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Film / From Russia with Love

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From Russia with love, I fly to you...

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."
Number One, head of SPECTRE

The one with the knife-shoe.

The second James Bond film, From Russia with Love was directed by Terence Young once again and starred Sean Connery once again. It came out on October 11, 1963 in the UK.

James Bond is tasked with escorting a defector clerk from USSR to the West and a Soviet coding machine. Of course, she's female and very attractive. It all turns out to be a deadly trap set up by the SPECTRE organization to get rid of him and acquire the machine.

Notable scenes in this film:

This film and its title are so well known that variations on the title are common as newspaper headlines for articles to do with Russia. A London exhibition of pre-Red October Russian art, sponsored by the Russian government, couldn't resist a gag, calling itself From Russia.

Over 40 years later the film was adapted into a video game for 6th-generation consoles, 007: From Russia with Love, with Sean Connery reprising his iconic role for the first time in decades.


The movie is typically considered one of the best of the Bond franchise. One filmmaker notes that almost every Bond movie production starts out trying to make the next From Russia with Love and ends up being the next Thunderball. Sean Connery cites it as his personal favourite of the Bond films he made, and it was also the last one Ian Fleming saw before his death in 1964 before the release of the next one, Goldfinger.

This film contains examples of:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: When Bond and Tatianna break into the Russian embassy to steal the Lektor:
    Tatiana: I thought this was for tomorrow. Today is the thirteenth, isn't it?
    Bond: This is a hell of a time to be superstitious.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The catacombs in Istanbul. While big enough for Bond and co. to navigate through, they are extremely cramped as well.
  • Action Prologue: The very first, though with Bait-and-Switch as the Bond there is just a masked mook.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The original novel had Bond struck by Rosa Klebb's poison-stained stiletto and brought to what was his death until Ian Fleming wrote Dr. No (where it was revealed that the people with him were able to keep him alive until a doctor could be summoned). The film has him survive and has Tatiana do away with Klebb, and ends with Bond and Tatiana riding triumphantly down Venice's Grand Canal. This was arguably for the better, to avoid a maudlin Downer Ending. Besides which: Since Dr. No was the first Bond film, and M ordered Bond at the beginning of the film to replace his Beretta with the Walther PPK because of the Beretta jamming up on him (in an unseen incident that caused Bond to get injured), Bond didn't have the Beretta in the film version of From Russia With Love anyway.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Kerim in the book is a very dark gray Unscrupulous Hero who raped a woman as a teenage hoodlum and shoots an unarmed, fleeing opponent in the back, among other things. Here, he's a much more likable Lovable Rogue.
  • Adaptational Modesty: In the novel, the fighting gypsy girls are completely naked. This would never have passed the censors in 1963, so they were given (scant) clothing.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: The film eliminates Rosa Klebb's scene from the book of outright trying to seduce Tatiana. In the movie Klebb plays uncomfortably with Tatiana's hair while talking of "a labor of love".
  • Adaptation Distillation: The book is generally regarded as one of Fleming's best, but many of the changes for the film are still considered good decisions - the book's unusual format (where the entire first third is SMERSH planning their konspiratsia, following Grant, Klebb and finally Romanova before Bond ever turns up) is distilled into a much shorter sequence; there's more Scenery Porn in Istanbul and events are slightly reordered so Bond plays a greater role in the action; Kerim isn't a creepy sexual predator; the sequence on the Orient Express gives Bond slightly less of an Idiot Ball moment when he realises "Nash" isn't who he says he is, and the changed ending neatly resolves what happens to Klebb, Kronsteen and Tatiana.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the book Tatiana had black hair. In the film she has blonde hair.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • The "SPEKTOR" cryptography machine from the novel becomes the "LEKTOR" in the film, probably to avoid confusion with the villainous organization "SPECTRE".
    • Grant's first name is changed from Donovan to Donald.
  • Agents Dating: SMERSH (in the book) and SPECTRE (in the movie) cook up a plan to kill Bond with Tatiana Romanova, a KGB enlisted woman. He knows it's a trap but goes along with it, because (aside from the obvious reasons) it comes with a chance to steal the valuable encoding device.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Bond is cornered by the psycho SPECTRE assassin, Red Grant, who was planning a sadistic fate for Bond after he got the Lector. Fortunately, he was enough of a sucker to be tricked into setting off Bond's tear gas booby trap in his attache case, allowing Bond to tackle him.
  • Armed Legs: Rosa Klebb has poisoned blades contained in her shoes.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Tatiana shoots Rosa Klebb, when she tries to murder Bond with a blade hidden in a shoe. Afterwards, Bond sits down in relief and Tatiana massages Bond's shoulders, while still holding her pistol. To be fair, Bond spots this immediately and gently takes the gun away from her before stating "She's had her kicks."
  • Artistic License – Physics: Bond destroys a number of attacking speedboats over a large area simply by dumping fuel in the water and lighting it; however this would have no effect if the boats were moving at high speed, since they would be cooled by the splashing water (and its evaporation) faster than they could be heated; likewise, the bow-wave of the boats would extinguish the flames immediately around them. Later movies were worse. This could work if the area of burning fuel was large enough. Depletion of atmospheric oxygen by the combustion would cause the boats' engines to stall and the humans to suffocate, leaving them stuck in the middle...
