Kerim’s extensive collection of sons in reserve.
The Girls: Sylvia Trench returns, only to have her attempts to hook up with Bond foiled by him being called into action yet again. Tatiana Romanova holds his attention for the rest of the mission, surprising him in his hotel room and never being far from his side from that point on.
The Enemy: Rosa Klebb aka No. 3, an ex-Russian agent, and Kronsteen aka No. 5, a grand chess master. Both are working for the leader of SPECTRE known only as No. 1.
Evil Plot: As MI:6 suspected the offer is to good to be true. Instead of being a plot by Russia it is actually concocted by by Kronsteen on behalf of SPECTRE and put into action by Klebb. By luring Bond to Istanbul with Tatiana (an unsuspecting Russian clerk who also believes she is working for Russia) and the Lektor as bait they intend to use their own agent to take the Lektor and kill Bond as revenge for destroying Dr. No’s operation.
Distinguishing Features: Klebb and Kronsteen are your general bad guys, although Klebb does sport a poison tipped blade that pops out of her shoe. Although we never get to see ‘No.1’ he is holding his trademark cat.
Secret Liar: The SPECTRE headquarters is a classy joint with aquariums filled with Siamese fighting fish. There’s also a training ground surrounding a mansion, complete with a hedge maze.
Henchmen: The first of the great henchmen: Red Grant. A Russian recruited by Klebb the imposing Grant is a cold eyed killer who is more than capable of getting the jump on Bond. The movie opens with Red Grant training by hunting men wearing Bond masks. He’s equipped with a garrotte wearing concealed in a wrist watch for tight corners.
Facts About the Movie
Politically Incorrect Behaviour: When Bond is invited to watch a pair of gypsy women wrestle to decide who gets to marry the chiefs son he puts to a stop to the ritual – so he shags both of them instead.
Notable Firsts: With Major Boothroyd of Q department otherwise occupied we see Desmond Llewelyn take up the role of Q for the first time providing Bond with his gadget ridden briefcase, a role he’ll reprise 16 times in the series. We also see (in a manner of speaking) the leader of SPECTRE, Blofed, who would become Bond’s rival for the next few films.
Random Trivia: In Blofed’s first appearance in the series he is played by two actors. His voice is provided by Eric Pohlmann while his on screen presence is Anthony Dawson – the same actor who played Professor Dent in Dr. No.
From Russia With Love provides a rare example of direct references to the previous film in the series. Sylvia Trench makes a second appearance and Bond implies that the knife wound on his back was a parting gift from Honey Ryder. The enemies motivation is also a result of Bond’s actions in Jamaica during the previous film.
Check in later for our full review of From Russia With Love!