From Russia with Love (film)

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From Russia with Love
From Russia with Love - UK cinema poster.jpg
British cinema poster for From Russia with Love, designed and illustrated by Renato Fratini and Eric Pulford
Directed by Terence Young
Produced by Harry Saltzman
Albert R. Broccoli
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum
Uncredited:
Berkely Mather
Story by Johanna Harwood
Based on From Russia, with Love
by Ian Fleming
Starring Sean Connery
Pedro Armendáriz
Lotte Lenya
Robert Shaw
Bernard Lee
Daniela Bianchi
Music by John Barry
Cinematography Ted Moore
Edited by Peter R. Hunt
Production
company
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • 10 October 1963 (1963-10-10)(London, premiere)
  • 11 October 1963 (1963-10-11)(United Kingdom)
Running time
115 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget$2 million
Box office$79 million

From Russia with Love is a 1963 British spy film and the second in the James Bond film series produced by Eon Productions, as well as Sean Connery's second role as MI6 agent James Bond. It was directed by Terence Young, produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and written by Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood, based on Ian Fleming's similarly named 1957 novel. In the film, Bond is sent to assist in the defection of Soviet consulate clerk Tatiana Romanova in Turkey, where SPECTRE plans to avenge Bond's killing of Dr. No.

The spy film genre deals with the subject of fictional espionage, either in a realistic way or as a basis for fantasy. Many novels in the spy fiction genre have been adapted as films, including works by John Buchan, le Carré, Ian Fleming (Bond) and Len Deighton. It is a significant aspect of British cinema, with leading British directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and Carol Reed making notable contributions and many films set in the British Secret Service.

Eon Productions film production company known for producing the James Bond film series

Eon Productions is a British film production company that produces the James Bond film series. The company is based in London's Piccadilly and also operates from Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom.

Sean Connery Scottish actor and producer

Sir Thomas Sean Connery is a retired Scottish actor and producer, who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards, one being a BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, and three Golden Globes, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award and a Henrietta Award.

Contents

Following the success of Dr. No , United Artists greenlit a sequel and doubled the budget available for the producers. In addition to filming on location in Turkey, the action scenes were shot at Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire, and in Scotland. Production ran over budget and schedule, and was rushed to finish by its scheduled October 1963 release date.

<i>Dr. No</i> (film) 1962 film by Terence Young

Dr. No is a 1962 British spy film, starring Sean Connery, with Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman and Jack Lord, which was filmed in Jamaica and England. It is the first James Bond film. Based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, it was adapted by Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood, and Berkely Mather and was directed by Terence Young. The film was produced by Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli, a partnership that continued until 1975.

United Artists American film studio

United Artists Corporation (UA), currently doing business as United Artists Digital Studios, is an American film and television entertainment studio. Founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, the studio was premised on allowing actors to control their own interests, rather than being dependent upon commercial studios. UA was repeatedly bought, sold, and restructured over the ensuing century. The current United Artists company exists as a successor to the original; as a distributor of films across MGM and third-party titles and as a provider of digital content, in addition to handling most of its post-1952 in-house library and other content it has since acquired. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquired the studio in 1981 for a reported $350 million.

Pinewood Studios British film studio and television studio situated in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England

Pinewood Studios is a British film and television studio located in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, about 4 miles (6.4 km) from Slough, 2 miles (3.2 km) from Uxbridge, and approximately 17 miles (27 km) west of central London.

From Russia with Love was a critical and commercial success. It took in more than $78 million in worldwide box-office receipts, far more than its $2 million budget and more than its predecessor Dr. No, thereby becoming a blockbuster in 1960s cinema.

A blockbuster is a work of entertainment – especially a feature film, but also other media – that is highly popular and financially successful. The term has also come to refer to any large-budget production intended for "blockbuster" status, aimed at mass markets with associated merchandising, sometimes on a scale that meant the financial fortunes of a film studio or a distributor could depend on it.

