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From Russia with Love


From Russia with Love is the second in the James Bond spy film series, and the second to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Released in 1963, the film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and directed by Terence Young. It is based on the 1957 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. In the film, James Bond is sent to assist in the defection of Soviet consulate clerk Tatiana Romanova in Turkey, where SPECTRE plans to avenge Bond’s killing of Dr. No.

Following the success of Dr. No, United Artists approved a sequel, doubling the budget available for the producers. In addition to filming on location in Turkey, the action scenes were shot both in Scotland and Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire. Production ran over budget and schedule, and had to rush to finish by its scheduled October 1963 release date. From Russia with Love was a critical and commercial success, out-grossing its predecessor Dr. No with over $78 million (US$560 million in 2012 dollars[1]) in worldwide box office returns. It is considered by many as the best film in the James Bond series.

Plot

SPECTRE’s expert planner Kronsteen devises a plot to steal a Lektor cryptographic device from the Soviets and sell it back to them while exacting revenge on Bond for killing their agent Dr. No. The Spectre Number 1 puts ex-SMERSH operative and Number 3 Rosa Klebb in charge of the mission. Klebb recruits Grant as an assassin, and Tatiana Romanova, a cipher clerk at the Soviet consulate in Istanbul, as an unwitting pawn, as Romanova thinks Klebb is still working for SMERSH.

In London, M tells Bond – agent 007 and sometimes simply ‘007’ – that Romanova has contacted their “Station ‘T'” in Turkey, offering to defect with a Lektor, which MI6 and the CIA have been after for years – but Romanova said she will only defect to Bond, whose photo she has allegedly found in a Soviet intelligence file. Bond then flies to Istanbul, where he meets station head Ali Kerim Bey. 007 is followed from the airport by an unkempt man in glasses and by Red Grant. The next day, after Kerim Bey’s office is bombed, Bond and Kerim Bey spy on the Soviet consulate, where Kerim Bey sees rival agent Krilencu. At night, Kerim Bey and Bond go to a rural gypsy settlement, which suffers an attack by Krilencu’s men, who wound Kerim Bey and nearly kill Bond, who is saved by a hidden Red Grant. On the following night, Kerim Bey kills Krilencu with Bond’s sniper rifle. When Bond returns to his hotel suite, he finds Romanova in bed waiting for him, unaware that they are being filmed by Spectre.

The next day, Romanova heads off for a pre-arranged rendezvous at Hagia Sophia. The bespectacled man who followed Bond to the airport tries to intercept Romanova’s floor plan of the Soviet consulate, but is killed by Grant. Upon finding the body, Bond takes the floor plan, and brings it to Kerim Bey to devise their invasion. After stealing the Lektor, Bond, Romanova, and Kerim Bey escape with the device on the Orient Express. On the train, Kerim Bey and a Soviet security officer named Benz are killed by Grant, who makes it appear as if they killed each other. At Zagreb, Grant boards the train and meets Bond pretending to be agent Nash from “Station ‘Y'”. He drugs Romanova at dinner, then overcomes Bond. Grant taunts him, boasting SPECTRE has been pitting the Soviets and the British against each other, and claims that Romanova thinks that “she’s doing it all for mother Russia” when she is really working for SPECTRE. Grant also mentions the film of Bond and Romanova at the hotel suite, saying that after both are killed, Grant will plant it in her handbag along with a forged blackmail letter so it looks like it was a murder-suicide. Bond tricks Grant into opening Bond’s attaché case in the manner that detonates its tear gas booby trap in his face, allowing Bond to attack him. In the ensuing struggle, Bond eventually manages to stab Grant with the knife hidden in the attaché case, and strangles Grant to death with his own garrotte. At dawn, Bond and Romanova leave the train, hijack Grant’s getaway truck, destroy an enemy helicopter, and drive to a dock, eventually boarding a powerboat.

Number 1 is very unhappy, and summons Kronsteen and Klebb. He reminds them that SPECTRE does not tolerate failure, and brings in agent Morzeny to then execute Kronsteen with a poisoned spike in the toe of his shoe. Number 1 tells a frightened Klebb that she now has total control of the mission and has one last chance. Klebb sends Morzeny after Bond with a squadron of SPECTRE’s boats. Morzeny nearly catches Bond, but the agent sets his pursuers’ boats on fire with a signal flare. Bond and Romanova reach Venice and check into a hotel. Rosa Klebb, disguised as a maid, attempts to steal the Lektor. She gets the drop on Bond, and attempts to kill Bond with both a gun and her poisoned toe-spike, but ends up being shot by Romanova. Riding in a gondola, Bond throws the film of him and Romanova into the water as they are rowed away.

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