From Russia with Love (James Bond) [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 10/21/2008 Run time: 125 minutes Rating: Pg

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 retrieve a top-secret Russian decoding machine. His efforts are thwarted when he gets romantically distracted by a sexy Russian double agent (Daniela Bianchi), and is tracked by a lovely assassin (Lotte Lenya) with switchblade shoes, and by a crazed killer (Robert Shaw), who clashes with Bond during the film's dazzling climax aboard the Orient Express. From Russia with Love is classic James Bond, before the gadgets, pyrotechnics, and Roger Moore steered the movies away from the more realistic tone of the books by Ian Fleming. --Jeff Shannon

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 retrieve a top-secret Russian decoding machine. His efforts are thwarted when he gets romantically distracted by a sexy Russian double agent (Daniela Bianchi), and is tracked by a lovely assassin (Lotte Lenya) with switchblade shoes, and by a crazed killer (Robert Shaw), who clashes with Bond during the film's dazzling climax aboard the Orient Express. From Russia with Love is classic James Bond, before the gadgets, pyrotechnics, and Roger Moore steered the movies away from the more realistic tone of the books by Ian Fleming. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • FRWL still has a kick
    From Russia With Love, the second 007 flick is still considered one of the series finest.Still in it's early stages, it's an action packed improvement on the previous Dr.No .
    Bond's mission is to steal a Russian decoder called the LEKTOR( which resemble an old style typewriter.Not only does he deal with a beautiful double agent,Tatiana Romanov (Daniela Bianchi), but neferious henchmen Red Grant(Robert Shaw) and Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) a Russian officer and SPECTRE agent with a wicked kick in her shoe.
    FRWL may seem a bit dated, but it still stands among the other twenty 007 films as one of it's best....more info
  • Go with the single-Disc Version
    You all know how good a Bond movie this is (second only to "Goldfinger"). The picture quality is very good. I just wish the studio had left it to the viewer to zoom the picture to get rid of black bars. Fortunately (because of the 1.66:1 aspect ratio), the loss is minimal (1/16th of the height of the frame). The second DVD contains three short interviews with Ian Fleming (only one of which has video), and is hardly worth the extra $4....more info
  • From Russia With Love
    Another great 007 flick, with Sean Connery. Great plot, great villians, great gadgets, and beautiul women. What more do you want? Another ageless film I could watch year after year....more info
  • My favorite of all Bond movies
    From Russia with Love has become my favorite Bond movie. It has a great plot, wonderful locations, and none of the over the top gadgets that show up in the later movies. Also, the picture quality of this digitally re-mastered DVD is excellent....more info
  • From Russia With Love
    I was very happy with the delivery time on this movie. As well as the quality of the movie itself. I am very happy with my first experience using Amazon....more info
  • It Will Take 43 Years To Get Any Better Than This
    From Russia With Love hit the nail directly on the head. Not only would I call this Connery's best Bond, but I would also say it is one of the most exciting action films ever made.
    The problem with some of the old Bond movies was that they could get rather campy. From Russia With Love does not have this problem at all. With an interesting yet simple plot it allows for much more character, character development and nail biting action to be added to the film.
    Robert Shaw is brilliant in this, he plays an outstanding assassin. The train fight is probably my favorite of all time. Also Rosa Klebb and Tatiana both make great female characters.
    This one is really where Connery shines. It's almost as if Dr. No was really an experiment and they simply just got it right this time. This is one that you can watch over and over and still enjoy.
    From Russia With Love is nothing more than a fine wine; it gets better with age. 9/10...more info
  • This series deserved better.
    It is hard to imagine that only the 2nd 007 flick would be one of the worst, but this one is just so horrible! The romance plot is laughable and badly acted, Connery and Bianchi don't even have any chemistry. A ton of scenes in the film don't make any sense either--- the gypsy camp sequence for instance. It has NOTHING to do with the plot, yet a good deal of the film is spent here. It's almost as if the filmakers had 2 scripts, couldn't decide between the two, and just used them both, resulting in one huge convoluted mess. Perhaps this was because they were trying to get the movie out in only a year after Dr. No came out. A shame--- had they given FRWL more time and not rushed it, it could have been something really good....more info
  • [4.5] Slow pacing gives us time to take in a brilliant movie
    Certainly not the most exciting James Bond flick ever created, still, From Russia With Love is one of the most loyal to Ian Fleming's imagination. This 2nd entry into the Bond movie franchise is certainly a step up from its predacessor - Dr. No - with budget increases being one of the obvious factors. The improved experience is actually saying a lot, since Dr. No was teriffic and seen as one of the best Bond films by many fans.

