5.8/10
476
21 user 2 critic

The Defector (1966)

L'espion (original title)
Montgomery Cliff (in his last role) plays James Bower, an American physicist visiting West Germany who's recruited by a shady CIA agent, named Adam, to help them with the defection of a ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Big Lift (1950)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Experiences of two Air Force sergeants during the 1948 Berlin Airlift.

Director: George Seaton
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Paul Douglas, Cornell Borchers
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A graduating poet/teacher falls in love with a Southern woman, and then the Civil War and her past create problems.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Dean Martin
Freud (1962)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This pseudo-biographical movie depicts 5 years from 1885 on in the life of the Viennan psychologist Freud (1856-1939). At this time, most of his colleagues refuse to cure hysteric patients,... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Susannah York, Larry Parks
Wild River (1960)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A TVA bureaucrat comes to the river to do what none of his predecessors have been able to do - evict a stubborn octogenarian from her island before the rising waters engulf her.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Lee Remick, Jo Van Fleet
Lonelyhearts (1958)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Eager to land a journalistic position, Adam White goes to work as an advice-giving newspaper columnist. His editor, Shrike, takes pleasure in browbeating his alcoholic wife Florence for her... See full summary »

Director: Vincent J. Donehue
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Myrna Loy, Robert Ryan
I Confess (1953)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A priest who comes under suspicion for murder cannot clear his name without breaking the seal of the confessional.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Malden
The Search (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In the Post-War Berlin, an American private helps a lost Czech boy to find his mother.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Ivan Jandl, Aline MacMahon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Prior to leaving by train for Paris, a married American woman tries to break off her affair with a young Italian in Rome's Stazione Termini.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Montgomery Clift, Gino Cervi
Circus World (1964)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In the early years of the 20th century, Matt Masters takes his rambling Wild West Show to Europe. His decision is prompted by his desire to find Lili Alfredo, who disappeared fourteen years... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Rita Hayworth, Claudia Cardinale
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The trustees of Midwestern University have forced three teachers out of their jobs for being suspected communists. Trustee Ed Keller has also threatened mild mannered English Professor ... See full summary »

Director: Elliott Nugent
Stars: Henry Fonda, Olivia de Havilland, Joan Leslie
Hay Fever (TV Movie 1939)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Director: Ed Sobol
Stars: Virginia Campbell, Montgomery Clift, Isobel Elsom
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Prof. James Bower
...
Counselor Peter Heinzmann (as Hardy Kruger)
...
Agent Adams
Macha Méril ...
Frieda Hoffmann
...
Orlovsky
Christine Delaroche ...
Ingrid Weiß
Hannes Messemer ...
Dr. Saltzer
Karl Lieffen ...
Major Windisch
Uta Levka ...
Mädchen unter der Dusche
Edit

Storyline

Montgomery Cliff (in his last role) plays James Bower, an American physicist visiting West Germany who's recruited by a shady CIA agent, named Adam, to help them with the defection of a Russian scientist. But an East German secret agent, named Peter Heinzeman, learns of Bower's meeting with Adam and threatens Bower to mind his own business, while Bower learns of a back story to all this involving stolen microfilm that each side wants. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lautlose Waffen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This French-produced movie was actually completely shot in Germany. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, Bower is talking to Heinzmann. Bower is holding his cigarette vertically because he has a long ash. The POV switches and Bower has his hand down and cigarette horizontal, still with a long ash on it and he quickly taps the ash off into the ashtray. See more »

Crazy Credits

Most items in the closing credits appear and/or disappear in time with rhythms in the final music. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Montgomery Clift (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Meets the mark, but could have done without a certain degree of directional awkwardness
19 February 2010 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

While making "The Defector", the director obviously went out of his way to produce a decent contemporary spy movie, containing an intricate plot, suspenseful action, beautiful scenery (lots of nice German locations – both city and countryside – and characteristic locals), tin loads of extras and an unexpected ending. Up to a point, he succeeded in his mission. The movie is certainly enjoyable enough to watch. Unfortunately there are also some drawbacks causing it not to exceed the level of decent mediocrity. I suppose the problem is in the direction, for the leading actors are top-quality performers and the plot and scene setting are lifelike enough. In my experience, the dialogues are very clear – so clear, in fact, that they tend to lose the sort of grim realism and shadiness that might have added to the overall mood expected from this movie genre. The scenes are framed in such a way the viewer is in no doubt what is going on, but is not sucked in at the same time. From what we see, we understand it's all very serious business, but it just doesn't feel that way. The mental torture session in the specially prepared hotel room is gruesome, but it does not send shivers up our spines. The same thing goes for some other scenes in which Bower (Clift) is grilled by the Stasi. The slight caricature qualities of some of the additional characters (uniformed guards, labourers, Frieda Hoffman's (Macha Méril) flat mates) plus the occasionally corny traditional music are not helpful in this respect (the alienating sci-fi music in the torture scene is different – I suppose this was composed by Serge Gainsbourg – the rest seems miles away from his style). I do appreciate the ending of "The Defector", which leaves room for speculation (= did this happen by accident or on purpose?), but again, I was not as much in awe as I felt I should have been. In short, "The Defector" meets the mark, but could have done without a certain degree of directional awkwardness.


8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where can I find a copy of this film? mightyles
OFFICIAL DVD now available directly from Warner's webpage! simonhowson
A Website That Sells The Defector on DVD and VHS mightyles
What the deal with the broken shoe? beautifulsillo
What Might Have Been dustinblythe-1
Smurfs? morgie27
Discuss The Defector (1966) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?