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The assassin Krilencu is Bulgarian, but his name has a suffix that's a blend between a Ukrainian (-enko) and a Romanian one (-escu).
  • As You Know: Kronsteen's dialogue to Blofeld at the beginning is basically this, as he essentially recaps the ending of Dr. No, mentions that M is the head of British intelligence, and that they have an agent named James Bond who was responsible for killing Dr. No. All information Blofeld most certainly would have been aware of, but which viewers who may not have seen Dr. No yet might not be, especially as neither Bond nor M appear on screen until about 15 minutes into the picture.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Grant is recruited by Col. Klebb to eliminate Bond and Tanya once they deliver the Lektor. He would have succeeded were it not for his own ego. Klebb attempts to kill Bond herself, but Tanya has a change of heart.
  • Bad Boss: Blofeld establishes himself as one when he has Kronsteen killed via poisoned dagger.
  • Batman Cold Open: The man who appears to be Bond is actually a mook dressed up as Bond for Grant to kill to demonstrate his assassination abilities, making basically a villains' Danger Room Cold Open.
  • Batman Gambit: Bond plays on Grant's greed and suspicion to get him to open the booby-trapped case. The bribe gets him interested, but when Bond too-quickly grabs the second suitcase, Grant insists on opening it himself in case there's a weapon there.
  • Becoming the Mask: Tatiana is sent by SPECTRE (under the guise of SMERSH) to seduce him into a trap. She pretends to be a Russian cypher clerk who's fallen in love with Bond's picture, only to fall for him for real.
  • Belly Dancer: In the gypsy camp, as well as the opening credits.
  • Big Bad: Rosa Klebb. While she is working under Blofeld, she is still the primary villain of this movie.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Bond tells Moneypenny he'd never look at another woman.
    • Kerim Bey tells Bond the bomb blast didn't kill him because he was relaxing on the sofa.
  • Blofeld Ploy: Trope Namer and Trope Codifier, all in one convenient package. Also an Unbuilt Trope — like all examples actually featuring Blofeld, he kills the man he actually thinks is responsible for the mess. He is wrong, since it was Klebb's man Red Grant who actually stuffed things up, but a) Neither he, Klebb or Kronsteen knew that, b) That was still more Grant's fault personally than Klebb's, and c) Kronsteen was being an ass. Also deviates from the usual in that it's Morzeny who executes Kronsteen, on Blofeld's (implied) orders.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • After Kerim Bey shoots Krilencu as the latter tries to escape by climbing from a hatch hidden inside the mouth of Anita Ekberg on a billboard for a movie, Bond quips, "She should have kept her mouth shut".
    • After Tatiana shoots Rosa Klebb dead after the latter had been trying to stab Bond with a poisoned dagger concealed in her shoe, Bond says of Klebb, "She's had her kicks."
    • There's also "I'd say one of their aircraft is missing", which for younger viewers falls almost nonsensically flat, but it's a reference to One of Our Aircraft Is Missing, or at least to the wartime phrase it's based on, so it was still a relevant and clever reference for the target audience in 1963.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Red Grant's plan is to just shoot Bond, and he actually manages to get the drop on his target and have him completely at his mercy, but he still fails because he can't resist indulging in some Evil Gloating and a Just Between You and Me speech. In Red's defense, he still would have been fine if he hadn't fallen for Bond's bribe. At least he didn't leave the guy unattended. He'd also had plenty of opportunities to kill Bond before he even got on the train, but his failure to do so was his superior's fault: Red's boss' boss (Blofeld in the movie, General G in the novel) didn't just want Bond to die, he wanted him to die in a manner that would embarrass MI6 and the British government, which required a more elaborate setup then just shooting him as he walked down the street.
  • Bound and Gagged: Grant to a Russian mook.
  • Briefcase Blaster: Bond's attache case, which is the first real Bond gadget. Amongst its other tricks, it features a rifle folded up inside and a tear gas booby trap.
  • The Brute: Red Grant, who is interesting in that he also has the most direct role in the action.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: During the fight in the Gypsy camp, a knife-wielding Bulgar rushes Bond from behind, only to get sniped by Red Grant, as it doesn't suit SPECTRE's plan to have Bond dead at that point.
  • Cat Fight: Bond is taken to visit some Gypsies, who proceed to stage a formal cat fight between two half-naked young ladies over a man for his benefit. Later, he apparently sleeps with both of them. This has absolutely no relevance to the plot, by the way. It is signaled by the immortal line "It must be settled... the Gypsy Way." Averted in the original book, where this was a brutal, unarmed fight to the death between two women who are both vying for the affections of one man, with no titillation involved. That also involved both girls ripping each other's clothes off.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Bond picks up a chair for his fight with Klebb.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the train after telling 'Nash' (really Red Grant) and Tatiana to go to dinner, Bond searches Nash's things which includes his briefcase (with Bond carefully opening it the same way Q instructed at the beginning of the film, indicating the briefcase is the same as Bond's own). Later on when he has Bond at gunpoint, Grant forces Bond to open up his own briefcase to retrieve the gold sovereigns he offered (which Bond does without incident). Then Grant asks about the 'other' case ...
