MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 258 this week

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)

7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 8,231 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 56 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

with Prime Instant Video + 1 more

Editors' Spotlight

Emmy Awards 2014

We have the winners, photos and more in our 2014 Emmys section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 05 Oct 2010
 
a list of 43 titles
created 17 Mar 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 06 Aug 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 07 Dec 2012
 
60s
a list of 23 titles
created 10 Jul 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A British agent sets out to uncover the hidden facts behind a British government employee's suicide.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Mason, Maximilian Schell, Simone Signoret
Smiley's People (TV Mini-Series 1982)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Alec Guinness, Eileen Atkins, Bill Paterson
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (TV Mini-Series 1979)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced out of semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons.

Stars: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate
A Perfect Spy (TV Mini-Series 1987)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This is the story of Magnus Pym, from his childhood to the end of his career in middle age. As a young man, there is little doubt that his father Rick was the most influential character in ... See full summary »

Stars: Ray McAnally, Rüdiger Weigang, Alan Howard
Certificate: M Action | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

From the John le Carre novel about a British spy who sends a Polish defector to East Germany to verify missile sites.

Director: Frank Pierson
Stars: Christopher Jones, Pia Degermark, Ralph Richardson
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Edward Fox, Terence Alexander, Michel Auclair
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An American Actress with a penchant for lying is forceably recruited by Mosad, the Israeli intelligence agency to trap a Palestinian bomber, by pretending to be the girlfriend of his dead brother.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Diane Keaton, Yorgo Voyagis, Klaus Kinski
A Murder of Quality (TV Movie 1991)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Taken from the book by John le Carre, George Smiley rallies to the aid of his former intelligence colleague, Ailsa Brimley, to investigate a mysterious letter from a junion master's wife at... See full summary »

Director: Gavin Millar
Stars: Denholm Elliott, Joss Ackland, Glenda Jackson
Hud (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A British agent is sent to Berlin to receive a Communist defector, but the true situation turns out to be rather more complicated.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Oskar Homolka, Paul Hubschmid
Endstation (TV Movie 1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Ludwig Cremer
Stars: Hans Schweikart, Peter Striebeck
Dare I Weep, Dare I Mourn (TV Movie 1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In West Berlin, a man who lived his whole life under the thumb of his father, must get the coffin with his father's remains across the border. However, he is in for a not so pleasant surprise.

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: James Mason, Hugh Griffith, Jill Bennett
Edit

Cast

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

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:

THE BOOK THE WORLD COULD NOT LAY DOWN IS NOW A MOTION PICTURE See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'espion qui venait du froid  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

First ever filmed adaptation of a John le Carré story, and the only ever cinema film adaptation of a le Carré story that has been filmed in black-and-white. See more »

Quotes

Control: A shark can smell blood a mile off when he's hungry, and Mundt is hungry for our blood.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The great Richard Burton performance no one saw...

It seems to me as though no one remembers this film. In fact, I think that it would be fair to say that I wouldn't have become intrigued enough by it to finally rent if I hadn't seen just the briefest of clips of it on an ABC news broadcast. When I think about it, I realize why should anyone remember it? This was made during the Golden Age of Bond, which this film acts as a dark mirror to. More's the pity, actually, as this was one of Richard Burton's finest performances.

Burton is cast as Alex Leamas, a nerve-dead, aged secret operative operating out of West Berlin. After a routine assignment goes awry, Leamas is sent home and out of the service. He struggles to try to live a normal, average life as a librarian's assistant, but he can't make it work for him (something that is not helped by his chronic alcoholism). This fact is made forcefully clear when he winds up beating a local grocer and is sentenced to jail time. Slowly but surely, he allows himself to be pulled back into the Cold War he operated in, not suspecting or maybe not even caring that his superiors are setting him up for a fall.

One will never mistake Alex Leamas' grey, rainy world for the sunlight universe of James Bond. It offers what is probably the ugliest depiction of the Great Game on film: drunkards, ex-Nazis, Jews, and die-hard Communists swimming like sharks through a fish pond, all of them devouring any who get in their way. None have any more than lip-service loyalty to their fellow operatives, their countries, or maybe even their own ideologies. At it's center stands Burton, playing Leamas as a walking dead man, festering with hate, resentment, and cynicism at the system that eventually sends him into the gutter. His devastating parked car monologue alone is worth the price of renting this one from the local video store.

It's bitter cynic tone may have been the film's undoing; rarely have I seen a film so downbeat in it's depiction of humanity. Still, it is not one that deserves to be forgotten.


63 of 89 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Can't believe George Smiley was such a cold hearted b#$tard... sn939
Disturbing plothole mr Marble
Hard to comprehend whenim64
Can't follow the story... Euan1234
Poor image quality on DVD fahyr
Nan/Liz zingzangspillip
Discuss The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?