This film also marked the debut of Desmond Llewelyn as Q, a role he would play for 36 years until The World Is Not Enough in 1999.

Desmond Llewelyn 1914-1999 Welsh actor

Desmond Wilkinson Llewelyn was a Welsh actor, best known for his role as Q in 17 of the James Bond films between 1963 and 1999.

Q (James Bond) fictional character from James Bond

Q is a fictional character in the James Bond films and film novelisations. Q, like M, is a job title rather than a name. He is the head of Q Branch, the fictional research and development division of the British Secret Service.

<i>The World Is Not Enough</i> 1999 James Bond film directed by Michael Apted

The World Is Not Enough is a 1999 spy film, the 19th in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, and the third to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was directed by Michael Apted, with the original story and screenplay written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Bruce Feirstein. It was produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The title is taken from a line in the 1963 novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Plot

Seeking to exact revenge on James Bond (007) for killing its agent Dr. No and destroying the organisation's assets in the Caribbean, the international criminal organisation SPECTRE begins training agents to kill Bond. Their star pupil is Donald "Red" Grant, an Irish assassin who proves his mettle by killing a Bond impostor in 1 minute and 52 seconds on a training course with a garrote wire concealed in his wristwatch.

Caribbean region to the center-east of America composed of many islands and of coastal regions of continental countries surrounding the Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean is a region of The Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.

SPECTRE fictional James Bond organisation

SPECTRE is a fictional organization featured in the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming, the films based on those novels, and James Bond video games. Led by evil genius and supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the international organization first formally appeared in the novel Thunderball (1961) and in the film Dr. No (1962). SPECTRE is not aligned to any nation or political ideology, enabling the later Bond books and Bond films to be regarded as somewhat apolitical, though the presence of former Gestapo members in the organization are a clear sign of Fleming's warning of the Nazi fascists surviving after the Second World War first detailed in the novel Moonraker (1954). SPECTRE began in the novels as a small group of criminals but became a vast international organization with its own SPECTRE Island training base in the films, to replace the Soviet SMERSH.

Meanwhile, the organisation's chief planner, a Czech chess grandmaster named Kronsteen (Number 5), devises a plan to play British and Soviet intelligence against each other to procure a Lektor cryptographic device from the Soviets. SPECTRE's chief executive, Number 1, puts Rosa Klebb (Number 3), a former colonel of SMERSH (the counter-intelligence branch of Soviet Intelligence) who has defected to SPECTRE in the West, in charge of the mission as chief of operations. Klebb chooses Grant to protect Bond until he acquires the Lektor and then to eliminate 007 and steal the cipher machine for SPECTRE. As part of the scheme, Klebb recruits the beautiful Tatiana Romanova, a cipher clerk at the Soviet consulate in Istanbul, who believes the ex-colonel is still working for SMERSH.

Czechoslovak Socialist Republic republic in Central/Eastern Europe between 1960 and 1990

The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic ruled Czechoslovakia from 1948 until 23 April 1990, when the country was under communist rule. Formally known as the Fourth Czechoslovak Republic, it has been regarded as a satellite state of the Soviet Union.

Cryptography practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties

Cryptography or cryptology is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties called adversaries. More generally, cryptography is about constructing and analyzing protocols that prevent third parties or the public from reading private messages; various aspects in information security such as data confidentiality, data integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation are central to modern cryptography. Modern cryptography exists at the intersection of the disciplines of mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering, communication science, and physics. Applications of cryptography include electronic commerce, chip-based payment cards, digital currencies, computer passwords, and military communications.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

In London, M informs Bond that Romanova has contacted their "Station 'T'" in Turkey, claiming to have fallen in love with Bond from his file photo. She offers to defect to the West, and will bring a top-secret Lektor with her to sweeten the deal, but only on the condition that Bond handle her case, personally. Prior to his departure, Bond is supplied by Q with an attaché case containing a concealed throwing knife, gold sovereigns, a special tear gas booby trap connected to the lock mechanism, and ammunition for an included ArmaLite AR-7 folding sniper rifle with an infrared night scope.

