The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
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Based on the novel by John Le Carre, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold stars Richard Burton as a dispirited, end-of-tether British secret agent. He comes in from "the cold" (meaning he is pulled out of field operations) to act as a undercover man behind the Iron Curtain. To make his staged defection seem genuine, Burton goes on an alcoholic toot and is imprisoned and publicly humiliated. Once he has been accepted into East German espionage circles, Burton discovers that what he thought was his mission was a mere subterfuge--and that he's been set up as a pawn for an entirely… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An excellent contemporary espionage drama of the Cold War which achieves solid impact via emphasis on human values, total absence of mechanical spy gimmickry, and perfectly controlled underplaying."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Grim, monotonous, and rather facile, though Richard Burton's aging agent has some honest poignancy."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Brilliant depiction of humanity's foibles"
‑ S. James Wegg, JWR
"Sad and chilly."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"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."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"This pitch-perfect adaptation of John le Carré's best-seller captures the Cold War in all its chilly complexity ... Burton delivers a towering performance that's second only to his turn in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as the finest of his career."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Ritt helms one of the better spy dramas."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Burton's burnt out turn is one of the best of his career."
‑ , Film4
"The film makes you believe it could have happened. And that's the remarkable thing."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Self-consciously dour where the James Bond movies were insouciantly callous."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine
"Grim and beautifuly shot in black and white by Oswald Morris, Martin's Ritt's spy drama features a great, Oscar-nominated performance from Richard Burton, reflecting the surrounding Cold War culture."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
More reviews for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold on Rotten Tomatoes

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