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4.7 out of 5 stars162
4.7 out of 5 stars
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In what is arguably the finest outing of the pre-70's Bond era, From Russia With Love makes a welcome entrance to the land of Blu-Ray amongst a batch of other titles from MGM. The film is rightly picked for this first set of releases - it just about sums up everything that is great about James Bond and even manages to correct the very few faults of Dr. No (apart from re-using the areas of the soundtrack!) The lead 'Bond Girl' Daniela Bianchi is a quite exquisite individual, but its also nice to see a younger Robert Shaw (from Jaws) playing the double-crossing Agent who inevitably helps Bond in his mission, but compromises it soon after. The acting all round is superb, and the tones of the film are the most realistic in the entire series. Whats more, the gadgetry is limited - although this was Q's first appearance, even Bond is modest in the need of his knew toys.

Before I bought this Blu-Ray, I did a bit of research to see how the Lowry restoration compared to the other efforts, and was quizzed to read that some individuals didn't think it was impressive as Dr. No. I would however have to disagree. There are no faults in the restoration, but I can see that the picture is not always as sharp/crisp as that of Dr. No purely because there are more out-of-focus shots in this film. This is very easy to spot and demonstrated on several occasions; whereas the final hotel scene with Kleb and Bonds fight is perfectly in focus, some earlier scenes don't jump as much. To the average viewer, this is probably nit-picking, but I just thought I'd point this out to correct those disrespecting the amazing work that goes into restoring these films. The extras are, again, in abundance too.

In short, this is an essential purchase not just for Bond fans, but for any movie lover. If North By North West was, as Hitchcock suggested, "the very first Bond film", then this is arguably the sequel by any measure.
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on 13 February 2015
The very best Bond film,thanks to Robert Shaw.
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on 13 December 2015
Excellent quality DVD Movie, enjoyed the film
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Probably my favourite Bond movie (I'm torn between it and 'Thunderball'), 'From Russia with Love' is the second and definitive edition of the genre since it excels in more areas than most, namely an excellent cast (not just Connery of course, but others such as Robert Shaw), copious use of beautiful locations in Istanbul and Venice, a robust plot and some terrific action sequences; the only blemish is perhaps that the musical soundtrack is more subdued than usual...

Supplement those key ingredients with the introduction of 'Q' (the gadget-master), more titillation than usual (not just Bond vs Moneypenny !) and the most authentic/brutal 'violence' of any Bond film and you know you're onto a winner. Now present the whole thing with a stunning transfer on Blu-ray and the entertainment is guaranteed - even if you've seen it umpteen times like me !

The plot is not too complicated, involving 'SPECTRE' duping Bond into obtaining a Russian deciphering machine from a supposed female defector, based in Istanbul, with the intention of actually getting it for themselves (to sell back to the Russians) but also to murder Bond in revenge for him killing their operative, 'Dr No' (in the first film) - all courtesy of their ruthless assassin 'Red Grant (Shaw). The story unfolds to cover how Bond liaises with the Turkish secret service, makes his (often intimate !) approaches to the Russian defector and ultimately deals with everything once he realises the actual reasons for the mission.

There is little 'gloss' in this movie, save for the glamour of the leading lady (ex-model Daniela Bianchi who plays the Russian Tatiana Romanova) and other supporting actresses; even the gadgetry is low-key, with a rather underwhelming 'special' briefcase being the only thing on offer (it still amuses me how much attention is given to covering the very rudimentary 'booby trap' feature it has, along with the overplayed attempts at instilling tension when Bond checks he knows how to deactivate it !).

Instead, what we get are those aforementioned beautiful panoramics (which also include the Scottish Glens, pretending to be somewhere much further East !), several lengthy and involved set-piece action scenes (eg a major gunfight at a Turkish Gypsy camp, a very explosive boat battle and a low-level helicopter 'chase') and lots of fighting. The pinnacle of that latter element is the 'showdown' clash between Bond and Grant, which takes place in the sleeper cabin of a train; the sequence is frantic, highly-charged and easily the most 'coarsely' violent of any 007 film - when it's over, Bond is understandably flushed, exhausted and sweaty...