After travelling to Istanbul, Bond heads into the city to meet with station head Ali Kerim Bey, tailed by Bulgarian secret agents working for the Russians. They are in turn tailed by Grant, who kills one of them after Bond is taken back to his hotel, stealing their car and dumping it outside the Soviet Consulate to provoke hostilities between British and Soviet Intelligence. In response, the Soviets bomb Kerim's office with a limpet mine; Kerim, however, is away from his desk for a tryst with his mistress. Bond and he then investigate the attack by spying on a Soviet consulate meeting through a periscope installed in the underground aqueducts beneath Istanbul. Thus, they learn that the Soviet agent Krilencu is responsible for the bombing. Kerim Bey declares it unwise to stay in the city under such circumstances and takes Bond to a rural gypsy settlement. However, Krilencu learns of this and promptly attacks a gypsy feast, where Bond and Kerim are honoured guests, with a band of hired Bulgarian fighters. Much to Bond's confusion, he is saved from an enemy fighter during the attack by a distant sniper shot from Grant. The following night, Bond and Kerim Bey track Krilencu to his hideout, where Kerim Bey kills him with Bond's rifle.

Upon returning to his hotel suite that night, Bond finds Romanova waiting for him in his bed and has sex with her; neither is aware that SPECTRE is filming them. The next day, Romanova heads off for a prearranged rendezvous at Hagia Sophia to drop off the floor plans for the consulate, with Grant ensuring Bond receives the plans by killing the other Bulgarian tail who attempts to intercept the drop. Using the plans, Bond and Kerim Bey successfully steal the Lektor, and together with Romanova, escape with the device onto the Orient Express . On the train, Kerim Bey quickly notices a Soviet security officer named Benz tailing them, prompting him and Bond to subdue him. When Bond leaves Benz and Kerim Bey alone together, Grant kills them and makes it appear as though they killed each other, preventing Bond from leaving the train with Romanova to rendezvous with one of Kerim's men.

At the railway station in Belgrade, Bond passes on word of Kerim Bey's death to one of his sons, and asks for an agent from Station Y to meet him at Zagreb. However, when the train arrives at the station, Grant intercepts Nash, sent from Station Y, killing the agent before posing as him. After drugging Romanova at dinner, Grant overpowers Bond before taunting him about SPECTRE's involvement in the theft. After disclosing that Romanova was unaware of what was truly going on, believing she was working for Russia, Grant reveals to Bond his plans to leave behind the film SPECTRE took of him and Romanova at the hotel, along with a forged blackmail letter, to make it appear that their deaths were the result of a murder-suicide, to scandalise the British intelligence community. Bond quickly convinces him to accept a bribe of gold sovereigns in exchange for a final cigarette, tricking Grant into setting off the booby trap in his attaché case. This distracts Grant enough for Bond to attack him in a brutal brawl. In the ensuing fight, Bond narrowly gains the upper hand, stabbing Grant with the case's concealed knife before strangling him with his own garrotte. Bond then drags the barely conscious Romanova from the train, which has been stopped by a SPECTRE accomplice, where he hijacks Grant's getaway truck and flees the scene with Romanova.

Upon hearing the news of Grant's death, Number 1 calls Klebb and Kronsteen onto the carpet to explain what went wrong and remind them that SPECTRE does not tolerate failure. Kronsteen is executed by the henchman Morzeny with a kick from the poison-tipped switchblade in his shoe. Klebb, however, is given one last chance to make good on the mission and acquire the Lektor (which has already been promised to the Russians in a sell-back scheme).

