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Trivia / From Russia with Love

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The novel

  • Big Name Fan: This was chosen as the second book to be filmed after John F. Kennedy named it as one of his ten favourite novels. He was even shown the movie in the White House before leaving for the Dallas trip that killed him.
  • Write What You Know: The Spektor machine used as the bait for Bond was not a Cold War device, but had its roots in the Second World War Enigma machine, which Fleming had tried to obtain while serving in the Naval Intelligence Division.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Rosa Klebb was partly based on Colonel Rybkin—a real-life member of the Lenin Military-Political Academy about whom Fleming had written an article for The Sunday Times.
    • Darko Kerim was modeled after Fleming's Turkish friend, Nazim Kalkavan. Fleming met the Oxford-educated shipowner in Istanbul whilst doing research

The film

  • B-Team Sequel: Ken Adam was unable to return as production designer, as he was busy working on Dr. Strangelove. Bob Simmons didn't return as stunt-co-ordinator, though he did serve as a stuntman. Maurice Binder didn't design the titles due to a brief falling out with the producers.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • Kisses From Russia (Belgium)
    • Moscow Versus 007 (Brazil and Portugal)
    • The Return Of Agent 007 (Latin America)
    • Love Greetings From Moscow (Germany)
    • 007 In Istanbul (Finland)
    • Hearty Kisses From Russia (France)
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    • Agent 007 Sees Red (Sweden)
    • 007: From Russia With Love (Spain)
    • 007 Averted The Spy Plot (China)
    • To 007, From Russia With Love (Italy)
    • Agent 007 Is Hunted (Denmark)
    • From Moscow With Love (Poland)
    • Love Greetings From Russia (Czech Republic)
  • Christmas Rushed: With an October 1963 release date already announced, everything was done in just four months, and the Troubled Production entry below shows it wasn't easy.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Sean Connery named this as his favourite Bond film, while Albert R. Broccoli named it as one of his favourites. Lois Maxwell also named it as her favourite.
  • Deleted Scene: A scene was cut just before Bond meets Romanova on the ferry. Bond tries to lose his mysterious pursuer and hops into a taxi. Bond takes control of the taxi's brakes, causing the following Bulgarian to run into the back of the taxi as a third car joins the pile-up. The driver of the third car turns out to be Kerim Bey. When the angry Bulgarian protests to Bey, he is told "My friend, this is life", while Bond makes good his escape in the British Embassy's Rolls Royce. Terence Young shot the scene ten times to get the long ash on Bey's cigar that Pedro Armendáriz insisted on. It wasn't until a private screening week before the film's release that Young's twelve year old son spotted that the Bulgarian had in fact already been killed by Grant in the mosque, so it was cut.
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  • Dyeing for Your Art: Robert Shaw dyed his blond for the film and worked out extensively.
  • Fake Nationality: Ali Kerim Bey: A Turk played by a Mexican actor.
  • Fake Russian:
    • Tanya Romanova was played by an Italian actress, Daniela Bianchi, and voiced by a British actress, Barbara Jefford (due to Bianchi's heavy accent).
    • Rosa Klebb was played by an Austrian (naturalized American) actress.
  • Fatal Method Acting: Averted. Sean Connery was almost killed filming the helicopter scene.
  • First Appearance: Of Q (as played by Desmond Llewellyn at least) and Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
  • Fountain of Expies:
    • Red Grant has inspired a long list of Aryan-looking near-undefeatable henchmen (whom Bond always manages to defeat). He's been imitated with Hans, Necros, Mister Stamper, and other Aryan-looking villains (such as Max Zorin). It's arguable that Rocky IV's Ivan Drago is also meant to evoke Red Grant.
    • If your story has a shady leader of a super villain organization, played straight or parodied, chances are they were based on Blofeld. Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget and Giovanni in his early appearances in the Pokémon anime are among the more obvious imitators and an episode of The Powerpuff Girls has another one as a one-off villain (which later reveals that the cat was the actual villain). And let's not get started with Dr. Evil.
  • Hostility on the Set:
    • There was real conflict between the fighting gypsy girls. Martine Beswick recalled that Aliza Gur was jealous of her friendship with Terence Young and accused her of sleeping with him.
