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Spies of Warsaw [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: David Tennant, Janet Montgomery, Marcin Dorocinski, Ann Eleonora Jorgensen, Burn Gorman
  • Directors: Coky Giedroyc
  • Writers: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais
  • Producers: Richard Fell
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Jan. 2013
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0089KSLTA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,602 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

David Tennant and Janet Montgomery star in this espionage drama as lovers swept up in the intrigue, romance and chaos of pre-WWII Europe. After arriving to take up his post in Warsaw, newly appointed French military attaché, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier (Tennant), soon finds himself dragged into the duplicitous and shadowy world that thrives in the cafes and back streets of the city. As Hitler's stranglehold on Europe tightens and the continent slides inexorably towards the Second World War, Mercier embarks on a passionate, but complex love affair with Anna (Montgomery), a Parisian lawyer who works for the League of Nations.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I totally agree with Harry and his review. The photography and soundtrack make this production which I enjoyed on transmission and again on dvd. As a linguist I have no problem with multilingual productions and once location and nationality is established accents are not necessary and can detract and drag a production into comedy "Allo Allo" style. It is always refreshing when an actor breaks from his or her type casting. David Tennant gives a superbly convincing performance. I am now reading the book which I also recommend.
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The build-up to WWII; the frustration of the WWI hero & French diplomat in Poland, Col. Jean Francois Mercier as his information that Germany is gearing up for war is foolishly ignored. The Nazis are planning something and he intends to prove
to the French government the they are testing the ablilty of their tanks to travel the Maginot line through the Black Forest. The film travels between Warsaw, Paris, Czecheslovakia, Germany and the Austrian border. There is the excitement of kidnapping, a love affair, Russian spies and David Tennant. How can it miss? Also starring Janet Montgomery as Anna, The League of Nations lawyer.
I enjoy watching WWII movies. This one is different in that is ends when the "non-aggression" pact begins between Russia and Germany. There is so much suspense, I don't want to ruin it for anyone's enjoyment.
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I'm currently re-reading Alan Furst's novels (all of which I'd thoroughly recommend to any new readers unacquainted with his work) and for some reason I'd been unaware of the original TV dramatization and this DVD. As other viewers have mentioned it's often difficult to compress a complex novel into nigh on three hours screen time but this is a worthy attempt and captures the essence of the original source.. It is quite old fashioned in the filmic style and all the better for it - no unnecessary whizz bang effects just solid performances from all the cast (that much under rated actor Anton Lesser deserves special mention) and a story well told. The steam locomotive warranted a mention in the end credits ! All in all well worth the purchase price and will bear repeat viewings.
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A most impressive purchase
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Gripping
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I enjoyed this a great deal. David Tenant does a good job as a French officer. There is no attempt to Frenchify him, but think of all the English actors who have played Maigret and were just obviously, painfully English. Tenant passes for French.

They have also pitched it right in terms of the amateurish nature of the of the forces involved. In 1937 they were all rather amateurish, including the Nazis. The cold professionalism on all sides developed as the war proceeded. Also, and most unusually, the Polish characters are all spot on, in no sense cardboard cut outs to fill the plot. This may be because the director is Coky Giedroy who has a Polish-Lithuanian father, so she has some connection to the style and manner of Poland and eastern Europe (strangely she is not credited on Amazon, and not on the main page at IMDB).

Another reviewer has criticized the production as 'overtly twee'. I did not find it so. Neither was I in any doubt as to the nationality of the participants during the production. It is reasonably subtle and you do have to pay attention, although the film makes competent use of dress tags to identify people for you (black double breasted leather coat with by today's standards very short hair - German, obviously, and so on). It does get the self-conscious ennui of pre-war political life about right, and I suppose they were a bit twee then.

For me, the music can easily break any production, but the music in this is clever and neat (neat as opposed to sloppy, which can ruin a production). It does an excellent job of supporting the narrative, whilst being listenable in its own right.

The film has subtitles available.
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By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 18 April 2013
Format: DVD
This made-for-TV two-parter is entertaining enough in its own right. If it hadn't been based on Alan Furst's magnificent novel The Spies Of Warsaw then it could be rated more highly... but it fails to capture the tension, subtlety and intricacy of the original book. Instead this is quite a clumsy effort if you're familiar with the plot and complex characters.
On the other hand, viewed in its own right, this filmic adaptation is an enjoyable slice of mainstream TV. David Tennant puts in a good turn in the leading role. His frustration as a French intelligence officer who can't convince his superiors of the threat of war -- of the imminence of a rapid tank attack -- is obvious. The inexorable build-up to war and the looming shadows which sprawl over Poland are well portrayed. perhaps the most compelling character is the Polish intelligence officer who knows that his country is about to be ripped to shreds by two giant super-powers, and can do little to save it, nor to waken the world to the danger which faces all of Europe.
So if you haven't read then book then you'll probably enjoy this DVD.
But if you are a fan of Alan Furst's dense, richly detailed prose -- pass on by. This will almost inevitably disappoint you.
7/10
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