The next morning, Bond's stolen truck is intercepted along its escape route by a SPECTRE helicopter, but 007 destroys the attacking aircraft by shooting its co-pilot with his sniper rifle, causing the man to drop a live hand grenade in the cockpit. Thus, Bond and Romanova make it to Grant's escape boat on the Dalmatian coast and steal that, too, only to be pursued by Morzeny, who leads a squadron of SPECTRE powerboats. Bond, however, escapes by dumping his own powerboat's fuel drums overboard and detonating them with a Very flare to engulf all the chase boats in a sea of flames.

Eventually, Romanova and he reach a hotel in Venice, where they believe themselves to be safe. Klebb, however, disguised as a maid, makes one final attempt on Bond and the Lektor. Klebb tries to kick him with a poisoned switchblade shoe, but Romanova shoots her with her own dropped gun. With the mission accomplished, Bond and Romanova leave Venice on a romantic boat ride, in which course Bond throws Grant's blackmail film into the canal.

Cast

Production

Following the financial success of Dr. No, United Artists greenlit a second James Bond film. The studio doubled the budget offered to Eon Productions with $2 million, and also approved a bonus for Sean Connery, who would receive $100,000 along with his $54,000 salary. [3] 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, [4] producers Broccoli and Saltzman chose this as the follow-up to Bond's cinematic debut in Dr. No . From Russia with Love was the last film President Kennedy saw at the White House on 20 November 1963 before going to Dallas. [5] Most of the crew from the first film returned, with major exceptions being production designer Ken Adam, who went to work on Dr. Strangelove and was replaced by Dr. No's art director Syd Cain; title designer Maurice Binder was replaced by Robert Brownjohn, and stunt coordinator Bob Simmons was unavailable and was replaced by Peter Perkins [4] though Simmons performed stunts in the film. [6] John Barry replaced Monty Norman as composer of the soundtrack.

The film introduced several conventions which would become essential elements of the series: a pre-title sequence, the Blofeld character (referred to in the film only as "Number 1"), 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. [7]

Writing

Ian Fleming's novel was a Cold War thriller but the producers replaced the Soviet undercover agency SMERSH with the crime syndicate SPECTRE so as to avoid controversial political overtones. [4] The SPECTRE training grounds were inspired by the film Spartacus . [8] The original screenwriter was Len Deighton, who accompanied Harry Saltzman, Syd Cain, and Terence Young to Istanbul [9] but he was replaced because of a lack of progress. [10] Thus, two of Dr. No's writers, Johanna Harwood and Richard Maibaum, returned for the second film in the series [4] Some sources state Harwood was credited for the "adaptation" mostly for her suggestions which were carried over into Maibaum's script. [10] Harwood stated in an interview for Cinema Retro that she had been a screenwriter of several of Harry Saltzman's projects, and her screenplay for From Russia with Love had followed Fleming's novel closely, but she left the series due to what she called Terence Young's constant rewriting of her screenplay with ideas that were not in the original Fleming work. [11] Maibaum kept on making rewrites as filming progressed. Red Grant was added to the Istanbul scenes just prior to the film crew's trip to Turkey; this brought more focus to the SPECTRE plot, as Grant started saving Bond's life there (a late change during shooting involved Grant killing the bespectacled spy at Hagia Sophia instead of Bond, who ends up just finding the man dead). [4] For the last quarter of the movie, Maibaum added two chase scenes, with a helicopter and speedboats, and changed the location of Bond and Klebb's battle from Paris to Venice. [12]

Casting

Although uncredited, the actor who played Number 1 was Anthony Dawson, who had played Professor Dent in the previous Bond film, Dr. No, and appeared in several of Terence Young's films. In the end credits, Blofeld is credited with a question mark. Blofeld's lines were redubbed by Viennese actor Eric Pohlmann in the final cut. [4] Peter Burton was unavailable to return as Major Boothroyd, so Desmond Llewelyn, a Welsh actor who was a fan of the Bond comic strip published in the Daily Express , accepted the part. However, screen credit for Llewelyn was omitted at the opening of the film and is reserved for the exit credits, where he is credited simply as "Boothroyd". Llewelyn's character is not referred to by this name in dialogue, but M does introduce him as being from Q Branch. Llewelyn remained as the character, better known as Q, in all but one of the series' films until his death in 1999. [13] [14]

