The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

1965

Drama / Thriller

48
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 14,635

Synopsis


Downloaded times
October 12, 2020

Director

Cast

Bernard Lee as Mr. Patmore - Grocer
Claire Bloom as Nancy 'Nan' Perry
Cyril Cusack as Control
Richard Burton as Alec Leamas
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.01 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
112 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.07 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
112 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by blanche-2 8 / 10 / 10

Not an easy film - neither was the Cold War

Richard Burton is "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold," in a 1965 film also starring Claire Bloom, Oscar Werner, Sam Wanamaker and Peter van Eyck. It's told in the days of Checkpoint Charlie, East and West Berlin, and spies. There are still spies; the rest have gone with the unification of East and West Berlin once more. Burton plays a British spy named Leamas who is at the end of his career. He takes an assignment to bring down an East German spy named Mundt and have him exposed as a traitor. Actually, it's a double whammy; Mundt is actually a spy who has infiltrated the East German ring and is unfortunately under suspicion and about to be exposed. So Leamas is to expose him and then be proved a liar so that Mundt's position is secure. To come to the attention of the East Germans, Leamas is to pretend he's an alcoholic (and how much pretending this involves is up to the audience - maybe none), out of his job, and just out of prison after beating up a grocer (which he does so he can get arrested). He is naturally recruited by East German agents - first initially approached by a gay man who claims to represent a charitable organization. Though it's not stated that the man is gay, the dialogue makes no mistake about it. Hello '60s. Bit by bit he is introduced to the East German ring. "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" is based on a John LeCarre novel. Unlike James Bond and his imitator Austin Powers, there is only one woman, played by Claire Bloom, who is an avowed Communist with whom Leamas becomes involved. There are no fancy spy instruments, no tuxes, no glamour, no fun. What the film offers more than anything is atmosphere - and it's a rotten one, chronically without sunlight, filled with depressing streets, dank alleys, and old buildings. One feels the chill in the air and the lack of true friendliness or warmth in this colorless world. It's depressing for the characters and equally depressing for the audience. That's the point. The acting is superb. Oskar Werner plays a Jew named Fielder, and as one of the greatest actors to ever appear in film, he doesn't disappoint. (As a bit of trivia, Werner had a connection to Hollywood's Golden Era as the husband of Tyrone Power's stepdaughter Anne.) The beautiful Bloom is wonderful as an idealist doomed to disappointment. Peter Van Eyck is appropriately brutal as Mundt. No one really makes a wrong move. Richard Burton was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Leamas. What a strange year that was, with Lee Marvin winning for "Cat Ballou" probably playing a role he could do in his sleep, while Burton lost for this and Olivier lost for "Othello!" One might think the Academy would have been embarrassed, but no - later on, they gave an Oscar to John Wayne instead of Burton, Peter O'Toole, Dustin Hoffman or Jon Voight. This is not to negate the presence and talents of Wayne and Marvin, which were considerable. But it does say something sad about the Academy Awards that Richard Burton went to his death with 7 nominations and no Oscar. He is truly magnificent in this role as an empty man who keeps in control despite seething anger underneath and whose stares say more than any script could. In many ways Burton never lived up to his potential as an actor. His marriage to Elizabeth Taylor brought him a fame and stardom he could never have dreamed of growing up as a poor child in Wales, but it kept him from doing more theater. Had he lived, he would have done more stage work, moved into different roles in film, and taken his place alongside actors such as Sir Anthony Hopkins. As it is, he has given us some truly great performances - Shannon in Night of the Iguana, George in Virginia Woolf, and Leamas being three of his best. "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" makes a depressing statement. Don't watch it if you're feeling down. If you're feeling strong, you'll find it fascinating.

Reviewed by rooprect 8 / 10 / 10

Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest spy film ever made.

You can check my voting history to see how rarely I give out perfect 10s. But this film truly deserves the honor. I hesitate to call it a spy movie because it's nothing like any spy movie I've ever seen. There are no hi tech gadgets, shoe phones and sexy Russian agents. There are no fantastic plots to recover microfilm hidden in the crown jewels. The hero doesn't even carry a gun. Instead the battle is fought with pure intelligence, political manipulation and trickery. This is what true espionage is about, the way WWII history books tell us. In the same way Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" broke the rules of the scifi stereotype, this film did the same with the spy genre. I won't say anything about the plot except that it requires your full attention. Things are not spelled out for us, and it requires a bit of work to piece it together, but that makes the payoff all the more stunning. This movie reads as if it were a book (which may be good or bad depending on how you like your movies). But I assure you it's not boring. I found myself whispering after every scene "This is so freaking cool! How much cooler can it get?" The answer: much. The acting is flawless. Richard Burton is perfect as the cynical, faithless enigma who hides his mission so well even we can't guess what he's up to. Claire Bloom is equally convincing as the clueless but intelligent bystander. Oskar Werner, in the greatest role I've seen him play, is both chilling and magnetic as the interrogator. Even the minor roles were expertly played. The script is so clever I highly recommend watching the film with subtitles so that you don't miss any of the great lines and wit. It may also help you keep up with the plot which, as I said, can be tricky. Sol Kaplan's musical score is sparse but very effective in maintaining the heavy mood. The piano pieces really make you feel the weight of the dreary, cold war era. And the lack of music during tense scenes is equally powerful. And that brings me to my favourite part of the film: the amazing camera work, cinematography and lighting. This is one of those films that makes you realize that black&white isn't just a choice of film; it's an entire art form unto itself. Darkness and light, sharpness and haze, shadows and contrast are used to the fullest. But it's not obnoxiously done like a 2nd year film student might do. No, everything flows naturally so a layperson can enjoy the scenery just as much as a cinema geek. And there you have it; nothing but praise from me. The only problem is that it has ruined all the other spy films and political thrillers for me.

Reviewed by pekinman 8 / 10 / 10

Gets better and better over the years

Having just read LeCarré's first novel, 'Call for the Dead', I am now appreciating his third novel 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold' even more. This film adaptation directed by Martin Ritt is a fine preamble to the masterful BBC series 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' and 'Smiley's People'. One of the joys of LeCarré's novels is that many characters return again and again. Mundt, the "villain" in 'Spy...' first appears in 'Call..' and as usual LeCarré wraps up a few loose ends from the previous story. This black and white film recreates the sullen atmosphere of cold war espionage in a way that color seems to diminish for some unexplainable reason. Those were black and white kinda times in my memory. Depressing, frightening and dour. George Smiley makes a small appearance, albeit very important as a character in the plot line, and is nicely played by Rupert Davies, capturing the diffident and wry Smiley as effectively as Guinness did later on and Denholm Elliot even further on in the TV film 'A Murder of Quality'. Cyril Cusack's Control could easily be the younger version of Alexander Knox's masterful rendition in the Smiley TV shows. The continuity suggested in all of these films is very satisfying. It's a shame so many of the other versions of LeCarré's novels are so mediocre... ie 'The Little Drummer Girl' with a totally miscast Diane Keaton, and 'The Russia House', too Hollywood by half. Richard Burton turns in just about the greatest performance of his life here. He is the embodiment of the disillusioned, bitter and down-trodden ego-maniac that seems to be the basic cocktail for a spy's personality, according to LeCarré. I've seen this film many times but just recently spotted LeCarré himself (at least it certainly looks like him) as an extra in a short scene. As Leamas is making his roundabout way to Smiley's house at 9 Bywater Street, he is exiting the first of 2 taxis. As he does so a tall, lean man in black is walking towards him. Ritt seems to be focusing the camera on this "extra" actor who actually makes furtive glances at Leamas. It is later revealed that Leamas has been followed by the Communists. Could LeCarré be playing that non-speaking, uncredited part of the Eastern "watcher" trailing Leamas to Smiley's house? Wouldn't surprise me in the least. It's a part LeCarré would have enjoyed playing, I think. And, like Hitchcock, LeCarré has appeared in film adaptations of his books before. Claire Bloom is excellent as the naive English communist who hasn't got a clue as to what she's supporting. The end of this film is always shocking to me. The ruthlessness of the spy-masters, the lies, the back-stabbing.... There is nothing over-blown in this film. It's all very subtle and intriguing and with the passage of time just gets more and more fascinating. Highly recommended to fans of this genre, especially LeCarré fanatics. If you haven't read his books you are missing out on perhaps the finest living writer of the English language. Some "experts" think his writing style is out of date because the plots are so involved and the prose so full of humor and political incorrectness; I read something to that effect in the most recent edition of the 'Halliwell' guide. Perhaps the editor of that book has A.D.D. or something, or perhaps he's just seen to many glitzy, empty flicks designed to entertain the gawping masses, I don't know. To me, LeCarré will never go out of style and it is to be hoped the film adaptations of his books will continue to be made. A few remakes wouldn't be out of order either.

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