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Steam Sparky, Sparky

Bond 2: From Russia with Love

I'm (re)watching the James Bond movies as research for BC:2007 and, mostly for my own benefit, am writing some notes about each one.

Bond movie no. 2: From Russia with Love, released 1963.

!!Spoiler Warning!!

The following is just a series of random observations, not a proper review or synopsis.

SPECTRE is central to the plot. There is a villian with a white cat on his lap, and we never see his face. He sets three fighting fish against each other. Says two of them are pretty stupid, but the third one is smarter because it waits until the other two are tired out from fighting each other before striking. "Like SPECTRE," he says. He feeds one of the dead fish to the cat.
Mention of SMERSH - apparently the Russian equivalent of MI6.
Sylvia Trench makes a brief reappearance.
The Bond girl is a gorgeous Russian decoding clerk called Tatiana Romanova who has been ordered by a woman called Kleb who she thinks is in charge of SMERSH (but has actually defected to SPECTRE) to seduce Bond and feed false information to him. She contacts MI6 and says she wants to defect and bring a "Lecter" decoding machine with her, but she'll only give herself up to Bond himself. MI6 realises it's an obvious trap but treats it as a challenge and goes along with it, as predicted by the chess grand master working for SPECTRE who planned the whole thing.
First appearance of Q. Gadgets: a black leather briefcase containing a folding sniper's rifle with night sight, a hidden throwing knife, 50 gold sovereigns, and a tear gas booby trap.
Bond checks into a hotel room and immediately notices a bug behind a painting. Calls down to reception and says "the room won't do; the bed's too small." They move him to the bridal suite.
The British ambassador takes Bond boating through a 1600 year old underground reservoir in order to spy on the Russian embassy through a submarine periscope that sticks up through the floor of the boardroom.
The ambassador takes Bond to a Romany gipsy camp. Two young women fight each other to decide who will get to marry the chief's son, but the fight is interrupted by Russian gunmen who have come to kill the ambassador, because they think he killed one of their agents (actually, SPECTRE did it). After defeating the gunmen, Bond asks the chief not to restart the fight to decide which girl will marry his son. The chief agrees but only if Bond chooses between the girls.
The ambassador uses Bond's sniper rifle to kill one of the Russians as he tries to escape through the mouth of a woman painted on the side of a building.
The Bond girl sneaks into Bond's hotel bedroom and seduces him, while the hotel manager films them from the other side of a one-way mirror (later revealed to be part of an elaborate SPECTRE plot to discredit both SMERSH and MI6).
Another gadget: a portable voice recorder disguised as a medium format twin lens reflex camera.
Bond gets buzzed by a SPECTRE helicopter in a scene reminiscent of North by Northwest. He shoots it down with one shot from the sniper rifle.
Speedboat chase. Bond dumps barrels of petrol in the water behind him and ignites them with a flare gun.
Kleb dresses as a maid and tries to kill Bond using a poison tipped spike in the toe of her shoe. The Bond girl shoots her.
The film ends with them together in the back of a boat sailing away from Venice.