Several actresses were considered for the role of Tatiana, including Italians Sylva Koscina and Virna Lisi, Danish actress Annette Vadim, and English-born Tania Mallet. [15] 1960 Miss Universe runner-up Daniela Bianchi was ultimately cast, supposedly Sean Connery's choice. Bianchi started taking English classes for the role, but the producers ultimately chose to have her lines redubbed by British stage actress Barbara Jefford in the final cut. [16] The scene in which Bond finds Tatiana in his hotel bed was used for Bianchi's screen test, with Dawson standing in, this time, as Bond. [4] The scene later became the traditional screen test scene for prospective James Bond actors and Bond Girls. [17] [18]

Greek actress Katina Paxinou was originally considered for the role of Rosa Klebb, but was unavailable. Terence Young cast Austrian singer Lotte Lenya after hearing one of her musical recordings. Young wanted Kronsteen's portrayer to be "an actor with a remarkable face", so the minor character would be well remembered by audiences. This led to the casting of Vladek Sheybal, whom Young also considered convincing as an intellectual. [8] Several women were tested for the roles of Vida and Zora, the two fighting Gypsy girls, and after Aliza Gur and Martine Beswick were cast, they spent six weeks practising their fight choreography with stunt work arranger Peter Perkins. [19] Beswick was mis-credited as 'Martin Beswick' in the film's opening titles, but this error was fixed for the 2001 DVD release. [20]

Mexican actor Pedro Armendáriz was recommended to Young by director John Ford to play Kerim Bey. After experiencing increasing discomfort on location in Istanbul, Armendáriz was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Filming in Istanbul was terminated, the production moved to Britain, and Armendáriz's scenes were brought forward so that he could complete his scenes without delay. Though visibly in pain, he continued working as long as possible. When he could no longer work, he returned home and took his own life. [4] Remaining shots after Armendáriz left London had a stunt double and Terence Young himself as stand-ins. [1]

Englishman Joe Robinson was a strong contender for the role of Red Grant but it was given to Robert Shaw. [21]

Filming

Most of the film was set in Istanbul, Turkey. Locations included the Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia and the Sirkeci railway station, which also was used for the Belgrade and Zagreb railway stations. The MI6 office in London, SPECTRE Island, the Venice hotel 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. [4] However, to qualify for the British film funding of the time, at least 70 percent of the film had to have been filmed in Great Britain or the Commonwealth. [22] The Gypsy camp was also to be filmed in an actual camp in Topkapi, but was actually shot in a replica of it in Pinewood. [16] The scene with rats (after the theft of the Lektor) was shot in Spain, as Britain did not allow filming with wild rats, and an attempt to film white rats painted in cocoa in Turkey did not work. [23] Principal photography began on 1 April 1963, [4] and wrapped on 23 August. [24] Ian Fleming spent a week in the Istanbul shoot, supervising production and touring the city with the producers. [25] [26]

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. [27] Production Designer Syd Cain built up the "chess pawn" motif in his $150,000 set for the brief sequence. [16] Cain also later added a promotion to another movie Eon was producing, making Krilencu's death happen inside a billboard for Call Me Bwana . [26] A noteworthy gadget featured was the attaché case (briefcase) issued by Q Branch. It had a tear gas bomb that detonated if the case was improperly opened, a folding AR-7 sniper rifle with twenty rounds of ammunition, a throwing knife, and 50 gold sovereigns. A boxer at Cambridge, Young choreographed the fight between Grant and Bond along with stunt coordinator Peter Perkins. The scene took three weeks to film and was violent enough to worry some on the production. Robert Shaw and Connery did most of the stunts themselves. [1] [4]

