The second James Bond film, From Russia With Love premiered in 1963, only a year after the first entry in the series. At this time, the filmmakers had the idea of producing a new James Bond film every single year (just imagine if they tried that today), a tradition kept up through 1965 with the release of Thunderbolt, but abandoned afterward.
The film begins with SPECTRE fuming over the fact that Bond killed Dr. No, one of their best operatives. They plan to seek revenge by luring Bond out into their territory and then killing him. To do this, a senior member of SPECTRE convinces Tatiana Romanova, a clerk working for the Soviet consulate in Turkey, to defect and take valuable information with her (Tatiana is made to believe that she will be providing the West with fake information and that after a period of time she’ll be taken back to Soviet Russia, when in reality SPECTRE is planning to kill her as well). London receives a message about the defection, including the point that Tatiana will only go if James Bond himself comes to take her. Instantly smelling a trap, Bond proceeds with his guard already up, but completing this mission is going to take everything Bond has, and then some.
This film’s score features the first credit for John Barry (his work on Dr. No remained uncredited), who would go on to score 11 Bond films in total, a record for the franchise.
The title sequence of this film is rather unique in the history of James Bond. The sequence, while containing all the basic elements of a Bond title sequence (provocative imagery, prominently displayed female body, etc.), contains no spoken lyrics. The song is sung later on, but not during the film’s introduction. The sung version heard in the film was performed by Matt Munro.
Credit to Renato Fratini and Eric Pulford
This is the first of two sequences not to be assembled by Maurice Binder. For this film and Goldfinger (1964), the title sequence was assembled by Robert Brownjohn (1925-1970), an American graphic designer. Brownjohn also designed the 1969 album cover for the Rolling Stones album “Let it Bleed.”
Credit to Art of the Title
I hope you enjoyed looking at the introduction to From Russia With Love. Have a great day! -Bex
Next time: Goldfinger (1964)
Check out the rest of the “Introducing James Bond” series here
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