The spy movie, also known as a spy thriller, is a subgenre of action film that deals with the theme of espionage, both in a rational and imaginative way, as in the James Bond films. Many books in the spy fiction category have been adapted as films, including works by John Buchan, le Carré, Ian Fleming (Bond), and Len Deighton. It is a substantial element of British cinema, with notable British directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and Carol Reed who make many notable films and contributions incorporated into the British Secret Service.
Spy films reveal the spying activities of secret agents of the federal government and their threat of detection by their opponents. From 1940s Nazi spy thrillers to 1960s James Bond films and cutting edge blockbusters these days, spy film has been consistently popular with audiences around the world. Providing a mix of escapism, technological delights and unique locations, numerous spy films complement the action film categories and science fiction, creating heroes audiences can root for and villains they dislike. They could also include aspects of political thrillers. There are many that are mostly comical comedy action movie.
James Bond is the most famous of the cinematic spies, however there were also more insightful works such as Le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold that also emerged from the Cold War. With the end of the Cold War, the newest villain came to be terrorism and it most frequently included the Middle East.
Brief History of Spy Movies
The category of spy films was born in the period of silent cinema and the beginning of the Great War. In 1928, Fritz Lang made the film Spies which included several clichés that became popular in later spy films, including The Secret Office and a secret agent identified by a number. Lang’s Dr. Mabuse films also have spy film components, although the central character is a criminal mastermind who thinks only of espionage for profit. Additionally, several of Lang’s American films, such as Hangmen Also Die, deal with spies during World War II.
Alfred Hitchcock did much to popularize spy film in the 1930s with his major thrillers The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The 39 Steps (1935), Sabotage (1937) and The Lady Vanishes (1938). These often included innocent civilians involved in global conspiracies or networks of saboteurs, as in Saboteur (1942). Some, however, tell of expert spies as in Hitchcock’s Secret Agent (1936), based on the Ashenden stories by W. Somerset Maugham, or the Mr. Moto series, based on the books by John P. Marquand.
In the 1940s and early 1950s, a number of films were made about the exploits of Allied agents in Europe, which could most likely be considered a sub-genre. 13 Rue Madeleine and OSS were fictional stories about American agents in German-occupied France, and there were a variety of films based on the stories of real-life British secret agents, including Odette and Carve Her Name With Pride. A more current fictional example is Charlotte Gray, based on the original by Sebastian Faulks.
When Cold War fears combined with the public’s desire to see suspenseful and surprising films, the spy film’s peak appeal was reached in the 1960s. On the one hand, the wise spy books of Len Deighton and John le Carré were adapted into major Cold War thrillers that dealt with some of the truths of the world of espionage. Some of these films consisted of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), The Deadly Affair (1966), Torn Curtain (1966) and the Harry Palmer series, based on the books by Len Deighton.
In another form of storytelling, Ian Fleming’s James Bond books were made into a fantastical series of tongue-in-cheek action films by producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli, starring Sean Connery. They included grotesque and insane supervillains, an archetype that would later become a staple of the spy movie wave of the mid to late 1960s. The extraordinary success of the Bond series results in a flood of imitators, such as the eurospy category and a number of Americans.
Spy movies had something of a revival in the late 1990s, although these were usually action movies with spy components or fun ones like Austin Powers. Some critics recognize a less-than-dreamy pattern in favor of realism, as observed in Syriana, the Bourne film series and the James Bond films starring Daniel Craig since Casino Royale (2006).
It’s a thriller film 1928 German silent spy Fritz Lang and co-written with his partner, Thea von Harbou, who also wrote a book of the same name, released a year later. The film was Lang’s penultimate silent film and the first ever for his production business. As in Lang’s Mabuse films, such as Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922) and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), Rudolf Klein-Rogge plays a master criminal seeking world domination.
Germany, 1927: Beautiful Russian spy Sonja Baranikowa convinces Colonel Jellusič to betray his nation (an unnamed Eastern European nation) for her lover, Haghi, a seemingly respectable bank manager who is actually the evil mastermind of a group of criminals. Jason, head of the German secret service, offers the job of taking Haghi to a good-looking young representative named Number 326, who thinks his identity is a trick.
Mata Hari (1931)
It is a drama film 1931 American George Fitzmaurice loosely based on the life of Mata Hari, a stripper accused of espionage during World War I. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film stars Greta Garbo in the title role. In 1917, France is involved in the First World War. Dubois, head of the French espionage office, offers to spare the life of an agent if he will expose who he is protecting. Dubois assumes it is Mata Hari, a well-known stripper, but the inmate chooses execution by firing squad.
