Study Guide

From Russia With Love Betrayal

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What's Double O-Seven's middle name?


Double-Cross O-Seven.

Okay, it sounded funnier in our head. Hey, just be glad we're not throwing another "In Soviet Russia…" joke at you.

But seriously, folks. There are more crosses, double crosses, and triples crosses than a marathon session of naughts & crosses (that's Queen's English for tic-tac-toe). And for all our talk about how sneaky and deceptive SPECTRE is, Bond also pretends to be an ally with someone he'd drop at a moment's notice. At least that's the impression you'd get in From Russia with Love considering how Bond demands Tania's loyalty…a loyalty we're not quite sure he ever extends back to her.

Unlike SPECTRE's Number One, however, Bond doesn't betray all his allies. Bond stays loyal to Kerim Bey until the end, whereas Number One doesn't hesitate to kill his loyal agents with a swift kick from a poisoned boot. The spy game is one that's difficult to win. But in SPECTRE, the game plays you.

Questions About Betrayal

  1. What does SPECTRE consider a betrayal, and how does it punish those who betray them?
  2. The Russians and the British have an amiable rivalry in Istanbul at the beginning of the movie. What's the turning point? Does either side realize they're being manipulated?
  3. Would you consider Tania a traitor? She thinks she's doing her duty for Mother Russia, but she decides to stay with Bond in the end. Does she realize that it's SPECTRE who betrayed her and not her country?

Chew on This

Betrayal is part of the spy game, so you'd think there would be no hard feelings. Yet everyone takes betrayal quite personally. Bond especially. He's using Tania to get to the Lektor machine, but when he suspects that she is using him, he becomes furious at her. He's a double-o hypocrite.

Betrayal often occurs underground, below decks on the SPECTRE ship or beneath Istanbul, for example. It's almost as if the setting of these acts is symbolic.

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