(aka 'Ian Fleming's 'From Russia with Love'')

 

directed by Terence Young
USA 1963

From Russia with Love, along with its successor, Goldfinger, represents Bond at his best. Although the series has run for more than thirty years with seventeen "official" entries, it has yet to better, or even equal, what it achieved in 1963-1964 with the release of these two films. By combining solid storylines, tightly-paced action sequences, memorable villains, and Sean Connery in top form, Russia and Goldfinger mark the cinematic apex for Ian Fleming's 007.

The elements of From Russia with Love move the movie closer to the recognizable "Bond formula" than was the case for its predecessor, Dr. No. Here, the action scenes are more numerous and generate added tension, the title sequence has a familiar flavor, John Barry's distinctive score replaces the workmanlike music of Monty Norman, Q makes his first appearance, and Connery tones up 007's sophistication while downplaying his cold-bloodedness.

Unlike the megalomaniacs in later Bond films, the villains in From Russia with Love aren't after world domination (at least not immediately). In fact, they want something significantly less ambitious: a Russian decoding device. Two of SPECTRE's top operatives are on the mission: #3, former KGB agent Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya), and #5, Kronsteen (Vladek Sheybal), a chess master who has meticulously plotted every move and weighed all alternatives. The pair reports directly to the mysterious #1, Blofeld, whose face remains hidden until You Only Live Twice.
 

[...]
 

Standing at the pinnacle of the series, From Russia with Love shows how good a Bond film can be when all the ingredients mesh. This movie isn't just a fun popcorn-munching action adventure flick; it's a good motion picture by any standards.

Excerpt from James Berardinelli's review located HERE

 

Theatrical Release: October 10th, 1963

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison: 

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (2-disc Ultimate Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. MGM / Fox - Region 'A' Blu-ray

 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM (2-disc Ultimate Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL MIDDLE

3) MGM / Fox - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Ultimate Edition)

Region 2,4 - PAL

MGM

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

James Bond Blu-ray Collection Three-Pack, Vol.2 [Blu-ray] (For Your Eyes Only / From Russia with Love / Thunderball) [Blu-ray] (2008) MGM

         

Runtime 1:55:04 1:50:12 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:55:12

Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.43 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.88 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Feature: 28.09 Gig

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

1:66:1

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate : MGM - Region 1

Bitrate: MGM (Ultimate Edition)

Bitrate: MGMx (Blu-ray)

NO BITRATE GRAPH FOR Blu-ray YET!

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0) English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS) English DTS HD Master 5.1, Original English Mono, Spanish Mono
Subtitles Spanish, French, None English HOH, English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Norwegian and Swedish, None English HOH, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• 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

DVD Release Date: April 10th, 2001
Keep case

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Europe (Ultimate Edition)
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• 
Audio Commentary featuring Director Terrence Young and members of the Cast and Crew
• Ian Fleming: The CBC Interview
• Ian Fleming & Raymond Chandler Featurette
• Ian Fleming on Desert Island Discs
• Storyboards
• Inside From Russia With Love
• Harry Saltzman: Show
• Original Trailers
• Photo Gallery
• Radio Communications
 

DVD Release Date: July 17th, 2006
Keep Case inside cardboard box

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Europe (Ultimate Edition)

Aspect Ratio:1.66:1

Feature: 28.09 Gig

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

 

Edition Details:
• 
Audio Commentary featuring Director Terrence Young and members of the Cast and Crew
• Ian Fleming: The CBC Interview
• Ian Fleming & Raymond Chandler Featurette
• Ian Fleming on Desert Island Discs
• Storyboards
• Inside From Russia With Love
• Harry Saltzman: Showman Feturette
• Original Trailers. TV Spots etc
• Image database
 

Blu-ray Release Date: October 21st, 2008
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 32

 

Comments NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: MGM / Fox - Region 'A' Blu-ray - October 08': I was a bit guarded about these new Bond Blu-ray releases but am thrilled to say that my #1 favorite - From Russia With Love - looks fabulous in 1080P. Hopefully, the below screen captures will bear out the higher level of detail - that exceeded my expectations for this, now 45 years young, film. The color scheme supports the 'Deluxe Edition' - as does the 1.66 aspect ratio. I recently updated my firmware to 4.2 (on my S300) but still had issues with playing this on my stand alone machine - and resorted to HTPC but even with my limited equipment I could see the vast superiority. Hopefully, this is not an issue with the Blu-ray itself - but we will update here as soon as we can confirm. Tatiana Romanova never looked better and Rosa Klebb never more sinister. I wish there was more grain but any prevalent noise is relegated to the background - usually being quite fine. I felt like this was akin to a theatrical viewing.