On Secret Service (1933)
It’s a 1933 British thriller film directed by Arthur B. Woods and starring Greta Nissen, Karl Ludwig Diehl, Don Alvarado and Austin Trevor. It is based on the 1933 German film Spies at Work with Karl Ludwig Diehl playing the same role from that film.
In 1912 the Evidenzbureau, the military intelligence directorate of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, identified the Marquise Marcella Galdi, an Italian noblewoman who went to Vienna, as an Italian spy. To avoid diplomatic confusion, she is kidnapped while dancing with Austro-Hungarian Staff Captain Michael von Homberg at a ball at Vienna’s famed Hotel Sacher, and returns to Italy. Shortly thereafter, a secret plan of an Austrian fortress appears on von Homberg’s office desk, and since he himself is unable to describe it, the Evidenzbureau advises him to commit suicide, but he manages to get away from Vienna.
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
And a film noir 1934 British Alfred Hitchcock, starring Leslie Banks and Peter Lorre. It was one of the most famous films in Hitchcock’s British filmography. The film is Hitchcock’s first using this title and was followed later by his 1956 film using the same name, with a substantially different plot and screenplay with some adjustments. The two films are extremely similar in tone. In the book-interview Hitchcock/Truffaut (1967), in response to director François Truffaut’s statement that the elements of the remake were undoubtedly exceptional, Hitchcock replied: “We state that the first variation is the work of a talented amateur and the the second was done by an expert.”
The 1934 film shares its title with GK Chesterton’s 1922 book of the same name. Since he held the film rights to some of the stories in the book, Hitchcock chose to use the title. Bob and Jill Lawrence, a British couple traveling to Switzerland with their daughter Betty, befriend Frenchman Louis Bernard, who stays at their hotel. Jill is participating in a skeet shooting competition. She reaches the final but loses to a sharpshooter, Ramon Levine, because at the turning point she is distracted by a clock chime coming from Abbott.
The 39 Steps (1935)
It is a 1935 British thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. It is loosely based on the 1915 novel The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. It tells of a Canadian in London, Richard Hannay, who ends up getting involved with a spy organization called “The 39 Steps”.
After being falsely implicated in the murder of a counterintelligence agent, Hannay travels to Scotland and ends up entangled with an attractive woman while he wants to stop the ring of spies and clear his name. Director Orson Welles described it as “a work of art”. Film writer Robert Towne said, “It’s no exaggeration to say that all modern escapist entertainment begins with The 39 Steps.”
It’s a 1936 British spy film directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka and John Loder. It is loosely based on Joseph Conrad’s 1907 novel The Secret Agent, about a woman who discovers that her spouse, a London shopkeeper, is a representative of terrorists.
The film should not be confused with Hitchcock’s film Secret Agent, also released in 1936, but which is based on two stories from the 1927 collection Ashenden: Or the British Agent by W. Somerset Maugham. Equally need not be puzzled with Hitchcock’s film Saboteur (1942), which includes the famous torch-fall of the Statue of Liberty. It is regarded as among the best British films ever made.
The Lady Vanishes (1938)
It’s a mystery film 1938 British Alfred Hitchcock, starring Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave. Written by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder, based on Ethel Lina White’s 1936 novel The Wheel Spins, the film tells the story of an English female traveler who travels by train in continental Europe and discovers that her elderly female passenger appears to have disappeared from the train . After her fellow passengers refuse to ever see the older woman, the girl is assisted by a young musicologist, the two continue to search the train for the old lady.
Hitchcock caught Hollywood’s attention with the film and moved to Hollywood soon after its release. The director’s three previous works had failed at the box office, The Lady Vanishes was a success and reinforced American producer David O. Selznick’s belief that Hitchcock could have a future in Hollywood cinema. It is among Hitchcock’s most important British films.
The Spy in Black (1939)
It is a British film from 1939 and represents the first collaboration between British directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. They were called upon by Alexander Korda to turn Joseph Storer Clouston’s World War I spy thriller of the same title into a film. Powell and Pressburger ultimately made over 20 films over the course of their partnership. The Spy in Black stars Conrad Veidt, Valerie Hobson and Sebastian Shaw, with Marius Goring and Torin Thatcher as 2 German submarine officers.
In March 1917, Captain Hardt (Conrad Veidt), a World War I German submarine commander, is hired to assault the British fleet at Scapa Flow. He travels to Orkney to meet his contact, Fräulein Tiel (Valerie Hobson). Tiel has actually taken control of the identity of a new local teacher, Miss Anne Burnett (June Duprez), whom German agents had captured and drugged en route to the island. Hardt is brought to her, but Tiel shows no interest. The Germans are aided by a disgraced Royal Navy officer, ex-Commander Ashington (Sebastian Shaw) who, according to Tiel, has agreed to help the Germans after losing his command through drunkenness.
Night Train to Munich (1940)
It is a 1940 British-American thriller film directed by Carol Reed and starring Margaret Lockwood and Rex Harrison. Written by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder, the film is based on the 1939 short story Report on a Fugitive by Gordon Wellesley.
As German forces take control of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, Axel Bomasch, a Czechoslovakian inventor researching a new type of armour, flies to Britain. Bomasch’s daughter Anna is arrested before she can reach the airport and sent to a prison camp, where she is interrogated by the Nazis who are pursuing her father. Anna refuses to comply and befriends an inmate named Karl Marsen, who claims to be an instructor locked up for his political views. Together they manage to escape and reach London. Marsen is actually a Gestapo agent tasked with gaining her trust and finding her father.
Virginia City (1940)
It’s a western film 1940 American Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Randolph Scott and a mustachioed Humphrey Bogart as hoodlum John Murrell. Based on a screenplay by Robert Buckner, the film deals with a Union officer who is released from a Confederate prison and sent to Virginia City, from where his former prison boss prepares to send $5 million in gold in Virginia for the Confederacy. The film premiered in the city of its name, Virginia City, Nevada.
Union officer Kerry Bradford plans a daring escape from Libby Confederate Prison run by the commandant, Vance Irby. Bradford reports to Union headquarters and is quickly dispatched to Virginia City, a Nevada mining town, to learn where $5,000,000 in gold is being held which Southern sympathizers are preparing to deliver to the Confederacy. On the westbound stagecoach, he falls for the elegant Julia Hayne who, unbeknownst to him, is actually a rebel spy and dance performer, sent by Jefferson Davis to assist in the transfer of gold to a wagon. train. On the stagecoach is the famous John Murrell, leader of a gang of “banditos”, traveling as an arms dealer.
It is a 1942 American spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock with a screenplay composed by Peter Viertel, Joan Harrison and Dorothy Parker. The film stars Robert Cummings, Priscilla Lane and Norman Lloyd. Barry Kane is wrongfully accused of burning down Stewart Aircraft Works in Glendale, California. Barry thinks the real culprit is a man named Fry, however the private detectives discover no similar name in the roster of staff members. So Barry ends up being the target of a manhunt. While avoiding capture, he keeps in mind Fry’s address from an envelope, then drives to a large ranch in the High Desert. While there, he discovers that the ranch owner, Charles Tobin, is working alongside Fry and other saboteurs.
Ministry of Fear (1944)
It is a film noir 1944 American Fritz Lang and starring Ray Milland and Marjorie Reynolds. Based on the 1943 book by Graham Greene, the film tells the story of a man in an asylum who finds himself embroiled in a worldwide espionage ring and pursued by Nazi secret agents after accidentally getting something they wanted.
I See a Dark Stranger (1946)
It is a 1946 WWII British spy film with touches of light comedy, by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, and starring Deborah Kerr and Trevor Howard. In May 1944, during World War II, a young Irish girl, Bridie Quilty, turns 21 and sets out to fulfill a long-held dream born of hearing her late father’s stories about the Irish Revolution. He leaves his rural city and goes to Dublin. During the journey, she shares a train compartment with J. Miller, but thinking she is English, is extremely abrupt with him. Upon arrival, she seeks out Michael O’Callaghan, a well-known ex-radical with whom her father had apparently fought against the British in 1916. She asks him to help her enlist in the Irish Republican Army. As the situation in Ireland has improved he tries to discourage her.
It is a 1946 American spy noir film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains as 3 individuals whose lives are in danger during a spy operation. The film follows US federal government representative TR Devlin (Grant), who employs the assistance of Alicia Huberman (Bergman), daughter of a German war villain, to penetrate a circle of IG Farben executives hidden in Rio de Janeiro after the World War. II.
The scenario ends up being complex when the two fall in love and when Huberman is advised to seduce Alex Sebastian (Rains), a Farben executive who had previously been fascinated by her. It was filmed in late 1945 and early 1946, and was released by RKO Radio Pictures in August 1946. Scholars and critics alike thought it famous for marking a creative watershed for Hitchcock and for representing greater thematic maturity. Notorious is Alfred Hitchcock’s first attempt, at the age of forty-six, to bring his skills to the production of a tormented love story.
