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No consensus yet.
All Critics (14)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (12)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (6)
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.
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.
The film makes you believe it could have happened. And that's the remarkable thing.
Grim, monotonous, and rather facile, though Richard Burton's aging agent has some honest poignancy.
A brilliant screenplay crisp, muted, funny, never pushing its points, and acting of the unobtrusively perfect sort you aren't asked to notice. Goes a long way towards bolstering this excitement.
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.
Self-consciously dour where the James Bond movies were insouciantly callous.
Brilliant depiction of humanity's foibles
Ritt helms one of the better spy dramas.
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.
Sad and chilly.
Burton's burnt out turn is one of the best of his career.
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 true." Well what is the truth then? Sad little men sulking in shadows, lying to everyone, especially themselves. Burton is really good as one of the men, a guy who hates himself playing a guy who hates himself playing a guy who hates himself. Its really grim but good.
Stunning and rich visuals, but the storyline really drags in many parts of the film.
decent thriller, full of espionage and counter-espionage. Richard Burton is the ingredient that makes this film work.
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 agent,offers effectively restrained performance by Richard Burton in the title role;Claire Bloom,as an idealistic British communist who becomes the spy's lover during his undercover operation;and Oskar Werner as an East German interrogator. The drab cold war atmosphere is deftly evoked by Oswald Morris's elemental black-and-white photography and the cramped sets designed by Tambi Larsen and Hal Pereira. But Martin Ritt's film means less without its popular foil. Released in 1965,as the same year "The Ipcress File",and the 007 thriller "Thunderball",the fourth of the phenomenally successful James Bond films starring Sean Connery,"the Spy Who Came In The Cold" consistently positions itself as a rebuke to the glamourous,action movie ethos of the Bond films:no fancy gadgets or bikini-clad beauties here,only a pinched and dingy universe in which the moral compass spins without direction.
If Ritt has a limtation as a director,it is his tendency to use drama to demonstrate,to turn his characters into masterpieces for the moral and political values he wants to compare and contrast. For a film about ambiguity-do the actions of Burton's character make him a hero or a dupe or a man who just froze up during his mission. Of one of the most interesting films of the mid-1960's,"The Man Who Came In From The Cold" ultimately seems pat and predictable but well done.
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