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100 Greatest Spy Movies - Qualification Round - A

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  • 100 Greatest Spy Movies - Qualification Round - A

    I "spy" with my little eye....


    Good morning, operative.


    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves selecting the Greatest Spy Movie ever, out of a list of 100 compiled by the editors of
    American History magazine.


    Be sure to choose carefully, the future of the Free World and the popcorn industry may depend upon on it!


    This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds...




    Go for it folks !!!!!


    __________________________________________________ __________
    Pick any eight movies to move on the to the first round of the tournament. Commentary is most welcome! Below are descriptions of each movie and a link to a website with even more information about the movie. Have fun!
    __________________________________________________ ___________

    1] THE THIRD MAN

    The Third Man (1949)
    An out of work pulp fiction novelist, Holly Martins, arrives in a post war Vienna divided into sectors by the victorious allies, and where a shortage of supplies has lead to a flourishing black market. He arrives at the invitation of an ex-school friend, Harry Lime, who has offered him a job, only to discover that Lime has recently died in a peculiar traffic accident. From talking to Lime's friends and associates Martins soon notices that some of the stories are inconsistent, and determines to discover what really happened to Harry Lime.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041959/plotsummary

    2] NORTH BY NORTHWEST

    North by Northwest (1959)
    Middle-aged Madison Avenue advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill is mistaken for a government agent by a gang of spies. He gets involved in a series of misadventures and is pursued across the States by both the spies and the government whilst being helped by a beautiful blonde.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053125/plotsummary

    3] THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD

    The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1965)
    Alec Leamas, a British spy is sent to East Germany supposedly to defect, but in fact to sow disinformation. As more plot turns appear, Leamas becomes more convinced that his own people see him as just a cog. His struggle back from dehumanization becomes the final focus of the story.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059749/plotsummary

    4] GOLDFINGER

    Goldfinger (1964)
    The powerful tycoon Auric Goldfinger has initiated "Operation Grand Slam," a cataclysmic scheme to raid Fort Knox and obliterate the world economy. James Bond, armed with his specially equipped Aston Martin (its accessory package includes built-in machine guns, a smoke screen and an ejector seat), must stop the plan by overcoming several outrageous adversaries. First there's Oddjob, the mute servant who kills at the toss of a lethal hat; next, the beautiful Jill Masterson, who gives new meaning to the phrase "golden girl"; and finally, sexy pilot Pussy Galore, whose romantic feelings for Bond complicate her involvement in Goldfinger's high-flying scheme.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058150/plotsummary

    5] OUR MAN IN HAVANA

    Our Man in Havana (1959)
    Jim Wormold is an expatriate Englishman living in pre-revolutionary Havana with his teenage daughter Milly. He owns a vacuum cleaner shop but isn't very successful so he accepts an offer from Hawthorne of the British Secret Service to recruit a network of agents in Cuba. Wormold hasn't got a clue where to start but when his friend Dr. Hasselbacher suggests that the best secrets are known to no one, he decides to manufacture a list of agents and provides fictional tales for the benefit of his masters in London. He is soon seen as the best agent in the Western Hemisphere but it all begins to unravel when the local police decode his cables and start rounding up his "network" and he learns that he is the target of a group out to kill him.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054152/plotsummary

    6] THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

    The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
    In Korea in 1952, a US Army patrol is ambushed by Communist soldiers. A year later the squad, having escaped, returns to the US, where Staff Sergeant Raymond Shaw is to receive the Medal of Honor for single-handedly saving the lives of the squad. Shaw is the son of Elanor Iselin, wife of US Senator John Yerkes Iselin, and Mrs. Iselin turns the return of Raymond into a political rally that brings out building hostility between son and mother over the ambitions of Johnny Iselin. But there is more involved, for the actions of Raymond Shaw are not what everyone believes they are, and the nightmares of a US Army officer, Bennett Marco, leads to investigation of Raymond that unlocks a stunning political conspiracy that sweeps up Johnny and Elanor Iselin, and which only Bennett Marco can possibly stop.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056218/plotsummary

    7] SMILEY’S PEOPLE

    Smiley's People (1982)
    Called out of retirement to settle the affairs of a friend, Smiley finds his old organization, the Circus, so overwhelmed by political considerations that it doesn't want to know what happened. He begins to follow up the clues of his friends past days, discovering that the clues lead to a high person in the Russian Secret service, and a secret important enough to kill for. Smiley continues to put together the pieces a step ahead or a step behind the Russian killers.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083480/plotsummary

