Movie Diary 5/18/2021

The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (Martin Ritt, 1965). No particular reason for this, just a desire to watch something clean and sharp. Richard Burton’s spy is said to be 39 years old in the story, and one thinks, well, they took a few years off to flatter the actor, but no, Burton actually was 39 when they filmed it – the weariness, and the booze and cigarettes, just make him look older. I still think Night of the Iguana is his best performance, but this is extremely good. The coolness of Claire Bloom and Cyril Cusack works very well for the mood, whereas Oskar Werner’s quickness and naked ambition mark him as unexpectedly, and really rather touchingly, human.