    • Come to that, practically everything in the magic attache case ends up being used - it's a Chekhov's Armoury. Chekhov's Sniper Rifle, Chekhov's Throwing Knife, Chekhov's Fifty Gold Sovereigns, Chekhov's Tear Gas Cartridge...which becomes standard for Bond adventures, where every blessed gadget Q gives him is going to be needed before the closing credits.
    • When Bond and Tatiana get on the boat, Tatiana reports there's a "Chart, pistol, some flares..." The Chart comes in handy right away, the flares will take a little bit...
    • The lethal effects of the shoe knife are first demonstrated on Kronsteen, so the audience knows what will happen if Klebb lands a kick on Bond.
      Blofeld: Twelve seconds. One day we must devise a faster-acting venom.
  • Chess Motifs: Chess-champion Kronsteen turns out to be a SPECTRE agent, and uses chess analogies in their latest plan to outwit and destroy James Bond.
  • Chopper on Standby: SPECTRE is able to deploy a helicopter to chase Bond across the plains after he kills Red Grant and leaves the Orient Express.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Sylvia Trench was supposed to be a recurring character like M, Q, and Moneypenny. Instead she was written out and never mentioned again after her picnic with James.
  • Clock Discrepancy: Played for Laughs. Bond is in the Russian embassy waiting for his friend to set off a bomb so he can steal the coding device. He checks his watch, frowns, then goes to the Russian on the desk.
    Bond: Excuse me, is your clock correct?
    Russian: Russian clocks are always —(explosion)
  • Come Back to Bed, Honey: Bond's Post-Sex cuddling with Sylvia Trench is interrupted by a phone call from headquarters.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In a SPECTRE meeting, Kronsteen mentions "the killing of our operative, Dr. No".
    • Sylvia Trench reappears, once again denied a romance with Bond as he's called away on a mission. This was meant to be a Running Gag throughout the series, but the character was dropped after this film. One could argue that Moneypenny played out that gag, in her own way.
  • Cool Guns:
    • Sean Connery famously posed with a Walther LP-53 air pistol for the poster. Apparently, it was photographer David Hurn's own personal weapon which he provided when a prop PPK didn't turn up for the shoot.
    • SPECTRE trainees can be seen training with Armalite AR-10s.
    • Red Grant uses a Mauser C96 to shoot a man about to backstab Bond during the gypsy camp fight.
  • Creator Cameo: Some reports maintain that Ian Fleming appears standing next to the Orient Express train. He is wearing grey trousers and a white jumper and stands on the platform to the right side of the train. Some sources deny that this is him.
  • Danger Room Cold Open: The pre-title sequence shows Bond getting stalked and killed by Donald "Red" Grant with his garrote wristwatch before it's revealed to be a SPECTRE training exercise for Grant, and "Bond" is actually a SPECTRE mook.
  • Deadly Training Area: A villainous example:
    Rosa Klebb: Training is useful, but there is no substitute for experience.
    Morzeny: I agree. We use live targets as well.
    • And we even see one mook dodging blasts from a flamethrower.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Kronsteen, although it's possible his literary counterpart was also executed for his plan's failure.
    • Rosa Klebb is shot dead during her final confrontation with Bond. In the book, she is merely taken into custody by the French. The next book, Dr. No, casually mentions that "she died" (implicitly under interrogation).
  • Defector from Commie Land: Tatiana Romanova, although she's actually in Turkey first.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • In the novel, James Bond kills Red Grant by shooting him dead. The film adaptation has Bond strangle him to death.
    • Klebb's fate in the novel is being arrested, with the following book Dr. No revealing that she died in custody. In the film, Tanya shoots her.
  • Dirty Communists: Subverted. The original Fleming story had them, but most were changed to agents of the supranational criminal union SPECTRE, running a False Flag Operation.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The guard at the gypsy camp is knifed because he's watching the belly dancer.
    • Bond stays focused on the mission despite Tatiana constantly hitting on him, though Kerim Bey enjoys suggesting that he's not as impervious as he's making out.
    • Fortunately Kerim falls for this trope, leaving his desk to 'relax' with his girl just when a bomb detonates on the other side of the wall.
  • The Dragon: Red Grant is one for Rosa Klebb, who in turn is one for Blofeld.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Grant is more dangerous and has more presence than Klebb, who only recruits Grant and Tatiana, films Bond and Tatiana, sends Morzeny after Bond and Tatiana, and tries one last time to get the Lektor in Venice, getting owned by Bond with a chair before Tatiana shoots her.
  • Dream-Crushing Handicap: Tatiana Romanova explains that she wanted to be a ballerina, but was rejected for being too tall. In fact, "Too Tall to be a Ballerina" could be a trope in its own right: in Real Life, aspiring dancers are more likely to be rejected for being too short.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Q is quite a bit more respectful toward Bond while explaining the attache case's gadgets, as opposed to their usual banter in later films. Q's relationship with Bond is not cemented until the next movie, Goldfinger.
    • The footage showing Istanbul's landmarks is much more conspicious in showcasing them than later Bond films would with their foreign locations, by which point the idea of Bond visiting a famous international location was much more common.
    • While this is the first of the Bond films to receive a true theme song, only the instrumental is played over the opening titles. The With Lyrics version doesn't play until the end of the film.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The famous monuments of Venice (St Mark's Campanile, the Doge's Palace...) and Istanbul are showed. There is even a scene inside Hagia Sophia.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Grant is introduced hunting down and killing a fake James Bond in a training exercise, demonstrating his cunning and brutality.