The Third Man (1949)
It is a 1949 British noir film directed by Carol Reed, written by Graham Greene and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles and Trevor Howard. Set in post-war Vienna, the film centers on American Holly Martins (Cotten), who shows up in town to accept an assignment with her friend Harry Lime (Welles), only to find Lime dead. Considering her death suspicious, Martins chooses to stay in Vienna and investigate.
The use of Expressionist black and white cinematography by Robert Krasker, with harsh lighting is a significant feature of The Third Man, shot in bleak locations and with talented actors, the setting is that of Vienna, a gloomy post-war city in the beginning of the Cold War. Greene wrote the short story of the same name as preparation for the film screenplay. The film is considered among the best films of all time, praised for its direction, music and cinematography.
5 Fingers (1952)
It is a 1952 American spy film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and produced by Otto Lang. The film screenplay written by Michael Wilson was based on the book by 1950 Operation Cicero by Ludwig Carl Moyzisch, Nazi Industrial Attaché at the German Embassy in Ankara, Turkey (1943-44).
The film is based on the true story of Albanian-born Elyesa Bazna, a Cicero codeword spy who worked for the Nazis in 1943-44 while working as a waiter to the British ambassador to Turkey. Bazna allegedly photographed top secret files and supplied the images to Franz von Papen, the German ambassador to Turkey and former German chancellor, using Moyzisch as an intermediary.
Pickup on South Street (1953)
It is a 1953 Cold War spy noir film written and directed by Samuel Fuller and launched by the studio 20th Century Fox. The film stars Richard Widmark, Jean Peters and Thelma Ritter. It was selected for the Venice Film Festival in 1953. On a congested New York City subway train, pickpocket Skip McCoy takes Candy’s wallet. Unbeknownst to Skip and Candy, there is a microfilm of top secret federal government information in the wallet. Sweet was carrying an envelope as a last favor to her ex-lover, Joey.
The Quiet American (1958)
It’s a war film and the very first film adaptation of Graham Greene’s bestselling 1955 book of the same name, and among the first films to chronicle the geopolitics of Indochina. It was written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and stars Audie Murphy, Michael Redgrave and Giorgia Moll.
In writing the script, Mankiewicz received uncredited assistance from CIA officer Edward Lansdale, who was the real inspiration for the American character played by Murphy. According to Greene, the motivation for Pyle’s character was Leo Hochstetter, an American who served as public relations director for the Indochina economic aid mission that the French assumed came from the CIA. The film has stimulated debate. Greene was enraged that his anti-war message was dropped from the film and disowned it as a propaganda for America.
North by Northwest (1959)
It is a 1959 American spy thriller film, produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason. The screenplay is by Ernest Lehman. It is a story of mistaken identity, with an innocent man being chased across the United States by secret agents of an organization who try to stop him from thwarting their strategy to smuggle microfilm, which includes federal government scams, out of the country. . The film is one of Hitchcock’s classics of the 1950s and is often listed among the best films of all time.
Our Agent in Havana (1959)
It is a spy film and comedy 1959 British Carol Reed, and starring Alec Guinness, Burl Ives, Maureen O’Hara, Ralph Richardson, Noël Coward and Ernie Kovacs. The film is adapted from the 1958 novel Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene. The film takes the action of the novel and gives it a more comedic twist. The film marks Reed’s third collaboration with Greene.
In pre-revolutionary Cuba, James Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman, is hired by Hawthorne of the British Secret Service to be their agent in Havana. Instead of hiring his own agents, Wormold sketches strategies for a rocket launch pad to earn more money for himself and his expensive son.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
It’s a movie psychological thriller 1962 American John Frankenheimer. The film’s screenplay is by George Axelrod, based on Richard Condon’s original The Manchurian Candidate from 1959. The main stars of the film are Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Angela Lansbury, with co-stars Janet Leigh, Henry Silva and James Gregory .
The plot centers on Korean War veteran Raymond Shaw, a member of a political group. Shaw is hypnotized with a brainwashing by Communists after his Army squadron is captured. He returns to civilian life in the United States, where he ends up as an unwitting assassin in a worldwide communist conspiracy. The group, which includes agents from the ROC and the Soviet Union, prepares to assassinate the government candidate causing the overthrow of the federal government of the United States.
The film was released in the United States on October 24, 1962, at the height of US-Soviet hostility during the Cuban Missile Crisis and contributed to a propaganda -communistIt was widely known by Western critics and was nominated for 2 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress (Angela Lansbury) and Best Editing.