    • Vladek Sheyball got so frustrated of Harry Saltzman's instructions on his acting that he stormed off the set. He only returned on the assurance that Saltzman be barred from the set.
  • I Am Not Spock: For the rest of Lotte Lenya's life, new people tended to look at her shoes.
  • Name's the Same: Red Grant's first name in the film is Donald, and thus he is a namesake of another British traitor, although the real one was a Nazi rather than a Communist.
  • No Stunt Double: Sean Connery and Robert Shaw did most of their fight scene themselves.
  • Orphaned Reference: When Bond looks at the reel of film, he says, "He's right you know". This refers to a line that was cut from the film where Grant comments on Bond's performance in bed.
  • The Other Darrin: Major Boothroyd, aka "Q," goes from being played by Peter Burton to the much more familiar Desmond Llewelyn.
  • The Other Marty: The actor playing the fake Bond in The Teaser had to be replaced, as he looked too much like Sean Connery. An actor with a moustache was found.
  • The Pete Best: Peter Burton (Major Boothroyd in Dr. No) was unavailable for From Russia With Love due to taking a role in another film that was never completed (a decision he regretted for the rest of his life). Desmond Llewelyn took over the role, and is fondly remembered to this day.
  • Scully Box: Robert Shaw had to stand on a wooden crate opposite Sean Connery due to being four inches shorter than Connery.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: Rosa Klebb was fighting James Bond using a poisoned shoe knife. The script called for her to be accidentally killed by her own weapon, but the director couldn't figure out a way to film it that didn't look ridiculous. Then someone realized that a) there was a gun on the floor from when Bond had disarmed Klebb and b) the heroine, who had been an enemy agent recruited by Klebb before falling in love with Bond, was just standing there watching the fight. So the director changed the script to have the heroine pick up the gun, and after some hesitation, shoot Klebb.
  • Stunt Double: Bob Simmons was unable to return as stunt co-ordinator, as he was busy working on Genghis Khan, though he did double Sean Connery, while Jackie Cooper doubled Robert Shaw.
  • Swan Song: Pedro Armendáriz was dying of cancer during filming. He knew this, but kept going in order to assure his family financial resources. In various scenes, he simply couldn't walk and had to have a body double. Shortly after finishing all of his scenes, he committed suicide, four months before the release of the film.
  • Troubled Production: Especially because they had to work against the clock to finish the film by the scheduled release in October. Pedro Armendáriz (playing Kerim Bey) was dying of cancer and had to shoot all his scenes within two weeks note  The script was constantly being rewritten all the way through. Major special effects (such as the wall of fire in the boat scene) failed putting the production desperately behind schedule. Director Terence Young and art director Michael White nearly found themselves in a helicopter accident that could've killed them both. Sean Connery himself was almost killed while filming the scene where Bond is chased by the SPECTRE thugs in the helicopter when the inexperienced helicopter pilot flew in too close and almost took his head off. It's a tribute to the professionalism of the cast and some extremely clever filming by editor Peter Hunt (a lot of Rosa Klebb's dialogue was rewritten and refilmed simply by having Lotte Lenya perform against a back projection) that the film survived and became so successful.
  • Uncredited Role: Blofeld's debut as the Big Bad of the series starts the tradition of keeping his face off-camera, prompting the use of this trick to make sure nobody could be sure what he looked like. The ending credits acknowledge his existence by crediting one Ernst Blofeld with a question mark in place of the actor. (The body was Anthony Dawson - who was a secondary villain in Dr. No - and the voice was Eric Pohlmann.)
  • What Could Have Been: Enough for its own page.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Richard 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 - a change that 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).
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Walter Gotell, who plays the SPECTRE henchthug Morzeny, will return to play the Russian General Gogol in six Bond films starting with The Spy Who Loved Me.
    • Martine Beswick, one of the two fighting Gypsy girls, will have a much larger role as Bond's ill-fated assistant Paula in Thunderball.


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