Synopsis - From Russia With Love
Late one night, James Bond is alternately stalking and being stalked
through an ornate garden by a tall, blond assassin. Bond is captured
and garrotted to death by a man named Grant. Suddenly, huge floodlights
switch on and 'Bond' turns out to be a man wearing a Bond mask
- it's all been a training exercise staged by SPECTRE.
Venice: a chess match is under way between the Czechoslovakian Kronsteen
and the Canadian MacAdams. Kronsteen receives a message (on a napkin
beneath his glass of water!) telling him that "you are required
at once." He effortlessly finishes off MacAdams in a couple
of moves and leaves. He is next seen on a large, luxury yacht where
Ernst Blofeld, SPECTRE's Number One, is amusing himself and Soviet
assassin Rosa Klebb (Number Three) with a tank full of exotic fighting
Kronsteen (SPECTRE's Number Five) has arranged the theft of the
Soviet Lektor decoding device and asks for the services of a female
member of the Russian cryptograph service in Turkey and "the
help of the British secret service." Klebb has already chosen
a female operative and has been able to keep the fact of her own
defection to SPECTRE a secret. Kronsteen explains that the British
see a trap as a challenge and that they will be easy to manipulate
- and they are certain to use James Bond on the mission, allowing
SPECTRE to take revenge for the death of Dr No.
Klebb departs to SPECTRE Island, the organisation's secret training
base, where she meets convicted murderer Donald Grant, "a
homicidal paranoiac," who escaped from Dartmoor before joining
SPECTRE. Grant is being specially groomed for the mission against
Istanbul: three women leave the Soviet Consulate, one of them,
Tatiana Romanova, heading off for a rendezvous with Klebb. Romanova,
a former ballet dancer, is a good and loyal worker and is to be
rewarded with a special assignment.
London: Bond is enjoying the company of Sylvia Trench on a secluded
part of the Thames when he receives a call from Moneypenny telling
him that M is looking for him. He promises to report in soon, but
decides to finish what he was doing with Sylvia first...
M tells Bond that Romanova has contacted Station T in Turkey,
run by agent Karim Bey, asking to defect and bringing with her
a Lektor device, which both MI5 and the CIA have been after for
years. It also appears that Romanova is claiming to be in love
with Bond. Bond realises that it's a trap, but with the Lektor
as bait M decides that Bond should take on the mission anyway.
Boothroyd from Q division enters and shows Bond a special black
leather attaché case crammed to the gills with all manner
of toys and gadgets, including 20 rounds of ammunition, a flat
throwing knife, a .22 folding sniper's rifle, 50 gold sovereigns
and a tear gas grenade concealed in a tin of talcum powder. Everything
an agent needs in fact...
After a brief flirtation with Moneypenny (during which M demands
the return of a photograph of Romanova he had let Bond look at
earlier), Bond heads off for Istanbul where he is met by a driver
sent by Karim Bey. However, even this early in his mission, Bond
is being watched, both by a scruffy man in glasses and by Grant,
both of who set off after Bond's car. The driver doesn't seem
too concerned about their tails, telling Bond that the car behind
them is full of Bulgarians working for the Russians and that this
sort of cat-and-mouse is all part of the game.
The driver takes Bond to see Bey, whose staff seem to be comprised
entirely of his sons! Bey tells Bond that Romanova is making her
own plans to meet and that they have nothing to do but wait. Bond
checks in to his hotel where he checks his room and finds it full
of hidden bugs. Pretending that the bed is too small, Bond asks
to be moved but is told by the staff - who all seem to Russian
agents - that only the bridal suit is available. He calls their
bluff and takes it.
Outside the Russian consulate, Grant abandons his car and drives
off in another. The Consulate guard checks the abandoned car and
finds a dead Russian agent in the back seat. In the other car,
Klebb tells Grant that the Russians will suspect the British and
that the Cold War in Turkey is about to heat up. Later Bey and
his mistress are nearly killed when a limpet mine attached to
the wall of his house suddenly explodes.
Next day, Bey takes Bond down to his cellar where the board a
boat and sail off along an underwater canal, eventually coming
to a chamber beneath the Russian consulate complete with periscope
peeking the Russian's conference room! They spy on a meeting of
the leading Russian agents in Turkey, and Bey recognises Bulgarian
assassin Krilencu at the table. Bond also gets his first real
glimpse of Romanova. He asks Bey for plans of the Russian Consulate
and they head for a a gypsy settlement loyal to Bey where Bond
can hide from the attentions of Krilencu.
