James Bond Character - Red Grant
|30 (Born 1927)
Red Grant was a convicted murderer who appeared in the 1957 novel From Russia with Love, and the 1963 film of the same name. He was recruited by Rosa Klebb for a mission to steal a Lektor decoding machine from the Russian's with the inadvertent assistance of a Russian girl and the British Government.
|From Russia with Love (1963)
The Character in the Movie
Donald Grant was a convicted murderer who escaped from Dartmoor prison in 1960. He was recruited in Tangier by SPECTRE two years later, where he underwent intense training with live targets. When not on a mission, he would live and train on SPECTRE Island, the equivalent to Grant's villa in the novel, so presumably located off the coast of southeast Russia.
Rosa Klebb, the prior Head of Operations for SMERSH, had defected and gone to work for SPECTRE. She had hand picked Grant for an important mission to steal a Lektor decoding machine from the Russian's with the inadvertent assistance of a beautiful Russian girl and the British government. Klebb went to meet Grant on SPECTRE Island, punching him in the stomach with a knuckle duster to test his strength.
At the beginning of 1963's From Russia with Love, Red Grant is seen sneakily following James Bond through a maze. He pulls a hidden garrote wire out of his watch and jumps out on Bond, strangling him to death. The whole set then abruptly lights up and a mask is removed from the face of the fake James Bond. It is revealed that Grant was in training, practising for the real mission.
Grant tailed 007 all around Turkey from the moment he arrived at the airport. He saved his life at the Gypsy camp and killed a Bulgar who had been following him. He also tailed Tatiana, watching her every move. As planned, Tatiana led Bond out of Istanbul on the Orient Express Train. Grant was there all along, watching them both. He killed a Russian Security man called Benz, as well as Kerim Bey, making it look like they'd killed each other.
Bond got off the train to tell one of Kerim's sons that his father was dead. Grant listened in and heard that Bond was sending for a backup agent. So at the next stop, Grant got off quickly and killed the agent. He then met with Bond, pretending to be the agent he had just killed, introducing himself as Nash. Interestingly, this is the first time Grant talks in the film.
He had dinner with Bond and Tatiana Romanova, ordering red wine with fish. Bond smelt that something was wrong, but dismissed his suspicion. During the meal, Grant knocked over Tatiana's drink, and added chloral hydrate while refilling her glass. Unlike in the novel, Bond noticed the drop, and put a gun upto Grant when they got back to their compartment.
Grant explained that his escape route was only for one and that he needed the girl out of the way. Bond foolishly believed him and went to look at Grant's map. While Grant explained the escape, he took a gun out of his sock and smashed Bond over the head. He told Bond that he was working for SPECTRE and that he was going to stage a murder and a suicide. He would make it look like Bond had killed Tatiana for trying to expose a honeymoon video to the press, killing himself afterwards. Grant would take the Lektor and make a fool of the British Government.
Bond asked to buy a cigarette with 50 gold sovereigns located in his attache case. Grant asked if there were any in the other case and opened it himself. The case was actually from Q, and Grant had opened it incorrectly, causing a tear gas bomb to explode in his face. Bond wasted no time, and knocked the gun out of Grants hands. There was a long fight, and Grant nearly killed Bond with his garrote wire watch. However, Bond had pulled a knife out of his attache case and stabbed Grant just in time, taking his watch and strangling him to death.
Red Grant was one of our Top 10 Bond Villains »
The Character in the Novel
Red Grant first appeared in Ian Fleming's novel From Russia with Love, published in 1957. He was the Chief Executioner of SMERSH, and was a vicious, cruel killer. He had no friends, not even within his work. He had absolutely no interest in politics, so he didn't care who he killed.
