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4.7 out of 5 stars143
4.7 out of 5 stars
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This film is the second outing for superspy James Bond, and for my money is the best of the series.

Once again Sean Connery's secret agent is in action against SPECTRE, as the criminal organisation tries to get its hands on a secret Russian encryption device, using Bond as their unwitting pawn in their plot.

There is a cracking script, a great twisting and turning plot, great characters and performances and a classy soundtrack, all of which come together to make this a classic film. It is the most gripping and entertaining of the series.

This is the film in which we first meet Q and his gadgets. It also see fine performances form Pedro Armendariz as Kerim Bey, Robert Shaw as Grant and Lotte Lenya as Rosa Clebb, one of the more memorable villains. For Triv lovers, Lenya was a renowned jazz singer, wife of Kurt Weil and the first person to sing Mack the Knife. Louis Armstrong name checked her when he recorded his own version. Kerim Bey is one of the greatest Bond allies, a loveable rogue who knows his job and plays the game well. You sometimes feel that he is what Bond may be like when 30 yrs older. There is a great interplay between Connery and Armendariz, which really brings a sparkle to the film.

This digitally restored edition really is the best version of the film I have owned. The picture has been lovingly restored and cleaned up, and looks amazing. Really, I am not just saying that. It looks superb. The sound has been similarly treated and there is an option to listen to it in 5.1 DTS surround, which is truly exceptional.
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This film is the second outing for superspy James Bond, and for my money is the best of the series.

Once again Sean Connery's secret agent is in action against SPECTRE, as the criminal organisation tries to get its hands on a secret Russian encryption device, using Bond as their unwitting pawn in their plot.

There is a cracking script, a great twisting and turning plot, great characters and performances and a classy soundtrack, all of which come together to make this a classic film. It is the most gripping and entertaining of the series.

This is the film in which we first meet Q and his gadgets. It also see fine performances form Pedro Armendariz as Kerim Bey, Robert Shaw as Grant and Lotte Lenya as Rosa Clebb, one of the more memorable villains. For Triv lovers, Lenya was a renowned jazz singer, wife of Kurt Weil and the first person to sing Mack the Knife. Louis Armstrong name checked her when he recorded his own version. Kerim Bey is one of the greatest Bond allies, a loveable rogue who knows his job and plays the game well. You sometimes feel that he is what Bond may be like when 30 yrs older. There is a great interplay between Connery and Armendariz, which really brings a sparkle to the film.

This ultimate edition really is the best version of the film I have owned. The picture has been lovingly restored and cleaned up, and looks amazing. Really, I am not just saying that. It looks superb. The sound has been similarly treated and there is an option to listen to it in 5.1 DTS surround, which is truly exceptional.

As well as the superb presentation of the film, there is also a host of extras, original trailers, informative audio commentaries and the such. These are exhaustive and some of them quite interesting, especially the featurette on Ian Fleming. But these really a garnish for the main course, which is the film itself.

This is an excellent release, and does this classic film justice. This series of `Ultimate editions' really sets the standard for film releases. It really does not get any better.
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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 Bond formula is clearly beginning to fall into place with From Russia with Love. 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. While cute might be stretching it, Pedro Armendariz provides the loveable as Bond's Turkish ally, still the strongest of his many ill-fated comrades in arms thanks to their easygoing screen chemistry, the actor betraying no signs of the terminal illness that would cause him to commit suicide shortly after finishing the film.

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 (in fact, considerably better plotted than the novel, which devotes almost a third of its pages to Red Grant’s backstory), 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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on 10 August 2014
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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Is it worth buying a forty seven year old film on blu ray? Hell yes, this film is so sharp you'd think it had just been made. I haven't seen many of the old Bonds but inspired by my enjoyment of the latest two I decided to give this a go and I wasn't disappointed. I don't think I can remember Sean Connery looking so young and the storyline and lack of stupid gadgets certainly seemed nearer to the Fleming books as I remember then. This film is worth watching if only for the scenes of Instanbul in the sixties which on blu ray looked like you were watching through a window. A great reminder of just how good some old films can be.
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on 30 August 2010
I am not going to get into all of the technical guff that I see a lot of reviewers spout forth about. I am a Bond fan and I own a simple Sony blu ray player and have it connected to a 40inch Sony Bravia 1080p TV. This film is almost 50 years old and yet some of the scenes look like they were filmed last year. There will always be scenes that date, however this is classic Bond and you can tell that time, care and attention to detail has gone into the transfer. It is one of the very best of Connery's Bonds and as a lover of the books, is one of the few Bond films to remain faithful to Flemings novel.
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on 18 September 2001
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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on 20 September 2000
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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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 7 September 2011
This is in an age where gentlemen are still required to wear a hat. Despite this, the Istanbul context and his local counterpart seem to enjoy each other's company, immensely; the counterpart having need of his own `relaxation', before being rudely interrupted. The mutual enjoyment becomes even more apparent as he is asked to select `which woman he wants' after the outcome of a gypsy fight between them. He is flummoxed so both are offered to him! Nash is his nemesis; played with chilling menace by Robert Shaw. The scenes on the train are both romantic and deadly. Lotte Lenya adds a vicious turn. A memorable addition is the singing of Matt Munro's title song, as the film concludes in Venice.

Ian Hunter.
Author of The Early Years
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