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Cold War type Spy thrillers - Books/DVD's

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Showing 1-25 of 72 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Mar 2009, 05:55:57 GMT
Jackson says:
Hi there,

I have recently read and watched the Len Deighton/Michael Caine series of books/films on the character Harry Palmer, (Ipcress files, Funeral in Berlin & Billion Dollar Brain) and I really enjoyed them.

I'm looking for more in the series, or other authors/titles of that genre

Look forward to your suggestions


In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2009, 19:11:24 GMT
AJ says:
Hey, another Jackson!
Something along these lines - try Fatherland (1994) - If Germany had won WW2 and was still fighting Russia. Great movie.
Also the Odessa File, Boys From Brazil, Marathon Man - they are more German based than USSR, but they are all decent movies :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2009, 19:13:31 GMT
AJ says:
Ooh, also some more Michael Caine one's for you; The Whistle Blower, Jigsaw Man, Holcroft Covenant & The Fourth Protocol.
Especially the last two!

Posted on 24 Mar 2009, 01:13:15 GMT
Jackson says:
Thanks Adam, will definately check these out!! Have actually seen Odessa File, enjoyed that one too!


In reply to an earlier post on 24 Mar 2009, 18:24:20 GMT
BD says:
You might also want to try the books Berlin Game, Mexico Set and London Match. Also by Deighton. Main character Bernd Samson.

Posted on 26 Mar 2009, 21:37:21 GMT
Dont forget Hook, Line and Sinker by Deighton (comes after Game,Set and Match) great books

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2009, 20:20:45 GMT
Robin says:
John Le Carre is superb, Graham Greene's Our Man in Havanna, I enjoy Robert Littell's The Company plus several of his others. Len Deighton as others have mentioned are always a good read. Robert Ludlum wrote a lot of decent stuff, still manages this from beyond the grave! Check out The Spies Bedside Book by Hugh & Graham Greene, old but an interesting read.

Any Russian/East German stuff out there written from the other perspective?

Posted on 30 Mar 2009, 13:48:50 BST
Stephen says:
If you like Len Deighton then you should check out his Bernard Samson trilogy-of-trilogies:
Game, Set & Match
Hook, Line & Sinker
Faith, Hope & Charity

Posted on 31 Mar 2009, 05:04:18 BST
Arthur Grant says:
Two of the best spy films ever made are:
THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD with Richard Burton based on John Le Carre novel.
5 FINGERS with James Mason based on true amazing story. (Only on Reg. 2 UK DVD)

If you really liked THE IPCRESS FILE I'm sure you'll enjoy these films.

Posted on 7 Apr 2009, 09:16:25 BST
Enthusiastic says:
I don't like to pigeon-hole le Carre as a 'spy writer' because he is much more than that. At his best - and there is plenty of the best - he is a novelist who reflects so many of our doubts and fears as we live in the 20th and 21st centuries. He is uneven, however, and his work since the end of the cold war has been nothing like as good as that before. I too was initially very impressed by 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, but 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' and 'Smiley's People' are the height of his achievement. Both are available on BBC DVDs with Alec Guiness who was quite perfect in the Smiley role. For those who enjoy reading about the cold war there is nothing even remotely as good as this. I do have a soft spot for the DVD of 'The Company' - a CIA novel by Robert Littell, largely due to a remarkable performance by Alfred Molina as Harvey Torriti.

Posted on 14 Apr 2009, 13:19:21 BST
K. Moule says:
For a different take, try, 'The Cambridge Spies' a four part series first broadcast on the BBC about the Cambridge spies (Burgess, MacClean, Philby & Blunt). Also try Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy & Smilies People.

Posted on 27 Apr 2009, 10:52:28 BST
Cracking cold war stuff that is still cracking watch on the dvd side is Hunt for Red October, Ice Station Zebra - classics

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2009, 11:07:25 BST
Try The Chosen by D.B. Scott, a neo fascist plot involving the Russians and the od Stasi

Posted on 28 May 2009, 17:09:23 BST
R. Platt says:
Try "555" by William Roberts--it shows what happens when you win the cold war--great book--great plot--WOW ending.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2009, 01:36:53 BST
There were another two Harry Palmer (with michael Caine) films made in the 90's also starring the talentless Jason Connery, they were 'Bullet to Beijing' (1995) and 'Midnight in St.Petersburg' (1996), they are pretty bad but how more bad could you get after 'Billion Dollar Brain'???

Posted on 9 Jul 2009, 09:14:49 BST
Steven says:
If you want to go off plot into corporate espionage but get the same buzz or if you have seen/read everything else try Cypher with Jeremy Northam or Paranoia by Joseph Finder or even the Net with Sandra Bullock.

Posted on 9 Jul 2009, 16:14:21 BST
Big Softy says:
There's Martin Cruz Smith's "Gorky Park" with Lee marvin, the Craig Thomas' "Firefox" films with Clint Eastwood and Trevanian's "Eiger Sanction" again with Clint.

Posted on 15 Jul 2009, 23:54:16 BST
If you can find them (publishers, how about a re-run?), the novels of Anthony Price are superb. Well-written and nicely convoluted, they feature David Audley as high-ranking spook, with a cast of memorable characters in support.

Posted on 20 Jul 2009, 10:02:08 BST
A. Miller says:
I think Robert Littell is the American answer to John Le Carre especially novels like The Defection of A J Lewinter, The Sisters, and The Company

Posted on 20 Jul 2009, 16:18:49 BST
horrace says:
BBC Radio 4 is in the middle of dramatising the complete Smiley - they've just finished a cracking 3 X 1hour adaptation of "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" - might be available on bbc I-player !

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jul 2009, 23:34:43 BST
FP Thomas says:
To Zena Dare

I agree with you and why has no one thought to make a film about David, and the others?

Posted on 24 Jul 2009, 23:42:00 BST
FP Thomas says:
Alistair Maclean wrote some cracking books about spies and such but my favourite book of his and well worth reading,if you can find it, is HMS Ulysses. He served on such a boat in the war and it is evident when you read it that he writes from experience. Fantastic book

Posted on 25 Jul 2009, 14:18:19 BST
Sbl617 says:
The best EVER series of spy/thriller books if you must call them that are the 25+ by former ITV reporter Gerald Seymour. In the US we had a terrible time getting them until the advent of Amazon used books from the UK. Too bad so many are out of print.

Does anyone know if any if these were filmed?

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2009, 11:14:57 BST
Last edited by the author on 28 Jul 2009, 10:17:12 BST
horrace says:
You've just reminded me of another author and series of novels :
Brian Freemantle's Charlie Muffin novels, which were difficult to get a hold of at the time and are probably more difficult now - the one's from the late 70's / early 80's are superb - can't quite judge the ones after that as I couldn't get a hold of many and read out of order and with gaps.
The first one was filmed with David Hemmings and he was superb in it but that doesn't seem to be available either but I'd recomend starting with this or the first 3 or 4 books in order :
Charlie Muffin (1977)
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie (1978)
The Inscrutable Charlie Muffin (1979)
Charlie Muffin's Uncle Sam (1980)

Additional - should have mentioned that the central character of these books has similarities with Harry Palmer from the original post - downtrodden and with self-serving bosses, the earlier books are also set in the middle of the cold war - for atmosphere these might be the books the original poster is looking for !

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2009, 11:15:58 BST
horrace says:
Was "Harry's Game" by Gerald Seymour - that's available on dvd.
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Initial post:  17 Mar 2009
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