The Deadly Affair

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 1966

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Movie Summary

Director:
Sidney Lumet
Released:
1966
Rating:
Not Available

The Deadly Affair is a British espionage thriller set in London and directed by Sidney Lumet. It is based on John le Carre's first novel, Call for the Dead. It is the first in Le Carre's series of books about spymaster George Smiley, but he does not appear in this film. Instead, the film concerns a veteran Intelligence officer named Charles Dobbs, played by James Mason. When the death of Samuel Fennan, an official at the Foreign Office, is ruled a suicide, Dobbs (James Mason) is convinced there is more to it, and, after catching Fennan's widow Elsa (Simone Signoret) in a white lie, he pursues the investigation, resigning rather than quit the case. He works with retired police detective Mendel (Harry Andrews) to get at the truth, only to find that it's far closer to home than he ever suspected.

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    • TRIVIA (2)

      • The central character in John Le Carre's book is his famous invention, George Smiley, who appears in many of his subsequent books, also. Perhaps because Smiley had become a series character by the time this film appeared, or perhaps merely because he had been a prominent character in the then-recent film version of Le Carre's later book, "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" (played by Rupert Davies), he was omitted from this film, the very similar leading character now being named "Charles Dobbs".

      • This film was adapted from John Le Carre's first novel, "Call For The Dead".

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Charles Dobbs: [to the Adviser]: Fact - you are known to the police and the Foreign Office as "Marlene Dietrich". Hypothesis, my hypothesis - they may very well be right.

    • NOTES (2)

      • In the sequence set in London's Aldwych Theatre, much of the suspense hinges on various characters either arriving late or leaving early. In reality, however, at the Aldwych (then as now), late-arriving patrons are not permitted to take their seats until the next interval.

      • The play being performed in a late sequence in this film set in a London theatre is Christopher Marlowe's "Edward II". The actors seen on-stage were all members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, including David Warner, Michael Bryant and Charles Kay. The RSC had, at the time the film was made, only recently put on a famous (and somewhat controversial) production of this play under the direction of Peter Hall.

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    Themes

    Crime, Thrillers