Called out of retirement to settle the affairs of a friend, Smiley finds his old organization, the Circus, so overwhelmed by political considerations that it doesn't want to know what ... See full summary »
Following the suicide of an elderly Jewish man, a journalist in possession of the man's diary investigates the alleged sighting of a former SS captain, who allegedly commanded a concentration camp during WWII.
Two British agents are murdered by a mysterious Neonazi organization in West Berlin. The British Secret Service sends agent Quiller to investigate. Soon Quiller is confronted with Neonazi ... See full summary »
Hud Bannon is a ruthless young man who tarnishes everything and everyone he touches. Hud represents the perfect embodiment of alienated youth, out for kicks with no regard for the ... See full summary »
Alec Leamas, a British spy is sent to East Germany supposedly to defect, but in fact to sow disinformation. As more plot turns appear, Leamas becomes more convinced that his own people see him as just a cog. His struggle back from dehumanization becomes the final focus of the story. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Richard Burton and co-star Warren Mitchell were Royal Air Force cadets together at Oxford in 1944, where they knew one another and became friends. From 1944-47, when both were demobilized, they were stationed together at times in Canada and back in England. See more »
In his defense speech of Mundt, the East German defense attorney (played by George Voskovec) says "Smiley was indeed Leamas's friend. He was also a planner in the section called Satellite Four... which operates behind the Iron Curtain." The term "Iron Curtain" would not have been used by officials in East Germany or any of the Soviet bloc countries to refer to the east-west divide. It was originally created by Winston Churchill and the phrase "behind the Iron Curtain" became a derogatory description of the east bloc countries and their socialist systems. The term "Iron Curtain" was seen as serving to keep people in and information out, and people throughout the West used the metaphor in that context. See more »
[Approaching Leamas who is sitting on a bench]
Do you like birds? The ones with the white collars are wild. The others are domesticated. With people it's the other way around.
Bird-watching's one of my hobbies. I often come here.
Do you also often come to Wormwood Scrubs Prison at eight o'clock in the morning to watch birds?
Yes, jailbirds. They're my other hobby.
Only the young ones, surely!
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So many poor Cold War spy movies were made in the 1960s, ranging from shtick to schlock. This one is a standout -- great acting, great atmosphere, great plot. It's darker, grittier, and more realistic than any other films of this genre from the mid-60s, and wears even better with age (no "mind control machines" or other ridiculous retro gadgets).
Le Carré is often credited for making the spy novel transcend genre fiction and enter into the realm of literature. It is apt that a similar statement can be said about a movie based on Le Carré; it moves beyond "spy movie" into brilliant cinema. Heavily recommended.
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