7.7/10
12,617
108 user 58 critic

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)

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.

Director:

Martin Ritt

Writers:

John le Carré (novel), Paul Dehn (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 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 8.6/10 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 7.3/10 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
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
Edit

Storyline

Alec Leamas, 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 THE BOOK THE WORLD COULD NOT LAY DOWN IS NOW A MOTION PICTURE 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:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Spion, der aus der Kälte kam See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,600,000, 31 December 1965
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 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 book includes a "Fifty Years Later" introduction by John le Carré. 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

Control: Our work, as I understand it, is based on a single assumption that the West is never going to be the aggressor. Thus, we do disagreeable things, but we're defensive. Our policies are peaceful, but our methods can't afford to be less ruthless than those of the opposition, can they? You know, I'd say, uh... since the war, our methods - our techniques, that is - and those of the Communists, have become very much the same. Yes. I mean, occasionally... we have to do wicked things. Very wicked things...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nature: The Cat That Came in from the Cold (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Best spy movie of the 1960s
21 December 2004 | by x_hydraSee all my reviews

So many poor Cold War spy movies were made in the 1960s, ranging from shtick to schlock. This one is a standout -- great acting, great atmosphere, great plot. It's darker, grittier, and more realistic than any other films of this genre from the mid-60s, and wears even better with age (no "mind control machines" or other ridiculous retro gadgets).

Le Carré is often credited for making the spy novel transcend genre fiction and enter into the realm of literature. It is apt that a similar statement can be said about a movie based on Le Carré; it moves beyond "spy movie" into brilliant cinema. Heavily recommended.


58 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 108 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed