Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

80 of 90 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 1, 2000
From Russia With Love, the second James Bond film, is one of the best (in my view, second only to Goldfinger). Unlike the later films in the series, From Russia With Love is extremely faithful to the Ian Fleming novel with only slight variations on the story. In order to obtain a Russian decoding machine, 007 must travel to Istanbul, Turkey to aid a beautiful Russian defector ... even though he and the British Secret Service know it's probably a trap. But unbeknownst to Bond SPECTRE is playing the Russians and the British against each other. This is the most realistic of the Bond films with a story that could probably happen in the real world of espionage. The film does contain a gadget -- a trick briefcase (also in the Fleming novel) that contains throwing knives, ammunition, a folding sniper's rifle, 50 gold sovereigns and a tear gas cartridge that explodes when the case is opened improperly. The film, however, takes a very realistic approach to the story with none of the cartoon antics present in many of the later Bonds.

Terence Young, who also helmed Dr. No and Thunderball, does an outstanding job of directing. He makes wonderful use of the locations, especially in Istanbul. As with his other two Bond efforts, Young eschews a cartoon approach to the action in favor of a more brutal, realistic approach. And unlike many later Bond directors, Young concentrates on developing characters, making them real people with real emotions. The audience feels for the characters emotionally -- something unheard of with the cardboard cutout characters of the later films.

Peter Hunt's editing is a marvel. The action scenes are tightly edited and the film's pacing and continuity are flawless. In addition, the DVD documentary shows just how much Hunt helped shape the final project. He went beyond simply editing the film and actually helped shape and improve the story.

However, the best thing about the film is the casting. Young must have taken great care to properly cast From Russia With Love because every part matches their novel counterpart down to the last detail. Sean Connery, of course, is, and always will be, the best James Bond. Newcomer Daniela Bianchi is terrific as pseudo defector Tatiana Romanova. She is beautiful, sexy and appealing. It's too bad she didn't have more of a screen career. Lotte Lenya (Threepenny Opera), the famed German musical star, does a wonderful villainous turn as Rosa Klebb, former SMERSH agent who is now working for SPECTRE. Robert Shaw (A Man for all Seasons, Black Sunday, Jaws) is chilling as SPECTRE assassin Red Grant. And Pedro Armendariz, in the performance of his career, plays Ali Karim Bey, the head of Station T, Turkey. Aremedariz's performance is especially poignant because he was dying of cancer during the filming. He shot himself while in the hospital soon after he was through filming.

From Russia With Love is not only a good Bond film, but a good film alone, apart from the series. Along with Dr. No and Goldfinger, From Russia With Love represents a high point that the later films never quite matched.

The DVD transfer is spectacular, with terrific sound and picture quality. What makes the DVD special, however, are the special features which include three documentaries, trailers, TV and radio spots and cast & crew profiles. The main documentary is especially interesting as it details how the filmmakers drastically changed the story progression during the shoot. As with all of the Bond DVD's, MGM has done a superb job, giving the buyer much, much more than just the film to view.
99 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Most James Bond fans have their personal favorites among all the films in this forty-year series: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE is mine. In many ways, this was actually the first film with the full James Bond formula in tact. DR. NO was enjoyable, but Sean Connery's Bond was very different in that film than in the subsequent films. In DR. NO, Bond was a serious, unironic, humorless secret agent, very much like the character in the Ian Fleming novels. In FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, Bond departed from the character in the novels, and became witty, ironic, and very much tongue-in-cheek. In short, he became the Bond we all know and love. This is also the first film in which Desmond Llewelyn appeared as Q, who went on to play in all the remaining films (excepting Sean Connery's comeback with a different studio). Q provides Bond with his trick attaché case, the first of the many gimmicks we associate with Bond. The story is a great improvement as well. On top of this, the villains in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE represented a huge leap forward from DR. NO. In the list of the great Bond villains, both Robert Shaw's Donald 'Red' Grant and cabaret legend Lotte Lenya's Rosa Klebb rank near the top. Shaw comes across less as a human being than a highly programmed cyborg, and Lenya's sadistic turn as a poisoned-knife-in-shoe harpy has been often imitated.
The setting for the film, Istanbul, is one of the best in the entire series. It perfect set the international tone for all subsequent Bond films. The city is used as a perfect backdrop for much of the film. Among all the other distinctions of this film, it also belongs on the short list of the great train films, with much of the film taking place on the train that travels along the route of the former Orient Express. The only film that I think rivals this one in the James Bond series is the immediate sequel, GOLDFINGER, which is my second favorite Bond film.
By the way, this is one of the few films in which Bond does NOT say, "Bond, James Bond."
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2008
I am a James Bond purist. I've seen each James Bond movie (except Quantum of Solace) at least twice, and own all of the Special Edition DVDs from 2002. I have come to the conclusion that this is the best of the Bond films.