    • Blofeld's introduction to the franchise has him monologue about Siamese fighting fish, comparing them to SPECTRE. He's also shown giving orders to his subordinates, explicitly mentioning that Bond's death should be "a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one". His second and final scene in the film, where he has Kronsteen killed, establishes his Bad Boss tendencies, fondness for sadistic ploys, and his status as The Dreaded.
  • Evil Counterpart: Red Grant and Bond. Each is a loyal agent, and a blunt instrument serving their respective espionage organizations. (Spectre and MI-6 respectively) Both are highly skilled, great physical combatants, and are shown with some gadgets in their respective arsenals.
  • Evil Gloating: Lampshaded, by the gloater himself no less.
    Grant: I don't mind talking. I get a kick out of watching the great James Bond find out what a bloody fool he's been making of himself.
  • Evil Plan: Kronsteen and Rosa Klebb want to steal a cryptographic device from the Soviets and sell it back to them, as well as take revenge on Bond for killing Dr. No. This is also a SPECTRE mission.
  • The Faceless: Blofeld. According to Lucky Number Slevin, this is what makes him the best Blofeld - "That's when the villain is most effective - when you don't know what he looks like." The credits even refuse to tell us the actor's name, and simply feature a question mark. For the record, the body is Anthony Dawson (Professor Dent from the previous film) and the voice was Eric Pohlmann.
  • Fake Action Prologue: The film begins with James Bond dueling with Red Grant in a hedge maze, only to be killed by Grant. It turns out that it's actually a test for Grant to determine his efficiency; the "Bond" killed is actually another man in disguise working for SPECTRE.
  • Fake Defector: What Tatiana is told her mission is to be.
  • Fake Shemp: Terence Young disliked Daniela Bianchi's legs, and used a stand-in for the scene where Bond spies on the Russian embassy in Istanbul with a periscope. Bianchi also claimed that the walk-through nude scene in the bedroom where Tatiana meets Bond was done by a body double and not her.
  • False Flag Operation: A shtick of Blofeld and SPECTRE. As part of his long-term Evil Plan to Take Over the World, Blofeld is Playing Both Sides.
    • SPECTRE pretends to be the KGB to steal the Lektor and destroy Bond.
    • SPECTRE performs one as the British early in the film, killing one of the Bulgarian drivers who work for the Soviets. This causes the Soviets to heat up the normally routine observations both sides play in Istanbul.
  • Famous Last Words:
    • "Put your hands back in your pockets! Keep them there." Red Grant, before getting outsmarted by Bond and strangled with his own garrote.
    • "Who is Bond, compared with Kronsteen?" Kronsteen, before execution via poisoned shoe blade.
    • "Quick as you can! Jump! AAAAAHHHHHH!!" Morzeny, before Bond's flare destroys the SPECTRE boats and sets him on fire.
    • "Take this." Rosa Klebb, who then gets shot by Tatiana.
  • Famous-Named Foreigner: Tatiana Romanova, named after the House of Romanov, the royal house of Russia, which did have a Tatiana.
  • Fanservice Extra: Lisa Guiraut's Belly Dancer character; she has no dialogue of any sort, and her sole function in the plot aside from titillating the audience for four minutes is that her performance, entirely by coincidence, provides distraction for the Russian agents sneaking up on the Romani camp.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Kronsteen's arrogance and status as the Know-Nothing Know-It-All bites him hard in the ass. When asked by Blofeld to defend his plan, he could with ease, but doesn't think it's necessary. Instead, he simply remarks, "Who is Bond, compared with Kronsteen?" That's a bunk answer and it lets Klebb off the hook. The competition wasn't between Bond and Kronsteen, it was between Bond and Grant. Kronsteen stupidly lets Klebb change the parameters of the argument and pays for it with his life.
    • Rosa Klebb's fatal flaw is not properly vetting her people. Kronsteen says that his plan went wrong when Klebb chose Grant as Bond's assassin, and he has a point. She could have investigated Grant better and possibly uncovered his fatal flaw (which happened to be Greed), even though on paper he was totally the right guy.
    • "Red" Grant's greedy nature leads to his downfall in the film. For all the Bond Villain Stupidity mentioned elsewhere, none of it would actually have mattered if Bond hadn't been able to dupe him into trying to steal the fifty gold sovereigns (little more than $1000 in 2019 terms) from one of the two field equipment briefcases, which causes him to unwittingly activate a tear gas cartridge that gives Bond the opening he needs to take it down.
  • Flare Gun: Bond uses a flare gun to ignite spilled fuel.
  • Flirtatious Smack on the Ass: Bond does this to Tania. She responds in mock disapproval that there are some English customs she's not going to put up with.
  • Friendly Target: Ali Kerim Bey.
  • Gadget Watches: Red Grant kills people with a garotte concealed in his wristwatch.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Bond first grows suspicious of Red Grant when he orders a glass of red Chianti (nonspecific red wine in the videogame adaptation) with fish, at the time a major faux pas for wine lovers. A case of Cuisine Marches On: nowadays, it's not a faux pas to drink red wine with fish or white with meat (there's a number of white wines that go very well with some particular kinds of meat, and a number of red wines that mix perfectly with fish.) Some professional sommeliers' opinions can be found here.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Blofeld is this here. He's not directly active in the plot this time, but it's clear that him and the rest of SPECTRE are a much bigger threat that Bond will have to face in the future.
