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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 16 December 1965 (USA)
British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the Cold War during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Hans-Dieter Mundt (as Peter Van Eyck)
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Patmore
Beatrix Lehmann ...
Tribunal President
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Old Judge
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CIA Agent
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German Checkpoint Guard
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BRACE YOURSELF FOR GREATNESS See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Spion, der aus der Kälte kam  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alec Leamas was supposed to be 50 years old, although Richard Burton was only 39 at the time of filming. See more »

Goofs

In his defense speech of Mundt, the East German defense attorney (played by George Voskovec) states "Smiley was indeed Leamas's friend. He was also a planner in the section called Satellites Four, which operates behind the Iron Curtain." The term "Iron Curtain" would not have been used by officials of East Germany or other Soviet bloc countries to refer to the east-west divide. Originally created by Winston Churchill, the phrase "behind the Iron Curtain" became a disparaging characterization of the east bloc countries and their socialist systems. It was seen as serving to keep people in and information out, and people mostly throughout the West used the metaphor in that context. See more »

Quotes

Alec Leamas: Mundt was a Nazi, wasn't he?
Fiedler: He was a member of the Hitler Youth... as a boy.
Alec Leamas: Now he's a grown-up Communist. He was what I would call... available.
Fiedler: Like you!... Shall we begin? Let me start by asking you an amusing question.
Alec Leamas: Let me start by asking you one! Make you laugh your head off! Where's my money? When can I go whatever... whatever home is? And Carleton's gone home! Peters has gone home! What about me?
Fiedler: The agreement was...
Alec Leamas: Agreement!... You've broken the bloody agreement and barring ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Danger Mouse: The Spy Who Came in with a Cold (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Grim, just as it should be
7 September 2004 | by (north hollywood nee Dublin Ireland) – See all my reviews

I read the book about three years ago and was prepared to be disappointed with the feature as it's a grim book and I thought they'd soften it a little, the movie is excellent though, they made a couple of changes but all for the best, anyone who thinks spying was/is a glamorous occupation should check the film out, LeCarre actually worked as a spy too which adds weight to his dark and realistic (in my opinion)view of this filthy job. My favourite feature of the film is the contempt with which each of the communist spies treats his inferiors as the chain of command is followed, it's a beautiful touch which I don't remember from the book, and by the time Leamass starts laughing at it I was right there with him. I loved this film and can't recommend it enough, Burton is brilliant, some of his cold stares as things start going bad are magnificent, and of course he plays a great drunk... it's a nice script too.


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