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The Looking Glass War (1970)

From the John le Carré novel about a British spy, who sends a Polish defector to East Germany, to verify missile sites.

Director:

Frank Pierson (as Frank R. Pierson)

Writers:

John le Carré (based on the book by), John le Carré (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Jones ... Leiser
Pia Degermark ... The Girl
Ralph Richardson ... Leclerc
Paul Rogers ... Haldane
Anthony Hopkins ... Avery
Susan George ... The Girl In London
Ray McAnally ... Under Secretary Of State
Robert Urquhart Robert Urquhart ... Johnson
Anna Massey ... Avery's Wife
Vivian Pickles ... Mrs. King
Maxine Audley ... Mrs. Leclerc
Cyril Shaps ... East German Detective
Michael Robbins ... Truck Driver
Timothy West ... Taylor
Frederick Jaeger ... The Pilot
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Storyline

During the Cold War, the British Intelligence receives a blurred photograph from East Germany taken from Hamburg and Director LeClerc (Sir Ralph Richardson) believes they are missiles. Their agent, Taylor King (Timothy West), who receives a film which might clarify the detail from a pilot in Finland, is found dead on the road, and the Police believe he was accidentally killed in a hit-and-run. LeClerc meets the Polish defector Fred Leiser (Christopher Jones), who jumped overboard from a ship expecting to have asylum and stay with his British girlfriend, who is pregnant, and decides to recruit him to cross the border and spy on the East German facility to check on the missiles. In return, he would have salary, insurance, and political asylum. Leiser is trained by the Agent and family man John Avery (Sir Anthony Hopkins), and soon he finds his girlfriend has had ended the pregnancy. When Leiser crosses the border, he meets up with Anna (Pia Degermark), a local, and they stay together in... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Chris Jones, the wild one from "Wild in the Streets", takes you into the international gutter-fight! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

8 February 1970 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Guerra no Espelho See more »

Filming Locations:

Spain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor) (as Eastmancolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Nigel Davenport turned down the role of Johnson. See more »

Goofs

The photograph of a railway yard that was the pretext for the mission was supposedly taken in East Germany but the locomotive in the picture is immediately recognizable to any ex-trainspotter as a British Rail type manufactured by English Electric. See more »

Quotes

John Avery: [attacking Lieser from behind] Never trust anybody.
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What is going on?
6 June 2016 | by Mac-148See all my reviews

The book is about shades of gray, about lost childhood, about impotent British institutions, about deception, loneliness, love, frailty and betrayal. It is about harking back to World War Two and old men looking in the mirror at themselves 20 years earlier. Or through the looking glass where everything verges on madness. The movie fails on every count. Cold and wet East Germany is dressed up as sunny California and the desperate, ill-judged and futile attempts of the spy, a complicated, working-class Pole, and his feeble, old handlers, are presented as some sort of hippie road trip for a James Dean look-alike. If ever a movie needed to stick to the text and, like "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold", use the starkest and bleakest cinematography, this was it.


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