Dr. No (1962)
It’s a 1962 spy film directed by Terence Young, as well as the first film in the James Bond series. Starring Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman and also Jack Lord, it was adapted by Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood and Berkely Mather from Ian Fleming’s 1958 book of the same name. The film was produced by Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli, a collaboration which continued until 1975.
Strangways, the head of the British intelligence station in Jamaica, is eliminated. In response, British secret agent James Bond, also known as 007, is sent to Jamaica to investigate. Bond meets Quarrel, a Cayman fisherman, who was dealing with Strangways in nearby islands to collect mineral samples. Among the islands was Crab Key, the home of lonely Dr. No.
From Russia with Love (1963)
It is a 1963 spy film and also the second of James Bond series created by Eon Productions, along with Sean Connery’s second role as MI6 representative 007 James Bond. The film was directed by Terence Young, produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, written by Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood, based on Ian Fleming’s original From Russia, with Love from 1957. The film followed Dr. No ( 1962) and was followed by Goldfinger (1964).
SPECTER’s specialist organizer Kronsteen, referred to as “Number Five”, on orders from the organization’s Number One, creates a plot to take a cryptographic instrument Lektor from the Soviets and return it to them while exacting revenge on Bond for eliminating their agent Dr. No; former SMERSH agent Rosa Klebb, number three at SPECTRE, supervises the target. He hires Donald “Red” Grant as the assassin and Tatiana Romanova, cipher clerk at the Soviet consulate in Istanbul, as the unwitting bait.
It is a 1963 American romantic entertaining mystery film produced and directed by Stanley Donen, written by Peter Stone and Marc Behm, and starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. The cast also includes Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy, Dominique Minot, Ned Glass and Jacques Marin. Charade was critically acclaimed for the film’s screenplay and the chemistry between Grant and Hepburn. It has been called “the best Hitchcock film Hitchcock never made”. It was filmed in Paris.
While vacationing in the French Alps, Regina “Reggie” Lampert, an American expatriate who works as an interpreter, informs her friend Sylvie that she is separating from her partner, Charles. He also meets Peter Joshua, an American. Upon his return to Paris, he discovers that his apartment has been robbed. A police inspector says Charles sold their belongings, then was killed as he left Paris. Reggie is provided with her husband’s small luggage with a letter addressed to her, a ship ticket to Venezuela, 4 passports with different names and citizenships.
Goldfinger is a 1964 spy film and also the third installment of the James Bond collection created by Eon Productions, starring Sean Connery as the fictional secret agent of the MI6 James Bond. It is based on the 1959 story of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film also stars Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore and also Gert Fröbe as the protagonist Auric Goldfinger, along with Shirley Eaton as the ill-fated Jill Masterson. Goldfinger was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman and was the first of four Bond films directed by Guy Hamilton.
Bond is hired to watch bullion dealer Auric Goldfinger. Bond thwarts his plan by sidetracking his accomplice, who is later eliminated by Goldfinger’s Korean servant and henchman Oddjob after Bond seduces her. Bond is then advised to look into Goldfinger’s gold smuggling operation and follows the dealership to Switzerland. When scouring Goldfinger’s offices he is drugged and knocked unconscious; Goldfinger then takes Bond to his Kentucky stud farm where he holds him hostage.
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965)
It is a 1965 British Cold War spy film based on the 1963 book of the same name by John le Carré. The film stars Richard Burton, Claire Bloom and Oskar Werner. It was directed by Martin Ritt and the screenplay for the film was written by Paul Dehn and Guy Trosper.
The film illustrates the goal of British MI6 operative Alec Leamas who is tasked with sowing destructive disinformation on an East German intelligence officer. As part of a charade, Leamas is fired from British Secret Service and ends up a bitter alcoholic. He is approached by East German representatives in Britain and gets hired in continental Europe to offer his services for money.
The Defector (1966)
It is a 1966 thriller film starring Montgomery Clift, Hardy Krüger, Roddy McDowall and Macha Méril. It was directed by Belgian director/producer Raoul Lévy and based on the 1965 novel L’espion by Paul Thomas. Very ill, the lead actor died less than 3 months after filming wrapped, Clift still managed to deliver a convincing performance in what has been described as a sad and extremely melancholic film. Director Lévy committed suicide on December 31, 1966, less than 2 months after the film’s American release.
American physicist Professor Bower is blackmailed by a dubious CIA representative named Adams to help the CIA acquire secret microfilms from a defecting Russian researcher. The hesitant Bower goes undercover to East Germany as an antiques dealer, where he meets Heinzmann, a fellow East German physicist who is also a secret agent. Heinzmann knows about Bower’s meeting with Adams and his goal to take the microfilm, yet their mutual respect for each other’s techniques makes the procedures complex.
