From Russia With Love

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Frwlpenguin.jpg
A 2002 Penguin Books paperback edition
For the video game see From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love, published in 1957, is the fifth James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming. It is the second James Bond series film, and the second starring Sean Connery as James Bond, British Secret Service agent 007. The cinematic From Russia With Love was released in 1963, produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and directed by Terence Young.

From Russia With Love is considered both the best James Bond novel, and the best of the James Bond film series by many fans and critics, and by actor Sean Connery (although even critical opinion varies greatly). The novel is credited with launching the James Bond craze, and leading to the film series.. Its biggest boost came four years after From Russia With Love was published from an article in Life magazine on March 17, 1961 in which U.S. President John F. Kennedy included it in a list of his favorite novels.

Though the film's low-key tone contrasts with the outlandishness of Goldfinger, the quality of the screenplayand the performances of the actors (hero, Connery, and villain, Robert Shaw) make it an outstanding 007 film, more than four decades after its premiere. In 2004, Total Film magazine named it the ninth-greatest British film of all time.

The title of the book sometimes is printed with a comma, as From Russia, With Love, depending upon the publisher. It is more commonly printed without the punctuation.

Contents

The novel

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FromRussiaNovel.jpg
Rare 1970 reprint by Pan Books.

Plot summary

From Russia with Love differs from Fleming's previous Bond novels in that the first one third of the novel revolves around SMERSH's executioner, Red Grant as well as the organization, SMERSH, itself. This is also the first novel in which Bond receives a gadget from Q-Branch, although Q is not in the novel.

The novel is a series of elaborate plots and counterplots, between the British and the Russian intelligence agencies. It begins with SMERSH, the Soviet assassination agency, seeking to redeem itself from a series of failures that have made some within the Soviet government begin to criticize the organization. SMERSH plans to commit a grand act of terrorism in the intelligence field. For this, SMERSH has targeted British secret service agent, Commander James Bond. Due in part to Bond's defeat of Le Chiffre detailed in Casino Royale and Mr. Big in Live and Let Die, Bond has been declared as an enemy of the Soviet state and has been issued a "death warrant" for immediate execution ("To be killed with ignominy").

Mainly through the agency of Kronsteen, the chess-playing master planner and Colonel Rosa Klebb, SMERSH lays a trap for Bond, by setting pretty young, cipher clerk, Corporal Tatiana Romanova, to pretend to defect from her post in Istanbul, claiming to have fallen in love with Bond, from a photograph. As an added incentive, Tatiana will provide the British agent with a Spektor decoder, a prize much coveted by MI6. The ultimate goal is to set up James Bond for assassination, and cause a scandal, but SMERSH doesn't count on Tatiana actually falling in love with 007. The confrontation between Bond and Grant takes place on board the Orient Express on the journey from Istanbul to Paris, when Grant is shot by Bond. Later, after successfully delivering Tatiana to the west, Bond has a final encounter with Rosa Klebb which leaves her dead and 007 poisoned.

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Comic strip adaptation

Fleming's novel was adapted as a daily comic strip published in the British Daily Express newspaper, and syndicated world-wide. The adaptation ran from February 3 to May 21, 1960, and was written by Henry Gammidge, and illustrated by John McLusky. The James Bond 007 Fan Club published a reprinting of the strip in 1981.

The film

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Plot summary

The film follows the plot of Fleming's novel almost to the letter, however, the villain is the major change between the literary and cinematic versions of the story. At the Cold War's height, EON Productions felt it inadvisable casting the Russians as villains, so, SMERSH was replaced by S.P.E.C.T.R.E., the criminal organization who is a mutual enemy of both superpowers, introduced in the first James Bond film, Dr. No. As such, this film is a sequel to the previous film in that S.P.E.C.T.R.E. seeks revenge upon James Bond for his killing Dr. Julius No.

The film features the first appearance of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, leader of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., although he wouldn't directly confront Bond for several more cinematic adventures. To integrate S.P.E.C.T.R.E. to the storyline, minor changes were made so that SMERSH agent Red Grant is responsible for actions committed by other characters in the novel. Other than these topical changes, the movie's plot is the same as the novel'sJames Bond lured to Turkey, where Corporal Tatiana Romanova is stationed to assist her defection, as well as obtaining a LEKTOR decoder (renamed from the novel's Spektor to not confuse the audience with S.P.E.C.T.R.E.).