    From Russia With Love is a very intelligent, in-depth and well plotted story. It is certainly what a great spy movie is all about. Sean Connery gives us one of his best performances of his career as he is already a natural at the part of James Bond just after two films (though many will argue he really peaked in Goldfinger, the next film in the series). Action has definetly picked up in this film compared to Dr. No, but it is still far away from what the Roger Moore films are going to bring. Though those films are action packed, many argue they just don't have the great stories that the original Bond movies had, and that is when From Russia With Love is always mentioned. The action is certainly not enough to make up for the slow pacing, but most will argue it just isn't necessary, as the story is strong enough to hold its own.

    SPECTRE makes a stronger return in this film, and will continue to be present for many films to come as the center of conflict for Bond. The organization's leader is finally acknowledged in this film, who wasn't mentioned in Dr. No. He does have two very important scenes of dialouge, yet we do not get to see his face (which will not happen until "You Only Live Twice"). A reference is made to Dr. No, which is a nice reminder of continuation from the first film. The villains strike a little harder this time, as SPECTRE has now several top agents working for them. Grant (Robert Shaw) is a hired KGB, who makes his presence sit quitely and patiently in the shadows until his exciting entrance later in the movie, confusing Bond at first and then giving us a very real and suspensful train cabin fight that is done very well. In addition to the villains, you've also got Tatiana thrown into the mix, a Russian girl that one of the SPECTRE agents hires to confuse Bond, but eventually falls for him instead (go figure).

    Ah, there's nothing quite like the good old classic days of Bond with Sean Connery. From Russia With Love is definetly a film that the more mature audience fans of Bond will love. It isn't loaded with all the adrenaline that some of the newer Bonds have, but it has the smarts and the raw-power to make it very successful.

    Acting - 4.5
    Action - 3.5
    Characters - 4.5
    Story - 5
    Overall - 4.5
    ...more info
  • The Best Written Movie In The Bond Seires
    This movie is great for all of you people out there that may be a little sick of the generic Bond movie. This has never happend to me but I know some people that have suffered from this. From Russia With Love is exstremly well written and actually a little confusing. I had to watch it a few times before I completly understood the story.

    Now for those of you who can't take change to well maybe this movie is not for you this movie lacks a lot of humor that you see in the other movies and at points can seem a littel dry. Even Q is a little dull but this was his first appearence so I think it is okay to cut him some slack.

    This move does not have the usual exsplosians that the other Bond films have cuz there is no big plan that is taking place at some evil layer. THe majority of the adventure takes place on a train as Bond and a Russian girl struggle to bring somthing very important back to England.