Modesty Blaise (1966)
It is a 1966 British spy comedy film directed by Joseph Losey, produced by Joseph Janni and loosely based on the popular cartoon Modesty Blaise by Peter O’ Donnell, who co-wrote the story on which Evan Jones and Harold Pinter based their film script. It stars Monica Vitti as “Modesty”, alongside Terence Stamp as Willie Garvin and Dirk Bogarde as his nemesis Gabriel. The cast also consists of Harry Andrews, Michael Craig, Alexander Knox, Rossella Falk, Clive Revill and Tina Aumont. It was Vitti’s first English-language role.
The film’s production saw clashes between director Losey and producer Blaise O’Donnell. Losey wished to develop a “pop art” influenced satire in contrast to the severe tone of the original product. As a result, the film departed significantly from O’Donnell’s comics and story story. Modesty Blaise attended the Cannes Film Festival, where she was chosen for the Palme d’Or. Reception was good, with critics applauding the visual style and offbeat tone, but criticizing the departures from the original product, complicated plot and direction.
Torn Curtain (1966)
It is a 1966 American political thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews. Written by Brian Moore, the film is set in the Cold War. It tells of an American researcher who penetrates behind the Iron Curtain to East Germany.
In 1965, Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman), a physicist and rocket scientist from the United States, is taking a trip to a conference in Copenhagen with his assistant and girlfriend, Sarah Sherman (Julie Andrews). Armstrong gets a radiogram to get a book in Copenhagen; includes a message stating: “Contact π in case of an emergency situation.” He informs Sherman he is going to Stockholm, but she discovers he is flying to East Berlin and follows him. He is invited by agents of the East German federal government when they land. Sherman learns that Armstrong has defected and is scared that given the Cold War scenarios, if she stays with him, she will likely never see his home and family again.
You Only Live Twice (1967)
It is a 1967 spy film as well as the fifth in the James Bond collection created by Eon Productions, with Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 representative James Bond. It is the first Bond film to be directed by Lewis Gilbert, who later directed the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me and also the 1979 film Moonraker, both starring Roger Moore. The screenplay for the film You Only Live Twice was written by Roald Dahl, and loosely based on the 1964 book of the same name by Ian Fleming. It is the first James Bond film to cut most of Fleming’s story, using only a few main characters and storylines.
007 is sent to Japan to investigate the spacecraft theft and abduction of the orbiting astronaut of the American Project Gemini Jupiter 16 spacecraft by an unknown spacecraft. Upon his arrival, Bond is contacted by Aki, assistant to Japanese intelligence leader Tiger Tanaka. Bond discovered that the mastermind behind the hijacking is SPECTRE’s number one, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in collaboration with Osato, an industrialist. Bond follows the path to Blofeld’s island headquarters. Blofeld describes to Bond that his plot is to pretend to each superpower that Bird One is an opposing spaceship to turn the Cold War into World War III.
Ice Station Zebra (1968)
It is a 1968 American spy thriller film directed by John Sturges and starring Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan, Ernest Borgnine and Jim Brown. The screenplay for the film is by Alistair MacLean, Douglas Heyes, Harry Julian Fink and WR Burnett, loosely based on MacLean’s 1963 book. Both have parallels to real-life events that occurred in 1959. The film was photographed in Super Panavision 70 and projected in 70mm Cinerama.
A satellite returns to the atmosphere and ejects a spacecraft, which falls into the Arctic, near a British weather station called Drift Ice Station Zebra, about 500 kilometers (320 miles) northwest of Station Nord, Greenland. One individual approaches, detected by a search signal, while a second individual surreptitiously watches.
It is a 1969 American spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Based on the 1967 book of the same name by Leon Uris, the film deals with a French secret agent (Stafford) who ends up tied to Cold War politics before the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and after a tour is broken of global Soviet espionage. The story is loosely based on the 1962 Sapphire affair, which included the head of the French SDECE in the United States, spy Philippe Thyraud de Vosjoli, a friend of Uris, who played a crucial function in assisting the United States in discovering the existence of Russian offensive rockets in Cuba.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
It is a 1969 spy film as well as the sixth in the James Bond collection created by Eon Productions. It is based on the 1963 book by Ian Fleming. With Sean Connery’s choice to drop out of the role after You Only Live Twice, Eon cast George Lazenby, a character with no previous acting credits, to play James Bond.