    8] PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET

    Pickup On South Street(1953)
    On a crowded subway, Skip McCoy picks the purse of Candy. Among his take, although he does not know it at the time, is a piece of top-secret microfilm that was being passed by Candy's consort, a Communist agent. Candy discovers the whereabouts of the film through Moe Williams, a police informer. She attempts to seduce McCoy to recover the film. She fails to get back the film and falls in love with him. The desperate agent exterminates Moe and savagely beats Candy. McCoy, now goaded into action, confronts the agent in a particularly brutal fight in a subway.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046187/plotsummary

    9] THE LIVES OF OTHERS

    The Live of Others (2006)
    The horrifying, sometimes unintentionally funny system of observation in the former East Germany. In the early 1980s, the successful dramatist Georg Dreyman and his longtime companion Christa-Maria Sieland, a popular actress, are big intellectual stars in the socialist state, although they secretly don't always think loyal to the party line. One day, the Minister of Culture becomes interested in Christa, so the secret service agent Wiesler is instructed to observe and sound out the couple, but their life fascinates him more and more...
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405094/plotsummary

    10] NOTORIOUS

    Notorious (1946)

    Alicia Huberman is a frivolous girl who loves drinks and men; her father was a German spy in USA and he has committed suicide in prison. Government agent Devlin asks the girl to spy on a group of her father's Nazi friends in Rio de Janeiro; this could be her chance to clean her guilty name. The girl falls in love with the agent, but he seems not to be attracted by the life she is living. Alicia accepts the duty and she goes to Brazil with Devlin. Alicia informs the US agents that Sebastian has asked her to marry him and asks whether she should go along with this. After a short discussion. they agree and so she does. During a party, Alicia secretly gets the key for the wine cellar and gives it to Devlin. They find some uranium dust hidden in Sebastian's canteen, but now he has discovered Alicia is a spy and he starts poisoning her day after day.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038787/plotsummary

    11] TINKER TAILOR

    Tinker Tailor (1979)

    George Smiley has been retired for about a year when he finds a friend from the circus, his old outfit in British Intelligence sitting in his living room. He is taken to the home of an advisor to the Prime Minister on intelligence matters where he finds evidence that one of the men in the senior ranks of his old agency is a Russian spy. Smiley is asked to find him, without official access to any of the files in the Circus or letting on that anyone is under suspicion. With only a few old friends, his own powers of deduction, and secrecy as weapons, Smiley must unearth the spy who turned him out of the Circus.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080297/plotsummary

    12] MUNICH

    Munich (2005)

    After Black September's assassination of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, Prime Minister Golda Meir okays a black-box operation to hunt down and kill all involved. A team of five gathers in Switzerland led by Avner, a low-level Mossad techie whose father was a war hero and whose wife is pregnant. It's an expendable team, but relying on paid informants, they track and kill several in Europe and Lebanon. They must constantly look over their shoulders for the CIA, KGB, PLO, and their own sources. As the body count mounts -- with retribution following retribution -- so do questions, doubts, and sleepless nights. Loyalties blur. What does it mean to be a Jew?
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408306/plotsummary

    13] THE IPCRESS FILE

    The Ipcress File (1965)
    Harry Palmer is an unconventional counter-intelligence officer. Although a sergeant in the army, he is disrespectful of his superiors but does enjoy the finer things life has to offer. He is assigned to Major Dalby whose unit has been investigating the disappearances of several well-known scientists. Their most recent case involves Dr. Radcliffe and Dalby is prepared to pay a reward to get him back. When they do so, they find that his mind has been wiped clean and the man is unable to function. Palmer also has an unfortunate encounter with a CIA agent whom he kills unintentionally. Now a target of the CIA as well as the kidnappers, Palmer thinks he has solved the mystery of IPCRESS and the identity of the person ultimately responsible for the kidnappings.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059319/plotsummary

    14] THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR

    Three Days Of The Condor (1975)

    A mild mannered CIA researcher, paid to read books, returns from lunch to find all of his co-workers assassinated. "Condor" must find out who did this and get in from the cold before the hit men get him.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073802/plotsummary

    15] THE 39 STEPS

    The 39 Steps (1978)
    The year is 1914 and Richard Hannay, Mining Engineer who is visiting Britain for a short time before returning to South Africa, is shocked when one of his neighbours, Colonel Scudder, bursts into his rooms one night and tells him a story that Prussian 'sleeper' agents are planning to pre-start World War I by murdering a visiting foreign minister. However, Scudder is murdered and Hannay is framed for the death by the 'sleepers'. Fleeing to Scotland Hannay attempts to clear his name and to stop the agents with the aid of Alex Mackenzie but not only is he is chased by Chief Supt Lomas for Scudder's death but by the agents who is headed by Appleton who has managed to hide himself in a high-placed position in the British Government...
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078389/plotsummary

