6.0/10
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18 user 8 critic

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 (novel), Frank Pierson (written for the screen by) (as Frank R. Pierson)
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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 ... John Avery
Susan George ... The Girl in London
Ray McAnally ... Undersecretary of State
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 believes they are missiles. Their agent, Taylor King, 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, 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 Eat 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,and soon he finds his girlfriend has had ended the pregnancy. When Leiser crosses the border, he meets up with Anna, a local, and they stay together in the beginning of a dangerous journey where he is just a pawn in a war game. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story about a ruthless game where the stakes are human lives. 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)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The opening title card read: "FINLAND". See more »

Goofs

After Lieser slaps his girlfriend, he walks out of the room leaving the door open and the girl just stays still on the bed. When Avery goes to check if the girl is alright, the door is closed (so he knocks to get in) and the girl was in the same position she was before. See more »

Quotes

John Avery: But the gun. Sending a man with a gun across the border is an act of war.
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Consider watching as illustrative of its time...
5 August 2016 | by wilkinsonalanSee all my reviews

Hunted down this movie, as it appears a rare beast. The cast is stellar for a British movie. The main protagonist appears to have been likened to James Dean. He spends much of the film striking louche poses - less angry young man, and more 'hip cat'. He appears miscast in this movie, as he inhabits a different plain to the rest of the cast. The storyline, in retrospect, is quite straight forward. However, it has managed to become inextricably entangled in elongated scenes of travel across the agricultural swathe of the then East Germany. There are also some unnecessary fight scenes that appear neither relevant nor truly aggressive. Conceivably, aspects of this movie are conceived out of homo-erotica? I truly wanted to love this movie. I adore 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' and the BBC Smiley series, but this was to flaccid and languid for my tastes. Something of a shame when one notes the immense cast that was at the director's disposal. If you love Cold War dramas - and Le Carre adaptations, you will, no doubt, want to watch this movie - with much sadness, I have to say - be prepared to be underwhelmed.


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