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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Bond movie, from the golden era
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...
Published on 24 July 2007 by Mr. Stephen Kennedy

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Shows its age.
Hard to see why we got so excited about James Bond back in the sixties. This has not aged well.
Published 1 month ago by Richard Ashton


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Bond movie, from the golden era, 24 July 2007
By 
Mr. Stephen Kennedy "skenn1701a" (Doha, Qatar) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like it was filmed yesterday, 23 Jan 2009
By 
Chris White (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Package and one of the best bonds, 19 Jan 2009
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: From Russia with Love (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
This is the Bond film that gets the balance right between being a proper spy thriller and a few nice girls and one 'gadget'. The opening pre-credits sequence is one of the best ever made. Robert Shaw plays Red Grant a psychotic killer who is put to the test and kills Bond before the film starts.

If the film doesn't quite maintain this standard for the rest of the film it never falls far short. When Grant and Bond do meet for real nearer the end of the film its one of the best climaxes to any Bond film. Contrary to a previous reviewer I believe the sequence in the boat with Bond examining the 8mm film is included in this release.

The Bourne films forced Bond filmmakers to go back to making tougher more realistic spy thrillers. If the contempary filmmakers had watched this they would known where they were going wrong much earlier.

Amazingly, baring in mind this film was made in 1963, there is a directors commentary. Its a shame that Sean Connery hasn't contributed but you can't have everything. Overall a very good release now available at a good price.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A near-masterpiece from the Golden Age of Bond films . . ., 21 Nov 2002
This review is from: From Russia With Love [DVD] (DVD)
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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another terrific Bond Blu-Ray, 13 Feb 2009
By 
K. O'Leary (Milton Keynes, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You may know the right wines, but you're the one on your knees.", 12 Dec 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
With an embryonic and not entirely successful Robert Brownjohn title sequence of credits projected onto body of belly dancer (some great spelling mistakes here, as `Monte' Norman and `Martin' Beswicke's agents probably pointed out!), Barry's first official Bond score and Blofeld's first (off-screen) appearance, the formula is clearly beginning to fall into place. This was also the first of the series to have a pre-title sequence, one of the few that relates directly to the film's plot, and it is still by far the most successful of any of them.

The gadgets that were to eventually get so out of hand make their first appearance in the form of Bond's ingenious attaché case, but at least here they are still entirely credible - nothing more extravagant than a well kitted-out briefcase and a breakaway sniper's rifle. Series regular Walter Gotell also makes his first appearance, though not as General Gogol but as the head of a S.P.E.C.T.R.E. training school. Unlike the cute and lovable old Russian bear at SMERSH in the Moore films, here he is cheerfully ruthless and businesslike, using live targets in training courses.

Bond's snobbery is much to the fore here. "Red wine with fish, that should have told me something," he tells Robert Shaw's working class homicidal paranoiac, the best and most genuinely threatening of the Bond heavies ("You may know the right wines, but you're the one on your knees."). It also establishes the sexual deviancy of the villains in Rosa Klebb's lesbian tendencies (very apparent as her hand wanders onto Daniella Bianchi's knee). With Bond such an amoral figure, the villains had to be even more immoral and perverse: always bastions of authority, usually millionaires they get their kicks planning global crimes, so depravity is simply foreplay to them. Even Vladek Sheybal's chess master Kronstein, looking for all the world like Vladimir Putin with mild indigestion, seems at a remove from mere mortal pleasures.

It's still the best of the series and most convincingly plotted, an excellent crane shot of the chequered setting for a chess tournament sets the scene for the chess-like nature of the plot as factions co-existing in uneasy truces are set off against each other. Indeed, directorially this is considerably more ambitious and assured than its predecessor, evident in the skilfully handled church scene and a beautifully blocked scene as Bond is followed along a train platform by Shaw inside the train.