While looking for Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE, Bond (played by George Lazenby) saves Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) on the beach from suicide by drowning, and then meets her once again in a casino. Bond obtains details from Marc-Ange Draco, the head of the European crime gang Unione Corse and father of Tracy, about Blofeld’s Swiss lawyer. Bond burglarizes the solicitor’s office and discovers that Blofeld is referring to the London College of Arms. Bond meets Blofeld posing as someone else, and learns that he has actually set up a scientific research institute on allergies atop Piz Gloria in the Swiss Alps. Bond quickly discovers that Blofeld is getting his associates to disperse germ warfare viruses to different parts of the world.
The Kremlin Letter (1970)
It is a 1970 American neo-noir spy thriller in Panavision directed by John Huston and starring Richard Boone, Orson Welles, Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Patrick O’Neal and George Sanders. The screenplay for the film was co-written by Huston and Gladys Hill as a faithful adaptation of the novel by Noel Behn, who had worked for the US Army Counterintelligence Corps. Considered a captivating, well-photographed film, the film is an amoral and extremely complicated story of intrigue and espionage set at the height of the US-Soviet Cold War.
The Kremlin Letter was a commercial failure but the film has garnered steady praise from some critics over the years since its release. French director Jean-Pierre Melville called The Kremlin Letter “masterful” and regarded it as a development of the language of cinema.
In late 1969, a brilliant young US Navy intelligence officer, Charles Rone, learns that his commission has been withdrawn so he can be hired at a spy target to retrieve a bogus letter revealing a alliance between the West and the Soviet Union against China. Rone is informed that targeting is being carried out individually by government intelligence companies, as was the case before World War II, when spy operations were handled by a small group of agents who operated on an independent basis.
3 Days of the Condor (1975)
It is a 1975 American political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson and Max von Sydow . The screenplay for the film by Lorenzo Semple Jr. and David Rayfiel was based on the 1974 novel Six Days of the Condor by James Grady. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing.
Joe Turner is a CIA expert, code word “Condor”. He works out of the American Literary Historical Society in New York City, which is actually a private CIA workplace. Turner files a report to CIA headquarters about a thriller book with strange plot components; despite poor sales, it has actually been identified in numerous languages.
Marathon Man (1976)
It is a 1976 American thriller film directed by John Schlesinger. It was adapted by William Goldman from his 1974 book of the same title and stars Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, William Devane and Marthe Keller. In the film, college student “Babe” Levy (Hoffman) ends up involved in a plot by Nazi war criminal Christian Szell (Olivier) to recover diamonds taken from a safe deposit box owned by Szell’s dead brother. Babe ends up unknowingly involved due to her brother Doc’s (Roy Scheider) negotiations with Szell. The film was a major success, with Olivier earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Szell, the film’s villain.
It is a 1980 American spy comedy film, produced by Edie Landau and Ely A. Landau, directed by Ronald Neame, with Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson, Sam Waterston, Ned Beatty and Herbert Lom. The screenplay for the film was written by Bryan Forbes and Brian Garfield, based on Garfield’s 1975 book of the same name. Former CIA officer Miles Kendig is intent on publishing an explosive story that will also expose the tricks of Myerson, his former obnoxious employer. Myerson and Kendig’s protégé, Joe Cutter, tries to stop his story from being published.
The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)
It is a 1985 American spy drama film directed by John Schlesinger. Steven Zaillian’s film screenplay is based on the 1979 book The Falcon and the Snowman: A Real Story of Relationship and Espionage by Robert Lindsey, and tells the true story of 2 young American boys, Christopher Boyce (Timothy Hutton) and Andrew Daulton Lee (Sean Penn), who offered security strategies to the United States and the Soviet Union. The film includes the song “This Is Not America”, composed and performed by David Bowie and the Pat Metheny Group.
Christopher Boyce, a specialist in the sport of falconry and the son of a former secret agent of the FBI, gets an assignment with a civil defense specialist who operates in the so-called “Black Vault”, an interaction center through which information on certain of US operations. Boyce ends up disillusioned with the US federal government after discovering an erroneous communique that is a CIA strategy to depose the Prime Minister of Australia. Annoyed by this duplicity, Boyce chooses to repay his federal government by passing his services to the Soviets.
The Tailor of Panama (2001)
It is a 2001 spy thriller directed by John Boorman from a screenplay he co-wrote with John le Carré and Andrew Davies. Based on Le Carré’s 1996 book of the same name, it stars Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush. Rush plays the title character, an ex-convict-turned-tailor who is forcefully coerced by an amoral MI6 representative (Brosnan) into spying on the Panamanian federal government. Jamie Lee Curtis, Brendan Gleeson, Catherine McCormack, Leonor Varela and Harold Pinter co-star, alongside Daniel Radcliffe in his launch film. The film garnered favorable ratings, with appreciation for Brosnan and Rush’s roles, and earned $28 million out of a $21 million spending plan.