After the unexpected loss of Armendáriz, production proceeded, experiencing complications from uncredited rewrites by Berkely Mather 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 came up with the idea of moving the Red Grant training sequence to the beginning of the film (prior to 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. [4]

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 water with art director Michael White and a cameraman aboard. The craft sank into 40–50 feet (12–15 m) 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 am shoot and crashed the car. The actress's face was bruised and Bianchi's scenes had to be delayed for two weeks while the facial contusions healed. [4]

The helicopter and boat chase scenes were not in the original novel but were added to create an action climax. The former was inspired by the crop-dusting scene in Hitchcock's North by Northwest and the latter by a previous Young/Broccoli/Maibaum collaboration, The Red Beret . [28] These two scenes would initially be shot in Istanbul but were moved to Scotland. The speedboats could not go fast enough due to the many waves in the sea, [29] and a rented boat filled with cameras ended up sinking in the Bosphorus. [16] A helicopter was also hard to obtain, and the special effects crew were nearly arrested trying to get one at a local airbase. [29] [30] The helicopter chase was filmed with a radio controlled miniature helicopter. [16] The sounds of the boat chase were replaced in post-production since the boats were not loud enough, [31] and the explosion, shot in Pinewood, got out of control, burning Walter Gotell's eyelids [29] and seriously injuring three stuntmen. [28]

Photographer David Hurn was commissioned by the producers of the James Bond films to shoot a series of stills with Sean Connery and the actresses of the film. When the theatrical property Walther PPK pistol did not arrive, Hurn volunteered the use of his own Walther LP-53 air pistol. [32] Though the photographs of the "James Bond is Back" posters of the US release airbrushed out the long barrel of the pistol, film poster artist Renato Fratini used the long-barrelled pistol for his drawings of Connery on the British posters. [33]

For the opening credits, Maurice Binder had disagreements with the producers and did not want to return. [34] Designer Robert Brownjohn stepped into his place, and projected the credits on female dancers, inspired by constructivist artist László Moholy-Nagy projecting light onto clouds in the 1920s. [35] Brownjohn's work started the tradition of scantily clad women in the Bond films' title sequences. [36]

Music

From Russia with Love is the first Bond film in the series with John Barry as the primary soundtrack composer. [37] The theme song was composed by Lionel Bart of Oliver! fame and sung by Matt Monro, [38] 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. [38] Barry travelled with the crew to Turkey to try getting influences of the local music, but ended up using almost nothing, just local instruments such as finger cymbals to give an exotic feeling, since he thought the Turkish music had a comedic tone that did not fit in the "dramatic feeling" of the James Bond movies. [39]

Recalling his visit to Istanbul, John Barry said, "It was like no place I'd ever been in my life. [The Trip] was supposedly to seep up the music, so Noel Rogers and I used to go 'round to these nightclubs and listen to all this stuff. We had the strangest week, and really came away with nothing, except a lot of ridiculous stories. We went back, talked to Lionel, and then he wrote 'From Russia with Love.''' [40]

In this film, Barry introduced the percussive theme "007"—action music that came to be considered the "secondary James Bond theme". He composed it to have a lighter, enthusiastic and more adventurous theme to relax the audience. [39] 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. [4] [41] 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. [41]

Release and reception

From Russia with Love premiered on 10 October 1963 at the Odeon Leicester Square in London. [42] Ian Fleming, Sean Connery and Walter Gotell attended the premiere. The following year, it was released in 16 countries worldwide, with the United States premiere on 8 April 1964, at New York's Astor Theatre. [43] Upon its first release, From Russia with Love doubled Dr. No's gross by earning $12.5 million ($101 million in 2018 dollars [44] ) at the worldwide box office. [45] After reissue it grossed $78 million, [46] of which $24 million was from North America. [47] It was the most popular movie at the British box office in 1963. [48]

The film's cinematographer Ted Moore won the BAFTA award and the British Society of Cinematographers award for Best Cinematography. [49] 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 was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for "From Russia with Love". [50]

