The Diegetic James Bond: From Russia with Love (1963)

John Barry took over scoring duties with the second movie in the James Bond franchise, a role in which he would continue for another ten Bond films over the next nearly 25 years. In this case, though, he didn’t write any of the three main pieces of source music that appeared in the movie.

“From Russia with Love”

The first title song in the franchise, “From Russia with Love” was a lush ballad written by musical theater’s Lionel Bart, whose Oliver! was still packing in crowds in London’s West End. Matt Monro, an English crooner often described as “the man with the golden voice,” recorded the song. Monro had released a string of hits in the early 1960s — including “Portrait of My Love,” “My Kind of Girl” and “Softly as I Leave You” among others — often working with Beatles producer George Martin.

“From Russia with Love” would play over the closing credits of the movie. It also appeared as source music, issuing from a transistor radio on a passing boat as Bond and Sylvia Trench lounge by a river. This was the first time, though not the last, that a James Bond theme song was shown to exist within the Bond universe.

Gypsy Camp Source Cues

Like Dr. No before it, From Russia with Love included source music from an exotic locale in the movie — in this case, Turkey. These cues included a very brief snippet of a Muslim call to prayer and a pair of songs heard in the gypsy camp that Bond visits with Kerim Bay: one as he and Kerim enter the camp and the other during a belly dance accompanied by onscreen musicians playing violin, clarinet and tambourine.

The gypsy camp scenes were filmed to unidentified recordings of what was likely “authentic” gypsy music. Barry later wrote a cue (“Leila Dances”) to use in place of this music. But for reasons unknown, the unidentified recordings remained in the final edit of the movie.