Bond is clearly in his element here - first of all, he is treated
to a very close-up performance from a belly dancer and is then fascinated
by a gypsy tradition in which two volatile young women in love with
the same man must fight each other for the honour of marrying him.
The cat fight is interrupted by the violent arrival of Krilencu's
men, who set about laying waste to the settlement amid much gunfire
and struggling with knives. Grant is lurking nearby and shoots any
man who looks like he might be about to kill Bond.
With Bond's help, the gypsies manage to fight off the Bulgars
and Bond is hailed a hero. In return he asks that the girl fight
be stopped and they agree, but only if Bond decides the winner.
That night, the women visit Bond in his quarters.
Next morning: Bond is being pampered by the two gypsy women and
that evening he finally leaves with Bey, heading off to sort out
the Krilencu problem. They track him to a room in a hotel behind
a giant facade advertising the Bob Hope / Anita Ekberg movie Call
Me Bwana. Bey uses Bond's folding sniper's rifle to shoot Krilencu
through the window of his room which is conveniently placed in
When he returns to his hotel suite, Bond prepares for a shower
but is distracted by noises in his bedroom. He finds Romanova
waiting fore him in bed. Never being one to pass up such an opportunity,
Bond seduces her and makes plans to take possession of the Lektor
device. As Bond and Romanova make love, they are unaware that
they are being watched and filmed from behinds a mirror by Grant
The next day, Romanova heads off for a pre-arranged rendezvous at
a nearby mosque with Bond, tailed by the scruffy, bespectacled man.
Bond joins a tourist tour of the mosque and slips away to meet Romanova.
Bond spots the main tailing her, but before he can do anything about
it, he is, unseen by Bond, killed by Grant. When Bond finds the
body, he also finds the plans for the Russian Consulate he has been
seeking. Later, Bond and Bey study the plans and Bey warns him that
it all seems to a bit too easy. He also cautions Bond against becoming
too involved with Romanova.
Bond meets Romanova on a ferry and gets her to tell him about
the Lektor, taping their conversation on a recorder hidden inside
his camera. The tape is later analysed back in London by M, Q
and other agents. M is embarrassed by Bond and Romanova's more
intimate exchanges, but never more than when Bond starts to recount
"an interesting experience" he and M enjoyed in Tokyo!
London cables Bond telling him that Romanova's description of
the device seems genuine and that he is to go ahead with the deal.
He applies for a visa from the Russian Consulate, allowing his
access to the building. At a pre-arranged moment, Bey sets off
an explosive charge in the chamber beneath the building, releasing
tear gas throughout the Consulate. In the resulting chaos, Bond
is able to find Romanova and make off with the decoder. After
a nasty run-in with a pack of rats in the cellar, Bond and Romanova
join Bey and make good their escape. All three board the Orient
Express, pursued by Soviet security man Benz who recognises Romanova.
Grant is also on the train. Bey has arranged cover for Bond and
Romanova as a married couple, which Romanova is very pleased about.
Bey sets off to secure the help of the train guard, a man whose
services he has used before, leaving Bond and Romanova to carry
on where they left off in Bond's hotel suite. Bey later spots
Benz listening at the cabin door and warns Bond of the danger.
Bey and Bond confront Benz in his cabin and restrain him before
Bond returns to Romanova where he fails to resist the power of
her slinky new dress...
Later, while heading for the restaurant car, Bond is stopped by
the guard with bad news - he takes him to Benz's cabin where the
Soviet agent and Bey have apparently killed each other. Bond bribes
the Guard not to stop the train at the next stop, an out of the
way place where two of Bey's men are waiting. Bond breaks the news
of Bey's death to Romanova, accusing her of acting under orders
and roughing her up. She insists that she knows nothing and that
she really does love Bond.
The train continues on its journey across Europe, finally arriving
at Beograd where Bond gets out to stretch his legs. There he meets
with one of Bey's sons, explaining why he didn't stop at the pre-arranged
rendezvous. He gets the man to send a message to M, arranging
for an agent from Station Y to meet him at Zagreb.
