1965 Certificate: pg


Made in the middle of the Cold War and adapted from a John Le Carre novel, this grittily bleak thriller stars Richard Burton as the British Berlin spy station boss who, apparently burnt out by the demands of his job, is ripe for cultivation by the East German STASI as a potential defector. A harsh corrective to the glamorous world of James Bond, this also stars Claire Bloom as the communist seductress and Oscar Werner as his nemesis.


  • Martin Ritt


  • Richard Burton

  • Claire Bloom

  • Oskar Werner

  • Michael Hordern

  • Bernard Lee


Adapted from a novel by John Le Carré, this was the first film to explore the dirty, squalid side of spying, as opposed to the luxury world of James Bond.

Twist piles upon twist as a British agent (Richard Burton at his most world weary) becomes involved in a satisfyingly complicated plot to catch an ex-Nazi spy chief.