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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

Second and final screen adaptation of a John le Carré story scripted by Paul Dehn. The first had been The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) released a year earlier. Just before that, Dehn also co-wrote the script for the James Bond movie Goldfinger (1964). See more »

Quotes

Charles Dobbs: [to Ann about her nymphomania] I've never held your appetites against you. The unaddicted shouldn't blame the addicted.
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Soundtracks

Who Needs Forever
(theme song)
Written by Quincy Jones
Sung by Astrud Gilberto
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User Reviews

Nearly forgotten spy film worth revisiting
13 January 2003 | by vjetorixSee all my reviews

Much-touted mainstream entry recommended to serious spy buffs as a well-crafted, bleak treatise on perceived realities. Deeper than many other spy films, the pleasure is derived from sifting through the strata of meaning in John Le Carre's story and reveling in the fine performances and top-notch film making.

This is one of those movies where you'll recognize all the actors; Harry Andrews, Roy Kinnear, Robert Flemyng, Lynn Redgrave, David Warner, etc. One standout is Simone Signoret as Elsa, a woman without a country, who scorns Dobbs and his attempts at clearing up the death of her husband. A concentration camp survivor, Elsa has no illusions about patriotism nor allegiances in that regard, remarking to Dobbs `I am a battlefield for you… toy soldiers."

Quincy Jones plays some fun cinematic tricks with the soundtrack (Astrud Gilberto sings the theme song) and it is appropriately melancholy for the material. Director Sidney Lumet is in fine form here and through the half-light of Freddie Young's cinematography is revealed the gray world beneath our intricately constructed lives.


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