  • Grenade Launcher: Rifle grenades are used to try and force Bond to stop in the speedboat chase.
  • Groin Attack: Klebb literally tries to kill Bond at the end by kicking him in the crotch with her poison tipped shoe.
  • Heal It with Booze: Bond helps treat Kermin Bay's gunshot wound with some alcohol.
  • The Heavy: Donald "Red" Grant drives the plot from when Bond arrives in Istanbul to the journey on the Orient Express.
  • Hellish Copter: The first Bond-attacked-by-helicopter scene.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Grant is throttled with his own wristwatch-garotte.
    • Klebb is shot by Tanya, whom she recruited, with the gun she brought.
  • Hollywood Darkness: When Bond knocks out the mook sent to pick up Grant.
  • Honey Trap: Tatiana's purpose. Of course, because it's James Bond, she falls in love with him anyway.
  • Hot Gypsy Woman: Two of them. They end up together in James's bed.
  • I Am Very British: While masquerading as Nash, Grant puts on a British accent and peppers his speech with stereotypical Briticisms in an attempt to maintain his cover. Lampshaded by Bond once he's caught on to the ruse.
    James Bond:You won't be needing this, 'Old man'
  • I Kiss Your Foot: Red Grant is enough of a psycho sadist that merely killing Bond wouldn't be enough:
    The first shot won't kill you. Neither will the second, nor the third...not until you crawl over here and kiss my foot!
  • I Owe You My Life: Bond shoots a man who was about to kill a Gypsy leader. The leader declares him his honorary son. James cashes in the debt almost immediately by asking the leader to cancel a fight to the death between two young women.
  • Ikea Weaponry: Bond uses an ArmaLite AR-7 Explorer as a Sniper Rifle. It's only .22 calibre, but the ranges at which it's used this doesn't cause a problem.
  • Impersonation Gambit: A villainous example occurs when Red Grant takes the place of Bond's Orient Express contact Captain Nash.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: Grant pretends to be a British agent, but consumes red wine with fish, something a Brit would never do. He also says "cheero" instead of "cheerio", and "old man" instead of "old chap". Bond doesn't put two and two together until after Grant gets the drop on him, then curses himself for missing it.
  • Incredibly Obvious Tail: Justified because the British and Russian agents in Instanbul tail each other as a matter of course, and no secret is made of it.
  • Insert Cameo: The hand that writes "From Russia, with love" on the photograph belongs to director Terence Young.
  • Just Between You and Me: Bond actually works out SPECTRE's plan entirely by himself (once he's told it is SPECTRE, that is), but Red Grant is perfectly happy to fill in the details while he has him cornered at gunpoint.
  • Just Train Wrong:
    • In the establishing shot of the train leaving Beograd, the driving wheels of the locomotive are Boxpok driving wheels, which are of American design. This same shot shows a delta-style trailing truck while a Cartazzi design truck would be typical for an English locomotive.
    • The Orient Express is easily halted but real-life trains cannot stop so quickly, which is why many vehicles are wrecked on level crossings every year.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Kronsteen's plan works on British Intelligence believing it's a KGB trap and thinking they can outsmart the Soviets anyway.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: A non-lethal version is Played for Laughs. Bond is in the Soviet embassy waiting for his friend to set off a bomb so he can steal the coding device. He checks his watch, frowns, then goes to the Russian on the desk.
    Bond: Excuse me, is your clock correct?
    Russian: Russian clocks are always —(explosion covers everyone in dust)
  • Kneel Before Zod: The first thing psychopathic assassin Red Grant does to James Bond when he captures him:
    Grant: All right, now get up on your knees. Put your hands in your pockets. Keep them there.
    Bond: Red wine with fish. That should have told me something.
    Grant: You may know the right wines, but you're the one on your knees. How does it feel, old man?
    Grant: The first one won't kill you. Not the second. Not even the third. Not till you crawl over here and you kiss my foot.
  • The Lancer: Kerim Bey, to Bond.
  • Latex Perfection: A part of the opening to show that the Bond that Grant just killed was actually live practice.
  • Love Before First Sight: This was Tatiana Romanova's cover story, which is the reason that the only agent who could extract her was James Bond.
  • MacGuffin: The Lektor, which only exists to get James Bond to Istanbul.
  • Made of Iron: Klebb tests Grant by punching him in the abdomen with brass knuckles. He doesn't even flinch.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Grant disposes of Karim Bey and a Russian agent by making it look like they killed each other. Bond and Tatiana's death is supposed to look like a Murder-Suicide, but (fortunately) the psychopathic Grant gets too caught up in making Bond beg for his life.
  • Man on Fire: Bond takes out some SPECTRE henchmen that were pursuing him and Tatiana by using a flare gun to light some leaking gasoline barrels.
  • Mauve Shirt: Kerim Bey.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Rosa Klebb coerces Tatiana Romanova to defect to MI-6 → elaborate scheme hatched by SPECTRE to steal Lektor decoding machine from the Russians and selling it back to them while exacting revenge on Bond for killing their agent Dr. No.
