The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1965
DVD Release Date: July 13, 2004
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Critic Score: 85% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

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.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Grim, monotonous, and rather facile, though Richard Burton's aging agent has some honest poignancy.

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S. James Wegg

Brilliant depiction of humanity's foibles

Geoff Andrew
Time Out

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.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

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.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Ritt helms one of the better spy dramas.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

The film makes you believe it could have happened. And that's the remarkable thing.

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Fernando F. Croce
Slant Magazine

Self-consciously dour where the James Bond movies were insouciantly callous.

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Emanuel Levy

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.

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Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
This film's entire existence is merely as an real world answer to the James Bond craze prevalent in its day and then simply to say: "that's not… More
Mister Caple
Directed by Martin Ritt,"the Spy Who Came In From The Cold" is an adaption of John Le Carre's best selling novel about a reluctant British double… More
Reid Volk
Stunning and rich visuals, but the storyline really drags in many parts of the film.
Michael Gildea
A spy movie that's more along the lines of the dull Tom Clancy stories with little to no action. Okay, maybe not that bad but with the word Spy in the… More
Stefanie C
decent thriller, full of espionage and counter-espionage. Richard Burton is the ingredient that makes this film work.
John Ballantine
In comparison to many films made about the Cold War after the Cold War, this stands out as a wonderful spy film at the height of the tension. Richard Burton is… More