The Spy Who Came In From the Cold

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Without his customary good liberal message to hang on to, Ritt is forced to rely on pure professionalism, and as a result turns out one of his better films. John Le Carré's novel about betrayal and disillusionment in the world of East/West espionage is treated with intelligence and a disarming lack of sentimentality or moralising, while Burton gives one of his best screen performances as the spy out to get even with an East German counterpart. What finally impresses, however, is the sheer seediness of so much of the film, with characters, buildings, and landscapes lent convincingly grubby life by Oswald Morris' excellent monochrome camera-work.

Release details

Duration: 112 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Martin Ritt
Screenwriter: Paul Dehn, Guy Trosper
Cast: Richard Burton
Claire Bloom
Oskar Werner
Peter Van Eyck
Sam Wanamaker
George Voskovec
Rupert Davies
Cyril Cusack
Michael Hordern
Robert Hardy
Bernard Lee
Beatrix Lehmann
Esmond Knight
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