  • Mooks: The Bulgars for the KGB, the gypsies and Karim's sons for MI6, and black-clad vaguely Germanic mooks for SPECTRE.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Morzeny is in charge of training the SPECTRE mooks.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Bond himself, of course, appears shirtless as he prepares for a shower and has no fewer than three love scenes throughout the movie. Grant as well, who appears in a towel as he relaxes at SPECTRE's training center.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Gypsy women who have a catfight and the belly dancer are purely for the male audience's viewing pleasure.
  • Mutual Kill: Kerim Bey and Benz the Russian security man. Or was it all done by Red Grant? The novel is rather less ambiguous on the point, having them locked in a death embrace.
  • My Name Is ???: Blofled is listed in the credits as played by "?"
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: SPECTRE.
  • Neck Snap: Bond tries this on Red Grant during their fight scene, and fails.
  • Nerd Glasses: Rosa Klebb wears particularly hideous thick-framed and thick-lensed glasses in many scenes.
  • Nice Shoes: Rosa Klebb hides poison daggers in the toes of her sensible shoes.
  • Nice to the Waiter: A porter in the hotel in Istanbul lightly coughs and asking Bond if he needs anything else, seemingly to remind him of the tip. Bond nonchalantly sticks what is apparently a rather large sum of money in the porter's pocket, saying, "No, only this." The porter is audibly grateful.
  • Non-Indicative Name: None of the film is actually set in Russia. The plot itself is made to look like a Soviet one, but is actually devised by the supranational SPECTRE. Tatiana Romanova is Russian, and even then, when we meet her, she's working in Istanbul.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • When M and his staff are listening to a recording of Bond and Tania while they're on a boat, Tania in particular makes references to things she and Bond did the previous night that aren't fully explained.
    • In the same recording, when Tania asks "Am I as exciting as all those Western girls?" Bond responds, "Well one time me and M were in Tokyo, we had an interesting experience..." M stops the recording at lightspeed.
  • Nose Tapping: Kerim Bey does this while referring to his nose as his "old friend", who tells him that "something smells".
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Klebb gives Tatiana the choice of either participating in her honey trap of James Bond, or get shot.
  • Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: We see a couple in the middle of one...then pan over to James Bond and Sylvia Trench making out near Bond's car.
  • Olive Garden: We see the northern Dolomiti mountains.
  • One Last Smoke: Defied Trope — Grant's not that stupid. However, when Bond tells him he's willing to pay for it with the 50 gold sovereigns in his case, that grabs his attention.
  • Orient Express: How Bond, Tatiana, and Karim Bey make their escape from Istanbul with the LEKTOR. Also features the first of several fights that Bond has on a train.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Bond chastises himself for not recognising Grant posing as a British gentleman spy when the man orders the wrong wine with a fish course at dinner, and keeps butchering English phrases. Unfortunately, Bond only realises this hideous faux pas after Grant has him at gunpoint.
  • Panty Shot: Tatiana Romanova uncrosses her legs briefly while being briefed by Rosa Kleb, letting her underwear to be shown.
  • Perfect Poison: Blofeld puts Kronsteen at ease by directing his anger at Rosa Klebb for their operation's failure - then having Morzenzy kick Kronsteen with a poisoned blade. He drops dead in a matter of seconds; Blofeld times it, observing they need to develop a faster-working poison.
  • Pin-Pulling Teeth: A SPECTRE mook does this while dropping grenades on Bond from a helicopter. Another mook is flying the aircraft, but for some reason he needs to have a grenade in each hand.
  • Playing Both Sides: Blofeld's plan is to stage an elaborate revenge scheme against 007 for the death of Dr. No by stealing the LEKTOR cryptographic device from the Russians. Bond will be assigned to recover the device, where SPECTRE's hired assassin Red Grant, will kill Bond. They will then leak compromising photos of Bond and the Russian pawn, Tatiana Romanova, to the press and then sell the device back to the Russians, with neither the British nor the Russians knowing that this was set up by Blofeld.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: Immediately prior to meeting Bond, there's a scene in which Grant dupes and kills another agent, and his dialogue is deliberately too quiet for the viewer to hear. His assumed English accent when he finally talks to Bond is thus that much more surprising. Grant is English, a criminal recruited by SPECTRE. Bond only assumes he's Russian because he doesn't know yet that SPECTRE has been playing the British and Russians off against each other so they can get the Lektor. In the original novel he's stated to be from County Armagh in Ireland, but this doesn't seem to be the case in the film.
  • Plunger Detonator: Kerim Bey uses one to blow a hole in the floor of the Russian embassy so Bond and Tatiana can escape.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Rosa Klebb has a poisoned dagger in the toe of her shoe. At the end, she has a kicking fight with James Bond who pushes her against the wall with a chair until Tatiana Romanova shoots her. (Compare with the novel)
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: After defeating Red Grant and supposedly home free, Rosa Klebb turns up for some shoe fighting action and forces Tania to decide where her loyalties lie.
  • Product Placement: Of an interesting sort: Bond snipes Krilencu as the latter tries to escape by climbing from a hatch hidden inside the teeth of Anita Ekberg on a billboard for Call Me Bwana, a movie that Albert R. Broccoli produced.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The first 25 minutes is made up entirely of exposition setting up the main story. Bond himself doesn't appear at all until 18 minutes into the film.note  The next 25 are spent on Bond waiting until it's time for his mission to recover the LEKTOR device and assisting his friend Kerim Bay, by the time the main story finally kicks off the film is 50 minutes in; nearly half the movie's running time.
