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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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The second in the Bond movie canon, and a satisfying balance is achieved in this, Sean Connery's favourite of the series. The plot is satisfyingly spy-like, with decoding machines, double crosses and foreign venues...
Cold war politics are not emphasised here, but instead Spectre, a fictional terrorist and extortion organisation, is invented for 1960 political correctness sake. However, with Terence Young once again in the director's chair we get a real cold war style spy thriller, as well as an element of the exotic we associate with Bond.
So what do you get for twice the money as Dr. No..? A then stellar cast, including the famous German cabaret star Lotte Lenya, playing Rosa Klebb, the villain who inspires the Connery quip `She's had her kicks', Daniella Bianchi who had just come runner up in Miss Universe, as well as two more beauty pageant contestants, who play the fighting gypsy girls. Robert Shaw plays one of the more convincing and genually menacing villains, and of course Q makes his debut.
The action scenes are varied, and satisfyingly interspersed with a real story, not so far removed from Fleming's original. Most famously of course, is the 6 minute fist fight between Connery and Shaw on the Orient Express, a scene which some producers at the time were worried was just too violent. Mostly, it is Peter Hunt's fantastic editing that makes the scene, and indeed adds a sense of style to the entire movie. Train fight aside, there are also set pieces including a gunfight in a gypsy camp, and a `money-shot' with exploding petrol canisters in a boat chase in a loch.
As for the remastering, the film is now spotless, although there is no one place one can say the restoration has made a startling impact. Indeed, in some places the improved colour correction has made a night scene darker than before, albeit with improved contrast. The sound has become clearer, but without obvious tricksy surround effects on the dts or dolby digital soundtrack.
The extras include all that the special edition had, plus one or two new items. Specifically, some archive material of Ian Fleming. The radio conversation between Raymond Chandler and Fleming is fascinating, while the other CBS interview and desert island disc appearance are of moderate interest but contain nothing surprising. However, even the original extras are worth revisiting, especially the documentary `Inside From Russia with Love', as the trouble shoot of this movie does have some fascinating stories behind it.
All in all, this was not yet quite the Bond movie that would emerge in its full overblown form in Goldfinger, but a terrifically good thriller, especially given its age, and more of a genuine spy movie than the movies to follow.
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on 23 January 2009
Despite the fact that I knew of the major restoration of the Bond catalogue for the Ultimate Edition DVD releases, I avoided buying them since I knew that HD was around the corner in one form or another.

Now that they're here on BD, I can honestly say that this represents the best clean-up of an 'old' title that I've seen. It simply comes alive with rich, vibrant colour, rock-steady image stabilisation and not a single blemish. Details that were not apparent before, such as the cut of Bond's suits or the make-up of his leading lady, are now revealed in stunning clarity. As has been remarked elsewhere, it does indeed look like a period spy thriller filmed in 2009.

The sound has also had a makeover, and although a new mix of DTS HD Master Audio from the original mono makes you think that surround effects will be introduced for their own sake, they're not. Instead are subtle improvements that provide a crystal clear dialogue track and leave the wider soundstage for the musical score.

The special features are copious, with (as far as I'm aware) all the featurettes and documentaries from the previous releases being ported over.

Although it's still early days for my Blu-ray collection, if this is the standard for all the 007 films in the format, then I am in for a treat!
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on 13 February 2009
In my opinion, the quality of the image for From Russia With Love is not quite as good as Dr.No, but then again what is? This film's image quality is still top drawer though, and makes a lot of more modern releases look flat and bland. Even the titles are a treat, with their beautiful vibrant colours, and the shadowy dancers are now clearly defined with some startling detail revealed occasionally by the lighting.

The soundtrack is also a little off par with Dr.No, without that films weight and punch. It still has superb clarity, and subtle effects steering and surround use, which is in keeping with it's mono roots. Generally, it still sounds like an old film though, whereas Dr.No could have been made yesterday. Still, as I have already said, the first film set the bar extremely high, and maybe one of the best Blu-Ray transfers out there.

