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From Russia with Love (1963)

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James Bond willingly falls into an assassination plot involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

Director:

Terence Young

Writers:

Richard Maibaum (screenplay), Johanna Harwood (adaptation)
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Popularity
2,891 ( 1,514)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... James Bond
Daniela Bianchi ... Tatiana Romanova
Pedro Armendáriz ... Kerim Bey (as Pedro Armendariz)
Lotte Lenya ... Rosa Klebb
Robert Shaw ... Grant
Bernard Lee ... 'M'
Eunice Gayson ... Sylvia Trench
Walter Gotell ... Morzeny
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff ... Vavra (as Francis de Wolff)
George Pastell ... Train Conductor
Nadja Regin ... Kerim's Girl
Lois Maxwell ... Miss Moneypenny
Aliza Gur ... Vida
Martine Beswick ... Zora
Vladek Sheybal ... Kronsteen
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Storyline

James Bond 007 is on the search for a Russian decoding machine, known as "Lektor". Bond needs to find this machine, before the evil S.P.E.C.T.R.E. organization discovers it. While being romantically linked with Russian girl, Tatiana Romanova, Bond sneaks his way around Istanbul, while each S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Agent tries to pick him off, including the over powering Donald "Red" Grant and ex K.G.B. Agent Rosa Klebb, who knows all of the tricks in the book, and even possesses an incredible poison tipped shoe. Written by simon_hrdng

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

FANTASTIC 'BOND' SALE [Reissue poster] See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian | Turkish | Romany

Release Date:

27 May 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

From Russia with Love See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$24,796,765

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$54,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Eon Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actresses considered for the role of Tatiana Romanova included Pia Lindström, Sally Douglas, Magda Konopka, Margaret Lee, Lucia Modugno, Sylva Koscina, Virna Lisi, and Tania Mallet. This last actress ended up getting the role of Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger (1964). Reportedly, the producers' first choice had originally been Elga Andersen, but she was allegedly deemed too difficult by United Artists. As such, 1960 Italy's Miss Universe Daniela Bianchi got the part. Her voice was dubbed in this movie by an uncredited Barbara Jefford, in order to hide her thick Italian accent. See more »

Goofs

When Klebb arrives on SPECTRE island and asks where Grant is, the henchman says "At the lake" but his lips are saying something different. Klebb then says, "Take me to the lake" but her lips don't say lake either. In both cases it looks like they're saying the word "pool". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Morzeny: [after Grant kills a look-a-like Bond] Exactly one minute, fifty-two seconds. That's excellent.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Ernst Blofeld's actor is credited as "?". See more »

Alternate Versions

Russian dialogue is translated in subtitles on some video prints of the film, but not on some TV prints. See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Weekly Bond: Announcement: My New Podcast (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

From Russia with Love
Music by John Barry
Lyrics by Lionel Bart
Performed by Matt Monro
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Bond in a Cold Climate
21 May 2006 | by laika-livesSee all my reviews

'From Russia With Love' is the second and last of the Bond films to be made without a rigid formula. With 'Goldfinger', the expected elements of the later films would all accrue in a single film, setting a template the series would struggle to escape from (and, for the most part, would not bother trying to). So, like 'Dr. No', there's only a single sex interest (let's not use the term 'love' too lightly), rather than the good-girl-survives, bad/tragic-girl-dies dichotomy that would later structure all the films (bar OHMSS and, interestingly, the Dalton films), and unlike 'Dr. No', the villainous plot is rather small beer and resolutely real-world - to steal a code machine and humiliate the British Intelligence community in the process. There's also no bombastic theme song, although Matt Monro provides an easy-listening version of the theme tune at the end (it's not half bad, actually, although Shirley Bassey's brassy 'Goldfinger' makes it seem antediluvian in comparison).

Effectively, this means that it's the last Bond film in which the makers were trying to make a film, not a Bond film. It didn't matter if the motifs were all there or not, it only mattered if it was a good film. Unsurprisingly, it has a good claim to being the best film of the series, and it's certainly the least self-conscious (compare with 'Thunderball', an artificial attempt to replicate 'Goldfinger' but making everything bigger).

So, Daniela Bianchi isn't really just the latest 'Bond Girl', but the character at the heart of this thriller - she pretty much is the story. Ursula Andress might have had an iconic entrance in 'Dr. No', but she was so much window-dressing, irrelevant to the plot, arriving late and with almost no agency in the events that unfold around her. By contrast, the crucial pivot of 'From Russia With Love' is whether Bianchi's Tanya will side with Bond or SMERSH - the age old 'love or duty' dilemma.

The film also takes time with detours that have little to do with the main plot - as in the sequence at the gypsy camp. There is a real feeling of a functioning world around Bond's escapades, rather than just colourful 'exotic' backdrops.

There also isn't an undue emphasis on big action set pieces - Bond's encounter with a helicopter (very 'North by Northwest' - in fact Hitchcock's influence is detectable throughout this film, from the Cathedral sequence, to the cool Blondeness of Bianchi, to the train setting of the second half) and the climactic speedboat chase are well-executed, but miniature next to those of later films. Tellingly, the best remembered action sequence is the fight between Connery and Robert Shaw on the train, and the series would never better this intimate, brutal struggle.

Shaw is by far the best of the series' bull-necked heavies - he's intelligent and charismatic as well as forceful, almost a Bond-equivalent. Lotte Lenya and Pedro Armendariz are both excellent in their supporting turns, reminders of a time when the series actually featured fully developed supporting characters, and Bianchi is good - she may lack the overt sex appeal of Andress, but she's a better actress, playing innocent without being either stupid or dull. Connery really grows into the role here, a long way from the pork-pie hatted clod he was in the first film but still untamed and prickly enough to be an exciting screen presence. It was a long slow decline from here to the tubby jobsworth of 'Diamonds Are Forever'.

The early Bond films often escape the critical gaze, and when they are subjected to it, it is usually through rose-tinted spectacles. 'Dr. No' is dull and poorly acted, 'Goldfinger' fun but rather shapeless, and 'Thunderball' just tries too hard altogether. 'From Russia With Love' is a polished little gem, a cold-war thriller done with great style, and a minor masterpiece, irrespective of the series around it.


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