The way the men strut around in From Russia with Love, you'd think MI6 and SPECTRE were breeding peacocks instead of secret agents. Bond, full of martinis and cockiness, initially rejects Q Branch's life-saving gadgets. Although Kronsteen could get a checkmate with his eyes closed, he's too full of himself to consider that Bond might not be just another pawn on his chessboard. And although Grant can do a flawless British accent, beating Bond takes more than enunciating some posh-sounding vowels.
At one point or another, all of these men are on the receiving end of a pin to their self-esteem balloon. It either temporarily deflates them—like when Bond thinks Tania has betrayed him, the great 007—or is a lethal puncture like the one Kronsteen's subjected to when executed by Number One's henchman.
The lesson learned is this: If you find yourself needing to get the upper hand on a (male, they're always male) secret spy, kick him where it really hurts: in the ego.
Questions About Pride
Kronsteen believes his plan to be foolproof. Where does he go wrong?
Would you describe Bond as proud? When does he let his insecurities show?
Almost all of the men in the movie exhibit some form of pride. What, if anything, did they do to earn this pride?
Would you describe any of the women in the film as proud? Why or why not?
Chew on This
Ye olde proverb "Pride goeth before destruction" is particularly apt in From Russia with Love. All the major bad guys (and one good guy, Kerim Bey) meet their ends moments after thinking they've come out on top.
Bond fits right in among Dirty Harry, Cool Hand Luke, and the bikers from Easy Rider, male protagonists who were cool as a cucumber on the surface, hot-headed underneath, and appeared to succeed effortlessly.