I've read several of the James Bond novels, and I believe that starting with Goldfinger, the film series began to rely too heavily on gadgets and other things that distracted from the plot. This and Dr. No are the most faithful to the novel series, and they also have the best production values. FRWL is the better of the two.

Since I already own all of the films on DVD from 2002, I was reluctant to re-purchase them when they were released as "Ultimate Edition" DVDs a couple years ago. I wound up not re-purchasing them, and I'm glad I didn't. I just bought Dr. No and FRWL on Blu-ray, which feature better picture and sound quality than the DVDs, and also have better extras. I highly reccommend picking this (and Dr. No) up on Blu-ray!Dr. No (James Bond) [Blu-ray]
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2000
From Russia With Love ranks among the top three films in the durable James Bond series. As in many of the best films in the series, the tone is relatively serious. Rather than the fantastic schemes of some of the later Bond films, the plot is a fairly straightforward espionage story, dealing with Bond's attempts to get his hands on the obligatory MacGuffin, a coding machine. The story is believable and there is an atmosphere of genuine tension throughout the film.
From Russia With Love's greatest strength is its superb cast. Sean Connery, in his second outing as Bond, is very good, handling both dialogue and action adeptly. Daniela Bianchi is a beautiful heroine, and her onscreen relationship with Bond is very plausible. Other roles are also cast from strength--Lotte Lenya and Robert Shaw, as the principal villains, and Pedro Armendariz, as Bond's fellow MI-6 agent, are the most notable performances.
While From Russia With Love cannot be considered a classic movie--it owes too much to North By Northwest for that--it is a very enjoyable movie to view again and again. I watch it several times a year.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 11, 2008
Since this is 2008, you have probably seen From Russia with Love. If not, seek out one of the other hundreds of reviews here that talk about the plot points, set pieces and Sean Connery. They can fill you in better than I can. What I will concentrate on is this new Blu-Ray release. Having owned just about every other version of this movie (Beta [Yes Beta...I blame my Dad for that], VHS, Laserdisc, and DVD), I can easily say this high-def release is the best. If you also own this movie on another format and are waffling about buying the Blu-Ray release, do it...especially if you are a Bond fan.

On a HDTV you will "see" this movie for the first time. I started picking out extras in the background and details on Sean Connery's clothing that I had never noticed before. When you watch Q make his entrance and go over Bond's attaché case, check out how smoke stained Desmond Llewelyn's hands are. It really is amazing and makes you appreciate the movie on a whole new level.

With a nice DTS 5.1 soundtrack and a slew of extras, this will be a great addition to your Blu-Ray collection. I know it is to mine.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2006
Not only is "From Russia With Love" the best James Bond film ever made, it is undoubtedly one of the finest spy films ever made, period. FRWL also was the last time that Bond appeared deadly serious throughout most of the film until the late 80's Timothy Dalton incarnation, which does not hold a candle to Connery's "sophisticated assasin" take on the character. Some fans who rate "Goldfinger" higher are probably more impressed with Gert Frobe than anything else, because Goldfinger is the one Bond film that has aged worse than almost any other from the 60's. The Cold-War tension and realism in "From Russia With Love", along with Connery at his absolute coolest and the inimatable Robert Shaw as a truly cold-blooded enemy agent, as well as the lack of stupid plotlines and cartoonish gadgetry, make this the quintessential spy movie of the 60's. Bravo.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
XXXXX

It's difficult to believe that this movie is 45 years old (counting from the year of this review)!!!

(Sir) Sean Connery made six EON (or "official") movies with him starring as James Bond. They were: (1) Dr. No (1962) (2) From Russia with Love (1963) (3) Goldfinger (1964) (4) Thunderball (1965) (5) You Only Live Twice (1967) and (6) Diamonds are Forever (1971).

As you can see from the above list, "From Russia With Love" is the second spy film of the British Bond series. As well, it is the second to star Connery as the fictional MI6 agent Commander James Bond (code number 007).

This movie is based on the 1957 novel of the same name as the movie by Ian Fleming (1908 to 1964).

