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Non-Review Review: The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

Spying is a damn dirty business. Don’t let James Bond and his fancy Union Jack parachutes or underwater cars fool you. According to The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, it’s an empty and depressing little existence where the players are all confined to the role of pawns on a chessboard. I can’t help but feel that there’s something symbolic about the scene where Alec Leamas, played by Richard Burton, assaults an elderly shopkeeper, played by Bernard Lee – the actor who was playing Bond’s paymaster, M. Given the character’s growing sense of disillusionment, it can’t help but feel strangely potent to see him lash out a symbol of the other – far more romanticised – series of adventures built around British Intelligence.

"I, I can remember... standing by the wall... and the guns, the guns shot above our heads..."

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