    This is one of my favorite Bond films because it really stands apart from the rest and I like the fact that it is really well written. Sean Connery is the only true Bond, but I still reccomend that if you like this movie you should give them all a try, (Just save Moonraker and Octopussy for last, they are really stupid). Well that is about it and all I have to say is NUFF SAID....more info
  • 3 1/2*s-A step down from Dr.No.-but still pure Connery Bond-
    After the boffo debut of Sean Connery in Dr.No,its' popularity insured another release.In fact the first three were to see a year to year release.
    This second release"From Russia With Love" really takes a hard tack on the cold war tensions extant at that time.However unlike Dr.No which took place in pretty much the same locale,this film was to start a trend which took Bond to muliple locations within a single movie.Depending on the movie this could be a plus;but in this case I found it to be a minus.We get so many locations that the plot becomes too involved and at times makes it a bit sluggish.
    The movie opens a little differently than its' predecessor.To start we get the famous "eye shot" piece right off.Then we move into the short prologue.This has Bond seemingly in a large garden maze looking for,but really being stalked by,a villain called Red Grant,played menacingly by Robert Shaw.Tension builds nicely until,what's this?.....our hero is killed!The action stops,a yell is heard and the camera pulls back to reveal that what we have witnessed wasn't really Bond but a surgically altered look a like that was "done in".And it was all a training exercise for villain Grant.
    At this point the credits start to roll with the wonderful theme music, but no vocals.The vocals were later sung during the end credits by Matt Munro.Also in Dr No the opening credits showed a few girls dancing in coloured shadows.In this one we see more girls'distinct and showing more flesh;something that would be "improved" upon in future Bond films.
    The film opens in Venice,Italy where a chess championship is taking place between a Canadian and Czech player(Ironically the movie goes full circle as it ends up back here in the end).The Czech player during the match is summoned to the criminal organization SPECTRE run by one Dr.Blofeld who(face unseen until a later film)would sit in his chair stroking his white cat;pulling all the strings to the subsequent illegal activity that Bond would try to quell.He puts in motion a plan(by the Czech player) assisted by one Colonel Kleb(played by Lotte Lenya-yes,the same one referenced in "Mack the Knife"!)to trap and kill Bond.Colonel Kleb it seems is a former SMERSH agent(Russian) but,unbeknownst to all but a few people,has defected to SPECTRE.
    One Tatiana Romonov played by Daniela Bianchi is recruited by Kleb to be the "defecting" agent that Bond will contact to obtain a "Lektor" decoding machine.Bond gets his usual "M" briefing before heading out on his assignment and we are introduced to one "Boothroyd" played by Desmond Llewllyn."Boothroyd" would become a permanent fixture in the Bond pics as "Q",Bond's man of a thousand gadgets.
    Bond heads off to Istanbul to meet one Kareem Bey played wonderfully by Pedro Armendariz,his contact there.Kareem is a very influential man.In fact he has many sons who help to run his local "syndicate".Before long both are off to a local gypsy camp to see a contact there.Red Grant(Shaw) is now back in the picture following Bond's every move.In fact during an ambush at the camp Grant actually saves Bond's life,but only in order to later dispose of him himself.
    After the ambush Kareem gets revenge on the man he knows is responsible for the ambush.In town there is an overlarge English sign of a(real)film called "Call me Bwana" starring Bob Hope and Anita Ekberg.The poster consists mainly of Anita's large face.Kareem shoots his adversary while climbing out of a concealed window that opens up in her mouth.Bond says in his usual style:"She should have kept her mouth shut".
    Bond meets up with Tatiana as planned and they both "steal" the Lektor.Kareem arranges a trip through the eastern block on a train to get Bond,the girl and the machine spirited to the west.Along the way much intrigue and fighting ensues.Kareem is killed and Grant(who has been dogging Bond all the way) kills and takes the place of a British agent in Zagreb,Yugolslavia.Of course Grant's real identity is eventually revealed and after a harrowing struggle Bond narrowly escapes certain death.
    Farther on Bond and Tatiana,who by now is in love with Bond(naturally!),disembark the train and overpower Grant's contact and steal his truck.In short order they are being pursued by a SPECTRE helicopter.The truck is disabled and they have to hoof it.What ensues is similar in nature to Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" where Cary Grant was divebombed by the plane.Here Connery gets harrassed in the same manner by the chopper,done very effectively.He eventually brings it down and they head to the coast.Here they commandeer a SPECTRE contact boat and head aross the Adriatic Sea to Venice.While there in a hotel waiting to leave the city for London Bond is set upon by Colonel Kleb(disguised as a maid) who Blofeld has dispatched to once and for all dispose of Bond...or else.Will she succeed? Will she regain possession of the all important Lektor decoding machine?More importantly in the end,will Tatiana help Bond or Kleb?
    Here the movie ends and the vocals of the lovely theme music commence.
    As you can tell by the plot synopsis I have given there is alot going on throughout this movie.For space sake I can only give you small details of course.Fleshed out this movie as I said at the start slows down a bit too much in many places such as the gypsy camp and on the train.I think it could have been tightened up a little more in the script and editing room.There are just too many little details we needn't have to have seen which unnecessarily pad it.
    Having said that that doesn't make this movie poor by any stretch.It is a very action packed and charged movie that constantly thrives to keep the tension going throughout.A nice touch in that respect was the Robert Shaw character who is that constant and nagging unseen(by Bond)threat.
    So even though,in my oppinion,not up to the level of its' predecessor "To Russia with Love" is still a very entertaining flick which you will still enjoy.And this new remastered edition is a delight to the eyes and ears.After all,it's a Connery Bond....what more does one need?...more info
  • The best of the James Bond series!
    This is my favorite Bond movie. It's got everything you expect from a classic Bond film. It's got sexy women, great dialouge, great action, and a great fight scene between Sean Connery as bond and Robert Shaw as Red Grant. This is the role that Connery was born to play....more info
  • one of the best
    This 1963 Bond movie is one of the best ever made. Sean Connery is at his most charismatic in this movie. He is supported wonderfully by Robert Shaw as the hitman 'Red' Grant. Unlike a lot of Bond movies this one does not have a meglomaniac trying to take over the world, its really its just an old-fashioned espionage movie. So there aren't obviously any huge sets, which became the standard for all Bond films for a while.

