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The Deadly Affair (1967)

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

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

John le Carré (novel), Paul Dehn (screenplay)
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Nominated for 5 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Mason ... Charles Dobbs
Simone Signoret ... Elsa Fennan
Maximilian Schell ... Dieter Frey
Harriet Andersson ... Ann Dobbs
Harry Andrews ... Inspector Mendel
Kenneth Haigh ... Bill Appleby
Roy Kinnear ... Adam Scarr
Max Adrian ... Morton - Adviser (aka Marlene Dietrich)
Lynn Redgrave ... Virgin Bumpus
Robert Flemyng ... Samuel Fennan
Leslie Sands Leslie Sands ... Inspector
Corin Redgrave ... Terry
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the author of "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold"


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 April 1967 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

John le Carré's The Deadly Affair See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of George Smiley, John le Carré's hero, was renamed Charles Dobbs for this movie. This was because the Paramount Studio had bought the rights to the Smiley name when they produced The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965). See more »

Quotes

Charles Dobbs: [to Elsa] What kind of daydreams did you dream, Mrs. Fennan, that had so little of the world in them?
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Who Needs Forever
(theme song)
Written by Quincy Jones
Sung by Astrud Gilberto
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very fine, intelligent movie (***½ out of ****)
28 May 1999 | by Karl1975See all my reviews

A complex, suspenseful, and sometimes surprisingly funny spy thriller by master director Sidney Lumet ("12 Angry Men", "Long Day's Journey Into Night", "Dog Day Afternoon", "Running on Empty"). The picture has a really brilliant cast, including James Mason, Simone Signoret, Maximilian Schell, Harriet Andersson and Harry Andrews. The photography is interesting too. Lumet and cinematographer Freddie Young used a technique called "preflashing". In his book "Making Movies" Lumet writes: "Thematically it was a film about life's disappointments. I wanted to desaturate the colors. I wanted to get that dreary, lifeless feeling London has in winter. Freddie suggested preexposing the film."

Lumet's approach in "The Deadly Affair" (1967) is perhaps even a little too realistic to make it a suspense masterpiece. But nevertheless you should really see this little gem.


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