Sadly, while pitched as the `Ultimate Edition,' the transfer on this repackaged two-disc DVD edition and subsequent Blu-ray releaseis still problematic. The picture quality is certainly improved over the original single-disc issue, but rather than the original British 1.66:1 ratio, it's presented in the cropped 1.85:1, but worse still, the ending is still missing footage of Bond examining the reel of compromising 8mm film in the gondola before the end title. As with Dr No there's not a huge amount of new extra material over the extras from previous release, all of which are carried over here, but it's pretty good - extracts from Ian Fleming on radio show Desert Island Discs, a TV interview with the author and a featurette on Fleming and Raymond Chandler. Purists might want to note that the original mono soundtrack is only available on the US Region A-locked Blu-ray.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, 10 Aug 2014
By 
This is the second bond and possibly the very best.

It takes us from Venice to Moscow, Istanbul, Zagreb and Istria.

Bond is sent to Istanbul to investigate the killing of British agents, and is aided by his friend, the Turkish patriarch, Kerim Bey, who helps him to find out more about the enemy agents and what they are up to, as well as introducing him to the pleasures of Turkey, which include some gorgeous Roma girls, one of whom does a stunning belly dance, and two who engage in a savage dual for the love of the same man.

Bond must battle Bulgarian and Soviet gunmen, and the agents of SPECTRE, such as the well built killer, Red Grant (Robert Shaw), and a frightening assassin, the vicious and androgynous freak, Rosa Klebb ((Lotte Lenya), who has fatally venomous spikes that come out of her shoes before she delivers a fatal kick-ouch!

Most of the movie, Bond spends with lovely Russian agent Tatiana Romanova (Daniella Bianchi) which provides the romance interest.

Much of the saga takes place on the Orient Express from Istanbul, through Yugoslavia to Trieste in Italy.

Lots of exciting battles on all sorts of terrain, as Bond must kill or be killed. This one sets the tone for the subsequent Bond action/espionage dramas, and has the charm which some of the latest bond movies lack. But then so the 1960/70's had the charm which today tragically lacks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Bond film in HD., 8 Jun 2010
By 
Gabriel De Bourg (Stockholm, Sweden) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
From Russia With Love is my favorite of all the Bond films. While I could delve into explaining that I will mostly focus on this Blu-Ray edition.

I own most of the Bond, single disc DVD edition. As such I made a side-by-side comparison between them. The difference is huge. To start with the picture is clearer, with a crisp definition and lively colour. Overall it feels more alive and natural. The sound is also improved, especially the music has a larger dynamic range.

The extras are the same, but as I mentioned in my review of Dr. No I don't wish anything more. They are of such high standard that it doesn't matter to me. This is also the only one where Connery makes and appearance in there.

Overall it is a great step-up from the DVD when it comes to audio/visuals and as such I highly recommend to every Bond-fan!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Thriller, 18 Sep 2001
This review is from: From Russia With Love [DVD] (DVD)
Another classic Connery Bond and probably the closest to Fleming (apart from OHMSS). Again, icons of modern cinema include the first John Barry score (the 007 theme is wonderful and was used on a number of other films) and this is the first to have semi-naked women in the title sequence.
Robert Shaw remains one of the most memorable villains, despite not haveing any dialgue for most of the film - his constant presence haunts Bond throughout. And Daniela Bianchi is beautiful as Tantyana Romanova.
The DVD extras make it another essential purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wahrscheinlich der beste Bond Film, 20 Sep 2000
By A Customer
007 weiß von einer Falle und lässt sich trotzdem hereinlegen, meistert die Situation aber wie immer mit Charme und Glück.
Dieser Film ist ernster und ein wenig brutaler als die späteren Bonds -- eigentlich sterben alle guten Leute bis auf Bond (alle Schlechten natürlich auch).
Aber, es gibt viele Standorte, Spannung und eine interessante Handlung.
Dennoch, ich glaube nicht, dass die meisten Engländer wissen, dass man zum Fisch keinen Rotwein trinkt.
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From Russia with Love (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition) [DVD]
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