It is a 2005 American political thriller film composed and directed by Stephen Gaghan, loosely based on Robert Baer’s 2003 short story See No Evil. The film stars an ensemble cast that includes George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Amanda Peet, Christopher Plummer, Alexander Siddig and Mazhar Munir. Syriana was filmed in 200 locations on 5 continents, with large portions filmed in the Middle East, Washington, DC and Africa. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Gaghan explained the events from individual lectures and interviews with the most powerful oil owners, media owners, lobbyists, lawyers and political leaders who were in the film. Much like Gaghan’s film script for Traffic, Syriana uses several parallel stories, hopping between Iran, Texas, Washington, DC, Switzerland, Spain, and Lebanon.
Clooney won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, along with British Academy Film Award, Critics’ Choice Movie Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Gaghan was nominated for an Academy Award and a Writers Guild of America Award for his film screenplay. As of April 20, 2006, the film had earned a total of $50.82 million at U.S. box offices and $43.2 million overseas, for a total of $94 million. Gaghan changed the names of entities currently active in the Middle East, while retaining their actual location in history.
The Lives of Others (2006)
It is a 2006 German drama film composed and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck which marks his launch as a feature film director. The plot has to do with the monitoring of the citizens of East Berlin by representatives of the Stasi, the secret authorities of East Germany. It stars Ulrich Mühe as Stasi Captain Gerd Wiesler, Ulrich Tukur as his standout Anton Grubitz, Sebastian Koch as playwright Georg Dreyman and Martina Gedeck as Dreyman’s aficionado, a popular starlet called Christa-Maria Sieland .
The Lives of Others won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film had previously won 7 Deutscher Filmpreis awards, including those for Best Film, Best Director, Best Film Screenplay, Best Star and Best Supporting Star, after setting a record with 11 nominations. The film won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language and the European Film Award for Best Film, while it was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The Lives of Others cost $2 million and grossed more than $77 million worldwide. Released 17 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, marking the completion of the German Democratic Republic, it was the first notable drama film on the subject after a series of comedies such as Good Bye, Lenin! and Sonnenallee.
Ek Tha Tiger (2012)
It is a 2012 Indian Hindi-language spy action thriller film directed by Kabir Khan and co-written by Khan and Neelesh Misra, from a story by Aditya Chopra. It is the first part of the Tiger series and the first film in the YRF spy universe. It stars Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ranvir Shorey, Roshan Seth, Girish Karnad and Gavie Chahal. In the film, Avinash “Tiger” Singh Rathore (Khan), an Indian spy, is assigned to recover information before it is acquired by Pakistan but gets sidetracked after falling in love with Zoya Humaimi (Kaif).
Ek Tha Tiger is the third collaboration between Kabir Khan and Yash Raj Films, after directing Kabul Express (2006) and New York (2009). Principal photography began in August 2011 and lasted until July 2012, with shooting areas in Dublin, Havana, Bangkok, Istanbul and Delhi.
Ek Tha Tiger set several box office records in its theatrical run, earning $42 million worldwide. It was the highest grossing Hindi film of 2012, it is the 36th highest grossing Indian film ever.
Skyfall is a 2012 spy film and also the twenty-third of the James Bond collection spawned by Eon Productions. The film is the third to star Daniel Craig as the fictional MI6 representative James Bond and also features Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the villain, with Judi Dench returning as M. Directed by Sam Mendes and written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade Sees the return of 2 Bond movie characters, Miss Moneypenny (played by Naomie Harris) and also Q (played by Ben Whishaw), after missing them in 2 movies. Ralph Fiennes, Bérénice Marlohe and also Albert Finney are among the leading actors.
After an operation in Istanbul ends in catastrophe, Bond becomes lost and presumed dead. As a result, concerns are raised about M’s ability to handle the Secret Service, and she ends up being the subject of a federal government scrutiny about her handling of the incident. The service itself is attacked, causing Bond to return to London. His presence helps the MI6 investigation reveal a lead, and Bond is sent to Shanghai and Macau in search of a mercenary called Patrice. There he finds a contact with Raoul Silva, a former MI6 representative who was captured and tortured by Chinese agents. Blaming M for her time in prison, Silva enacts a strategy to destroy her career before killing her. Bond protects M and tries to lure Silva into a trap, and as he manages to repel Silva’s attack, M is mortally wounded.