6.8/10
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60 user 17 critic

The Deadly Affair (1967)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 7 April 1967 (UK)
Trailer
2:35 | Trailer
A British agent sets out to uncover the hidden facts behind a British government employee's suicide.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writer:

Paul Dehn (screenplay)
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Nominated for 5 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Mason ... Charles Dobbs
Simone Signoret ... Elsa Fennan
Maximilian Schell ... Dieter Frey
Harriet Andersson ... Ann Dobbs
Harry Andrews ... Inspector Mendel
Kenneth Haigh ... Bill Appleby
Roy Kinnear ... Adam Scarr
Max Adrian ... Morton - Adviser (aka Marlene Dietrich)
Lynn Redgrave ... Virgin Bumpus
Robert Flemyng ... Samuel Fennan
Leslie Sands Leslie Sands ... Inspector
Corin Redgrave ... Terry
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Storyline

After Charles Dobbs, a security officer, has a friendly chat with Samuel Fennan from the Foreign Office, the man commits suicide. An anonymous typed letter had been received accusing Fennan of being a Communist during his days at Oxford and their chat while walking in the park was quite amiable. Senior officials want the whole thing swept under the rug and are pleased to leave it as a suicide. Dobbs isn't at all sure as there are a number of anomalies that simply can't be explained away. Dobbs is also having trouble at home with his errant wife, whom he very much loves, having frequent affairs. He's also pleased to see an old friend, Dieter Frey, who he recruited after the war. With the assistance of a colleague and a retired policeman, Dobbs tries to piece together just who is the spy and who in fact assassinated Fennan. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the author of "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold"


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Paul Dehn actually worked as an operative during WWII, and was involved in the death of several enemies. See more »

Goofs

When Charles Dobbs (James Mason) makes his 2nd visit to Elsa Fennen there's a clear shot of the the street name, The Crescent on a front wall by the house. Later he gets a colleague to send a postcard to Elsa and tells him that the address is Merrydale Lane. The next scene shows her coming out of the house and another clear shot of the street name. The Crescent. See more »

Quotes

Charles Dobbs: [to Ann about her nymphomania] I've never held your appetites against you. The unaddicted shouldn't blame the addicted.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in By Sidney Lumet (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme Song
Written by Quincy Jones (uncredited) and Howard Greenfield (uncredited)
Sung by Astrud Gilberto
See more »

User Reviews

 
Glum but absorbing spy story
6 February 2007 | by BJJManchesterSee all my reviews

A gloomy (and gloomily lit) but very interesting spy thriller of the 60's,with a fine performance by James Mason(as Charles Dobbs,but George Smiley in all but name),and good support from Simone Signoret(convincing as a Concentration Camp survivor),Harry Andrews,Kenneth Haigh,Roy Kinnear and Max Adrian.As an answer to the artificial,antiseptic glamour of the James Bond extravaganzas,THE DEADLY AFFAIR works very well for the most part,with an intelligent script compensating for the occasionally over-prolonged and too static dialogue exchanges between the principals.The production is set,deliberately,in dismally unattractive,murky interior and exterior locations around London,though this oddly gives the film more atmosphere,and is also helped by a haunting score by Quincy Jones,one of the best and most criminally underrated of his career.

The film only drags a little in a sub-plot involving Mason's nymphomaniac wife,played somewhat uncomfortably by Harriet Andersson.The film would have worked equally well if not better had Ms Andersson been a decent,devoted spouse,and Maximillan Schell is given little to do as an old wartime colleague (and as it turns out,yet another of Mrs Dobbs' lovers) of Dobbs.But for the most part,American Sidney Lumet does a first-class job as an outsider's look into British/European espionage,and it grips solidly throughout.

RATING:7 and a half out of 10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1967 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

John le Carré's The Deadly Affair See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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