Contemporary reviews

In comparing the film to its predecessor, Dr. No, Richard Roud, writing in The Guardian , said that From Russia with Love "didn't seem quite so lively, quite so fresh, or quite so rhythmically fast-moving." [51] He went on to say that "... the film is highly immoral in every imaginable way; it is neither uplifting, instructive nor life-enhancing. Neither is it great film-making. But it sure is fun." [51] Writing in The Observer , Penelope Gilliatt noted that "The way the credits are done has the same self-mocking flamboyance as everything else in the picture." [52] Gilliatt went on to say that the film manages "to keep up its own cracking pace, nearly all the way. The set-pieces are a stunning box of tricks". [52] The critic for The Times wrote of Bond that he is "the secret ideal of the congenital square, conventional in every particular ... except in morality, where he has the courage—and the physical equipment—to do without thinking what most of us feel we might be doing ..." [53] The critic thought that overall, "the nonsense is all very amiable and tongue-in-cheek and will no doubt make a fortune for its devisers". [53]

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times said: "Don't miss it! This is to say, don't miss it if you can still get the least bit of fun out of lurid adventure fiction and pseudo-realistic fantasy. For this mad melodramatization of a desperate adventure of Bond with sinister characters in Istanbul and on the Orient Express is fictional exaggeration on a grand scale and in a dashing style, thoroughly illogical and improbable, but with tongue blithely wedged in cheek." [54]

Time magazine called the film "fast, smart, shrewdly directed and capably performed" [55] and commented extensively on the film's humour, saying "Director Young is a master of the form he ridicules, and in almost every episode he hands the audience shocks as well as yocks. But the yocks are more memorable. They result from slight but sly infractions of the thriller formula. A Russian agent, for instance, does not simply escape through a window; no, he escapes through a window in a brick wall painted with a colossal poster portrait of Anita Ekberg, and as he crawls out of the window, he seems to be crawling out of Anita's mouth. Or again, Bond does not simply train a telescope on the Russian consulate and hope he can read somebody's lips; no, he makes his way laboriously into a gallery beneath the joint, runs a submarine periscope up through the walls, and there, at close range, inspects two important Soviet secrets: the heroine's legs." [55]

Reflective reviews

From Russia with Love received generally positive reviews from critics; Rotten Tomatoes sampled 49 reviewers and judged 96% of the reviews to be positive with a rating of 8/10. Its summary states: "The second James Bond film, From Russia with Love, is a razor-sharp, briskly-paced Cold War thriller that features several electrifying action scenes." [56] Many online sites also commonly cite From Russia with Love as the best Bond film of all time. [57]

In his 1986 book, Danny Peary described From Russia with Love as "an excellent, surprisingly tough and gritty James Bond film" which is "refreshingly free of the gimmickry that would characterise the later Bond films, and Connery and Bianchi play real people. We worry about them and hope their relationship will work out ... Shaw and Lotte Lenya are splendid villains. Both have exciting, well-choreographed fights with Connery. Actors play it straight, with excellent results." [58]

Film critic James Berardinelli cited this as his favourite Bond film, writing "Only From Russia with Love avoids slipping into the comic book realm of Goldfinger and its successors while giving us a sampling of the familiar Bond formula (action, gadgets, women, cars, etc.). From Russia with Love is effectively paced and plotted, features a gallery of detestable rogues (including the ultimate Bond villain, Blofeld), and offers countless thrills". [59]

