IMDb > The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

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

Photos (See all 16 | slideshow) Videos
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold -- Oscar nominee Richard Burton* is the burnt-out British agent who refuses to "come in from the cold" to take a desk job -- but instead launches into the most dangerous assignment of his career, stalking East German agent (and Golden Globe winner) Oskar Werner.**


User Rating:
7.7/10   9,791 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John le Carré (novel)
Paul Dehn (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 December 1965 (USA) See more »
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 »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations See more »
(81 articles)
Sense and Sensibility
 (From Trailers from Hell. 30 November 2015, 8:25 PM, PST)

Seven Anti-James Bond Movies You Haven’t Seen
 (From SoundOnSight. 26 October 2015, 4:34 PM, PDT)

Cinematographer Roger Deakins Takes Visceral Approach To His Craft
 (From Variety - Film News. 15 September 2015, 10:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Best spy movie of the 1960s See more (95 total) »


  (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
Scott Finch ... German Guide (as Scot Finch)
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)
Michael Ripper ... Lofthouse (uncredited)
Michael Rittermann ... Security Officer (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
Ted Marshall  (as Edward Marshall)
Set Decoration by
Josie MacAvin (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Sophie Devine  (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)
Bob Penn .... still photographer (uncredited)
Casting Department
Sally Nicholl .... casting supervisor
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Barbara Gillett .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Ray Lovejoy .... assistant editor
Denis Whitehouse .... assistant editor
Music Department
Sol Kaplan .... conductor
David Lindup .... orchestrator
Transportation Department
Arthur Dunne .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Other crew
Angela Martelli .... continuity
Richard McWhorter .... assistant to producer

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
112 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:M | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:12 | Netherlands:14 (1966) | Norway:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | UK:A (original rating) | USA:Unrated | West Germany:12 (f) (cut version) | West Germany:16 (f) (original rating)

Did You Know?

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 »
Factual errors: 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 »
Control:A shark can smell blood a mile off when he's hungry, and Mundt is hungry for our blood.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Tais-toi quand tu parles! (1981)See more »


Chicago Opening Happened When?
See more »
51 out of 62 people found the following review useful.
Best spy movie of the 1960s, 21 December 2004
Author: x_hydra from Boston, MA

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (95 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Richard Burton's eye mole moscies-66456
Disturbing plothole The_TJT
Bad ending?......spoilers! pralhadxhrestha
Who would like to see an remake of this? overfiend1976
Hard to comprehend whenim64
How were they going to get away with Nan being killed? Rich359
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Looking Glass War Funeral in Berlin The Human Factor Casino Royale The Deadly Affair
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.