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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 27 January 2013
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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on 2 February 2013
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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on 9 March 2013
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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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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on 5 March 2013
An intriguing spy story, first of all. And then there's love, and there's life, and there's history, all portraited by an outstanding DavidTennant. Recommended for those who like a good story before anything else.
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on 25 February 2013
Lovely locations, exciting story line. I struggled to keep up with who was who. I do suffer a bit with the asexual Dr Who type cast image of the lead actor and such struggle with him as a romantic hero. Perhaps this is me... Enjoyed it thouroughly; wish it had been longer.
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on 7 February 2013
David Tennant proves once again what a great versatile actor he is. The film was really interesting and at the end of the first episode you just had to go on to the second one to find out what happened to the characters.
Spies Of Warsaw was set in the period (about two years) before the Second World War started right up to when war was declared. It is about spies from France, Poland, Russia & Germany and how they tried to find out what the Gestapo were up to. I don't want to spoil it by saying anymore for people who will watch it - but a great dvd.
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on 27 March 2014
An exciting spy thriller set in pre 2nd World War Warsaw. Lots of tension, a love interest and some unexpected twists. A variation on the usual Cold war theme. David Tennant gives a good performance as a French intelligence officer. He runs into German and Russian spies who are populating pre war Warsaw. First time I have seen him outside Doctor Who.
Recommended for any body who likes a spy drama.
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on 20 February 2013
I so much loved this miniseries.
Great actors (David Tennant and Martin Dorociwsky above all), great photograph, beautiful soundtrack, and the fact they actually filmed the scenes in the real (reconstructed) Warsaw.
The story was really good, lots of tv series and movieas are about the tragedy of WWII, this is the first time there is a story about what happened just before the invasion of Poland. Everything is very tense and characters believable.Love to see David Tennant,my favourite actor, playing an incredible Jean-François Mercier. I bought the book of Alan Furst after saw his performance.
The only bad note is about the total lack of extras. Would have been good if they showed interviews,or bits about this important and tragic moment in history.
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on 12 February 2013
Well written and acted. Good locations
Very convincing. David Tennant a delight to watch and deserves a BAFTA award..Well deserves a repeat showing on TV
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