    16] BOURNE SUPREMACY/IDENTITY/ULTIMATUM

    Bourne Supremacy (2004)
    After escaping from the emotional and physical pain he previously encountered. Jason Bourne and his girlfriend Marie begin a new life as far away as possible. But when an assassination attempt on Bourne goes horribly wrong, Bourne must re-enter the life he wanted to leave behind, in order to find out the truth why they are still after him.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372183/plotsummary

    Bourne Identity (2002)
    When a body is recovered at sea still alive, the mystery man (Damon) seems to have forgotten everything in life, including who he was. Eventually he begins to remember smaller details in life and soon finds out that his name was Jason Bourne. What he doesn't like is that a gun and fake passports also belong to him. Now Bourne, and his new friend, Marie Helena Kreutz (Potente) travel from country to country in search of his new identity. But, someone else is not happy to see him alive, and is frantically trying to track him down.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258463/plotsummary

    Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
    Bourne is once again brought out of hiding, this time inadvertently by London-based reporter Simon Ross who is trying to unveil Operation Blackbriar--an upgrade to Project Treadstone--in a series of newspaper columns. Bourne sets up a meeting with Ross and realizes instantly they're being scanned. Information from the reporter stirs a new set of memories, and Bourne must finally, ultimately, uncover his dark past whilst dodging The Company's best efforts in trying to eradicate him.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0440963/plotsummary

    17] DR. NO

    Dr. No (1962)
    James Bond (007) is Britain's top agent and is on an exciting mission, to solve the mysterious murder of a fellow agent. The task sends him to Jamacia, where he joins forces with Quarrel and a loyal CIA agent, Felix Leiter. While dodging tarantulas, "fire breathing dragons" and a trio of assassins, known as the three blind mice. Bond meets up with the beautiful Honey Ryder and goes face to face with the evil Dr. No.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055928/plotsummary

    18] THE MAN WHO NEVER WAS

    The Man Who Never Was (1956)
    British Intelligence during World War II is trying to get the German High Command to shift it's forces away from Italy prior to the invasion. To create the illusion of a plan for England to invade Greece a dead body is to be procured, allowed to be found with secret papers on him by Spanish authorities who will send the papers on to the Germans, or that's the plan. First they have to find a body that will look drowned, and create an identity for him that will pass the examination of the German agent who is sure to check him out. Based on a true story.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049471/plotsummary

    19] THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN

    The Falcon And The Snowman (1985)
    The true story of Christopher Boyce (Hutton), a young All-American man whose job as a guard for sensitive documents shatters his faith in his country and leads him to a sometimes comic, sometimes chilling sideline as a spy for the Soviets, aided by his scruffy buddy, Daulton (Penn); it can't last, though, and the consequences are tremendous for Boyce and his family.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087231/plotsummary

    20] SABOTAGE

    Sabotage (1936)

    Mr. Verloc is part of a gang of foreign saboteurs operating out of London. He manages a small cinema with his wife and her teenage brother as a cover, but they know nothing of his secret. Scotland Yard assign an undercover detective to work at the shop next to the cinema in order to observe the gang.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028212/plotsummary

    21] THE CONVERSATION

    The Conversation (1974)

    Harry Caul is an invader of privacy. The best in the business. He can record any conversation between two people anywhere. So far, three people are dead because of him.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071360/

    22] REILLY: ACE OF SPIES

    Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983)
    The amazing true story of the world's first international super spy.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085077/

    23] BREACH

    Breach (2007)
    In February, 2001, Robert Hanssen, a senior agent with 25 years in the FBI, is arrested for spying. Jump back two months: Eric O'Neill, a computer specialist who wants to be made an agent is assigned to clerk for Hanssen and to write down everything Hanssen does. O'Neill's told it's an investigation of Hanssen's sexual habits. Within weeks, the crusty Hanssen, a devout Catholic, has warmed to O'Neill, who grows to respect Hanssen. O'Neill's wife resents Hanssen's intrusiveness; the personal and professional stakes get higher. How they catch Hanssen and why he spies become the film's story. Can O'Neill help catch red-handed "the worst spy in history" and hold onto his personal life?
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401997/plotsummary

    24] 13 RUE MADELEINE

    13 Rue Madeleine (1947)
    Documentary-style prologue follows training of O.S.S. agents for WWII work behind enemy lines. One of the group is a German "mole;" leaders Gibson and Sharkey are aware of this and scheme to feed him false info about the invasion of Europe, while the real agents go to France to find a secret V-2 rocket depot. But the German spy outsmarts them and rejoins his people knowing too much; Bob Sharkey takes the risk of going in after him.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038279/plotsummary