In June 2001 Neil Smith of BBC Films called it "a film that only gets better with age". [60] In 2004, Total Film magazine named it the ninth-greatest British film of all time, making it the only James Bond film to appear on the list. [61] In 2006, Jay Antani of Filmcritic praised the film's "impressive staging of action scenes", [62] while IGN listed it as second-best Bond film ever, behind only Goldfinger . [63] That same year, Entertainment Weekly put the film at ninth among Bond films, criticising the slow pace. [64] When the "James Bond Ultimate Collector's Set" was released in November 2007 by MGM, Norman Wilner of MSN chose From Russia with Love as the best Bond film. [65] Conversely, in his book about the Bond phenomenon, The Man With the Golden Touch, British author Sinclair McKay states "I know it is heresy to say so, and that some enthusiasts regard From Russia With Love as the Holy Grail of Bond, but let's be searingly honest – some of it is crashingly dull." [66] In 2014 Time Out polled several film critics, directors, actors and stunt actors to list their top action films; [67] From Russia With Love was listed at 69. [68]

The British Film Institute's screenonline guide called the film "one of the series' high points" and said it "had advantages not enjoyed by many later Bond films, notably an intelligent script that retained the substance of Ian Fleming's novel while toning down the overt Cold War politics (the Cuban Missile Crisis had only occurred the previous year)." [69] In 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 ." [70] Sean Connery, [1] Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig also consider this their favourite Bond film. [71] Albert Broccoli listed it with Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me as one of his top three favourites, [72] explaining that he felt "it was with this film that the Bond style and formula were perfected". [73]

Video game adaptation

A still from the From Russia with Love video game. From Russia with Love video game screenshot.jpg
A still from the From Russia with Love video game.

In 2005, 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 organisation SPECTRE to OCTOPUS because the name SPECTRE constituted a long-running legal dispute over the film rights to Thunderball between United Artists/MGM and writer Kevin McClory. Most of the cast from the film returned in likeness. Connery not only allowed his 1960s likeness as Bond to be used, but the actor, in his 70s, also recorded the character's dialogue, marking a return to the role 22 years after he last played Bond in Never Say Never Again . 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). [74] [75]

The game was penned by Bruce Feirstein, who had previously worked on the film scripts for GoldenEye , Tomorrow Never Dies , The World Is Not Enough , and the 2004 video game, Everything or Nothing . Its soundtrack was composed by Christopher Lennertz and Vic Flick. [76]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Daniela Bianchi is an Italian actress, best known for her role of Bond girl Tatiana Romanova in the 1963 movie From Russia with Love. She played a Soviet cipher clerk sent to entrap agent 007, James Bond. Bianchi was the daughter of an Italian Army colonel. She studied ballet for eight years, and later worked as a fashion model.

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James Bond 007: From Russia with Love is a third-person shooter video game developed by EA Redwood Shores and published by Electronic Arts featuring Ian Fleming's secret agent, James Bond, whose likeness and voice is that of Sean Connery. The game is based on the 1957 novel and the film of the same name. The game follows the storyline of the book and film, with adding in new scenes to make the game more action-oriented, as well as changing the affiliation of the main villains. Additionally, it features many elements of later Bond films to recreate the feel of the era such as the Aston Martin DB5 that debuted in Goldfinger (1964) and the jet pack from Thunderball (1965). From Russia with Love is also notable in that it is the first video game to use Sean Connery's younger likeness as James Bond and the first to include all new voice work by the actor after twenty-two years away from the role. From Russia with Love is the last James Bond video game by Electronic Arts marketed before they lost the rights to Activision in 2006. It is the second-to-last video game released by MGM Interactive and the last James Bond video game until the release of 007: Quantum of Solace in 2008.

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Colonel Rosa Klebb is a fictional character and the main antagonist from the James Bond 1957 novel and 1963 film From Russia with Love. She was played by Lotte Lenya in the film version. Her name is a pun on the popular Soviet phrase for women's rights, khleb i rozy, which in turn was a direct Russian translation of the internationally used labour union slogan "bread and roses".

Tatiana Romanova fictional spy in the James Bond story "From Russia with Love"

Tatiana Romanova is a fictional character in the 1957 James Bond novel From Russia, with Love, its 1963 film adaptation and the 2005 video game based on both. She is played by Daniela Bianchi in the movie.

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Further reading