Briefly, SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion) has devised a plot to steal a decoding device from the Russians, sell it back to them, and teach the British Secret Service a lesson for foiling Dr. No's plans. ("Dr. No" was the title of the very first Bond movie.) Bond begins his mission by being sent to Turkey to assist in the defection of Corporal Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi whose voice was dubbed), the main Bond girl.

The title song is presented as a lively instrumental version during the opening credits and eventually segues into the James Bond theme music. The title song is actually partially sung with lyrics by singer Matt Monro in the movie on the radio and sung to completion during the rolling of the end credits.

This movie has several "firsts" that would continue in the Bond series: the Ernst Blofeld character (Blofeld is the head of SPECTRE and is addressed as "Number One"), a gadget for Bond, a helicopter scene, a postscript action scene after the main climatic scene, a theme song with lyrics (as described above), and the line "James Bond will return" in the end credits.

A note on the gadgets. The fact that there was not as much attention to gadgets and vehicles was critically appreciated. But there are a few gadgets for both Bond and even the villains have gadgets! This movie also marks the first appearance of Desmond Llewelyn (who appeared in 17 Bond films) as Major Boothroyd, known as Q. (Q also appeared in the previous film, "Dr. No," but was played by a different actor and was addressed as "Armourer" and Major Boothroyd).

Sean Connery brings his characteristic savoir fare to the movie. There are actually three major villains in this movie and all three are memorable: Kronsteen ("Number Five") played by Vladek Sheybal, Rosa Klebb ("Number Three") played by Lotte Lenya, and especially Donovan "Red" Grant (a SPECTRE assassin) played by Robert Shaw.

This movie was filmed in Istanbul, London, England, Scotland, Switzerland, and Venice.

When first released, this movie made about seventy-nine million dollars. That's about five hundred and fifty-six million in today's dollars.

The DVD (the one released in May, 2007) is flawless in picture and sound quality. This movie has been digitally restored and I'm sure the picture is just as good (if not better!!) than when it was released 45 years ago. There is also superior sound. As well, there is one extra in the form of an audio commentary.

Finally, here is some information to consider. This DVD is actually the first disc of the two disc "Ultimate Edition." Bond fanatics might want to purchase this two disc Ultimate Edition since the second disc has "the best collection of special features ever assembled for Bond." (Unfortunately, this Ultimate Edition is no longer available but it can be purchased second-hand.)

In conclusion, this is one of the best Bond movies ever made and was Sean Connery's favourite. It was so good that a video adaptation of it was made!!!

(1963; 2 hr, 55 min; wide screen; 32 scenes)

<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 8, 2008
Bonds come and go, but "From Russia With Love" (1963) is a screen classic in its own right. The second 007 adventure makes the most of its increased budget with expansive locales (Turkey, Italy and even Scotland), ruthless villains (memorably portrayed by Robert Shaw and Lotte Lenya) and Sean Connery in terrific form. Terence Young directs this Ian Fleming adaptation with a firm hand. "From Russia With Love" remains Connery's favorite Bond film . . . and it's easy to see why.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The fight scene on the train is one of the best action sequences ever filmed for a Bond film or any other in its time. Sean Connery is at his rugged best. I can remember how shocked I was at the beginning of this film when I first saw it in the theaters .... shocked that a SPECTRE agent had so easily vanquished my idol, the great James Bond. Of course, this deceitful illusion is soon clarified and we get to see Mr. Connery at his swashbuckling best! Great film from start to finish!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 10, 2010
I love the movie "From Russia with Love"---end of story. This review is about the Blu-Ray edition. By way of comparison, I also own the recently upgraded DVD version of this film that was included in the James Bond Ultimate Edition set. That movie (the DVD) was restored to a sensational level of quality. In fact, I doubted it could be visually improved upon. I was wrong. The Blu-Ray edition looks even more sensational than the most recent DVD edition that was included in the Ultimate Edition set. In fact, it was clearly restored from a master print, with an almost indescribable level of visual detail included. This Blu-Ray edition is so good that it's like watching a brand new movie. Watching it with my family I repeatedly heard the comment "wow. Look at that. I never noticed that before . . ." The studio did a first rate job of restoring the movie for the Blu-Ray edition. And, after all . . . it's a James Bond film. I'll be getting the other Blu-Ray Bond films; if the restoration is half this good, it will be worth every penny.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Dr. No (Special Edition)
Dr. No (Special Edition) by Sean Connery (DVD - 2002)
$9.05

Goldfinger
Goldfinger by Sean Connery (DVD - 2007)
$6.45

Thunderball
Thunderball by Sean Connery (DVD - 2007)
$15.85
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.