7.5/10
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Cambridge Spies 

The true story of a group of Cambridge University Students who are recruited to spy for the Soviet Union in the early 1930s.
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1  
2003  
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Tom Hollander ...  Guy Burgess 4 episodes, 2003
Toby Stephens ...  Kim Philby 4 episodes, 2003
Rupert Penry-Jones ...  Donald Maclean 4 episodes, 2003
Samuel West ...  Anthony Blunt 4 episodes, 2003
Stuart Laing Stuart Laing ...  Jack Hewit 3 episodes, 2003
Darrell D'Silva ...  Henry 2 episodes, 2003
Anna-Louise Plowman ...  Melinda 2 episodes, 2003
Ronald Pickup ...  Colonel Winter 2 episodes, 2003
Marcel Iures ...  Otto 2 episodes, 2003
Angus Wright ...  Guy Liddell 2 episodes, 2003
Patrick Kennedy ...  Julian Bell 2 episodes, 2003
Colin Higgins Colin Higgins ...  Porter 2 episodes, 2003
John Light ...  James Angleton 2 episodes, 2003
Imelda Staunton ...  The Queen 2 episodes, 2003
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Storyline

The true story of a group of Cambridge University Students who are recruited to spy for the Soviet Union in the early 1930s.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most notorious double agents in British history.

Genres:

Drama | History

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The nickname of Harold Philby (Toby Stephens) was "Kim". See more »

Goofs

During the waiter's strike it appears to be daytime inside the great hall and night time outside. See more »

Quotes

Kim Philby: It's a simple, unavoidable choice, Donald. Communism or fascism. Everything in the middle has gone to sleep. To fight fascism you have to be a communist. Anything else is appeasement.
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Connections

Version of Philby, Burgess and Maclean (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Where or When
written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
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User Reviews

 
Good but misleading, too sympathetic to traitors
20 June 2016 | by JoxerlivesSee all my reviews

Well made and acted but I'm afraid it didn't have the guts to show the reality of the result of their treason. Why did we not see the suffering and death of the agents whom the Cambridge spies betrayed? Why did they never confront the hypocrisy of helping a regime which sides with Hitler, imprisons its' population and regularly executes their KGB contact agents? It tries to be sympathetic to men who put their loyalty to their friends above their loyalty to their country, their colleagues and those they're supposed to be protecting. What's more even that is incredibly flawed, Blunt abandons the rest of the group to their fate, Philby sleeps with McClean's wife and sends Burgess to accompany him into exile behind the Iron Curtain unaware that he's never coming back to the UK (and will quickly drink himself to death in Moscow).

What's more it only seems to tell half the story, concentrating disproportionately on the recruitment process and the influence of the Spanish civil war on the group. We get none of the fallout from the defection which was a revelation in Britain at the time or Philby's infamous press conference which is still cited today as a classic example of how to lie, we never get Philby's flight from Beruit or McClean and Caincross' plea bargain. Perhaps the most sympathetic character in the whole story is James Jesus Angleton who appears to be the lone voice in the wilderness.

So all told a great series but do some research first.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Cambridge Spies See more »

Filming Locations:

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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