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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary black and white film....,
This review is from: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)The world John Lecarré describes is without mercy and forgiveness. The films based on his books are not nearly as terrifying, though they are frightening enough. THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD is an early adaptation of one of Lecarré's books by the same name, and in it he introduces albeit briefly, the character George Smiley.
The three main characters in this production Alex (Richard Burton), Nan (Claire Bloom) and Monque (Oskar Werner) were all very fine actors in the 1950s and 1960s. This film was one of the last Burton made (965) and in it he plays a "burnt-out" spy who has been the operations officer in Berlin for 15 years of the Cold War. Alex was recruited by British Intelligence shortly after WWII just as the East Bloc began to descend behind the "Iron Curtain" according to Western leaders like Churchill. The CIA was also spun from military intelligence during this period, and there is a brief interaction between Alex and a CIA officer at the beginning of the movie as Alex awaits a defecting East German spy at the infamous "Checkpoint Charlie".
SPY is shot in Black and White which enhances the spooky subject. Night time scenes with flashing lights and rainy London weather add to the atmosphere. I first saw this film in the theater, and I was so young I could not figure out what was going on. The plot is complex, but not as complex as that of later adaptations such as SOLDIER, SAILOR...,or SMILEY'S PEOPLE which were given ample air time for the unraveling. It is a frightening film, and some one my age might wonder why anyone would ever become a spy.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!,
This review is from: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)No pomp & circumstance, just a bleak, barebones view of espionage during the cold war. Delivery is impeccable! Acting superb! Get this and share it with your friends.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spy who Came In from The Cold,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)This is probably one of Richard Burton's best performances and deserves more attention. It is the story of a Cold War spy sent out to pasture as a clerk in a book store/library. He turns to alcohol to escape the humm-drum existence. The "agency" has one more job for him to do and brings him out of retirement. Is he being set up or is there something deeper afoot. This is NOT the glitzy James Bond spy!! A cold, hard, look at the world of spies during the Cold War Era and the smarmy people in their world. Very thought provoking and a great performance by Burton.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still gritty, still gripping, cinematic fable...,
If you know the story, you will not be disappointed in its unfolding as "untragic" tragedy.There is no heroism. The "hollow man" quality of principal characters strikes too close to home in characterizing "Democratic" vacuity in principle-less
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burton at his Most Impressively Brooding,
While a British production, the film's director was American Martin Ritt, an accomplished master of providing films of compelling seriousness with a touch of the grim, as exemplified by "No Down Payment", "Hud" and "The Front." Burton plays an intelligence operative gone to seed, hence the reference to "coming out of the cold" which, in spy talk, involves being taken out of the field of operation. Burton goes to planned seed, becoming an alcoholic who ultimately is thrown into prison for pummeling a thoroughly decent London grocer who had extended him credit and ultimately had to draw the line, incurring Burton's well orchestrated rage in accordance with plans from MI5.
As soon as Burton leaves prison Michael Hordern is waiting for him. They discuss "doing articles," a cover for what is really expected, turning allegiance and going to work for the Soviets. During this period Burton is provided with a job at a small library featuring psychic works. It is here that he meets Claire Bloom, an ideologue who attends local Communist study groups as a way of making a difference in a troubled world.
Burton operates in a realm of barely contained rage. He inveighs Hordern with scorn and is not about to disagree with Oskar Werner when the East Germany Communist ideologue refers to Burton and his ilk as "the lowest currency of the Cold War."
Burton's contempt for his role in a grimy affair is enhanced by the fact that he has been sent to East Germany to clear Peter Van Eyck of charges that he is a double agent working for Britain. Werner has shrewdly pegged him, and British intelligence does all it can to help a ruthless individual it took charge of after he murdered a man on a trip to England during an East German traveling trade exhibit. Eventually Bloom surfaces as a prop to assist the contemptible Van Eyck.
More twists and turns occur until ultimately Burton wonders just what the future holds for him, and whether Bloom, the only person he cares for in life, will be part of it. Circumstances ultimately answer important questions for Burton as he is propelled through a swirl of events masterminded by wily intelligence operatives to his ultimate destiny.
This is a spectacularly moody giant of a film. Guy Troper and Paul Rehn fashioned a brilliant script which meshes with Le Carre's chilling suspense masterpiece. "Spy" was a deserving recipient of a Best Film British Academy Award. It bristles with controlled rage and sizzling wit delivered with the proper measure of acid by Burton in one of his enduring roles.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic,
Before going to prison Leamas meets an attractive girl who is a British communist. She becomes the only person he really cares for while his work as a spy forces him to become increasingly cynical.
As often pointed out the film lacks the gadgetry and magic of other spy movies from its era. Instead the emphasis is on reality and negative human emotions such as despair, self-loathing, greed and fear. The plot becomes quite intricate especially after Leamas returns to the field posing as a paid defector.
The cast is superb. Richard Burton stars as Alec Leamas. Clair Bloom is his girl friend Nan Perry and Oskar Werner excells as a crafty communist agent.
The film received Oscar nominations in 1965 for Best Actor (Richard Burton) and B&W Art Direction. Martin Ritt directed many other good movies in his career including THE MOLLY MAGUIRES.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUSPENSE AND INTRIGUE !!,
This review is from: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)I was never a Richard Burton fan until I discovered "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold". Richard Burton's acting in this movie is top notch to say the least. He's able to pull you into his character of British agent Alec Leamas from the beginning and make it all seem believable. Thankfully this movie is in black & white, because it definitely adds to the overall suspense and mood of the film. The DVD transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound are excellent. It's hard to believe a movie from 1965 with no fancy gadgets or special computer effects could be so entertaining, but it definitely is. Will Alec come in from the cold or does he have one more mission in him?
Widescreen version enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs
Dolby Digital: English 5.1 Surround, English Restored Mono, French Mono
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie,
This review is from: The Spy Who Came In From The Cold / L'espion qui venait du froid (Bilingual) (DVD)This is not James Bond. Le Carre's spies are somewhat more realistic, dirty, dishevelled and ordinary people living a dirty existence on the edge of society. This was Burton at his best. I saw this movie when it first came out and loved it. I've been a Burton fan ever since. It was hard to find this movie but I'm glad I persisted. It's Le Carre's best novel and the best Le Carre adaptation to film. A classic!
5.0 out of 5 stars great cold war movie,
This review is from: Spy Who Came in from the Co (VHS Tape)really enjoyed the movie since i had just finished reading the book and the movie was true to the book edition..
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly sent.,
This review is from: Spy Who Came in from the Cold (DVD)Even putting bubble protectors inside DVD case so the DVD's would not move around inside the case during mailing. The DVD is in impeccable condition. THanks very much!
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The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (Bilingual) [Import] by Martin Ritt (DVD - 2004)