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After Charles Dobbs, a security officer, has a friendly chat with Samuel Fennan from the Foreign Office, the man commits suicide. An anonymous typed letter had been received accusing Fennan of being a Communist during his days at Oxford and their chat while walking in the park was quite amiable. Senior officials want the whole thing swept under the rug and are pleased to leave it as a suicide. Dobbs isn't at all sure as there are a number of anomalies that simply can't be explained away. Dobbs is also having trouble at home with his errant wife, whom he very much loves, having frequent affairs. He's also pleased to see an old friend, Dieter Frey, who he recruited after the war. With the assistance of a colleague and a retired policeman, Dobbs tries to piece together just who is the spy and who in fact assassinated Fennan.Written by
Psychological spy thriller; a 'must see' for James Mason fans
Glum London backdrops and washed-out color match British secret agent Charles Dobbs' (James Mason) despair at the infidelity of his nymphomaniac wife, and the possible murder of a likable and idealistic Foreign Office civil servant.
Slightly dated yet still exciting cold war spy thriller combines the talents of James Mason, Sidney Lumet, and a fine supporting cast, though John LeCarre might wonder what happened to the novel the movie is based on.
There isn't a hint of 'Swinging London'; the relationships and a gay subtext, played out on several levels, are handled maturely and without an invitation to snicker.
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