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   8,472 votes »
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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:
Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest spy film ever made. See more (91 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
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
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
112 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
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?

Trivia:
The name of the character of Liz Gold from 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' novel was changed to Nan Perry (played by Claire Bloom) for this film. It is considered that the reason for this was because lead actor Richard Burton was married to actress Elizabeth Taylor at the time, and changing the character's name prevented any possible name-jibes that could be vented from the media.See more »
Quotes:
Alec Leamas:What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They're not! They're just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me: little men, drunkards, queers, hen-pecked husbands, civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives. Do you think they sit like monks in a cell, balancing right against wrong?See more »

FAQ

Chicago Opening Happened When?
See more »
17 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest spy film ever made., 11 March 2010
Author: rooprect from New York City

You can check my voting history to see how rarely I give out perfect 10s. But this film truly deserves the honor.

I hesitate to call it a spy movie because it's nothing like any spy movie I've ever seen. There are no hi tech gadgets, shoe phones and sexy Russian agents. There are no fantastic plots to recover microfilm hidden in the crown jewels. The hero doesn't even carry a gun. Instead the battle is fought with pure intelligence, political manipulation and trickery. This is what true espionage is about, the way WWII history books tell us. In the same way Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" broke the rules of the scifi stereotype, this film did the same with the spy genre.

I won't say anything about the plot except that it requires your full attention. Things are not spelled out for us, and it requires a bit of work to piece it together, but that makes the payoff all the more stunning. This movie reads as if it were a book (which may be good or bad depending on how you like your movies). But I assure you it's not boring. I found myself whispering after every scene "This is so freaking cool! How much cooler can it get?" The answer: much.

The acting is flawless. Richard Burton is perfect as the cynical, faithless enigma who hides his mission so well even we can't guess what he's up to. Claire Bloom is equally convincing as the clueless but intelligent bystander. Oskar Werner, in the greatest role I've seen him play, is both chilling and magnetic as the interrogator. Even the minor roles were expertly played.

The script is so clever I highly recommend watching the film with subtitles so that you don't miss any of the great lines and wit. It may also help you keep up with the plot which, as I said, can be tricky.

Sol Kaplan's musical score is sparse but very effective in maintaining the heavy mood. The piano pieces really make you feel the weight of the dreary, cold war era. And the lack of music during tense scenes is equally powerful.

And that brings me to my favourite part of the film: the amazing camera work, cinematography and lighting. This is one of those films that makes you realize that black&white isn't just a choice of film; it's an entire art form unto itself. Darkness and light, sharpness and haze, shadows and contrast are used to the fullest. But it's not obnoxiously done like a 2nd year film student might do. No, everything flows naturally so a layperson can enjoy the scenery just as much as a cinema geek.

And there you have it; nothing but praise from me. The only problem is that it has ruined all the other spy films and political thrillers for me.

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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
Who would like to see an remake of this? overfiend1976
Poor image quality on DVD fahyr
Greatest British (Isles) cast ever assembled for a film? deforest-1
Outstanding! catholicservant
Can't follow the story... Euan1234
Can't believe George Smiley was such a cold hearted b#$tard... sn939
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