7.7/10
10,519
97 user 61 critic

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance, 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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (TV Mini-Series 1979)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced out of semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons.

Stars: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate
Smiley's People (TV Mini-Series 1982)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Called out of retirement to settle the affairs of a friend, Smiley finds his old organization, the Circus, so overwhelmed by political considerations that it doesn't want to know what ... See full summary »

Stars: Alec Guinness, Eileen Atkins, Bill Paterson
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Edward Fox, Terence Alexander, Michel Auclair
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In London, a counter espionage agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A British agent sets out to uncover the hidden facts behind a British government employee's suicide.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Mason, Maximilian Schell, Simone Signoret
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A British agent is sent to Berlin to receive a Communist defector, but the true situation turns out to be rather more complicated.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Oskar Homolka, Paul Hubschmid
Certificate: M Action | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

From the John le Carre novel about a British spy who sends a Polish defector to East Germany to verify missile sites.

Director: Frank Pierson
Stars: Christopher Jones, Pia Degermark, Ralph Richardson
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Following the suicide of an elderly Jewish man, a journalist in possession of the man's diary investigates the alleged sighting of a former SS captain, who allegedly commanded a concentration camp during WWII.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Jon Voight, Maximilian Schell, Maria Schell
A Perfect Spy (TV Mini-Series 1987)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This is the story of Magnus Pym, from his childhood to the end of his career in middle age. As a young man, there is little doubt that his father Rick was the most influential character in ... See full summary »

Stars: Ray McAnally, Rüdiger Weigang, Alan Howard
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

John Preston is a British agent with the task of preventing the Russians detonating a nuclear explosion next to an American base in the UK. The Russians are hoping this will shatter the 'special relationship' between the two countries.

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan, Ned Beatty
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two British agents are murdered by a mysterious Neonazi organization in West Berlin. The British Secret Service sends agent Quiller to investigate. Soon Quiller is confronted with Neonazi ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: George Segal, Alec Guinness, Max von Sydow
Edit

Cast

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

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 »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's title was spoofed in Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966) which translates literally into English as "The Spies who came in from the Frozen Custard", or more commonly, "The Spies who came in from the Semi-Cold". The word 'semifreddo' in the Italian language version's title is a jokey reference to the name of an Italian ice cream dessert called semifreddo which literally translates into English as 'semi-cold'. 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

Alec Leamas: What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They're not! They're just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me: little men, drunkards, queers, hen-pecked husbands, civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives. Do you think they sit like monks in a cell, balancing right against wrong?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
If only more spy movies were like this.....
1 June 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

It's truly refreshing to see a spy movie which does not involve fast cars, bikini clad women, super heroes etc. This movie shows how spies are used and discarded. The main character cannot perform stunning stunts while doing one hand push ups. He is just your average Joe who drinks too much and knows that there is no escape from his profession which he seems to hate. The idealism of young people seems to depress him even more which he rips apart towards the end (the highlight of the movie). The bleak look of the movie (it's in B&W) gives it even more of an authentic look and sets the mood for the viewer.

There are no explosions, no car chases, no sweeping a woman off her feet......just plain, simple story telling.


45 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Hard to comprehend whenim64
Can't follow the story... Euan1234
Poor image quality on DVD fahyr
Discuss The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?