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From Russia With Love (Special Edition)

4.6 out of 5 stars 470 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jan 01, 1963)
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(May 22, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Directed with consummate skill by Terence Young, the second James Bond spy thriller is considered by many fans to be the best of them all. Certainly Sean Connery was never better as the dashing Agent 007, whose latest mission takes him to Istanbul to retr

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary featuring Director Terrence Young and members of the Cast and Crew
  • Inside From Russian With Love Documentary
  • Harry Saltzman - Showman Documentary
  • Animated Storyboard Sequence
  • Original Promotional Trailers
  • Radio Spots

Product Details

  • Actors: Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Lotte Lenya, Daniela Bianchi, Pedro Armendáriz
  • Directors: Terence Young
  • Writers: Berkely Mather, Ian Fleming, Johanna Harwood, Richard Maibaum
  • Producers: Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, John Lowry
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 1963
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (470 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W9CA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,064 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "From Russia With Love (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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.
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About this movie's last scene
I wonder about that too. Another point of interest to me... in the Venice scene you are mentioning, will they "fix" or repair the jump cut edit that removed Sean Commery's line.."another great performance" as he looks at the movie film taken by the Russian spys then tosses... Read More
Aug 12, 2008 by Brian Smith |  See all 2 posts
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