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Bullet To Beijing [1995] [DVD]

3.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Jason Connery, Mia Sara, Michael Sarrazin, Michael Gambon
  • Directors: George Mihalka
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Platform Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 20 April 2009
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001RNXYWA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,874 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

When the Cold War ends, the British Secret Service decides it no longer has a use for top agent Harry Palmer. There are others, however, who still have a need for a man of Harry Palmer s skills. He is promptly approached by Alex, a Russian businessman. In St. Petersburg, Alex tells Harry of his plan for Russia's future, which is threatened because a deadly bio-chemical weapon called the Red Death has been stolen from him. Alex is prepared to pay Harry handsomely to locate and recover the renegade weapon. An ex-spy friend tips Harry off that the weapon is being sent to Beijing by train, aboard which we begin to learn just whose side everyone is really on...

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
I honestly can't understand the reception this film has gotten. I thought Bullet to Beijing was an excellent film, one I thoroughly enjoyed. Okay, so it's not as good as The Ipcress File, but did you expect it to be?
People often complain that Palmer has lost much of his wit from the 60s, and I give the film-makers credit that they didn't try and imitate it. Palmer is now getting on, even before he loses his job at the beginning, he is clearly close to retirement anyway. What wit he does come up with is funny in its own sense - watch for the comment about the milk for instance. Caine is his usual superb self, and there are good performances all round. I would put Jason Connery's apparent 'woodeness' down to the fact that he plays a very serious and solemn character. As he opens up more and more, he becomes less 'wooden'.
The film is extremely fast-paced, and not just because it's on a train - all the crosses and double-crosses happen in the context of racing towards a deadly conclusion, whereas The Ipcress File for instance, often stood still until Palmer discovered something new.
Excluding Billion Dollar Brain (which I haven't seen) I would say this is the second best in the Harry Palmer series. Certainly it is much better than the awful Funeral in Berlin, and the sequel to this, Midnight in St. Petersburg, didn't offer the same level of excitement.
You might have to watch it more than once to fully understand it, if you're not concentrating. But is that something to complain about?
Incidentally, Jason Connery's non-Russian accent is explained within the film.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This has 20 or so minutes of extra footage.... needless to say it is plot based rather than explosions and action... funny how explosions and action NEVER end up on the cutting room floor isn't it?! Having seen the 'normal' version and emerged with a much scratched head this 'extended' version makes much more sense and adds to certain character motivations and explains their behaviour better... Caine and Connery are pretty good in this as one would expect and people like Michael Gambon and Burt Kwouk do well in their cameo roles...
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Format: VHS Tape
Bullet to Beijing is the first of two TV movies for the US Showtime Network filmed back to back, the second being Midnight in St Petersburg.

Aside from Michael Caine as Harry Palmer, the cast boasts Jason Connery as Nikolai Federov, Michael Sarrazin as ex-CIA agent Mike Craig and (Sir) Michael Gambon as Russian crime boss, Alex.

Connery, to his credit, does not attempt a Russian accent, instead opting to go down the Van Damme route of retaining his own accent and offering an implausible explanation for this. ...

The film begins with Harry Palmer getting the sack fromt he British Secret Service due to budget cuts. Almost immediately, he is contacted by Russian gangster Alex to work for him in a freelance capacity.

The plot is a contrived mess surrounding a deal between Alex and the North Koreans over weapons and drugs. Everyone double crosses everyone else and all sense gets lost in the confusion.

Connery's real-life spouse, Mia Sara, makes an appearance as Natasha, who may or may not be working on the same side as everyone else.

While this film is certainly not without its charms, but, for vintage Harry Palmer, you should buy The Ipcress File or Billion Dollar Brain instead.
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Format: VHS Tape
Micheal Caine does an average job on the acting in this spy filck as Harry Palmer sent to retrieve some highly dangerous gas. Only problem is that its in 2 halfs: both on their own are harmless but when mixed create world devstation. The photography is good but the story can drag on in some places. This film has a distinct european feel about it with intersecting reminders of the russion mafia. Caine does do well in this film but its sadly been forgot for it was released in the same year as the Pierce Brosnan Bond-flick Goldeneye. This film has got its orignalities though, the short shoot-outs are good fun and the delibrate grainy-ness of the picture creates a 70's style atmosphere. Altogether a good film for the person who enjoys a wide range of film genres.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THIS IS A TV TYPE MOVIE. ITS MID 90S, IT COULD BE MID 70S! ITS NOT BAD AT THE START AND THE ENDING IS QUITE GOOD BUT THE MIDDLE SECTION BORDERS ON BAD TO AVERAGE.FOR ME IT LOSES ITS CREDIBILITY WHEN MICHAEL CAINE IS ASKED TO STEP INTO A BOAT SHORTLY AFTER GETTING OFF THE PLANE IN ST PETERSBURG HARRY REPLIES (RIGHT NEXT TO IT)- "WHAT THIS ONE" ADD TO HIS THEN CAINES MID 50S PHYSICALITY,AND ALL I COULD THINK OF WAS ERIC MORECAMBE!AND THIS IS ITS PROBLEM. TO CAMERA HE IS STILL PALMER BUT WHEN HE HAS TO MOVE AT ANY PACE ABOVE STILL TO WALKING A BIT FAST IT IS IN A SAD WAY UNCOMFORTABLE TO SEE.I LOVE MICHAEL CAINE AND BY THE END THE FILM REDEEMS ITSELF SO...SAY A THURSDAY AFTERNOON STICK IT ON. I THOUGHT IT WAS OK.P.S. WOULD LIKE TO HAVE SEEN MORE OF THE SUPERB MICHAEL GAMBON,ALWAYS WORTH WATCHING.VIA AMAZON UK.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This John Le Carre story is a good presentation for its era and I enjoyed it as part of a recent nostalgia kick for the spy films based on Le Carre and of that era (Tinker Tailor etc and Smiley and other HarryP) I was not disappointed and this one sits happily in my retro-collection. Delivered very quickly-very happy
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