- Fine blond hair
- Pale blue, opaque eyes
- Small, thin lips
- Golden moustache (possibly a prop)
- Strong, well built body
- Handsome face with pink cheeks, an upturned nose and a rounded chin
- Orange freckles on his shoulders
- Wears cheap, respectable, non-descript clothes
- Membership badges to exquisite clubs
- A filled moneyclip
- Dunhill lighter
- Gold, oval shaped cigarette case
- Novel: The Little Nugget by P.G Wodehouse
- Many other thrillers lined up underneath his window
- Girard-Perregaux wristwatch
- Battered Italian fibre suitcase
- Copy of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace with an embedded gun operated by pressing a button at the base of the spine
History: His childhood
Grant's Father was a professional weight lifting German, and his Mother was a waitress from southern Ireland. Grant was conceived on a damp patch of grass around the back of a circus tent in Belfast. His father payed her and left. She realized that she was pregnant and decided to move in with her aunt, who lived in a small village called Aughmacloy.
Six months later she gave birth to a 12 pound baby, who she named Donovan Grant (Grant being her name and Donovan coming from the Father's stage name "The Mighty O' Donovan"). Shortly after giving birth, she died of Puerperal Fever, most likely due to the unsanitary conditions of a home birth.
Grant was raised by his Aunt, and he became extremely strong and healthy because of his weightlifting. He was a very quiet child however, and was very unsociable. He would beat up kids at school to get what he wanted, and he became unpopular and feared because of it. He started boxing at the local fairs and managed to beat older opponents due to his strength and his cruel, bloodthirsty fighting style.
Through his boxing, he met the Sinn Feiners and other local smugglers who were using the village as a pipeline. He started working for them, and was paid very well, although he rarely met with them.
History: the Full Moon of a Killer
When he turned 16, Grant felt his body begin to change. On an October night, when the full moon came out, he developed strong, violent compulsions. He strangled a cat with his bare hands and realized that it relieved his urges. Every month when the full moon showed, Grant would get the same feelings, and his desires would grow. He stepped up from a cat and killed a sheep dog and then a cow.
He was smart enough to realize that it would raise suspicion if he were to kill all the animals in the same village, so he bought a bike and rode it to further and more remote places each month. He killed geese and chickens and hens and soon found that animals weren't satisfying his desires any longer. One night while he was riding through some woods, he stumbled upon a tramp and killed him.
He found that humans were more of a thrill for him, and he started cycling further and further for hours to find girls that were walking home late at night. He didn't rape them however, as killing them was the part he liked.
When he was nearing his 18th birthday, panic spread and police and vigilantes groups formed. Storied started appearing in the papers about a full-moon killer. Grant was sometimes stopped on his bike, but he claimed he was merely training for his boxing. He was backed up by the people from his village so the police didn't suspect him.
Grant became a contender for the Northern Island Light Heavyweight Championship. To avoid getting found out, he decided to move to Belfast and train with a very strict boxing coach. He was nearly thrown out for killing 2 people in the ring, but he was allowed to stay after winning the championship, in 1945 on his 18th birthday.
Grant went into compulsory national service and became a driver in the royal corps. To satisfy his urges, he would drink an entire bottle of hard alcohol in the middle of the woods so that he wouldn't get arrested for murder. He was punished for drinking, but got it easy because of his army boxing affiliation.
He was later transferred to Berlin, and missed his championship. But Grant didn't mind, because he loved the Russian's who were based there, and their disregard for human life.
History: Entering SMERSH
Grant was kicked out of the Royal Corps for dirty fighting, so he stole some top secret outgoing mail and went to the Russian sector of the Military Intelligence Headquarters. He told them about the documents and asked to see someone high up. He was taken to an MGB Colonel, and he told him all of the secrets and information he knew about the military and asked for a job.
The Colonel called SMERSH and Grant was assigned a test mission to kill a Dr. Baumgarten. He completed the task and was flown to Moscow after SMERSH had confirmed his background. He had to attend a tough school for 2 years where he excelled in communications and other operational skills. He then spent a year learning Judo, boxing, athletics and further communication skills.
