"A Different Loyalty" may have been well intentioned, but it disappoints on two levels. For those who do not know that the plot has been lifted (without attribution) from Eleanor Philby's memoir, "The Spy I Married," it is a rather humdrum, albeit entertaining and well-acted, romance with an espionage background (although I seem to have missed the dead bodies referred to by one of the reviewers; and the DVD cover is egregiously misrepresentative, depicting the main character [played by Rupert Everett], gun in hand, running from an exploding truck and hovering helicopters--something that Kim Philby [the ultimate bureaucrat] never did in his life [and, unless it has been cut from the movie, neither did Everett.]). For those who do know the historical background, the film is infuriating. Even though the names of Philby, Burgess, and Maclean, et al, have been inexplicably changed (after 40-plus years), the script follows Eleanor's account carefully, making numerous allusions to actual events in Philby's life and career; towards the end, however, it suddenly veers off into fantasy land as the wife, Sally (the Eleanor surrogate), with the connivance of British Intelligence, tries to persuade her husband, Leo (the Kim Philby avatar), to return to London to testify (probably the last thing that the British government wanted at the time).
The film, nevertheless, is lovely to look at, with the photogenic island of Malta standing in for Beirut of the 1960s, and the surprisingly photogenic city of Moscow standing in for itself. The acting is more than creditable; the children are especially good, as is the smarmy double-dealing SIS agent. Sharon Stone, who, with dark hair, bears a remarkable resemblance to Eleanor Philby, is believable. I was, however, left rather cold by Rupert Everett in the role of the hero (or anti-hero), even though I thought he was brilliant in "Another Country" as the arrogantly handsome Guy Bennett (read Burgess). With his perpetual well-bred sneer, Everett simply does not exude the infamous Philby charm!