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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like it was filmed yesterday
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,...
Published on 23 Jan 2009 by Chris White

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars James Bond
A good Sean Connery Bond film as usual but not bought for my use also watched it and it was quite enjoyable although seen it many times
Published 1 month ago by Susie


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15 of 15 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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11 of 11 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
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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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9 of 9 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 17 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
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restoration underway for fall 2006 release of James Bond classic, 2 Feb 2006
By 
Darren Harrison "DVD collector and reviewer" (Washington D.C.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From Russia With Love [DVD] (DVD)
A favorite of many Bond fans and filmmakers alike is this second entry into the EON Bond film canon (a separate production company had produced Fleming's CASINO ROYALE for American television CBS in the 1950s). Alongside 1969s ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE as one of the more faithful movie adaptations of the Fleming book this movie is disliked by some for its slower pace and less fantastical plot and adored by others for precisely the same reasons.

I suppose it all depends on what you are looking for in a Bond movie. For it was not until the next entry in the series in 1964s GOLDFINGER that the movies budgets ballooned and took on the more recognizable Bond-movie shape of fantastic world domination plots, cartoonish action and over-the-top villains. Here, we have a more quiet down-to-earth plot involving extortion and revenge, but its carefully woven plot makes the movie just as thrilling and the action just as compelling.

There are some deviations from the plot of the Fleming novel, but nothing that detracts too seriously from what is the most important element here - the story and characterization. For example in the book Flemings villains was the real-life Soviet agency SMERSH, which is changed to the fictional private organization SPECTRE (which Fleming created along with Kevin McClory for a failed movie script after he had written the novel on which this movie is based.) No doubt the filmmakers decided to change the villain for political reasons as well as to develop the recurring villain mentioned in passing in the first of the EON movies (1962s DR. NO).

The plot concerns SPECTRE's attempts to use British intelligence to steal a valuable Soviet decoder, blackmail British intelligence and murder British agent James Bond in revenge for the loss of their agent Dr. No.

In order to pull off this audacious scheme, SPECTRE's Col. Rosa Klebb (brilliantly played by Lotte Lenya) enlists the aid of Russian clerk Tatiana Romanova who believes that she is working for the KGB. Romanova is chosen for her beauty as a lure for James Bond and the Lektor decoder as a lure for 007 and British intelligence. Indeed the ploy works to perfection as we witness later the disinterest of 007 change to amiable interest after being shown a picture of Romanova.

Following the traditional gunbarrel sequence we are given our first true precredits sequence. In the first movie the gunbarrel went straight into the credits sequence, but here we are treated to a mini-adventure in what would become a standard trademark for the series. James Bond is on the hunt, or is he the hunted? Stalking around a garden in the middle of the night when all of a sudden Bond is set upon by a giant man (played to perfection by the always excellent Robert Shaw.) Who then pulls a wire from his watch and garrotes the British agent. The sequence serves as a foreshadowing of a scene towards the end of the movie and is also the first instance in which the audience is tricked into believing that 007 has been killed. In the future 007 movies 1967s YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE and the rogue movie 1983s NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN this ploy would also be used. Sure enough following the death of "James Bond" the lights go up revealing a big estate house (actually a house on the backlot of Pinewood Studios) and it is revealed as a SPECTRE training session with a man posing as 007.

Shaw is excellent as Red Grant. Even today over 40 years later he regularly tops the list among Bond fans as a favorite villain. He plays the role with understated deliberate menace and the fight scene on the orient express (which is usually cut down for television) is brutal and frenetic. Similar scenes of fighting on a train have been repeated in later Bond movies but none have quite matched this one.

Other elements that would become a series trademark also make their first appearances in this picture. We have the introduction of a real bona fide gadget and the first screen appearance of the actor who would become famous for introducing James Bond to all manner of incredible gizmos while in real-life being the most un-mechanically minded of people - the late Desmond Llewelyn.

Here Bond is equipped with a briefcase with such hidden qualities as a knife that protrudes out of the side, coinage for bribing enemy agents and a innocent looking bottle of talc that is actually tear gas for disabling prying eyes who open the case the wrong way. Of course all of these help save 007 later on in the movie (strange how he always seems to have just what he needs for any eventuality).

Overall then we have a taut, well-crafted James Bond movie with standout performances from all the principal actors. Of par5ticular note is the Mexican actor Pedro ArmendÔ¿Ĺriz who plays the Turkish British agent Kerim Bey. There seems to be a genuine friendship between Bond and this amiable rogue, a chemistry similar to that between Bond and Columbo in the 1981 movie FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.

With a travelogue feel that was a feature of the early movies, this was after all before the holiday shows and Discovery Channel documentaries on different areas of the world. And some compelling action (though on a smaller scale than later scenes the fight between Bond and Klebb with the latter wielding a poisoned tipped shoe is white knuckle stuff). This is a movie that should be on everyone's must-see list.

In addition to a commentary spliced together from interviews with many of those behind the camera (Director Terence Young for example had passed away in the early 1990s), there is also a great documentary on producer Harry Saltzman, featuring on-camera interviews with his children colleagues and friends. The late Saltzman had been one of the original duo (with Cubby Broccoli) who brought the British spy to the screen but had to sever his relationship with the series in the 1970s after falling into financial trouble. The documentary paints Saltzman as a loving father and doting husband who feel afoul of the business world, it's a touching portrait and a great tribute.

There is also a making off documentary with some archival and new interviews with the production team.

People should note that Lowry Digital is performing a restoration of this movie for a planned special edition reissue later this year so if video and audio are of primary importance then you may want to wait on picking this up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Very Best of Bond, 16 Aug 2002
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From Russia With Love [DVD] (DVD)
Out of all the Bond films made since Dr No in 1962, this remains my own personal favourite. It epitomises all that was good about the 1960s. Wonderful production values with a great script and cast, it remains an outstanding example of how espionige films should be made. Sean Connery is wonderful here, and it was a masterstroke of the casting director to pit the wonderful Robert Shaw against him. (Shaw and Connery were close friends in real life.) One sad point of the film however, was that Pedro Armanderiz died shortly after completing all his scenes, and it is partly a tribute to his acting skill. No Bond film would be complete without its leading lady however, and Daniella Bianche remains one of the loveliest. Overall, its a great film to watch and enjoy. Picture and sound on DVD are very good of course, and the disc is enhanced with numerous extras which will keep any Bond fan more than happy. Dont miss it!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a whole new film, 7 Jan 2009
By 
Gary Mckenzie - See all my reviews
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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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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
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic., 7 Jun 2004
This review is from: From Russia With Love [DVD] (DVD)
Justly remembered as the classic of the Connery era, this one has the balance spot on. Sharp humour is expertly mixed with a tangible air of menace. The characters are brilliantly drawn and the plot remains one of the most sophisticated of any adventure.
Everything here works the acting, the music, the story, the action and in my view better than the comic book excess of Goldfinger. This is the most convincing of the Bond adventures and one of the most old fashioned.
Though no evil hideout explodes at the end this remains one of the most enjoyable Bond's of all.
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2 of 2 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
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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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From Russia With Love [Blu-ray] [1963]
From Russia With Love [Blu-ray] [1963] by Terence Young (Blu-ray - 2013)
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