Twice during the year, Grant was taken away at the full moon and monitored while he killed people with various weapons. He began to complete small operations, still being constantly watched. He had a passport under the name Krassno Granitski and had the codename "Granit". He was allowed to kill people at the full moon as a reward for successful missions.
He was granted Soviet citizenship and got a pay rise. In 1953, he was given the rank Major and earned back-dated pension rights and his own villa, complete with 2 around-the-clock guards. He was transported to a jail every month at the full moons. Grant stayed with SMERSH and eventually was promoted to the Chief Executioner.
In 1953, after being promoted, Grant was awarded with his own private home.
- Surrounded by an acre of well kept garden, with 12 foot high walls around the perimeter.
- The garden, located at the back of the villa, contained hundreds of rose bushes and even more bees.
- Around the back of the house was a swimming pool, surrounded by a spacious lawn.
- A pale green tiled area led from the pool to the villa, which had pink washed walls, glass double doors and iron framed windows.
- The front of the villa had a sturdy oak door with barred windows, facing out onto a dusty road leading down the cliff
- The villa is a two story building, with two average sized bedrooms upstairs, with views of the sea
- Downstairs, there is a living room, kitchen and bathroom
- Grant had a bleak, plain room with an iron bed, a single chair, an unpainted wardrobe and a cheap stand with a tin basin.
- Two guards who do the cooking and cleaning
A masseuse would go to the villa, strip, and massage Grant's entire body. She would then go for a swim in the pool and leave when her car arrived. She was told she would go to jail if she told anyone anything. She was sometimes told to leave for weeks or even months on end, and Grant came back all bruised and tense, with the after effects of surgery.
His final mission
Grant went to meet Rosa Klebb and was hit in the stomach with a brass knuckle-duster, to test that he was as strong as needed. Klebb told him that the plan was to lure James Bond into Istanbul with the beautiful girl Tatiana Romanova and a Spektor decoding machine. Tatiana would lead Bond out of the country on the Orient Express train, where Grant was to intercept him. He then had to kill them both and make it look like Bond had killed the girl and then himself, to humiliate the Secret Service.
Grant contacted Bond with that months code phrase:
Excuse me. Could I borrow a match?
I use a lighter
Until they go wrong
Which was extracted earlier from a small-time agent working for the service. He wore:
- A mackintosh over a reddish brown tweed coat
- Flannel trousers
- A pale yellow summer shirt
- A red handkerchief in his breast pocket
- A dark blue and red zig-zagged tie of the Royal Engineers, tied with a windsor knot
- A gold signet ring on his right hand
- An old silver watch with a tatty leather strap
He told Bond that he had got a signal from M the night before, and presented Bond with a card saying "Captain Norman Nash, Royal Automobile Club". He acted quite shy and went off, apparently to inspect the train. He later joined Bond and Tatiana for lunch and knocked over her glass, slipping some Chloral Hydrate in while refilling it. The move went unnoticed and he took Tatiana back to her compartment.
Grant made up a story about a shifty American in the next compartment and said he would take the first watch. He asked for Bond's gun, saying he hadn't got one. In the middle of the night, near his destination, Grant woke up Bond for a chat. Bond looked at his watch and Grant shot the face with precise accuracy with a gun embedded in a copy of War and Peace.
He decided to tell Bond the whole story instead of killing him on the spot. He told Bond that he had been filmed in the honeymoon suite with Tatiana and that he would be found with a letter from Tatiana saying that she would go to the press if he didn't marry her. He would then stage the murder and suicide.
He told Bond that he would shoot him through the heart, so Bond asked to have a cigarette and he kept it on his lap. When Grant shot him, Bond held the case up to his heart and deflected the bullet. He played dead and waited for Grant to move. Bond then grabbed a knife hidden in his case and stabbed Grant in the leg. They fought and struggled and then Bond picked up Grant's special shooting book and shot him dead.