If you like your international intrigue filled with miniskirts, Walther PPKs and loads of Cold War paranoia, then this Mill Creek set is for you. Cold War Thrillers brings six 60s spy movies in from the cold — at a price even cash-strapped socialist nations can afford.
Man On A String (1960)
Directed by Andre De Toth
Starring Ernest Borgnine, Kerwin Mathews, Alexander Scourby, Colleen Dewhurst, Glenn Corbett, Ted Knight, Seymour Cassel
Ernest Borgnine stars in this 1960 spy picture based on the life (and autobiography, Ten Years A Counterspy) of Boris Morros, a Russian-born musical director in Hollywood (John Ford’s Stagecoach, 1939) who was first a Russian spy, then a counterspy for the FBI. Andre de Toth focuses on the double-crosses that stack up like cordwood.
The Deadly Affair (1966)
Directed by Sidney Lumet
Starring James Mason, Maximillian Schell, Simone Signoret
Sidney Lumet directs a picture from a book by John Le Carré, with James Mason in the lead. How can it miss? It doesn’t .
Directed by Dick Clement
Starring Tom Courtenay, Romy Schneider, Leonard Rossiter
Tom Courtenay is mistaken for a spy and murderer in swinging London.
A Dandy In Aspic (1968)
Directed by Anthony Mann
Starring Mia Farrow, Laurence Harvey, Tom Courtenay, Peter Cook
While shooting this in Berlin, Anthony Mann had a heart attack and died. Laurence Harvey climbed into the director’s chair and finished it. It’s a solid spy picture with Mann’s incredible use of Panavision giving it a real edge.
Directed by David Miller
Starring Vince Edwards, Judy Geeson, Peter Vaughan, Diana Dors, Tracy Reed, Veronica Carlson, David Prowse
This is one I’ve been wanting to see for some time. The cast is great and David Miller’s usually worth paying attention to — after all, he did Flying Tigers (1942) and Lonely Are The Brave (1962).
The Executioner (1970)
Directed by Sam Wanamaker
Starring George Peppard, Joan Collins, Judy Geeson, Charles Gray
Here’s Judy Geeson again, this time with George Peppard in a spy picture packed with maybe too many double-crosses.
Open up a newspaper from 1966, and you’ll see there are enough 60s spy movies (or James Bond ripoffs) to do several volumes of these things. Which would be fine with me.