Study Guide

From Russia With Love Col. Rosa Klebb / Number Three (Lotte Lenya)

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Col. Rosa Klebb / Number Three (Lotte Lenya)


Red-headed Col. Klebb may be Number Three in SPECTRE, but she's Number One to us if we're ranking the villains in this movie. Clearly an inspiration for Austin Powers's Frau Farbissina, Rosa Klebb is the hatchet-faced head of Operations for Soviet Intelligence, aka SMERSH.

Or she was.

Klebb has secretly defected to SPECTRE. She recruits Tania under the pretense of a mission for the Soviet Union, but she's actually manipulating Tania into betraying her own country.

Tough as Nails

Like everyone in this film, Klebb isn't that hard to understand. She's living 100% on the dark side. She's betrayed her country for an evil organization, and she's all business when it comes to killing and scheming.

KLEBB: My time is limited. Is the man I requested ready?

MORZENY: His dossier.

KLEBB: Good. Donald Grant, convicted murderer. Escaped Dartmoor Prison in nineteen sixty. Recruited in Tangier nineteen sixty-two. Excellent.

Obviously, Grant is her kind of guy. When she meets him a few minutes later, she walks all around him checking him out, then punches him in the gut with brass knuckles.

KLEBB: He seems fit enough. Have him report to me in Istanbul in twenty-four hours.

She immediately turns and walks away. No small talk for this hardened spymaster.

When picking a girl to seduce James Bond, Klebb seems to enjoy the interview process.

KLEBB: You're a fine-looking girl.

She also caresses Tania while questioning her, suggesting the Sapphic Soviet wouldn't say nyet to a more intimate mission with her subordinate.

After Klebb's first plan to retrieve the Lektor fails, she shows her true grit. Armed with a knife in her boot, she attempts to retrieve the machine from Bond all by herself while impersonating a hotel chambermaid. She would've gotten away with it, too, were it not for Tania shooting her dead, putting an end to this brief Red scare.

Actually, don't we feel a little sorry for Rosa Klebb? Leaving a top Soviet spy job to work in the shadows for what she thinks will be a world-dominating SPECTRE, and ending up dead in a hotel maid's outfit, shot by the woman she hired to carry out her scheme?

Nope. We don't.

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