I believe the extras are identical to the Ultimate Edition DVD, which is fine as they are very exhaustive. A lot of the docs have been bumped to HD as well which is nice. I only have one note of concern, and that is with the length of time it takes to load the disk (at least, with my Sony player), it always looks like it's going to fail and spit it out, you just have to have patience, it does get there in the end (although I've read elsewhere that some early players have genuine problems).
33 comments| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 January 2009
This film on blu ray came alive to me like it never has before when i wayched it last night.I have been watching this film since i was 6 years old(now 29)..I have had it on beta taped of the tv..bought the 1st vhs..bought the widescreen..bought the digitaly remastered version...bought the first dvd..bought the ulitimate edition and now bought the blu ray version and so far this is by far the best release i have ever seen..I can only imagine this is what it is like watching it on the big screen when it first came out.
The picture quality is just fantastic...You can see the lining in Connery's suit...The gel in his hair...
Scenes came alive on blue ray as you see so much more...Just for example when Grant has Bond on the train telling him how he is going to kill him you get the background,the closed rail compartment and Connery;s look of desperation and also thinking how he can get out of this..It has never been so vivid before and i loved it....Can't wait for more of the films to come out on this formart if they are as good as this...
5 stars...Excellent....
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on 26 December 2012
Very much a period piece now (showing many scenes of the 60s), this is classic James Bond action film. Sean Connery is established in his role of OO7 after the strong entrance of Dr.No, and plays it cool once more with the ladies. The film is not overly violent or sexist but does introduce some 'new' gadgets to the screen. Of all the 'old Bonds', and personally I rate this as one of the best. It captures the mood (both politically and internationally) at the time and sits well amongst my top 5 favourite Bond movies up to now. It's appropriate for all ages (unlike some of the newer productions) but does show show clear signs of a more leisurely way of life and gentlemanly code of behaviour, even from 'the baddies'. It is good value for money and comes with some entertaining and many informative extras. Certainly worth a score of 8/10 in my opinion.
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on 21 November 2002
From Russia With Love remains one of the greatest of all Bond movies, in my view eclipsed only by Goldfinger. We are only second in what would prove to be an enduring series (recently added to by the twentieth and latest offering, Die Another Day) so the movie remains relatively true to Ian Fleming's original vision. Fleming died suddenly in 1964, the year after FRWL, and thereafter the film Bond diverged more and more widely from the quite brilliant novels, but here we have a comparatively faithful rendition of the book. You don't have to be a Bond purist to be one of the millions who regard Sean Connery, with his brooding undercurrent of genuine strength and menace not to say brutality, as the definitive Bond, and the late lamented Robert Shaw (here muscle-bound and peroxide blond of hair) makes a splendidly evil villain in the shape of Donovan 'Red' Grant (marvellously malevolent but still toned-down from the homicidal Northern Irish psychopath depicted in the book). As other reviewers have observed, the luscious Daniela Bianchi was surely one of the sexiest in a long line of Bond girls, so, in short, magnificent characters brilliantly played all round in magnificent sets, Istanbul in particular. Add on a tuneful title song from the velvet-voiced Matt Monro and the greatest fight sequence ever filmed (Connery and Shaw hurl themselves at each other on the train with jaw-droppingly realistic savagery) and you have Bond (almost---see above) at his very best. Buy film in format of your choice: watch: repeat regularly.
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VINE VOICEon 23 March 2015
James Bond is sent to Istanbul to steal a secret Russian decoding machine after a female Russian agent who has claimed to have fallen in love with Bond defects. But it is a trap set by SPECTRE to kill Bond who want revenge for the death of Doctor No. One of the most realistic Bond films, this first sequel is a cold war thriller with terrorist organisation SPECTRE pitting Russia against Britain. Sean Connery returns as Bond with another excellent performance and the film sees gadget man Q make his debut in the series though the gadget here, a briefcase is very basic compared to the more fantastic gadgets that would come later, and the first theme tune makes an appearance though not yet over the opening credits but the start of the series is very much taking shape, with SPECTRE sending 2 memorable Bond villains and a glimpse of Blofeld, SPECTRE's boss who appears here mainly as a voice and seen stroking a cat though his face is never seen. The film looks fantastic on bluray, completely restored and cleaned up with some excellent performances and very tense with some terrific action scenes. An absolute classic that remains one of the best Bond films and one of the all time great spy films.
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on 27 April 2016
A very good film that I am sure many will enjoy at any time of the week
or time of day
Get a nice mug tea an some biccies put your feet up and enjoy your self

Sorry Ladies not a weepy

But a film that's worth Five Gold Stars at any time so try going for
the collection as I am doing
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on 13 March 2015
I have always enjoyed this film and regard it as one of the finest Bond films. Everything about this film works, it has good action scenes and two of the best Bond villains in Rosa Klebb and Red Grant. Daniella Bianchi also makes a good Bond girl and she has great chemistry with Sean Connery in the film. I know that most Bond fans regard Goldfinger as the quintessential Connery Bond film but, for me, this is much better and less sillier than Goldfinger. I give it four stars and it is well worth checking out, if you are a Bond fan and if you haven't already seen it. It is a pity that none of the Connery films that followed matched this, but that is just my opinion.
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on 16 August 2015
bought out of curiosity to compare with the book and audio which I just purchased, though I've seen the film several times on TV. The characterizations are brilliant, but the story line wanders off the book in places. Robert Shaw as Grant is believable as the killer, but I found Bianchi as Tatiana an average office secretary of the 60's, hardly the breathtaking goddess that the book suggests.
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