  • Psycho for Hire:
    • Grant is described by Morzenzy as a homicidal paranoic.
    • Krilencu kills for pleasure.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Implied with Klebb when she caresses Tatiana's hair while saying "a labour of love". Quite explicit in the novel, where Kronsteen notes that she has "overcome the sex instinct," and can have a lover tortured to death just as easily as a stranger; and her effort to seduce Tanya sends the latter fleeing from the room.
  • Rare Guns: Bond is issued an Armalite AR-7 rifle from Q to be used to assassinate Krilencu, modified with a suppressor and a scope. Though it was Kerim who pulled the trigger after pleading with Bond. Bond later used the rifle to take out a helicopter pilot.
  • Ready for Lovemaking: Tania sneaks through the window of Bond's hotel room while 007 is getting ready to take a shower, and climbs into Bond's bed wearing precisely one black velvet neck ribbon and a pair of black silk stockings. (When Bond asks Tatiana if she wore anything at all when she snuck into his room, she replies, "This!", pointing to said ribbon. (Incidentally, this very scene is used to audition future Bond girls.)
  • Renegade Russian: Rosa Klebb. (In the novel, she is explicitly working for the USSR.)
  • Reverse Psychology: Bond makes an overly hasty grab for the second suitcase, to make Grant think he has a hidden weapon in there. This makes Grant insists on opening the suitcase himself, triggering the tear gas Booby Trap.
  • Room Disservice: Rosa Klebb's last gambit to kill Bond and steal the code machine is to disguise herself as a hotel maid.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Kerim Bey.
  • Sadist: Red Grant. His SPECTRE file describes him as a homicidal paranoiac, which comes into view when cornering Bond, where, instead of just of going with the fake murder/suicide, Grant plans to humiliate and torture Bond.
    "The first [bullet] won't kill you. Not the second. Not even the third. Not until you crawl over here and kiss my foot!"
  • Same Language Dub: Daniela Bianchi's dialogue (as Tatiana Romanova) was overdubbed by Barbara Jefford to hide her thick Italian accent.
  • Scenery Porn: The footage of Istanbul.
  • Self-Destructing Security: Bond's attache case has numerous built-in gadgets including a magnetically attached tear-gas canister stored inside. Opening the case without first rotating the clasps triggers the grenade and gives any would-be-snoop a face full of the gas. This turns out to be just the edge Bond needs when held at gunpoint by Red Grant, whose greed Bond uses to trick him into opening the case.
  • Sequel: The film is one to Dr. No, as Kronsteen mentions the death of Dr. No, and SPECTRE itself appears after being mentioned by No in the latter film. Also, Sylvia Trench reappears for a due romantic picnic with Bond.
  • Serendipitous Survival: Kerim Bey survives Krilencu's first assassination attempt, a bomb planted on the exterior wall of his office near his desk, because his girlfriend pulled him away from said desk for a make-out session mere seconds earlier.
  • Sex–Face Turn: Tatiana Romanova is assigned to seduce Bond in the first place as part of a Honey Trap but really falls in love with him after she is successful.
  • She's Got Legs: Bond is using a periscope installed under the Soviet embassy to spy on a meeting inside, when Tatiana enters. He can't see her face from his angle, but what he can see impresses him greatly.
    Karim Bey: How does she look to you?
    James Bond: Well from this angle, things are shaping up nicely.
  • Shoe Phone: This film is the first to have gadgets, although they are rather mundane compared to later versions. Specifically, the tear-gas bomb disguised as a tin of talcum powder, and Rosa Klebb's shoe-dagger. Grant has a wire garotte hidden inside his watch.
  • Shooting Gallery: SPECTRE uses live targets.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: While flirting with Moneypenny, Bond says, "Once more into the breach, dear friends".
  • Slipping a Mickey: Grant puts chloral hydrate in Tatiana's drink.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Kronsteen, who is a literal chessmaster. Chess journalist George Koltanowski said that Kronsteen was based on USSR Grandmaster Paul Keres. He probably derives his name from synthesis with another Soviet Grandmaster, David Bronstein.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Tatiana lights up after sleeping with Bond on the train.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: Downplayed. Bond shoots the co-pilot of the helicopter trying to kill him. The shot itself isn't anywhere near enough to bring it down on its own, but the fact that the co-pilot was holding a primed grenade at the time causes the helicopter to explode.
  • So Much for Stealth: Grant breaking a twig during the Action Prologue — in a subversion, he picks up the twig and snaps it deliberately, presumably to get his target moving towards him.
  • Spy School: The SPECTRE training academy: a spy school for bad guy spies.
  • Spy Speak: Exchanged between Bond and one of Kerim's sons when he arrives in Istanbul:
    Agent A: Can I borrow a match?
    Agent B: I use a lighter.
    Agent A: That's better still.
    Agent B: Until they go wrong.
  • Stand-In Portrait: Some of the scenes featuring Rosa Klebb had to be reshot after the set was struck. The solution was to blow up a still frame from the existing footage and film the reshoot with the actress standing in front of her own image.
  • Stocking Filler: Daniela Bianchi (to be precise, she wasn't wearing garters, but black silk stockings rolled above the knees; this isn't clearly seen in the scene as released, but an alternate version was shot - there are several promotional photos from that version - which clearly show her exposed, stockinged legs).
