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  • The Spy Who Came In From The Cold [DVD] [1965]
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The Spy Who Came In From The Cold [DVD] [1965]

121 customer reviews

Price: £3.82 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Burton, Sam Wanamaker, George Voskovec, Rupert Davies, Cyril Cusack
  • Directors: Martin Ritt
  • Producers: Martin Ritt
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Nov. 2006
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000I0QSNA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,983 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

The acclaimed adaptation of John Le Carre's novel about an aging British spy who attempts to infiltrate the East German agency. Gri tty and superbly realistic, this is the prototypical Cold War thriller. Richard Burton was nominated for Academy Award for Best Act or.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

146 of 149 people found the following review helpful By Cormac Farrell on 15 Nov. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is a faithful rendition of one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. The acting is superb, the sets are suitably austere and atmospheric and the plot is simply a work of genius. Forget all the cliches about this being the real thing compared to Bond movies etc. This is quite simply a different genre. It is a story of brutality and of hopelessness.It illustrates how the exploitation of human weakness can be used as an effective weapon of war. The Cold War is in the throes of being forgotten by all but the academics who study the era, but the manner in which it was fought is fascinating, and as evidenced in later adaptations of Le Carres work by the BBC(Smileys People and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)it required minds of rare intelligence and deviousness. The charachter, Smiley, which is expanded upon in the BBC dramas mentioned above has only a small part to play in this movie. But it is a pivotal part because it is he who displays the ultimate ruthlessness which epitomises the Cold Warriors.

The plot in this movie concerns an attempt by British Intelligence to undermine a dangerous East German Abteilung officer by planting a defector, Leamass, played superbly by Richard Burton, into East Germany. But as the plot unfolds we begin to see the real subtlety and manipulation at play that is charachteristic of Le Carre at his stunning best. If you are interested in this era and this type of film it is obviously the classic of its kind.

One thing I find interesting about the Cold War is that it was largely fought without weapons, and yet, as perfectly illustrated in this movie, even stripped of their weapons, men still found a way to fight a war!!

I owned it on VHS and waited for along time for a region 2 compatible DVD. No extras, but I don't care, it's a work of art which doesn't need embellishing.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Darren Harrison VINE VOICE on 25 April 2006
Format: DVD
Based on the novel by the acclaimed British author John Le Carre (who gave us the excellent SMILEY'S PEOPLE and the less steller CONSTANT GARDENER) this bleak look at Cold War espionage is actually compulsive viewing. I started watching the movie late one night fully expecting to stop about halfway through yet, there I was at 1 a.m. still transfixed at the unfolding drama.

Starring Richard Burton in perhaps one of his most impressive roles and co-starring Burton's one-time girlfriend the entrancing Claire Bloom, this movie is a complex, intricately woven movie that keeps one guessing. It starts in Germany and ends in Germany with stops in England and Holland inbetween. Burton plays Alec Leamas, a former head of British intelligence in Berlin who poses as a washed up agent as a means of implanting seeds of doubt about the loyalty of a communist spy in the minds of that spy's superiors. After beating up a grocer he is approached by East German intelligence and persuaded to "defect" to the East. Once there during the debriefing stage he begins to lay subtle clues in the hope that they will be picked up by the authorities, who will then p[iece together the clues and come to the conclusion that one of their star agents is a traitor. Sounds simple enough right?! Well, all is not as it seems and the real motive behind Leamas' ruse is one of those twists you don't see coming until it's too late.

Burton is ably supported by a brilliant supporting cast, from the aforementioned Bloom to Michael Horden as Ashe, a gay communist agent, Sam Wanamaker as Peters, Oskar Werner as the ambitious Fiedler and Robert Hardy as Dick Carlton to name just a few.

Released in 1965, this movie was made at a time when color was available for use, however the makers decided (wisely) to film it in black and white, a decision which really helps build atmosphere and drama.

I recommend this movie to everyone who likes complex plotting and espionage thrillers.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Liz Wright on 26 Nov. 2006
Format: DVD
This film is a faithful adaption of the book, makes a welcome change. The two leads Burton and Bloom share a third star, that is London itself. For a feel of the greyness of London in this period, this film is tremendously evocative. It is a bleak story indeed but the two hours passes quickly, following the twists and turns but for me also following the striking filming. There is no way this should ever be in colour, it is a masterpiece and the ending, though I expected it, was as much of a shock as ever. It is a film of London when it truly was an old boy network, more so than now but also a London which was questioning and not afraid to do so. I could ramble on, but watch it. Don't expect James Bond, expect an intelligent and thought provoking story with filming that is almost art house. I kept thinking about the London of Hangover Square and Patrick Hamilton as I watched this. Unmissable.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Coobagal on 18 Dec. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Atmospheric; restrained and chilling. John Le Carre's plot is well treated here and Richard Burton gives an excellent performance. Unlike so many modern films, you can hear every crisp word delivered by a cast who know how to speak English.
This is a good story and the book too makes a very good read. Radio 4 also recently did an interesting adaptation with Brian Cox in the title role, for which he deserves commendation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bobbaer on 21 Nov. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The spy who came into the cold is an absolute classic spy story. It is a different beast to the James Bond and Bourne series as the action is kept to a minimum, the spies potrayed here are not supermen they are fat, cynical and possibly alcoholic. However this potrayal only gives a more realistic view of spies and their fieldcraft. We finally see that spies depend on subtefuge and deception rather than guns. This helps increases the tension of the story as you feel the paranoia the spie feels when hes worried that his plan has been uncovered. Richard Burton is absolutly fantastic as the burnt out spy. His potrayal is flawless to the point that he doesnt even seem to be acting. His speech at the end is a high point which highlights the difference between le Carre and Fleming. Flemings spies are dedicated patriots who though have to do terrible things are still noble at the end of the day. Le Carre's spies are seedy squalied little men who plays cowboys and indians to brighten up their lives. The visuals in this movie are stark, there are no fantastic looking buildings or beautiful women instead we are giving an accurate depiction of the decay of East Berlin. I very much recommend this movie to all fans of spie stories or Le Carre.
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