    Audiences used to modern action movies may find the pace a little slow, but that is a failing of modern movies not with this movie. You don't need a spectacular stunt or explosion to make a good film. However, it has its share of classic scenes including the girls fighting at the Gypsy Camp, the fight on the train and the classic opening sequences with Robert Shaw.

    This is a James Bond before huge elborate sets, special cars and extravagant budgets, and its all the better for it....more info
  • Number 2 yet full of firsts
    The second installment of James Bonds adventures starts with the post gunbarrel pre-title chapter which in this movie sees an expert assasin take out what appears to be our intrepid agent untill it is revealed that it is a stage set up.

    Q makes an apperance with the first of many gadgets that Bond will call on during his lifetime. We also get to see his Bentley before it's famous replacement in the next film. The three modes of transport (air,sea,rail) and exotic locations are to the fore and of course, the Bond Girl, this time Lotte Lyna....more info

  • Awesome image quality
    The May 2007 release; MGM ...

    I first saw Goldfinger in Chicago at the Granada theater in 1964 - it was awesome for a 12 year old to see a film like that back then - on a huge screen. After that, I eventually was able to see both Dr. No and From Russia With Love. I've always wanted these first three JB films for my DVD collection and just picked up Russia and Goldfinger after reading the reviews on these newer releases. Just finished watching From Russia and it's probably the best DVD image quality I've seen from a movie of that era - it is simply staggeringly good with amazingly rich color. I'm assuming that Goldfinger will be as good and after seeing this, I'll definitely pick up Dr. No and probably Thunderball....more info
  • another great bond film
    I watch this and do enjoy it; but for some reason I always fall asleep during THIS film. The other bond movies are no problem for me....more info
  • One of the best Bond films arrives on Blu-ray with a nicely cleaned up transfer; colors could be stronger
    One of the best Connery Bond films along with "Goldfinger", "From Russia with Love" focuses more on story and less on the gadgets that came to dominate the Bond films. Fox and MGM (Fox is now marketing MGM/UA films even though MGM is owned by Sony)have done a good job of upgrading this classic film.

    The Blu-ray looks extremely good with a good digital scrubbing that still manages to retain the film grain and has plenty of detail, texture. Colors are good but could be stronger. Skin tones look quite good throughout.

    The special features are comprehensive. Director Terence Young does a nice job recalling the making of teh film in the commentary track, a CBC interview with author Ian Fleming, Ian Fleming discussing Desert Island discs (with some interesting although not too surprising selections), "Inside from Russia with Love", a featurette on Ian Fleming and noir author Raymond Chandler, animated storyboard sequence. Trailers, radio, TV spots are also included. There is also a nice featurette on co-producer Harry Saltzman and image datatbase and an interactive "007 Mission Control" into the world of "From Russia with Love".

    Terence Young ("Dr. No", "Thunderball")directs this classic Bond film with flair using the opening as a teaser to catch your attention and throw you off. Richard Maiubaum's screenplay is top notch taking the elements of Ian Fleming's novel and brilliantly using them in the context of the film.

