The Deadly Affair

1966

Crime / Drama / Mystery / Romance / Thriller

13
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 60%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 2120

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 39,188 times
September 10, 2017 at 11:03 AM

Director

Cast

David Warner as Edward II
James Mason as Charles Dobbs
Lynn Redgrave as Virgin Bumpus
Maximilian Schell as Dieter Frey
720p 1080p
768.38 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 55 min
P/S 3 / 24
1.61 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 55 min
P/S 4 / 36

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Karl Rackwitz ([email protected]) 9 / 10

A very fine, intelligent movie (***½ out of ****)

A complex, suspenseful, and sometimes surprisingly funny spy thriller by master director Sidney Lumet ("12 Angry Men", "Long Day's Journey Into Night", "Dog Day Afternoon", "Running on Empty"). The picture has a really brilliant cast, including James Mason, Simone Signoret, Maximilian Schell, Harriet Andersson and Harry Andrews. The photography is interesting too. Lumet and cinematographer Freddie Young used a technique called "preflashing". In his book "Making Movies" Lumet writes: "Thematically it was a film about life's disappointments. I wanted to desaturate the colors. I wanted to get that dreary, lifeless feeling London has in winter. Freddie suggested preexposing the film."

Lumet's approach in "The Deadly Affair" (1967) is perhaps even a little too realistic to make it a suspense masterpiece. But nevertheless you should really see this little gem.

Reviewed by Terrell-4 7 / 10

Gloomy but sophisticated cold-war thriller

For an espionage thriller I like a lot, The Deadly Affair is also one of the most frustrating. The movie is based on John le Carre's first book, Call for the Dead. It introduced his readers to George Smiley. For some reason, in addition to changing the name of the book, director Sidney Lumet changed George Smiley to Charles Dobbs (James Mason). I'll continue to call him George Smiley. The story is how this aging British spy with a quiet manner and a shrewd mind finally learns the identity of an East German spy. It starts when Smiley is asked to investigate a mid-level foreign officer, Samuel Fennan, who has been accused in an anonymous letter of being, at best, a Communist sympathizer. Smiley determines that the man is not a danger, but shortly after the man commits suicide...yet he left a wake-up call for the next morning. Smiley's boss tells him to drop it. Smiley won't, quits, and enlists the help of a retired police inspector, Mendel (Harry Andrews), to help him. Smiley meets the man's wife, Elsa Fennan (Simone Signoret), a survivor of Nazi death camps where experiments were performed on Jewish women. He knows something is off and slowly tries to identify just who is the spy, if there really was one. All this while he must deal with his younger wife, Ann (Harriet Andersson). Smiley loves Ann and she may love him, but she is a serial adulterer and all he can do, apparently, is agonize over their relationship. It doesn't help when a younger man, Dieter Frey (Maxmilian Schell) arrives on the scene from Europe. Frey worked under Smiley in some dangerous operations during WWII and Smiley sees Frey almost as a son as well as a friend. It isn't long before Smiley learns that Ann is bedding Frey. And there is still the spy for Smiley to catch.

Lumet has directed some fine movies, and he's great with actors, but he's done a lot of flawed movies, too. With The Deadly Affair, those flaws seem magnified. First, the angst and conflicts of Smiley's relationship with his wife is a major part of the story...and it's like reading an agony column over and over. Nothing changes the impression that Smiley must be impotent and that Ann is a nymphomaniac. We're given scene after scene of the two of them emotionally baring their souls without either of them willing to identify what the problem is. Second, this means that Mason and Andersson have a series of "acting" moments that brings the spy story to a screeching halt. It isn't helped that Signoret as Mrs. Fennan also is given two major, teary "acting" scenes. Her scenes help advance the plot a bit and help us understand her, but they're basically designed by Lumet to give Signoret a change to do her stuff in close-up. Third, because of all these actor moments, the film lurches from story point to story point. One moment we're getting much involved in the spy story and how Smiley is prizing out the secrets, then we stumble into a scene where good actors are given far too much opportunity to emote. Fourth, there is a gratuitous death that serves no purpose than, as in so many Sixties and Seventies films, to make the audience think they must be watching a really serious movie. Fifth, there is an obtrusive and very with-it score by Quincy Jones that says "the Sixties" loudly. It doesn't fit the quiet George Smiley at all.

Even with all this, The Deadly Affair is a favorite of mine. The mood of the movie is somber but it's not dull. The plot is clever and twisting, with a minimum of required violence. Figuring out the killer isn't too hard. Figuring out who is a spy, why and why the anonymous letter about Fennan that started everything takes some thinking. The acting, even with all the marital angst, is high caliber. James Mason as Charles Dobbs aka George Smiley gives as fine a performance as I've ever seen. He agonizes over his relationship with Ann while refusing to give up on learning the real story behind Samuel Fennan. Signoret may have been indulged by Lumet for those acting moments, but she never the less is a force to be reckoned with. Harry Andrews as Mendel is terrific as the literal and resourceful counterpoint to the cerebral and clever Smiley. All the secondary roles are well-crafted.

For trivia collectors, watch the scene in the theater when a major character, seated in the full house, is killed. On stage is the Royal Shakespeare Company performing Marlowe's Edward II. While our killing is taking place, so is the killing of Edward, played by no less than a young and unbilled David Warner.

The Deadly Affair is definitely a mixed bag. For those who admire James Mason and also early le Carre, it's worth having.

Reviewed by msantayana 9 / 10

A moody Cold-War flick with a near-perfect cast

A John Le Carré-based Cold War spy film will always challenge an audience with an unflinching look at the world of espionage, and confront viewers with its most unpleasant facts; true stories of manipulation and deceit where the simplistic, Manichean scheme "good guys versus bad guys" is exposed as deceitful and manipulative. Sidney Lumet ("The Verdict", "Dog Day Afternoon", "Q and A") added another feather to his cap directing this 1966 adaptation of "Call for the Dead", which features an international cast headed by James Mason, Maximilian Schell, Simone Signoret (not De Beauvoir, who was an Existentialist author, not an actress)and Harriet Andersson. In true Lumet fashion, characterization does not take a back seat to plot development: Mason brings his masterful touch, an understated yet poignant despair to his doomed agent Dobbs; Schell manages to come across as debonair and sinister at the same time, and world-weary Signoret eloquently speaks for the victims who were tangled up in Cold War power games. The Bossa Nova soundtrack, full of sad sensuality, creates an innovative contrast to the bleak, rainy London streets where the web of deceit is torn in a violent and realistic showdown. Excellent supporting performances by actors Harry Andrews and Roy Kinnear help make "The Deadly Affair", many years after its first viewing, a somber and masterful look at Cold-War espionage and a fine example of serious movie-making.

Read more IMDb reviews

268 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment