The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

DVD - 2008
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After a fellow spy is murdered, an agent who is working as a defected spy trying to get inside information realizes that he is just as expendable as his fellow agent. .
Publisher: [United States] : Criterion Collection, 2008
Edition: Special ed
ISBN: 9781604650891
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (112 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet


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May 28, 2018

Agree with most comments here except the half-star reviewer: The novel "Spy" does not contain much about George Smiley, Control was the master of the Circus at this point.
As with "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", the movie is far easier to understand than the novel. "Spy" has been pared down, very artfully, which reduces the complexity -- and the interest -- of the book (which I had to read twice). Burton's performance is beautifully understated, no acting pyrotechnics here. What is fascinating about Le Carré's stories is the way agents were just pawns in the hands of their masters and knew only as much as was deemed necessary for them to carry out their part in the game that was being played. The final twist in the espionage is a shock, and the final twist in the personal story is as well, but it was more moving in the book.
A wonderful film, but I would definitely recommend reading the book.
This copy does not have a disc 2, there is no supplemental material.

Jun 11, 2017

I found this movie to be okay. It seems to be plausible. It is a possible non-fiction story with fiction names and places about a man who wants to leave Eastern Germany to Western Germany shortly after the end of the second world war. It is slow moving. The story is strong. It is well acted. The script is well written. I like the book author.

gritty. this is what the cold war felt like. on a par with the third man. Richard burton before the drink caught up with him. the amazing Claire bloom. what a tight script. standing ovation!

Jul 14, 2016

Loved the actors but loved the book more. Still as Le Carre's first spy novel it is exceptional.

Apr 19, 2016

Some novels just tell a good story while others make the reader think, even when they don't want to. John LeCarre's novel brought a light to the espionage field, where readers were used to our spies being good guys who saved the free world and got laid. The Spy who Came in from the Cold tells a very different story, one where the spies are no better than the people they're spying on. The ideals of democracy and freedom are stepped on by the people who are supposed to be defending these ideals.

The title refers to Alec Leamas who is asked to remain "in the cold" which was the British espionage term for an undercover mission. Leamas' goal is to make the East Germans think that he is defecting and giving them false information about another double spy, in hopes of getting the East Germans to kill him, thereby removing one of their own. The plot is even more confusing as it moves along, each person saying whatever they need to accomplish their ends. The men tasked with saving the world for democracy are more cynical than those at a mid-afternoon strip club. This is a must-read for the effect it had on a nation who thought that gadgets and fornication saved Britain from the likes of Blofeld.

Feb 28, 2015

Classic and timeless...if you love movies...this one is definitely a must!!

Feb 27, 2015

This 50-year old film still holds its charm after all these years. And being black-and-white gives it character. The materials, however, are definitely very dated. A must if you are into espionage stories and twisted plots.

MBSL500 Jan 07, 2014

Read the novel years ago and loved it. Remembered the novel was all about George Smiley - the movie hardly included him. Couldn't equate the movie to the novel at all. Richard Burton is good but underwhelming in this role. The other actors were forget-able. Half star.

voisjoe1 Nov 29, 2013

This is one of the best films I’ve seen this year, but I have to admit that I had to play the first third and then go to the supplements on disc 2 to get a better handle of what was going on. Not only is this a complicated realistic look at British espionage in East Germany, but it includes a lot of double-crossing and questions about who is planned for extermination – are some killings not really planned. I am sure that I did not really understand a lot when I first saw this in a theatre in the 1960’s (when you had not chance to pause and rewind, etc.). By the way, it could have been made in color, but the director chose black and white to accentuate the bleakness of the story. I will be revisiting this film in the coming years. There is a scary kangaroo trial near the end of the film where it is adjudged that one of the characters must be taken out and executed. This is very similar to December, 2013, whereby the North Korean dictator demotes his uncle one week and has him tried and executed the next week.

Oct 28, 2012

A classic which is just as good today as when it came out in black and white.


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