    Pacing of the film is typical for era although fans that have grown used to more recent Bond films may find this a bit slow going at times.

    Bond (Sean Connery)tries to obtain a Russian decoding device from a woman who believes her mission is to "defect" to the west. Bond's got competition for the device--Spectre's agent (Robert Shaw playing a ex-con killing machine). The fight sequence at the conclusion of the film between Connery and Shaw is terrific.

    5 stars for the film, 5 stars for the digital clean up, 4 stars for the digital clean up/transfer (could have been 5 with stronger colors).
    ...more info
  • From Russia With Love 007
    It's Bond from back when Bond was the real thing. All of the elements are there. No mushy fall in love, get married, kill wife, get revenge stuff. Just good old Spy vs Spy with all the Plots,Ploys and Action....more info
  • One of the classics. Great transfer on Blu-Ray
    One of the classic Bond (Connery) films has been lovingly transferred to Blu-ray. Great picture quality and the soundtrack, though dated, sounds very good for it's age....more info
  • James Bond can't be beat
    This is the second of the bond films and it is as good as they get. It has everything we expect in a Bond film (sex, adventure, and humor) so you can't be disappointed. Best of all, there is also the great Lotte Lenya with the deadliest shoes in the spy business. ...more info
  • James Bond in the european taste !
    Many people consider this work as the best of Bond series . And to me it has very interesting and enriching issues that makes it totally apart from the others .
    The locations in Istanbul are gorgeous ; The presence of outstanding actors such Pedro Armendariz and Lotte Lenya the wife of Kurt Weill as the unscrupulous villain plus the ravishing and statuesque Bond girl Daniella Bianchi my third choice behind Claudine Auger and Sophie Marceu makes another winner point . Besides there is a human sight all around the film and even it runs slow paced in many moments and lacks of the accustomed kinetism, the highlight aspect to remark is its deep realism .
    Worthable film , though ny favorite film of Bond is Goldfinger and Thunderball this work is to me the third in the list of the great Bond series with the best Bond ever ; Sean Connery ....more info
  • From Russia,With Blu-ray
    If you like James bond and you are collector you must have them on blu-ray the picture quality and sound are great you will not be disappointed. Trust me on this. ...more info
  • This one is The BEST
    Most fans of the Bond series and film critics usually say Goldfinger is the best Bond. Don't get me wrong I think Goldfinger is a great film but I rank it behind FRWL. This film has it all from start to finish. Action, Villains, A very sexy Bond girl, a dedicated ally, and Connery giving one liners and firmly establishing the legacy of Bond. The score is great, and the plot is believable (more so than Goldfinger). This film also gives us a first glimpse of Blofeld and the first of his plots that would become common in other Bond films. Pick this one up and you will not be dissapointed with a film I think is the BEST of all the Bonds....more info
  • They don't make 'em like this anymore....
    This was actually the next to the last "novelistic" Bond movie. "Goldfinger" was the last, and, oddly enough, started the overproduction juggernaut that would eventually kill the "cool spy" genre in movies. Bond, driven mainly by "Goldfinger"'s incredible combination of music, acting, gadgets, outsized goals of the villains and Connery's charm as the hero, sparked more imitators than just about any other franchise you can name, before or since. I say "mainly", because "FRWL" also had a lot of charm...in fact, there are people who would argue that THIS is the best pre-"Thunderball" Bond film, not "Goldfinger". What set the first three Bond films apart from their successors was the "pulp" quality to the settings, the faithfulness to the print origins and the perfect casting of just about every part. Who else could play Red Grant or Rosa Kleb if not Robert Shaw and Lotte Lenya? In "Dr. No", the movie would have had a much different flavor if there had been no Quarrel or Strangways or that spitfire photographer. Compare this with the eventual condition of the franchise where ridiculously elaborate equipment and escapes were mapped out for Bond at the last minute...heck, in Brosnan's last film, his Aston Martin could turn INVISIBLE, fer crissake!! No...the first three films were 1) More realistic 2) More involving 3) More cerebral, and this one is a prime example.

