Forget James Bond... and step into the real, dour and chilling world of spies and counterspies. Oscar nominee Richard Burton is the burnt-out British agent who refuses to "come in from the cold" to take a desk job - but instead launches into the most dangerous assignment of his career, stalking East German agent (and Golden Globe winner) Oskar Werner. John Le Carre's best-selling novel provides the basis for this breathtaking thriller of espionage, intrigue, crosses and double-crosses.
Clever Spy Film.
- The Spy Who Came in from the Cold review by Steve Mason
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You rated this film: 5
Probably the first spy-procedural film, this low key film welded the espionage story to new wave realism, and created something entirely new.
Leamas (Richard Burton) is an operative who has been behind the lines for too long, and the stress fatigue is starting to show. He is thinking too much about the ethics of his work. He is unravelling, just as control has devised a plan of utter, brilliant cynicism to protect their mole in East Germany. With Leamas the unwitting catalyst.
Probably Burton's greatest film performance. The outstanding plot is served by wonderful cast performances, ultra realistic design and a flat, grey, B&W look. And most precious is the audaciousness of Le Carre's slight of hand, which disorientates our moral perspective, with the seeming physicality of the sudden downward lurch of a car speeding over the crest of a hill.