Cast & characters

The film notes the first appearance of Desmond Llewelyn as Major Boothroyd, known as Q, the character he would play in nearly all of the series' films, until his death in 1999. The Q character appeared in the previous film, Dr. No, but was portrayed by actor Peter Burton, and addressed only as the armourer. The cast includes Robert Shaw, perhaps best known as Quint in Steven Spielberg's Jaws (1975).

Author and James Bond creator Ian Fleming makes a cameo in the Istanbul train scene (following Bond's stealing the LEKTOR decoder), standing outside on the right of the train. He is wearing grey trousers and a white sweater.

Crew

Soundtrack

Original From Russia With Love soundtrack cover
Enlarge
Original From Russia With Love soundtrack cover

From Russia with Love is the first series' film with John Barry as the primary soundtrack composer, although the title theme was composed by Lionel Bart of Oliver! fame. John Barry, arranger of Monty Norman "James Bond Theme" for Dr. No, would be the dominant Bond series composer for most of its history. In this film, Barry introduced the percussive theme "007" (007 theme), action music that came to be considered the "secondary James Bond Theme" and is used in the James Bond films of both Sean Connery and Roger Moore.

Track listing

  1. Opening Titles / James Bond Is Back / From Russia With Love - (instrumental) / James Bond Theme
  2. Tania Meets Klebb
  3. Meeting In St. Sophia
  4. The Golden Horn
  5. Girl Trouble
  6. Bond Meets Tania
  7. 007
  8. Gypsy Camp
  9. Death Of Grant
  10. From Russia With Love - Matt Monro
  11. Spectre Island
  12. Guitar Lament
  13. Man Overboard / Smersh In Action
  14. James Bond With Bongos
  15. Stalking
  16. Leila Dances
  17. Death Of Kerin
  18. 007 Takes The Lektor

Vehicles & gadgets

  • Briefcase - Technically, James Bond's first gadget. The briefcase issued to 007 by Q-Branch contains a folding AR-7 sniper rifle with ammunition, a flat throwing knife, and fifty gold sovereigns are contained in secret compartments accessible from outside the case. In addition, the briefcase has a trick safety mechanism that detonates a magnetically attached tear gas bomb if the briefcase is improperly opened.
  • Pager - Although From Russia With Love was filmed in the 1960s, before this gadget's invention, Bond carried one, enabling MI6 to contact him at once; also, Bond's Bentley automobile had a radio-telephone.
  • Bug detector - A small device that is designed to detect the presence of a phone tap device in a regular telephone when placed against such a device.

See also

Locations

Film locations

Shooting locations

Trivia

  • Alfred Hitchcock was originally in discussion to make this into a film as far back as 1958, eyeing the character of James Bond to be played by Cary Grant and a possible return for Grace Kelly as Tatiana Romanova. However, when Vertigo became a box-office flop for Hitchcock, the deals fell through. Coincidentally, the film version of From Russia With Love mimicks the cropduster scene from the film Hitchcock did instead - North by Northwest.
  • In recent years, the scene in which Bond first encounters Tatiana in his hotel room often has been used to screen-test actors for the James Bond and leading lady roles.
  • Reportedly, Ian Fleming has a cameo appearance in this film. It is believed he can be glimpsed in an Orient Express train scene; some sources deny Fleming's appearance.
  • Pedro Armendriz, who played Kerim Bey, was sick with cancer during the production, and committed suicide after filming was completed. His son, Pedro Armendriz Jr. later would portray the President of the Republic of Isthmus in Licence to Kill, the 1989 James Bond film, .
  • Lotte Lenya's character, Colonel Rosa Klebb, often is cited as prototype of the Frau Farbissina character in the Austin Powers spy spoof series.
  • The Bulgarian assassin Krilenku tries to escape from his apartment through a secret window in a billboard advertising Call Me Bwana, the only non-James Bond movie produced by EON Productions.

External links

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