Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!
From Russia with Love received mixed reviews, but… I don’t care. It’s a great film! Bond fans love this 1963 movie, simple as that, amirite? It’s the second 007 flick, released the year after Dr. No. In this one, Sean Connery as James Bond is sent to to Turkey, where he is to pick up the Soviet defector Tatiana Romanova who promises to give him a cryptography machine. She says she “loves” Bond, so he has to get her, no one else. Naturally, it is a trap set by SPECTRE to avenge Bond’s killing of Dr. No.
FRWL was a commercial success, as most Bond films are, and is considered a blockbuster for the time.
Lotte Lenya plays a crazy former SMERSH agent (Rosa Klebb) who is now working for SPECTRE ~ hard to tell the difference, really, but SPECTRE is headed up by (dun da dun dun!) Blofeld! Daniela Bianchi portrays Tatiana and her dialog was dubbed because of her strong accent. Rosa bonds with Tatiana and sends her off to entice Bond with the fancy spy machine. M (head of British Intelligence) is played by Bernard Lee, and of course he suspects a trap, but the procurement of the device is too great of a lure to ignore. Q gives bond a briefcase full of gadgets to help him survive the shenanigans.
Obviously, after Tatiana spends that first night with Bond, she becomes more smitten with him and less interested in fulfilling her mission with the baddies. Bond’s man in Turkey is Kerim, played by Pedro Armendáriz. Kerim helps Bond and Tatiana escape (with the machine) after they realize that a baddie has been following them. They end up on a train (romantic!) and the baddie ends up killing Kerim (sad), at which point Bond becomes more suspicious of Tatiana.
In Belgrade, Bond meets up with a supposed British agent, Nash, but he’s actually the baddie ~ Donald Grant, played by Robert Shaw ~ who killed both Kerim and Nash and assumed Nash’s identity. Grant drugs Tatiana and overpowers Bond, telling Bond he intends to kill both of them, leaving behind evidence (including film of James and Tatiana in bed together) that will ruin Bond’s rep and disgrace him in the spy community. Oh no! This seems like a done deal until Bond gets Grant to fall for one of Q’s booby traps. Oopsie.
Bond and Tatiana escape only to encounter the murderous Rosa Klebb in a hotel room who needs to get the machine back, since the plan failed. Rosa holds Bond at gunpoint, while Tatiana wrestles with her divided loyalties. WHAT DO YOU THINK SHE DECIDES?
Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!
Information and images from Wikipedia and PopSugar.
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