IMDb > The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   11,508 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
John le Carré (novel)
Paul Dehn (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 December 1965 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
BRACE YOURSELF FOR GREATNESS See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Gets better and better over the years See more (100 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Richard Burton ... Alec Leamas

Claire Bloom ... Nan Perry

Oskar Werner ... Fiedler

Sam Wanamaker ... Peters

George Voskovec ... East German Defense Attorney
Rupert Davies ... George Smiley

Cyril Cusack ... Control

Peter van Eyck ... Hans-Dieter Mundt (as Peter Van Eyck)

Michael Hordern ... Ashe

Robert Hardy ... Dick Carlton

Bernard Lee ... Patmore
Beatrix Lehmann ... Tribunal President

Esmond Knight ... Old Judge

Tom Stern ... CIA Agent

Niall MacGinnis ... German Checkpoint Guard
Scot Finch ... German Guide
Anne Blake ... Miss Crail
George Mikell ... German Checkpoint Guard

Richard Marner ... Vopo Captain

Warren Mitchell ... Mr. Zanfrello
Steve Plytas ... East German Judge
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Graham Armitage ... Pawson (uncredited)

David Bauer ... Young Judge (uncredited)
Richard Caldicot ... Mr. Pitt (uncredited)
Marianne Deeming ... Frau Floerdke (uncredited)

Walter Gotell ... Holten (uncredited)
Edward Harvey ... Man in the Shop (uncredited)
Katherine Keeton ... Stripper at the Pussywillow Club (uncredited)

Philip Madoc ... Young German Officer (uncredited)
Henk Molenberg ... Dutch Customs Officer (uncredited)

Nancy Nevinson ... Mrs. Zanfrello (uncredited)
John Quentin ... Pawson (uncredited)
Michael Ripper ... Lofthouse (uncredited)

Michael Rittermann ... Security Officer (uncredited)
Richard Shaw ... Guard (uncredited)
Terry Yorke ... Karl Riemeck (uncredited)

Directed by
Martin Ritt 
 
Writing credits
John le Carré (novel "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold")

Paul Dehn (screenplay) and
Guy Trosper (screenplay)

Produced by
Martin Ritt .... producer
 
Original Music by
Sol Kaplan 
 
Cinematography by
Oswald Morris (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Anthony Harvey 
 
Production Design by
Tambi Larsen 
Hal Pereira (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Edward Marshall 
 
Set Decoration by
Josie MacAvin (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Sophie Devine (costumes) (as Motley)
 
Makeup Department
Eric Allwright .... makeup artist
George Frost .... makeup supervisor
Joan Smallwood .... hairdresser
 
Production Management
James H. Ware .... production supervisor (as James Ware)
Wim Lindner .... production manager: Netherlands (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Colin M. Brewer .... assistant director (as Colin Brewer)
 
Art Department
Stan Gale .... construction manager
Josie MacAvin .... set dresser
Peter Melrose .... scenic artist
 
Sound Department
John Cox .... sound recordist
Gordon Daniel .... dubbing editor
John W. Mitchell .... sound recordist
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Brian West .... camera operator
Maurice Gillett .... supervising electrician (uncredited)
John Palmer .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Bob Penn .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Sally Nicholl .... casting supervisor
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Barbara Gillett .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Denis Whitehouse .... assistant editor
Ray Lovejoy .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Sol Kaplan .... conductor
David Lindup .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Arthur Dunne .... transportation captain (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Angela Martelli .... continuity
Richard McWhorter .... assistant to the producer
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"John le Carré's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" - International (English title) (informal title)
See more »
Runtime:
112 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:12 | Netherlands:14 (1966) | Norway:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1996) (2007) | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #20935) | West Germany:12 (f) (cut version) | West Germany:16 (f) (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
John le Carré said in an interview with The Guardian 13th April 2013: "I wrote 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' at the age of 30 under intense, unshared, personal stress, and in extreme privacy. As an intelligence officer in the guise of a junior diplomat at the British Embassy in Bonn, I was a secret to my colleagues, and much of the time to myself. I had written a couple of earlier novels, necessarily under a pseudonym, and my employing service had approved them before publication. After lengthy soul-searching, they had also approved 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold'. To this day, I don't know what I would have done if they hadn't."See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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:
Nan Perry:Well, they returned you to me. I'm so grateful. So grateful! I cut tonight's party meeting.
Alec Leamas:Oh, well, well! Thank you for putting me above history.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Life Itself (2014)See more »

FAQ

Chicago Opening Happened When?
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74 out of 89 people found the following review useful.
Gets better and better over the years, 9 June 2005
Author: pekinman from Illinois

Having just read LeCarré's first novel, 'Call for the Dead', I am now appreciating his third novel 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold' even more. This film adaptation directed by Martin Ritt is a fine preamble to the masterful BBC series 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' and 'Smiley's People'. One of the joys of LeCarré's novels is that many characters return again and again. Mundt, the "villain" in 'Spy...' first appears in 'Call..' and as usual LeCarré wraps up a few loose ends from the previous story.

This black and white film recreates the sullen atmosphere of cold war espionage in a way that color seems to diminish for some unexplainable reason. Those were black and white kinda times in my memory. Depressing, frightening and dour.

George Smiley makes a small appearance, albeit very important as a character in the plot line, and is nicely played by Rupert Davies, capturing the diffident and wry Smiley as effectively as Guinness did later on and Denholm Elliot even further on in the TV film 'A Murder of Quality'. Cyril Cusack's Control could easily be the younger version of Alexander Knox's masterful rendition in the Smiley TV shows. The continuity suggested in all of these films is very satisfying. It's a shame so many of the other versions of LeCarré's novels are so mediocre... ie 'The Little Drummer Girl' with a totally miscast Diane Keaton, and 'The Russia House', too Hollywood by half.

Richard Burton turns in just about the greatest performance of his life here. He is the embodiment of the disillusioned, bitter and down-trodden ego-maniac that seems to be the basic cocktail for a spy's personality, according to LeCarré.

I've seen this film many times but just recently spotted LeCarré himself (at least it certainly looks like him) as an extra in a short scene. As Leamas is making his roundabout way to Smiley's house at 9 Bywater Street, he is exiting the first of 2 taxis. As he does so a tall, lean man in black is walking towards him. Ritt seems to be focusing the camera on this "extra" actor who actually makes furtive glances at Leamas. It is later revealed that Leamas has been followed by the Communists. Could LeCarré be playing that non-speaking, uncredited part of the Eastern "watcher" trailing Leamas to Smiley's house? Wouldn't surprise me in the least. It's a part LeCarré would have enjoyed playing, I think.

And, like Hitchcock, LeCarré has appeared in film adaptations of his books before.

Claire Bloom is excellent as the naive English communist who hasn't got a clue as to what she's supporting. The end of this film is always shocking to me. The ruthlessness of the spy-masters, the lies, the back-stabbing.... There is nothing over-blown in this film. It's all very subtle and intriguing and with the passage of time just gets more and more fascinating.

Highly recommended to fans of this genre, especially LeCarré fanatics. If you haven't read his books you are missing out on perhaps the finest living writer of the English language. Some "experts" think his writing style is out of date because the plots are so involved and the prose so full of humor and political incorrectness; I read something to that effect in the most recent edition of the 'Halliwell' guide. Perhaps the editor of that book has A.D.D. or something, or perhaps he's just seen to many glitzy, empty flicks designed to entertain the gawping masses, I don't know. To me, LeCarré will never go out of style and it is to be hoped the film adaptations of his books will continue to be made. A few remakes wouldn't be out of order either.

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