This is a gritty Bond movie where characters slowly die on the screen rather then disappearing out of view leaving their demise to the imagination...

I also think Connery is at his best in this movie; not just because of all the athleticism he displays, but also because he really 'acts'. There are numerous times he shows quite wonderfully the softer, sarcastic, side of his character along with many moments of dramatic mood change - note the marvellous change in his persona towards Tatiana before and after temporarily leaving their train cabin, during which time he gets some very bad news. There are also more close-ups than you will see elsewhere which just concentrate on his expression, often featuring his quite memorable 'sour puss' face ! He reaches peaks of excellence equalling his best work, which I still think is presented in the excellent 1965 film drama 'The Hill' (if you haven't seen that, you're really missing something...).

As hinted at earlier, on Blu-ray 'From Russia with Love' is spectacular; appearing vibrant, spotless, layered and pin-sharp. It could not look any better.

All the extras (most in HD) are ported from the 'ultimate' DVD issue and are well-worth checking out, if only to learn how the production process was plagued with problems and tragedy.

Buy, watch and be entertained !
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on 27 March 2011
"From russia with love" is probably the most intricately plotted of all the Connery bond films, storywise it has more scope and intrigue than the rather basic "Goldfinger" and Connery is more confident than his performance ( albeit a very good one) in Dr No. The story was somewhat changed from Flemings original novel and the screenplay went through lots of re-writes with regular Bond writer Richard Maibaum sometimes delivering script revisons to the actors on the day of shooting. The script was just not gelling properly and for a while it looked like the whole Bond franchise could come tumbling down before it had chance to start!, coupled with the serious illness of a cast member and then added re-shoots this was the most problematic Bond of them all! Fortunately it all came together and the movie went onto be a huge success around the world cementing Connery as a star.

This new Blu ray edition is quite superb. Lowry digitals remastering of these films is nothing short of a revelation, whilst i wouldn't say that they look like they've been shot yesterday (it looks like a 60's movie should do) all traces of dirt and other picture gremlins have all been erased leaving a very warm and rich picture with lovely fine detail present in many mid and close range shots. Look at the scene near the start where Red Grant (Robert Shaw) is lying in a garden with a girl, it looks amazing, every blade of grass can be picked out - Beautiful. These new 1080p HD editions will look even more amazing to many as a lot of the Bond films have been seen in the years gone by on small tv screens with ropey VHS quality pictures, this is how this film was meant to be seen, so if your a Bond fan or are just discovering these movies then your in for a treat.

The extra's are the same as the DVD 2 disc edition remaster but it fairly comprehensive with an audio commentary with many of the cast and crew inc the late John Barry. There's the usual making of,an interesting documentary on Bond producer Harry Saltzman and several interviews with Ian Fleming which are quite rare.

Great films, great extras and even greater pic quality, this surely must be a no brainer!!

4/5
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on 23 November 2015
007 clean, hard and with Sean Connery
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on 24 June 2008
In only his second outing as the worlds most famous spy Connery commands the screen now in a way only hinted at in Dr No. Not only is Connery's acting much better he seems to have grown in much the same way Bond does in the books. The malevolence and boredom which Flemmings Bond has when not engaged on a mission is evidently present as is his belief in putting the Job before all else. Taking Daniel Craig aside Connery in From Russia With Love is the only other Bond to have what Craig described as a physical presence capable of the acts he portrays on screen. The final fight scene would be unbelievable without this, given the menace and physicality of his opponent brilliantly built up throughout the film, much in keeping with Flemming's original novel.

The remastering as with others in the series is completed very well, a much better experience than the Christmas day cuts of days gone by. The surround sound track is particularly engaging and really does add to the action movie experience.

A highly recommended movie and probably one of the best Bond films made. It has it all great action, menacing intelligent villains and a very possible plot. Flemmings knowledge of the scale of an intelligence section required to achieve the aims of the plot really adding to the story-line.
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on 2 June 2016
Classic film. Best Bond film ever.
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on 6 October 2014
Hard to see why we got so excited about James Bond back in the sixties. This has not aged well.
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on 2 May 2015
In my opinion the best Bond movie
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