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The Looking Glass War (1969)

M  -  Action | Thriller | Drama  -  September 1969 (UK)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 584 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 6 critic

From the John le Carre novel about a British spy who sends a Polish defector to East Germany to verify missile sites.

Director:

(as Frank R. Pierson)

Writers:

(novel), (written for the screen by)
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Title: The Looking Glass War (1969)

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Jones ...
Leiser
Pia Degermark ...
The Girl
...
LeClerc
Paul Rogers ...
Haldane
...
...
Susan
...
Undersecretary of State
Robert Urquhart ...
Johnson
...
Avery's Wife
Vivian Pickles ...
Mrs. King
Maxine Audley ...
Mrs. LeClerc
Cyril Shaps ...
East German Detective
Michael Robbins ...
Truck Driver
...
Taylor
Frederick Jaeger ...
The Pilot
Edit

Storyline

At the height of the Cold War, British Intellegence discovers evidence that suggests Soviet missiles are being positioned close to the German border. With no active agents available to investigate, Fred Leiser must be called back to the colors and sent East. Once behind the Iron Curtain, Leiser meets a sympathetic German girl who tries to help him to evade the East German secret police and to complete his assignment. Written by Ronos

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Why do we listen to them? Why do we fight their wars for them?"

Genres:

Action | Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

September 1969 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Guerra no Espelho  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director of Photography Austin Dempster shot this espionage film after just recently lensing two other 60s spy movies, Otley (1968) and A Dandy in Aspic (1968). See more »

Goofs

After Lieser slaps his girlfriend, he walks out of the room leaving the door open and the girl just stays still on the bed. When Avery goes to check if the girl is alright, the door is closed (so he knocks to get in) and the girl was in the same position she was before. See more »

Quotes

John Avery: [wondering why Lieser would want to be part of the mission] Why would he do it?
LeClerc: Biology. Men change their politics but sex, sex is something you can depend upon.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Ring (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the better espionage films of the era
17 April 2001 | by (California) – See all my reviews

I am amazed that so many reviewers panned this film when TLGW came out.

While this film is very bleak, so was The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. TSWCIFTC had none of the whimsical touches that distinguish TLGW, and lacked the gritty underbelly that makes TLGW so much more believable, if even less romantic and reassuring.

While TSWCIFTC is more of an intellectual overview of The Game (until its dismal conclusion), TLGW spares no one.

Christopher Jones is excellent as the charming but unbalanced ne'er-do-well, who is exactly what British Intelligence needs.

Anthony Hopkins is so good, you'll forget Hannibal Lecter.

The entire ensemble cast is superb, with supporting players able to convey fully realized characters with only a few lines in most cases. The few characters who are not fleshed out seem to come from out of nowhere, as does Jones' character, echoing the mood of a man lost in a country he does not know - first England, then East Germany.

I particularly liked the fact that the film made England the dark, enclosed, maze of liars and opportunists, while E. Germany was shown alternately as open, pristine land and the property of deceptive invaders (the mirrors of the British). In addition, the film bluntly and confidently attempts to dissect patriots and their imitators: a rarity in 1970.

This film is not strictly an entertainment, but there are some fine, light moments between the characters played by Jones, Hopkins, Pickles and Richardson.

The Looking Glass War is a fascinating film, a tribute to an era and an author.




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