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.
Rosa Klebb was partly based on Colonel Rybkina 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Some documentaries even mention that he had to be literally propped up by two set hands because he couldn't stand still anymore. Armendáriz didn't wait for the cancer to finish him off, committing suicide shortly after he finished his scenes. 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.)
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).