Cinema: Supra-Spy

The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. More than 5,000,000 readers have been hooked and held by pseudonymous Author John le Carré's downbeat spy thriller, which scores espionage as a grubby, ulcer-making career at best. The movie version is a masterwork in a minor key. Avoiding formula excitement, Producer-Director Martin Ritt (Hud) achieves something far superior—a climate of still, absolute insecurity that conveys menace mainly through undertones. And Richard Burton, playing the chief pawn in an involuted cold-war plot, will be measured from now on against his full, corrosive performance here. To have read le Carré can only heighten one's...

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