Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This spy film purports to be inspired by the true story of Kim Philby (1912-1988), a British intelligence officer and Soviet spy during the 1940s and '50s who gained international notoriety when he blew his cover and defected to the USSR in 1963. But this fictional, unsophisticated, if not naive docudrama portrays a world of espionage in a cross between Nancy Drew and Sam Spade, and Philby's real story is buried in the process. The film opens with British double agent Philip Kimberly (Michael Caine) undergoing complete plastic surgery by order of his Soviet bosses, while his death is announced in the world press. With a different name and face, Kimberly -- now Kuzminsky -- is sent back to England in the guise of a Soviet citizen to retrieve a secret list of names he supposedly hid several years ago. Kusminsky/Kimberly defects at the British passport control, and later escapes his British guards -- leading to a manhunt by both British and Soviet agents. His chief nemesis is Admiral Scaith (Laurence Olivier) and the man he assigns to the case, Jaime Fraser (Robert Powell) -- who just happens to be living with Kimberly's daughter.
agent [representative], betrayal, defector, espionage, government, plastic-surgery, political-intrigue, Secret-Service