7.6/10
13,627
117 user 59 critic

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)

The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 16 December 1965 (USA)
Trailer
1:31 | Trailer
British Agent Alec Leamas (Richard Burton) refuses to come in from the Cold War during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.

Director:

Martin Ritt

Writers:

John le Carré (novel), Paul Dehn (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The murder of a Soviet defector forces his old handler, British spymaster George Smiley, out of retirement. His investigation leads to an old nemesis, the Soviet spymaster known only as Karla. This will be their final dance.

Stars: Alec Guinness, Eileen Atkins, Bill Paterson
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced out of semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6's echelons.

Stars: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In London, a counter espionage Agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman
Becket (1964)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

King Henry II of England comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant Thomas Becket, who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather than the King's.

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A British Agent is sent to East Berlin to receive a Communist defector, but the true situation turns out to be rather more complicated.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Oskar Homolka, Paul Hubschmid
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A British agent sets out to uncover the hidden facts behind a British government employee's suicide.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Mason, Maximilian Schell, Simone Signoret
A Perfect Spy (1987)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This is the story of Magnus Pym, from his childhood to the end of his career in middle age. As a young man, there is little doubt that his father Rick was the most influential character in ... See full summary »

Stars: Ray McAnally, Rüdiger Weigang, Alan Howard
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Following the suicide of an elderly Jewish man, a journalist in possession of the man's diary investigates the alleged sighting of a former S.S. Captain, who commanded a concentration camp during World War II.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Jon Voight, Maximilian Schell, Maria Schell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use their young houseguests to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other over the course of a distressing night.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal
A Murder of Quality (TV Movie 1991)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Taken from the book by John le Carré, George Smiley rallies to the aid of his former intelligence colleague, Ailsa Brimley, to investigate a mysterious letter from a junior master's wife at... See full summary »

Director: Gavin Millar
Stars: Denholm Elliott, Joss Ackland, Glenda Jackson
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6.

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy
Drama | Thriller

British spy, Alec Leamas, seeks vengeance on the East German Intelligence Service during the height of the Cold War. A Television adaptation of John le Carre's novel "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold".

Stars: Aidan Gillen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Burton ... Alec Leamas
Claire Bloom ... Nancy 'Nan' Perry
Oskar Werner ... Fiedler
Sam Wanamaker ... Peters
George Voskovec ... Comrade Karden - 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 ... Mr. Patmore - Grocer
Beatrix Lehmann ... Tribunal President
Esmond Knight ... Old Judge
Tom Stern ... CIA Agent
Niall MacGinnis ... Checkpoint Charlie Guard
Edit

Storyline

Alec Leamas (Richard Burton), a British spy, is sent to East Germany, supposedly to defect, but in fact to sow disinformation. As more plot turns appear, Leamas becomes more convinced that his own people see him as just a cog. His struggle back from dehumanization becomes the final focus of the story. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BRACE YOURSELF FOR GREATNESS See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Criterion Collection

Country:

UK

Language:

Dutch | English

Release Date:

16 December 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Salem Films Limited See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The only theatrical movie adaptation of a John le Carré story that has been entirely filmed in black-and-white. See more »

Goofs

The Whiskey that is served and sold throughout the movie has the same label and shape on three different occasions: London, the Netherlands and East Germany. See more »

Quotes

Miss Crail: Is your handwriting legible?
Alec Leamas: Except on weekends.
See more »

Connections

Featured in John le Carré (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

the Cold War's bleak aesthetic
23 March 2004 | by sartrejpSee all my reviews

Back during the Cold War, people actually bought into the bleak misery that was brinkmanship & actors actually took chances, & their agents let them.

Richard Burton is Alec Laemmas, John Le Carre's reluctant spy, whose disillusionment is turned against him to save one last informant: hard to believe that Mr. Burton was then still in the throes of his public romance with Liz Taylor. Grim's the word here: from the opening Checkpoint Charlie Berlin scene to the Dutch shores to the East German countryside--the Cold War's done nobody any favors. Moreover, this harsh treatment of spies & their back-stabbing, double-dealing ways was made just after Ian Fleming's suave James Bond had become a pop movie icon (Bond's "M," Bernard Lee, as a grocer here ["T'get a proper credit, y'need a banker's reference."], gets the crap pummeled outta him by Burton).

Anyway, "Spy" is movie stripped of glamor: everyone gets usurped by people with power. Burton's Laemmas is sent to salvage the good guys' chief informant, a senior GDR official; Claire Bloom's Commie idealist Nancy is called to East Germany under the ruse of cultural exchange, to aid in the hoax. Oscar Werner is mesmerizing ("Were you present for ziss...Sanksgiving?") as the no. 2 man in the Abteilung, on the trail of no. 1, Peter van Eyck, until Laemmas shows up to thwart his plans.

If old cold warriors were only half as conniving as they appear here, whither did they go after the fall of the Soviet Union? Something to which nobody with nanogram of sense has paid much attention.


34 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 117 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed