The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965)

Genres - Spy Film  |   Sub-Genres - Unglamorized Spy Film  |   Release Date - Dec 16, 1965 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Among the dark, revisionist espionage films to crop up in the mid-1960s as an antidote to the James Bond phenomenon was The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, an existential examination of the spy world which has lost little of its impact, even since the end of the Cold War. Richard Burton provides the movie's emotional center; he's perfect for the role of the disaffected, burnt-out secret agent. The striking, somber art direction and cinematography and Martin Ritt's terse direction lend weight to Burton's brooding lead performance. Ritt also coaxes quality supporting work from Claire Bloom and Oskar Werner. Inevitably, the film's gritty, bleak mood translated into a poor showing at the box office, but healthy television airings and video rentals have restored its luster.