    • The "alternate version" from which those photos come was actually a screen-test of Bianchi. According to 007 film lore, this scene has been used ever since to screen-test potential "Bond girls".
  • Supervillain Lair: SPECTRE Island.
  • Super Wrist-Gadget: Long before Bond himself began wearing Omega watches with all kinds of cool functions, Red Grant wears a watch with a garrotte wire concealed in the winding mechanism.
  • Surprise Checkmate: The Chessmaster Kronsteen doesn't quite manage checkmate, but his opponent has his king pinned down to a single square. He sees that it's hopeless and surrenders. This is partly in the interest of realism; at the grandmaster level (and well below that) nobody gets checkmated. A decent player always knows when to resign. To do otherwise is considered boorish.
  • Swarm of Rats: Appears as Bond escapes from the embassy in the sewers.
  • Terrifying Pet Store Rat: Averted. Because of difficulties getting the right reactions from tame rats, the production ended up using real wild rats — described in marketing materials as "ferocious and disease-ridden" — caught in the sewers of Madrid.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Kerim Bey insists to Bond that he has to shoot Krilencu himself, injured arm or no.
  • Thriller on the Express: A significant portion takes place on the Orient Express, where Grant finally makes his move to kill James Bond.
  • Title Drop: Bond writes "From Russia, with love" on the photo of Tatiana that he gives to Moneypenny. The title is also heard in the song 'From Russia With Love' (sung by Matt Munro) which can be heard playing on the radio when Bond first appears in the film.
  • Tranquil Fury: Bond's reaction to the death of Kerim Bey. Notable in the fact that it is one of the few times we ever see Bond mad at all.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: Kronsteen devises his trap with the obvious implication that it is a trap, saying that the British always view a trap as a challenge.
  • Travel Montage: We pan over a map to show a ride with the Orient Express through Yugoslavia, with stock footage mainly of British trains in the background. A cheap method but understandable. With a budget of only 2 million USD Bond was still low budget at that time back in 1963.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: SPECTRE agents develop a weapon that fits a hidden, retractable poison blade into the sole of a shoe, to give it a "nastier kick".
  • Unbuilt Trope: The film was made before the conventions of the series had become rote, and as such has a very different feel to later Bond films. The big Trope Codifier for the Bond films was the next film: Goldfinger.
  • Undercover as Lovers: James and Tatiana Romanova attempt to exit Turkey via the Orient Express as a married pair of British vacationers.
  • Undignified Death: "The first one won't kill you...nor the second...nor even the third. Not 'til you crawl over here and you kiss my foot!"
  • Video Inside, Film Outside: During an external shot of Venice, a preemptive reference appears to the Monty Python sketch;
    Tatiana: Behave yourself, James! We're being filmed...
  • Villain Ball: Grant could have easily shot Bond at any point, killed Tatiana, made it look like a murder suicide and carried out the plan without a problem. Instead he chose to gloat and be greedy, letting Bond trick him. Even if he hadn't, his initial plan of shooting Bond until Bond kissed his feet would have probably put the plans in serious danger. This is what you get when you hire a semi-intelligent sadistic psychopath to be your primary assassin, KGB.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The film appears to begin with Bond, but it is actually a double, who is killed by Red Grant for a SPECTRE training mission.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Rosa Klebb, who was mostly calm throughout the movie, is a desperate wreck when she fights Bond. Justified in that if she fails to kill Bond and get the Lektor, she'll end up like Kronsteen.
  • Villainous Rescue: A knife-wielding Bulgar charges up behind Bond, only to be shot dead by Grant who's watching from a distance.
  • Visible Boom Mic: Aboard the Orient Express, as Bond and Tatiana are given their passports, what appears to be a shadow of a boom microphone is visible overhead.
  • When Harry Met Svetlana: One of the earliest and best-loved examples, and likely Trope Codifier. Bond goes in to exfiltrate a beautiful Russian crypto tech who wants to defect with a code machine.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Averted (or rather, unbuilt): Bond's gear is nothing like as outlandish as it would become in later films. The most "gadgety" equipment he has is the suitcase, containing hidden strips of gold coins, a knife, a disassembled rifle that (except for the too-small infrared sight) is available commercially, a Suicide Pill (In the novel, anyway - and Bond threw it out. No mention of it is made in the film) and a tear gas booby trap, all of which are multipurpose and could be used in nearly any mission, not just one specially written for the gadget.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Bond is very willing to hit Tatiana when he thinks she has something to do with the death of Kerim Bay.
  • You Have Failed Me: Kronsteen, who ends up becoming the first henchman killed by his boss of the series.
    • The use of this trope started out more as a subversion as it was made to look like Rosa Klebb was to be executed for her failure. Even more so, her tone made it sound like she was ready to pay the price for her failure.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Stated by Red Grant to Bond on the train. The only reason SPECTRE kept Bond alive up to that point was for him to get the Lektor, and with it within their grasp, Bond and Tatiana are now expendable (That and the fact that the half the point of the mission was to kill Bond in a way that would embarrass MI6, which Grant was now set up to do). Unfortunately for SPECTRE, things don't go as planned.
  • You're Insane!: "Tell me, which lunatic asylum did they get you out of?"


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