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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  16 December 1965 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9,387 users  
Reviews: 93 user | 59 critic

British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the cold war during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Rupert Davies ...
...
...
Hans-Dieter Mundt (as Peter Van Eyck)
...
...
...
Patmore
Beatrix Lehmann ...
Tribunal President
...
Old Judge
...
CIA Agent
Niall MacGinnis ...
German Checkpoint Guard
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Storyline

Alec Leamas, a British spy is sent to East Germany supposedly to defect, but in fact to sow disinformation. As more plot turns appear, Leamas becomes more convinced that his own people see him as just a cog. His struggle back from dehumanization becomes the final focus of the story. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It plunges you knife-deep into actual Espionage. It gives you the dirt as well as the dazzle. Here is excitement sheer and naked and unforgettable. [UK Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'espion qui venait du froid  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the character of Liz Gold from 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' novel was changed to Nan Perry (played by Claire Bloom) for this film. It is considered that the reason for this was because lead actor Richard Burton was married to actress Elizabeth Taylor at the time, and changing the character's name prevented any possible name-jibes that could be vented from the media. See more »

Goofs

In his defense speech of Mundt, the East German defense attorney (played by George Voskovec) says "Smiley was indeed Leamas's friend. He was also a planner in the section called Satellite Four... which operates behind the Iron Curtain." The term "Iron Curtain" would not have been used by officials in East Germany or any of the Soviet bloc countries to refer to the east-west divide. It was originally created by Winston Churchill and the phrase "behind the Iron Curtain" became a derogatory description of the east bloc countries and their socialist systems. The term "Iron Curtain" was seen as serving to keep people in and information out, and people throughout the West used the metaphor in that context. See more »

Quotes

Control: We have to live without sympathy, don't we? We can't do that forever. One can't stay out of doors all the time. One needs to come in from the cold.
Alec Leamas: I'm an operator, Control, just an operator.
Control: There's a vacancy in Banking Section which might suit you.
Alec Leamas: Sorry, I'm an operational man. I'll take my pension. I don't want a desk job.
Control: You don't know what's on the desk.
Alec Leamas: Paper!
Control: [after taking a long sip from his tea cup] I want you to stay, uh, out in the cold... a little longer.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rango: The Spy Who Was Out Cold (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Grim, just as it should be
7 September 2004 | by (north hollywood nee Dublin Ireland) – See all my reviews

I read the book about three years ago and was prepared to be disappointed with the feature as it's a grim book and I thought they'd soften it a little, the movie is excellent though, they made a couple of changes but all for the best, anyone who thinks spying was/is a glamorous occupation should check the film out, LeCarre actually worked as a spy too which adds weight to his dark and realistic (in my opinion)view of this filthy job. My favourite feature of the film is the contempt with which each of the communist spies treats his inferiors as the chain of command is followed, it's a beautiful touch which I don't remember from the book, and by the time Leamass starts laughing at it I was right there with him. I loved this film and can't recommend it enough, Burton is brilliant, some of his cold stares as things start going bad are magnificent, and of course he plays a great drunk... it's a nice script too.


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Who would like to see an remake of this? overfiend1976
Can't believe George Smiley was such a cold hearted b#$tard... sn939
Disturbing plothole mr Marble
Can't follow the story... Euan1234
Poor image quality on DVD fahyr
Hard to comprehend whenim64
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