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

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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 Tom Stern ... CIA Agent
Niall MacGinnis ... Checkpoint Charlie Guard
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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:

It plunges you knife-deep into actual Espionage. It gives you the dirt as well as the dazzle. Here is excitement sheer and naked and unforgettable. [UK Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #452 See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film they say that Leamas has been waiting for days for the arrival of Riemeck. This behavior doesn't make sense, as it gives away the arrival of a defector to the opposing side. See more »

Quotes

Nan Perry: What was my part in all this? I want to know.
Alec Leamas: You were a pawn in the plot. London knew it was no good just killing Fiedler. If he'd been killed, people would've started asking by whom and why. Maybe he'd told friends he suspected Mundt. Maybe he'd left notes, incriminating notes. London had to eliminate suspicion. Public rehabilitation, that's what they organized for Mundt. I was sent to discredit him. He was sent to discredit me.
Nan Perry: And love?
Alec Leamas: We made it very easy for them. They used us. They cheated...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies (2014) See more »

User Reviews

Grim, just as it should be
7 September 2004 | by glennserSee all my reviews

I read the book about three years ago and was prepared to be disappointed with the feature as it's a grim book and I thought they'd soften it a little, the movie is excellent though, they made a couple of changes but all for the best, anyone who thinks spying was/is a glamorous occupation should check the film out, LeCarre actually worked as a spy too which adds weight to his dark and realistic (in my opinion)view of this filthy job. My favourite feature of the film is the contempt with which each of the communist spies treats his inferiors as the chain of command is followed, it's a beautiful touch which I don't remember from the book, and by the time Leamass starts laughing at it I was right there with him. I loved this film and can't recommend it enough, Burton is brilliant, some of his cold stares as things start going bad are magnificent, and of course he plays a great drunk... it's a nice script too.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Salem Films Limited See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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