In Zagreb, Grant intercepts the British agent and murders him
the toilets before Bond can get to him. He then poses as the agent,
Nash, and makes contact with Bond, boarding the train with him
as it sets off again. In his cabin, Bond tells 'Nash' about the
Lektor and about how difficult it will be to get it across the
border. 'Nash' invites Bond and Romanova to dinner in the restaurant
car, but Bond is suspicious. He sends 'Nash' onahead with Romanova,
then checks the tear gas booby trap in his attaché case.
During dinner, 'Nash' spills Romanova's wine and, while refilling
the glass, slips in a drug. While she's unconscious in one part
of the cabin, Grant knocks Bond out in the other half of the cramped
quarters. He relieves Bond of his gun then taunts Bond when he
revives. Only now does Bond realise that SPECTRE is involved in
his mission and that they have been playing the Russians and the
British off against each other. Grant reveals that SPECTRE have
been keeping him alive (which is why Grant saved him at the gypsy
camp) until he could get the Lektor device for them. He also tells
Bond that Romanova knows nothing of what is happening and that
Rosa Klebb, whom Bond knows as a SMERSH operative, is running
her. He also tells Bond that his death will be staged as a crime
of passion - they'll plant the film of Bond and Romanova making
love on Romanova and a letter apparently from her threatening
to release the film to the press will be planted on him. This
way, it'll seem as though she was trying to blackmail Bond and
he killed her before taking his own life.
But Bond isn't taking this lying down - he offers to buy a last
cigarette for 50 gold sovereigns and dupes Grant into opening the
booby trapped attaché case. A struggle breaks out during
which Bond and Grant brutally assault each other in the narrow confines
of the compartment. Grant tries to garrotte Bond with a wire hidden
in his watch, but Bond is able to stab him with the concealed blade
from the attaché case, then ends up strangling him. He takes
the incriminating reel of film from Grant's pocket.
The train is now slowing down at Grant's pre-arranged escape
point and Bond has to get a still very dopey Romanova off it as
soon as possible. They manage to escape and Bond neatly overpowers
and disarms the contact waiting for the SPECTRE agent. With Romanova
sleeping off the effects of the drug in the back, Bond drives
off in the contacts flower truck. As dawn breaks, they are spotted
and buzzed by a SPECTRE helicopter. The passengers of the helicopter
begin bombing the truck with grenades, forcing Bond to leave Romanova
hiding beneath the vehicle as tries to attract their attention
away from her. He sets off across the fields as the helicopter
continuously passes low overhead, almost hitting him. He takes
refuge beneath some rocks and uses the folding sniper's rifle
to shoot the passenger, who drops a primed grenade and blows the
helicopter up. Bond drives on, eventually reaching a boat waiting
at a remote dock. Bond and Romanova set off on the boat heading
Klebb and Kronsteen try to explain their failures to their leader,
but he's an unforgiving sort and has Kronsteen murdered by his
henchman Morzeny who kicks him with a poison tipped blade hidden
in his boot.
Bond and Romanova are making good progress towards Venice when
they are suddenly intercepted by SPECTRE agents aboard a small
fleet of power boats. Bond tries to outrun them, but they attack
with rifle grenades. It seems that Spectre wants to stop Bond,
not kill him. But when their stray bullets puncture several barrels
of fuel stored on his boat, Bond throws them overboard and pretends
to surrender. But then he fires flares into the water which, now
full of oil, explodes, engulfing the pursuing boats in flames.
Finally, Bond and Romanova arrive in Venice and check into a
hotel. But it's not quite over for Bond yet. Disguised as a maid,
Klebb has managed to get into his room and is trying to whisk
the Lektor away from under his nose. Romanova recognises her but,
still thinking that she's a SMERSH agent, doesn't give her away.
Klebb holds Bond at gun point and gets a reluctant Romanova to
help her make off with the Lektor.
But in a last second change of heart, she disarms Klebb who goes
toe-to-toe (literally) with Bond, who pins her to a wall with
chair as the SPECTRE assassin tries to kick him with her own poison
tipped toe-blade. The day is saved when Romanova shoots her. With
their mission accomplished, Bond and Romanova take time for a
gondola trip and Bond throws the film of him and Romanova making
love that he retrieved from Grant into the canal.