by Helen Earnshaw |
Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy is already being tipped as one of the greatest British movies in many a year - not surprising with the cast that they have assembled.
The John Le Carre novel of the same name has been brought to life with Gary Oldman leading the way, a role that is already being tipped for an Oscar nomination.
So to celebrate the release of the movie this week we are going to take a look at some of the best British spy movies.
- The Ipcress File
Michael Caine has been the star of many an iconic movie in his long and illustrious career and The Ipcress File is just one of them.
Released back in 1965 the film was based on the book by Len Deighton which has been released three years earlier.
Caine took on the role of Harry Palmer, he would reprise the character on four other occasions Funeral in Berlin (1966), Billion Dollar Brain (1967), Bullet to Beijing (1995) and Midnight in Saint Petersburg (1995).
In London, a counter espionage agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.
Nearly fifty years later The Ipcress File remains one of the best British movies of all time and is one of the must see films in the spy movie genre.
- The Lady Vanishes
The Lady Vanishes was one of Alfred Hitchcock's early British movie released back in 1938 - it was remade over forty years later.
But the original is always the best and in this case that remains so as Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave lead the cast, which also included Paul Lukas and May Whitty.
While travelling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.
The Lady Vanishes was the final movie that Hitchcock made before finding huge success in America - and it was one of his biggest hits.
It is still regarded as one of his best British works as well as one of the Best British movies and the success of the film helped him pave a career in Hollywood.
- The Spy Who Came In From The Cold
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold was released back in 1965 and was an adaptation of a John Le Carre novel.
Richard Burton took on the central role of Alec Leamas while Martin Ritt, who had been behind Hud and The Outrage.
British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the cold war during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.
The movie was a huge critical hit as Richard Burton went on to nominated for a Best Actor Oscar and the film was nominated for four Baftas - including Best British Film.
- The 39 Steps
Another Alfred Hitchcock project makes the list in the form of the 39 Steps which was released back in 1935 when the director was still working in Britain.
The movie was loosely based on The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan and starred Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll in the leading roles.
A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and he stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring trying to steal top secret information.
The 39 Steps was voted 4th in the BFI Top 100 British films and while it has been adapted many time it's Hitchcock's version that remains the best and most popular.
Of course you can talk about British spy movie with a little mention of a certain 007 who has been thrilling audiences for almost fifty years.
Sean Connery was the first actor to play the role with Dr No being the first film that he starred in.
Since then George Lazenby, Roger Moore Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have all taken on the mantel of 007.
Craig is the actor who currently occupies the role, which he took over from Brosnan in 2006. Casino Royale remains the most successful movie in the Bond franchise and he is set to make a third appearance in Bond 23.
James Bond is one of the longest running and most successful film franchises.
- Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy
Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy is just the latest John Le Carre novel to be adapted for the big screen as Tomas Alfredson takes up the director's chair.
Set in the 1970s, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy finds George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a recently retired MI6 agent, doing his best to adjust to a life outside the secret service.
However, when a disgraced agent reappears with information concerning a mole at the heart of the Circus, Smiley is drawn back into the murky field of espionage.
Tasked with investigating which of his trusted former colleagues has chosen to betray him and their country, Smiley narrows his search to four suspects - all experienced, urbane, successful agents - but past histories, rivalries and friendships make it far from easy to pinpoint the man who is eating away at the heart of the British establishment.
With Gary Oldman, Kathy Burke, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Ciarán Hinds, John Hurt, Toby Jones all involved this makes Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy have one of the best cast lists of any movie this year.
Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy is released 16th September
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw