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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)

Unrated | | Drama, Thriller | 16 December 1965 (USA)
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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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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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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Rupert Davies ...
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Hans-Dieter Mundt (as Peter Van Eyck)
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Patmore
Beatrix Lehmann ...
Tribunal President
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Old Judge
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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:

BRACE YOURSELF FOR GREATNESS THE BOOK THE WORLD COULD NOT LAY DOWN IS NOW A MOTION PICTURE 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:

Der Spion, der aus der Kälte kam  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Richard Burton became a superstar, he insisted on casting his friends from his days at the Old Vic and West End (London's equivalent of Broadway). That is why Claire Bloom, who is clearly too old to be a teenager, was cast as Nan Perry. Other friends of Burton's cast in the film included the great stage actor Sir Michael Hordern and Robert Hardy. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Nan Perry: Well, they returned you to me. I'm so grateful. So grateful! I cut tonight's party meeting.
Alec Leamas: Oh, well, well! Thank you for putting me above history.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966) 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
Disturbing plothole The_TJT
Can't believe George Smiley was such a cold hearted b#$tard... sanddragon939
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Poor image quality on DVD fahyr
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