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"Despite the incorrect running time listed for "M" on the packaging ("71 minutes"), this cut of "M" is over 98 minutes long, and contains much footage I've never seen before. It remains a riveting thriller, and I highly recommend it. Although I'm a fan of Lang's work, I had not seen "Spies" before. It was also impressive, and quite entertaining.I thought the DVD transfers were good, and at this price it's a great bargain."
Buy this one for the great transfer of "Spies"
mbalson | 08/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I am sure you know there are a lot of budget, poor quality, DVDs out there of Fritz Lang's Films. This great release from Whirlwind is not one of them! The transfer on "Spies" is excellent. The image is very detailed and crisp, there are nicks and scratches throughout the film, but this is to be expected. Only a major restoration could make this film look better. This disc is dual-layered and it seems to show as the video compression looks very good. The audio track on "Spies" contains a very nice organ score that suits the film well. This disc also includes a fair/poor quality of "M". It actually looks far worse than "Spies", but to be fair, I think the source print for "M" must not have given them much to work with. The audio track on "M" is fairly dirty, which takes away from its overall presentation as well. If you are looking for the best version of "M" you will have to get the Criterion version, but if you are looking for a solid edition of "Spies" look no further."
A 'must' for everybody who loves Fritz Lang
Andrew Mendelssohn | Charlotte, NC United States | 04/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While perhaps not quite in the same league as M and Metropolis, Spies (Spione) is really great in its own right, and a testament to the diverse film making skills of its director, Fritz Lang.
Spies is like the 'Bond' of silent films. Indeed, watching the film its hard to believe Albert Broccoli did not use Spies as his prototype for all the James Bond films he produced.
The story opens with the assassination of a diplomat for some documents. Chaos reigns... but then we are introduced to the hero, No. 326. 326 is the master spy who must retrieve the documents, and save the world from the evil banker Haghi (wheelchair bound). In between there's a woman sent to spy on 326, who in fact falls in love with him.... sure, you've seen this before but this film is the original, the real thing, filmed almost 35 years before Bond et al ever made it to the screen.
Spies is simply great fun!
This disk also includes a very scratchy Fritz the Cat cartoon, which I quite enjoyed despite its age and condition, and Lang's classic `M.' The transfer of M is not bad, but cannot compare with Criterion's version. If you buy this disk, well, you get M but the real treat is Spies.
Regarding the print of Spies, quality is not bad but hardly a great restoration either. Still, the film is quite watchable: impressive for a 75+-year-old print. Like Metropolis, there's a little controversy as to the run time of Spies. This version is 90 minutes, but I've seen listings showing a German version of 178 minutes at a very slow frame rate of 16fps. I don't know if this version has been cut, or if the 178 figure is even correct but its worth mentioning.
Also, for true Lang fans, Kino is supposed to release a fully restored version of Spies (to match Metropolis???) sometime in Fall, so perhaps the mystery will be solved then.
In any case, for now this is the best you will see of this film, and its worth buying and watching even in its present condition. A gem of filmmaking is still a gem despite some scratches on the print!"
Great version of "Spies" okay version of "M"
J. Clark | 07/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was pleased to finally find Fritz Lang's "Spies"especially since it was out of print on video. The picture quality isexcellant. You will not be dissappointed. The dvd also has on it a short Felix the cat clip (I' dont know why) and it also has Lang's movie "M" with Peter Lorre. The picture quality on this is okay. I remember thinking that my vhs version was better. It's not that the picture isn't crisp, it is, its just like the film looks scratchy. you can tell it's an old movie. If you are looking for Spies, look no further. If you are more a fan of "M" you may want to check out other DVD version: The Criterion collection's version of M (which has a cooler cover). But either way this DVD is a bargain..."
Worth the bucks
M. Cruz | Valparaiso, IN United States | 07/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hi. Mike Cruz. You may have seen such reviews from me as Metropolis: A classic, but not on dvd.This double feature including Spies and M is well worth the bones. Spies is a great transfer copy! Good sound (for a silent); great picture. M is the cut version, meaning it's the 71 min. version. However for the price, I think it is well worth it. It even has a Felix the Cat cartoon! If you want to see M in all its glory, you should get the regular dvd of M. But the subtitles and picture and sound for M is very good, it's just the edited version. I have searched all over for Spies, the film released after Metropolis. In my opinion it is on the same level or even better than the Mabuse films. It is fantastic! If you like Lang, you must get this. Unlike the dvd for Metropolis, you won't be sorry!"