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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) Poster

Trivia

When Richard Burton became a superstar, he insisted on casting his friends from his days at the Old Vic and West End (London's equivalent of Broadway). That is why Claire Bloom, who is clearly too old to be a teenager, was cast as Nan Perry. Other friends of Burton's cast in the film included the great stage actor Sir Michael Hordern and Robert Hardy.
Author John le Carré worked for British Intelligence MI5 and MI6 during the 1950s and 1960s and worked in Berlin where this film is partially set. Le Carré was there when the Berlin Wall was being constructed. Le Carré drew on this real life experience when he wrote the novel of 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold'. The novel is set about a year after the Berlin Wall was built.
John le Carré included 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' as one of his 4 best novels during an interview on 5 October 2008, on BBC Four. The other best works he selected were; 'The Tailor of Panama', 'The Constant Gardener' and 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'.
In this movie, actor Rupert Davies was the first actor to portray John le Carré's iconic character, George Smiley, in either film, or TV. James Mason was the second actor to play him, in The Deadly Affair (1966), (though the character was renamed Charles Dobbs for the film). Sir Alec Guinness was third, and he played him twice - in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) and Smiley's People (1982). Denholm Elliott was the 4th actor to play Smiley, in A Murder of Quality (1991) whilst Gary Oldman is the fifth actor to play him, in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
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Though playing a teenager, Claire Bloom was actually 34 at the time of filming.
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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.
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Alec Leamas was supposed to be 50 years old, although Richard Burton was only 39 at the time of filming.
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Burt Lancaster was originally attached to play Alec Leamas. The lead part was in the end cast with actor Richard Burton.
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In a 2016 article for The Guardian, John le Carré revealed fond memories of the shoot: 'The director and I got along fine. I enjoyed an amiable relationship with the screenwriter [Paul Dehn], who as a former instructor in the black arts at a British spy school during the second world war, turned out to know much more about espionage than I did. No great liberties were taken with my story - although I no longer see that as a criterion - and my only job was to provide the odd grace note to the screenplay while befriending Richard Burton and keeping a beady eye on his alcohol consumption.' Although he recalled 'open hostility' between Burton and director Martin Ritt, he believed this 'fed Burton's sense of alienation, and gave force to his performance.'
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The character of Hans-Dieter Mundt (played by Peter van Eyck in this film) was changed to Karel Harek aka 'Blondie' for John le Carré's The Deadly Affair (1966), because Paramount Pictures held the rights to the character's name from this film.
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The only ever cinema film adaptation of a John le Carré story that has been entirely filmed in black-and-white.
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Richard Burton and co-star Warren Mitchell were Royal Air Force cadets together at Oxford in 1944, where they knew one another and became friends. From 1944-47, when both were demobilized, they were stationed together at times in Canada and back in England.
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The character of George Smiley, John le Carré's iconic character, was renamed Charles Dobbs for John le Carré's The Deadly Affair (1966) because Paramount Pictures had bought the film rights to the 'Smiley' name when they produced this film.
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In the room in East Germany where Leamas is interrogated by Fiedler, the wallpaper is of English design ("Marigold" by William Morris).
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Author Graham Greene said of John le Carré's 1963 novel, that it was "the best spy story I have ever read".
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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."
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In the Criterion remastering of the film, is Included an interview with 'John le Carre', in which he expressed his wish for Rita Tushingham to have portray Nan Perry, as he felt she'd be 'a bit kooky, someone who could play working class, a bit solitary... a natural recruit for the communist party.' Initially le Carré felt 'Claire Bloom' 'too beautiful, classy' for the role. Far from being disappointed with her performance in the film, le Carré said 'she provided the female-focus the story needed, and (she) radiates tremendous confidence...she knew she wasn't going to be acted off the screen (by 'Richard Burton').'
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One of three John le Carré filmed adaptations to be nominated for Academy Awards. This movie was nominated for two Oscars whilst Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and The Constant Gardener (2005) were both nominated for three, the latter winning one.
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This movie was made and released about 2 years after John le Carré's novel was first published in 1963.
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Writer John le Carré partially based his famous George Smiley character on a friend, the Lincoln College tutor and Oxford University don, the Reverend Vivian Green. Smiley was also based on le Carré's boss at MI5, Lord Clanmorris, who wrote crime novels under the pseudonym of John Bingham.
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This film's title was spoofed in Le spie vengono dal semifreddo (Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966)) which translates literally into English as "The Spies who came in from the Semi-Cold". or more idiomatically "The Spies who came in from the Frozen Custard".
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First ever filmed adaptation of a John le Carré story.
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First of two screen adaptations of a John le Carré story scripted by Paul Dehn. The second would be The Deadly Affair (1966) released in the next year. Just before this movie, Dehn also co-wrote the script for the James Bond movie Goldfinger (1964).
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According to Wikipedia, in 2005, the 50th anniversary of the Dagger Awards, John le Carré's. novel, The Spy Who Came in From The Cold, was awarded the 'Dagger of Daggers'; a one-time award given to the Golden Dagger winner regarded as the stand-out amongst all 50, previous winners throuhout the history of the Crime Writers' Association.
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The film's screenwriters, Paul Dehn, and Guy Trosper, who penned the adaptation of the screenplay based upon John le Carré novel, won "The Edgar Allan Poe Award" for "Best Motion Picture Screenplay" for a movie in 1966.
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The film's source - John le Carré's novel, won the UK's "The Somerset Maugham Award" from The Society of Authors (SOA) in 1966.
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John le Carré 's novel upon which this film's based, won "The Gold Dagger Award" in 1963 for "Best Crime Novel" which was awarded by The Crime Writers' Association (CWA).
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David Lodge says in his memoirs he had disastrous interview with Martin Ritt for the part of Patmore.
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The nickname of the Hans-Dieter Mundt character (played by Peter van Eyck) was "Blondie".
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The novel of 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' is one of the author's best known books. The phrase 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' of the title has gone into the lexicon of popular culture.
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The first actor to portray an M character in the Bond films, Bernard Lee, was the first actor ever to do both Bond and Le Carré. Lee appeared as Patmore in this film.
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The 1960's saw a flurry of spy, and espionage-based TV series, and films, including: _"Secret Agent" (1964)_, The Avengers (1961), and _"Man In a Suitcase" (1967)_, on TV, This film is one of 3 filmed movie adaptations of John le Carré's spy and espionage novels which were released during this period. The 3 films are; The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), The Deadly Affair (1966) (based on le Carré's novel "Call for the Dead"), and The Looking Glass War (1970).
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The American edition of John le Carré's novel, won the 1965 'Edgar Award' for "Best Mystery Novel" from the Mystery Writers of America.
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The 50th anniversary of John le Carré's novel, was celebrated in 2013, with a new edition of the book, published by Penguin Books on 1st August of that year. The boook includes a "Fifty Years Later" introduction by John le Carré.
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John le Carré's novel is included in TIME magazine's list of All Time 100 Novels, in which the book's ranked at N°. 88 spot where critics Richard Lacayo & Lev Grossman selected their 100 Best English language novels published since the beginning of TIME in 1923.
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One of 5 adaptations based upon 3 of John le Carré's novels which feature the word "spy" in the title. The productions include; 2 BBC mini-series, A Perfect Spy (1987) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979), the classic 1960's feature film The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), as well as a filmed version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), and the mini-series remake The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (2018).
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John le Carré's novel became a 'best-seller with universal appeal" according to "Who's Who in Spy Fiction" (1977) by Donald McCormick.
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At 8-words, "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold", is the longest title of any John le Carré novel, or any filmed adaptation.
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