    "FRWL" starts out all business and is a mix of humor AND business from the word go. "M" calls Bond via old radiophone while the randy field agent romances Sylvia Trench lakeside somewhere in the country. Bond drops everything, heads to MI6, gets debriefed and heads off to Istanbul to meet a pretty Russan agent who, indeed, has a crush on him. There is supposed to be an exchange of a Russian decoder that the West thinks is being given them by a defector, when SPECTRE is actually behind everything. Along the way, they run into a SPECTRE-trained psychopath, Grant, as well as Ali Kerim Bey, an affable old colleague of 007's, a gypsy band that supplies local color, and the inimitable Rosa Kleb, played by Lotte Lenya, the wife of Kurt Weill, co-author of "The Threepenny Opera".

    Things hadn't quite gotten cartoonish yet in the Bond universe, and this was an adventure with all the cues that kept it from feeling juvenile...a good movie for Dad and older brother, rather than a puerile quip machine for pubescents and tweens like the later ones turned into.

    All hail Connery/Dalton/Brosnan!

    BOOOOO! Roger Moore!!...more info
  • The Second James Bond Movie
    From Russia With Love is just as good as the previous movie, Dr. No. Sean Connery nails the role of 007 once again. Lotte Lenya and Robert Shaw are great as the villains. The film has a great story and is action-packed, like a 007 movie should be. So, 5 stars for another 007 movie! The special edition DVD offers many special features, and picture and sound are clear as can be. The DVD is in widescreen, like all 007 DVDs.
    (Goldfinger is the next movie in the 007 series)...more info
  • Come for the movie, stay for the extras ...
    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. ...more info
  • One of Connery's Best
    The second Broccolli Bond and probably one of the best and most suspenseful in the franchise with Sean Connery as the cool-headed seductive spy. A great script directed by Terence Young brings us a no-nonsense Bond who's on a mission to save the free world from Soviet machinations.

    Bond is off to find out more about a new decoding device invented by the Soviets, but the CIA and MI-6 aren't the only ones who want it: there's word that the sinister organization, SPECTER, may be interested. Bond's efforts are hampered by a gorgeous KGB double-agent (Daniela Bianchi) and the relentless chasing by a sexy assassin (Lotte Lenya) who dispatches her victims with stilleto shoes (literally!) As if these woes weren't enough, Bond is also being chased by a cold-blooded assassin (Robert Shaw) who's never late for his train.

    A great Bond with true intrigue one would expect from a spy film. As with 'Dr. No', this Bond film is limited in the gadgetry and over-the-top action sequences that became so prevalent in the later films. A great film to own!...more info
  • Amazon: Lotte Lenya is ... "lovely???.
    The James Bond series of films has, over the last 40-odd years, been a great highlight of cinema's spy genre. Often imitated, they have never been surpassed. I can remember when even the earliest of them was new, a theatrical experience much looked forward to.

    After a somewhat slow start in "Dr. No", "From Russia With Love" propelled Bond and Connery forward to a new height -- and even better was to come. "From Russia" was more of what we came to expect from Bond films, with 007 travelling from one interesting locale to another.

    "From Russia" boasts (as came to be usual) an excellent cast -- most particularly Robert Shaw as the trained assassin and Lotte Lenya as Col. Klebb, who recruited him to kill Bond.

    The casting of Lotte Lenya is the most creative casting move undertaken in this film. In the late '20s and very early '30s, she was one of the great lights of the Berlin stage, for whom Kurt Weill wrote many roles specifically. She was stunning as Jenny the Pirate in the Dreigroschenoper (or Threepenny Opera, of which a 1931 film is now on DVD; a CD of her performing Weill's "Seven Deadly Sins" and a number of other wonderful Weill songs is also out and about). Lenya's performance in "From Russia" adds real gravitas and a palpable sense of menace to the film.

    If you check the Amazon review of this film, you may notice that in it Lotte Lenya is referred to as a "lovely assassin". How's that again?? I did call their attention to this gaffe, asking if anyone there had actually seen Ms. Lenya, but apparently they're sticking with the "lovely". Ah, well ... here we go. In the 20s and 30s, Lotte Lenya was, in a word, plain. In "From Russia", she was 65 and had graduated from plain to -- well, unattractive, anyway. Her face was perfect for the role, lovely in the sense of Margaret Hamilton or a pre-surgery Phyllis Diller. Can you imagine a blonde bombshell chasing 007 around with dagger-loaded sensible shoes? Well, maybe if you want comic relief. As it is, a "lovely" Lotte is hilarious enough.

