Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The (1965)

Paramount (Salem Films, UK)

In “The Spy Who Came In from the Cold,” Martin Ritt’s superlative Cold War espionage drama, Richard Burton stars as an aging British spy, who is close to the end of his career, when he gets an opportunity to go over the Berlin Wall as a mole.
 
Based on John Le Care’s great novel, adapted to the screen by Paul Dehn and Guy Trosper, this serious, grim film reflected the end of the Cold War mentality in American ideology and culture. Ace lenser Oswald Morris, who should have been nominated for an Oscar, contributes striking black-and-white images that at once create and illustrate the bleak ambience.
 
A follow-up to the 1963 Oscar-winning “Hud,” starring Paul Newman, “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” represents the height of director Martin Ritt’s career.
 
The excellent cast also includes Oskar Werner, Claire Bloom, Sam Whitaker, Cyril Cusack, Michael Hordern, and Bernard Lee, better known then as “M” in the popular James Bond series. Indeed, the movie coincided with the James Bond film series, which also cashed in on the Cold War, but was done in a very different style and for different purpose.
 
Oscar Nominations:
 
Actor: Richard Burton
Art Direction-Set Decoration (b/w): Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen, and Edward Marshall; Jose MacAvin
 
Oscar Awards: None
 
Oscar Context:
 
The winner of the Best Actor Oscar was Lee Marvin for the spoof comedy-Western, “Cat Ballou.” The race in 1965 was particularly competitive, including Laurence Olivier in Shakespeare’s “Othello,” Rod Steiger in the Holocaust drama “The Pawnbroker,” Oskar Werner in “The Ship of Fools.” 
 
The winner of the b/w Art Direction-Set Decoration was “Ship of Fools,” directed by Stanley Kramer.