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Leamas and Nan arrive at the Berlin Wall and are given instructions to climb over to West Germany on a particular ladder while a searchlight is intentionally turned away. While Leamas is atop the wall pulling Nan behind him, the searchlight suddenly shines directly on them, alarms sound, and Nan is shot dead by Mundt's operatives, silencing the only civilian witness to the operation. Leamas freezes in shock and horror, and is urged by agents on both sides to return to the West. Instead, he climbs back down towards Nan's body on the eastern side of the wall and is shot dead as well.

The film closely follows the plot of the original source text. One exception is that the name of the principal female character in the novel, Liz Gold, is changed to Nan Perry in the film, reputedly because the producers were worried about the potential confusion in the media with Burton's then wife, Elizabeth Taylor. Ardmore Studios in Ireland and England's Shepperton Studios were used for the shooting of interior scenes.

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote, "After all the spy and mystery movies of a romantic and implausible nature that we have seen, it is great to see one as realistic, and believable too, as 'The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. Scheuer of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "It is not an easy, certainly not a pleasant, picture to sit through; too impersonal, too objective, to move us to weep, so that its ending can only leave us tremendously depressed. Coe of The Washington Post declared, "Not having shared the evidently widespread admiration for 'The Spy Who Came In from the Cold' in its original form as a novel, I nonetheless find it a wholly absorbing picture.

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Paul Dehn Guy Trosper. Pitt Nancy Nevinson as Mrs. Zanfrello Michael Ripper as Mr. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 22 March The New York Times.

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Retrieved 25 October The Numbers. Retrieved 22 January The New York Times : Variety : December 21, Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. The Washington Post : A The Monthly Film Bulletin. February Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 November Films directed by Martin Ritt.

Le Carre Discusses the Film The Spy Who Came In From the Cold and the spy business

Book Category. Berlin Wall. Ich bin ein Berliner "Tear down this wall! Book:Berlin Wall. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons.

The Spy Who Came In for the Gold - TIME

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Theatrical release poster by Howard Terpning. Academy Awards, Best Actor. They are in the middle of the process when news comes that the authorities in Britain have put out an alert for him. Peters and his German minders say he must now be moved East for his own safety. They fly to Berlin and drive across the checkpoint into East Berlin. From there Leamas is taken to an isolated safe house amid pine forests and meets Fiedler, number two in the Abteilung, the East German secret police.

In among all the true stuff, though, is the thread of disinformation — a set of misleading facts about secret payments he had to make via Scandinavian banks. In other words, the entire deception is designed to frame Mundt and give his number two, Fiedler, the evidence he needs to arrest and eliminate Mundt. At every stage Leamas plays it perfectly by being reluctant : pretending not to know that the dates tie up, then refusing to believe Mundt could be a spy since he, Leamas, ran the German network and would have known about him.

The novel is perfectly paced. All the events unfold with a deep and pleasing inevitability, yet nothing is forced or hurried. There is a sudden reversal — Fiedler is still interrogating Leamas when their house is taken over by security guards working for Mundt, who has intervened to arrest Fielder and Leamas. The latter is badly beaten then begins to be interrogated by Mundt who we finally meet, cold and calculating. But almost immediately there is a further switch, because Fielder had just sent a dossier of his case against Mundt to the Praesidium, who now release Fiedler and imprison Mundt.

The impasse must be resolved and so the Praesidium organises an investigation to be set in a court room, each side making its case. Fiedler argues compellingly against Mundt, listing the evidence which has led him to believe Mundt is a British double agent. Up to this point he is describing events which could be interpreted either way. It was all a ploy to enable her to be produced at the trial. In further, damning, evidence, she reluctantly admits that she was visited by Smiley, who left a card and told her to get in touch if she had any problems or if she heard from Leamas; and that her lease was bought and sent to her, as if in payment for her aid.

Leamas listens in amazement. How incompetent of London! It is almost as if they were trying to undermine his mission, it is almost as if they wanted the mission to indict Mundt to fail, it is almost as if the whole mission was actually designed to incriminate Fiedler… at which point, Leamas realises with a shock… that Fiedler is right. The narrative then follows Liz as she is taken from the court through miles of corridors of the vast prison for dissidents and intellectuals, has a dispiriting conversation with the zealous woman guard, and sinks in despair onto her bed… when the door of her cell is opened and it is Mundt, hurrying her along corridors, out of a door onto a gravel drive to the main gate, through it and up to a car and to Leamas.

He leaves them. Mundt has triumphed.

The Spy Who Came In for the Gold

Leamas and Liz are free. They get in the car and, as Leamas drives at speed back towards Berlin, he reveals the moral of the story. Because Liz is such a complete innocent, Leamas is able to explain the rationale of espionage from the ground up, how it is the logical extension of two conflicting ideologies, how it is infinitely superior to actual war , but how it has its own casualties, compromises, amorality. What did she expect? See the quote at the head of this review. They pick up an agent at a pre-arranged place who guides them to the Wall and gives them precise instructions about how to climb over at a place where the wire has been cut.

And so they walk to it and climb up and over as instructed except that, as Leamas pulls the girl up after him all the searchlights go on and there are shots. She and Leamas had discussed in the car how odd it was that Mundt was letting her go, an idealistic fool who now knows he is a top-ranking double agent ie she holds his life in her hands. Leamas realises Mundt planned to have her killed all along.

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold | Study Guide

And, in deeper disillusionment, realises his own side must have known it as well. The full horror of these people, of this world, of total expediency, hits us. Leamas hears voices from the West telling him to climb over and down to safety. And, like the ageing, tired, and completely disillusioned man he is, Leamas deliberately climbs back down into the Eastern side, knowing what will happen, no longer wanting to live.

And is shot dead. The sense of psychological defeat, betrayal, moral squalor, is complete, and leaves an enduring taste in the mouth.

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Throughout the text characters show a sensitiveness to Jewishness which is strange to me. But it is also important to the plot that Liz the librarian is Jewish, and that Fiedler, the number two, is Jewish. The woman gaoler in charge of Liz is similarly automatically, thoughtlessly anti-semitic. Leamas is not anti-semitic but immediately recognises someone as Jewish.

This sensitivity to Jewishness is one aspect of the way this novel is now part of a vanished history.

Lebedev: the spy who came in for the gold

When I first read and Darkness At Noon in the s, they scared me more than any horror story, they described an abyss into which all society, all humanity, could quite possibly fall, they described outcomes which might result from the political struggles of the time, from the power of communist and socialist parties across Europe even, potentially, from the power of the radical wing of the Labour Party.

It is not just that the Cold War ended and the West won. It is the way even the notion that one single ideology could conquer the world has evaporated. When this novel was published the world population was 3 billion. There are now lots of anxieties, but they are to do with the economy, the environment, global warming, random acts of terrorism.

That one, bottomless, existential fear about the death of human freedom and the triumph of totalitarian communism which I remember from the s and which was captured in novels like this, has disappeared like morning dew.

It is impossible to explain it to my children. All quotes from the Pan paperback edition. The novel was made into a fantastically atmospheric black-and-white film, released in , starring Richard Burton and featuring Michael Horden, Sam Wanamaker, Oskar Werner and Robert Hardy. It is as much a classic of the film world as the book is of literature. All the actors are immaculate.


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The direction, by Martin Ritt, is wonderful.