    ...more info
  • 60,000,007 James Bond Fans Can't Be Wrong
    "60,000,007 James Bond fans live in a throbbing world of hot blooded excitement!" a poster for the second James Bond film declared. "Don't you think it's time you met secret agent 007?"

    Plenty of moviegoers met Bond for the first time in "From Russia With Love," the film some 007 die-hards consider the best in the series (star Sean Connery agrees). Long before 007's sophomore screen effort reached theaters, Ian Fleming's novel was already famous as one of President Kennedy's favorite books, and that endorsement guaranteed Bond would win over America as he did his native U.K.

    Here we get the first pre-title teaser, but unlike most to follow, it's brief and sets up an important part of the plot (007 being targeted for assassination). The titles themselves are a knockout, all the more so thanks to Lionel Bart's striking theme, orchestrated by John Barry who, for the first of eleven times provides Bond with an exciting score that's as much a signature for the series as the famous gun-barrel sequence that opens every film.

    "From Russia With Love" is slower paced by later Bond standards but smarter, too, with a comparatively modest plot involving a decoding device coveted by SPECTRE. The tongue-in-cheek humor that would come to characterize the series was pretty much introduced here in an effort to offset the charges of sadism levied against the first film, but it doesn't overtake the action, including a fight aboard the Orient Express widely hailed as one of the greatest action scenes ever staged.

    If the other films in the series warrant classification in the adventure genre, "From Russia With Love" is a thriller, the only film in the series I can imagine Alfred Hitchcock directing. Hitch may have thought so, too, since the Master of Suspense frequently cited this film's helicopter fight as an example of the producers cribbing from his work (the crop-duster scene in "North by Northwest"). Terence Young, who did direct, isn't Hitchcock but he's a fine craftsman often credited, by Connery, among others, for establishing the 007 formula.

    The cast is one of the best ever recruited for a Bond film with Robert Shaw's muscle bound hit-man a good match for Connery whose hair, for the last time, seems to be mostly his own. Best of all is Lotte Lenya as the wicked, androgynous Rosa Klebb whose deadly footwear may remind viewers that she earned a mention in hubby Kurt Weill's song "Mack the Knife."

    Brian W. Fairbanks...more info
  • One of the best 007 movies!
    Along with Goldfinger, this is probably the best of the early James Bond films. Sean Connery was excellent in it. The story and the cast is great. The fight scene on the train between Connery and Shaw is worth the price alone! A face paced, well thought out and entertaining film....more info
  • The Best
    This is the second bond and possibly the very best.
    It takes us from Venice to Moscow, Istanbul, Zagreb and Istria.

    Bond is sent to Istanbul to investigate the killing of British agents, and is aided by his friend, the Turkish patriarch, Kerim Bey, who helps him to find out more about the enemy agents and what they are up to, as well as introducing him to the pleasures of Turkey, which include some gorgeous Roma girls, one of whom does a stunning belly dance, and two who engage in a savage dual for the love of the same man.

    Bond must battle Bulgarian and Soviet gunmen, and the agents of SPECTRE, such as the well built killer, Red Grant (Robert Shaw), and a frightening assassin, the vicious and androgynous freak, Rosa Klebb ((Lotte Lenya), who has fatally venomous spikes that come out of her shoes before she delivers a fatal kick-ouch!

    Most of the movie, Bond spends with lovely Russian agent Tatiana Romanova (Daniella Bianchi) which provides the romance interest.

    Much of the saga takes place on the Orient Express from Istanbul, through Yugoslavia to Trieste in Italy.

    Lots of exciting battles on all sorts of terrain, as Bond must kill or be killed. This one sets the tone for the subsequent Bond action/espionage dramas, and has the charm which some of the latest bond movies lack. But then so the 1960/70's had the charm which today tragically lacks.



    ...more info