I recently reconfigured my audio set-up and definitely could note a difference in the lossless DTS HD track especially in the boat chase scene and the gypsy-girl fight. The 5.1 on the Deluxe as very good - but this is, expectantly, even better. The helicopter explosion and train sounds all had various degrees of separation to the rears. John Barry's score, in From Russia With Love, is iconic and sounded as tight and crisp as I have ever heard it. There are optional English or Spanish subtitles (no French) and these limitations leads us to conclude this is NOT a region free Blu-ray edition. Note: including the original track is an excellent idea.

Extras appear all the same as in the last SD-DVD ('Deluxe Edition'). The Terence Young commentary is the same on all 3 releases and the other featurettes have a strong focus on writer Ian Fleming. I didn't note any Blu-ray specific supplements but will take a closer examination before the weekend.

Thunderball and Dr. No are next and Leonard will cover the two sets in their entirety. Stay tuned.     

*****

ON THE SD-DVDs: Quite a substantial difference between the older MGM NTSC disc and the new PAL 'Ultimate Edition' package. Most notably we have the aspect ratio - the NTSC version has cropped the 1.66 ratio image for 1.78 widescreen system owners (bad move!) - you can see how much is removed - extensive in the top of the frame but there is a loss of information on all 4 sides.

The image has improved dramatically especially in areas of sharpness, color, detail and contrast. The new 'Ultimate Edition' is substantially superior.

The new PAL release has a healthy bump in the audio track with a 5.1 or DTS offering. They sound fantastic but MGM should have included the original (2.0?) as a choice.

The NTSC edition only offers French and Spanish subtitles where the 'Ultimate' has a host of European (and even Hindi) choices  as well as English and English close-captioned.

The Terence Young commentary is the same on both releases and while the NTSC offered two featurettes the Ultimate Edition gives us an entire second disc with a strong focus on writer Ian Fleming. There is a bit of filler there (the 'Woman' and 'Propaganda' sections) but overall the supplements are acceptable and appreciated. Many will find them very informative.

The film is my favorite Bond (along with You Only Live Twice) and it although I was impressed (at the time) with the original MGM DVD and its 'ACTIVATION' menu screens, this new Ultimate Edition blows it away in all areas. What a treat to see in in 1.66 with such strong clarity and sound. I think I'm going to have to get all the 'Ultimate Edition' releases now.... sigh.

 - Gary Tooze

 



DVD Menus

(MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. MGM (2-disc Ultimate Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL RIGHT)

 

Ultimate Edition Disc 2 Menus

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM (2-disc Ultimate Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL MIDDLE

3) MGM / Fox - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Subtitle Sample: Not exact frame - NTSC has only French and Spanish options / We can't capture subs on Blu-ray yet!

 

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM (2-disc Ultimate Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL MIDDLE

3) MGM / Fox - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM (2-disc Ultimate Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL MIDDLE

3) MGM / Fox - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM (2-disc Ultimate Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL MIDDLE

3) MGM / Fox - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM (2-disc Ultimate Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL MIDDLE

3) MGM / Fox - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM (2-disc Ultimate Edition) - Region 2,4 - PAL MIDDLE

3) MGM / Fox - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


More Blu-ray

 


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: MGM Ultimate / Blu-ray
Menu:

 
DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Ultimate Edition)

Region 2,4 - PAL

MGM

Region A - Blu-ray

James Bond Blu-ray Collection Three-Pack, Vol.2 [Blu-ray] (For Your Eyes Only / From Russia with Love / Thunderball) [Blu-ray] (2008) MGM

         




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

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