Website last updated: 21-3-2024

60th Anniversary of the From Russia with Love (1963) film starring Sean Connery

By: Anders Frejdh
From Russia with Love, film, 60th anniversary
On this day in James Bond history, From Russia with Love (1963), Sean Connery's second film as Ian Fleming's James Bond, premiered at cinemas 60 years ago. (FRWL was first released in the UK on 10th October 1963. In Sweden, the film opened on 31st March 1964, and in USA it premiered on 8th April 1964.)

The criminal organisation, SPECTRE, devises a plot to capture Lektor, a Russian decoding machine, and at the same time dispose of British agent, James Bond.

With the help of Tatiana, a Russian coding clerk at the Soviet Embassy in Istanbul, who is unwittingly working for SPECTRE, Bond steals Lektor and escapes with her on the Orient Express.

SPECTRE's plans miscarry when Bond kills their agent on the train. They evade pursuit by helicopter and motor launches and foil a final attack in Venice when they think they have reached safety.

United Artists, Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli present Ian Fleming's James Bond in From Russia with Love:

Production notes (Source: MGM / Eon Productions)

• 22 Aug 1962: Johanna Harwood submitted the first draft of the screenplay for the film
• 1 April 1963: Shooting began in M’s office
• 9 April 1963: Filming began of the scene where Rosa Klebb battles Bond and Tatiana in the bridal suite
• 16 April 1963: The opening scene where Grant kills 'fake' Bond with his watch garrotte was shot in Pinewood Studios Garden
• 22 April 1963: The scene in the Sophia Mosque were shot in Istanbul
• 30 April 1963: Night shoot at Sehzade Mosque, Istanbul
• 5 May 1963: Shooting began in Istanbul on the truck chase
• 8 May 1963: Shooting began on the boat chase between Bond and SPECTRE
• 23 May 1963: Shooting began on Bond and Tatiana Romanova's train escape
• 31 May 1963: Sean Connery and Pedro Armendariz filmed Bond and Kerim Bey's first meeting
• 4 June 1963: Shooting took place on the fight between the gypsy women
• 11 June 1963: Shooting took place on the attack on the gypsy camp
• 14 June 1963: The Russian consulate explosion was shot
• 19 June 1963: Bond & Grant's classic train fight started shooting
• 26 June 1963: The scene where Rosa Klebb inspects Red Grant was shot
• 29 June 1963: Terence Young filmed Rosa Klebb briefing Tatiana Romanova
• 15 July 1963: Terence Young shot the closing scene on location in Venice
• 17 July 1963: The sequence where Bond and Tatiana Romanova are pursued by a helicopter was shot
• 23 July 1963: Lotte Lenya completed her role as Rosa Klebb with a scene in the back of a taxi with Red Grant
• 10 August 1963: Sean Connery finished work. His last shot was in Rhoda’s truck

A selection of filming locations for "From Russia with Love":

• Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK (finale helicopter and boat chase scenes)
• At Meydani, Istanbul, Turkey (horse grounds)
• Bay of Pendik, Turkey (finale boat chase scenes)
• Berkshire, England, UK (James Bond and Sylvia Trench have picnic by the river)
• Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey (James Bond cross-examines Tatiana Romanova about the Lektor Decoding Device)
• Bosphorus River, Istanbul, Turkey (James Bond cross-examines Tatiana Romanova about the Lektor Decoding Device)
• Bridge Of Sighs, Venice, Veneto, Italy (ending)
• Crinan, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK (finale helicopter and boat chase scenes)
• Grand Canal, Venice, Veneto, Italy (ending)
• Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey (St Sophia or Aya Sofia Mosque - Bond obtains blueprints for the Russian consulate)
• Heatherden Hall, Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK (SPECTRE headquarters)
• Hurley, Berkshire, England, UK (James Bond and Sylvia Trench have picnic by the river)
• Istanbul Sirkeci Terminal, Hoca Pasa, Eminönü, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey (Orient Express - Istanbul, Zagreb and Belgrade railway stations)
• Loch Craignish, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK (near Crinan - finale boat chase scenes)
• Lochgoilhead, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK (finale helicopter chase scenes)
• Lunga House, Lunga, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK (pier for finale boat chase scenes)
• Lunga, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK (pier for finale boat chase scenes)
• Madrid, Spain (inserts/pick-up shots of rats)
• Pendik, Turkey (village sequence)
• Pinewood Gardens, Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK (Renaissance Garden exteriors)
Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK (studio)
• Scotland, UK (finale helicopter and boat chase scenes)
• Spice Market, Istanbul, Turkey (market)
• Venice, Veneto, Italy (ending)
• Yerebatan Saray Sarniçi, Sultanahmet Square, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey (Basilica Cistern - James Bond and Kerim Bey escape with the Lektor decoding machine)

Vehicles used during the filming: (Source: BMT 216A: The James Bond Vehicle Library)

• Bentley 4 ½ Liter Sports Tourer (car)
• Chevrolet C10 Apache (car)
• Citroën Traction Avant (car)
• Fairey Huntress 23 (boat)
• Fairey Huntsman 28 (boat)
• Ford station wagon - 1960 (car)
• Hiller UH-12E (helicopter)
• Istanbul taxi
• Plymouth Savoy 1959 (car)
• Rolls Royce Phantom V (car)
• Venetian water taxi

Over the years, FSWL has been fortunate to meet, and written articles about, some of the people that worked on FRWL, here is some of them if you want to read more:

>Albert R. Broccoli (Producer)
>Bob Anderson (Stuntman)
>Desmond Llewelyn as Boothroyd
>Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench
>Harry Saltzman (Producer)
>Jan Williams as Masseuse
>John Barry (Soundtrack composer)
>Leila (Lisa Guiraut) as Gypsy Dancer
>Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
>Martine Beswicke as Zora
>Monty Norman (Composer of the James Bond theme)
>Nadja Regin as Kerim's girl
>Norman Wanstall (Dubbing editor)
>Nosher Powell (Stuntman)
>Peter Hunt (Editor)
>Richard Maibaum (Screenwriter)
>Rocky Taylor (Stuntman)
>Sean Connery as James Bond
>Syd Cain (Art Director)
>Terry Richards (Stuntman)

Dubbing editor and FSWL supporter Norman Wanstall remembers working on the film:

"I have no hesitation in admitting that of the five Bonds I worked on, this is my favourite. And considering the amount of sound-effects required for trains, boats and planes it was probably the most demanding. Fortunately, after the success of Dr. No (1962), the budget doubled (to 2 Million US dollars), so when I approached the production office with expensive requests, they were more eager to please than they had been previously.

Re-recording the helicopter chase was a particularly expensive session. When I requested a large mixed crowd of Turks and Russians for the gypsy camp scene, they were supplied without question. The end result certainly met with the approval of director Terence Young who congratulated me on the authentic atmosphere the voices created. The brilliant sound recordist John Mitchell was allowed to disguise himself as one of the baddies in the speed boat chase, so that I could secretly make recordings of the boats’ engines as the scene was being shot.

For the fist-fight scene in the train between Bond and Red Grant, I re-recorded all the violent body moves for dramatic effect. Very pleased that the scene was played out against the thundering rattle of the speeding train instead of music.

Sadly, before the end of shooting, I was called to London to supervise the re-recording of certain dialogue lines spoken by Pedro Armendariz. It emerged that Pedro was in fact a very sick man, and we were forced to shoot his scenes in high priority order. Within days of his departure from the UK the crew was informed of his tragic death."

Photo above:
The original Swedish film poster for From Russia with Love (1963) from the FSWL collection.

Read more about the film From Russia with Love on MGM's official website:



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