    25] THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH

    The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

    The man who knows too much is American doctor Ben McKenna. On holiday in Morocco with his wife Jo and his eight-year-old son Hank, he inadvertently witnesses a murder in a market and becomes privy to a plot of political assassination. This being masterminded by the Draytons, an English couple they have met in a restaurant, and is due to take place in London in a few days' time. In order to prevent McKenna from going to the police, the couple kidnap Hank. Ben is warned not to tell the police what he knows. Hank's life depends on his silence
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049470/plotsummary
    442
    THE THIRD MAN
    5.20%
    23
    NORTH BY NORTHWEST
    7.92%
    35
    THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD
    6.79%
    30
    GOLDFINGER
    6.79%
    30
    OUR MAN IN HAVANA
    0.68%
    3
    THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)
    7.69%
    34
    SMILEY’S PEOPLE
    2.71%
    12
    PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET
    0.23%
    1
    THE LIVES OF OTHERS
    1.13%
    5
    NOTORIOUS
    2.71%
    12
    TINKER TAILOR
    3.85%
    17
    MUNICH
    3.62%
    16
    THE IPCRESS FILE
    4.75%
    21
    THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR
    6.33%
    28
    THE 39 STEPS
    4.30%
    19
    BOURNE SUPREMACY/IDENTITY/ULTIMATUM
    7.92%
    35
    DR. NO
    5.43%
    24
    THE MAN WHO NEVER WAS
    4.75%
    21
    THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN
    2.26%
    10
    SABOTAGE
    1.81%
    8
    THE CONVERSATION
    1.36%
    6
    REILLY: ACE OF SPIES
    3.62%
    16
    BREACH
    2.26%
    10
    13 RUE MADELEINE
    1.81%
    8
    THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
    4.07%
    18
    Last edited by Biscuit; 01 Dec 09, 13:52.

  • #2
    I swear to God, people, if the Bourne series beats "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" or "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" I will never speak to you knuckle dragging barbarians again.

    The Bourne series barely qualifies as spy movies.

    Comment


    • #3
      Manchurian Candidate with Sinatra tops this list. IMO

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DingBat View Post
        I swear to God, people, if the Bourne series beats "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" or "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" I will never speak to you knuckle dragging barbarians again.

        The Bourne series barely qualifies as spy movies.
        I too chose 'Tinker, Tailor ...' as one of my favorites.
        "War is hell, but actual combat is a motherf#cker"
        - Col. David Hackworth

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by DeltaOne View Post
          I too chose 'Tinker, Tailor ...' as one of my favorites.
          Alex Guinness in one of his best roles. A cameo by Patrick Stewart as "Karla". Wheels within wheels within wheels. And, except for the first scene, nary a gun in sight.

          What's not to like?

          Comment


          • #6
            For my tastes, this was the best bracket group. A shame we can only vote for 8.
            History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. Napoleon Bonaparte
            _________
            BoRG
            __________
            "I am Arthur, King of the Britons!"

            Comment


            • #7
              This one was a good bracket. It may well be the hardest one to choose from during the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

              Comment


              • #8
                so this is the new campaign?
                "You can tell a lot about a fella's character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful." -explaining why Reagan liked to have a jar of jelly beans on hand for important meetings

                CO for 1st S.INC Shock Security Troop

                Comment


                • #9
                  13 Rue Madeleine is pure James Cagney.
                  The ending is just great.
                  God Save The Republic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Manchurian Candidate is a scary great movie. Angela Lansbury steals the film as one of the most evil mothers in cinematic history. She was nominated for an Oscar for this performance, she didn't win, but she should have.
                    Last edited by Lance Williams; 02 Dec 09, 03:21.
                    Lance W.

                    Peace through superior firepower.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lance Williams View Post
                      The Manchurian Candidate is a scary great movie. Angela Lansbury steals the film as one of the most evil mothers in cinematic history. She was nominated for an Oscar for this performance, she didn't win, but she should have.
                      This movie should make the next cut easily and may win the bracket.

                      I strongly recommend 13 Rue Madeleine ,especially if your a Cagney fan. The ending is pure Cagney and very memorable.
                      God Save The Republic.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Based on the voting so far, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" won't make it. This is a travesty. A travesty, I tell you.

                        Seriously, Le Carre's books and films are probably as close as we'll get to a snapshot of espionage in the Cold War. No guns, no action sequences, no buff super-spy who stands out a mile away. Just somewhat smart, ordinary people playing a super-sized game of chess with real people as pawns.

                        I recognize my bias, but Tinker and "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold" are #1, #2 in my book. The Bourne Identity movies are probably better "cinema" and maybe even more fun to watch, but they're not spy movies. Or they are, in the same way that "Star Wars" is science fiction.

                        So, c'mon. More votes for Le Carre, even if you haven't seen the movie or read the books.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DingBat View Post
                          Based on the voting so far, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" won't make it. This is a travesty. A travesty, I tell you.

                          Seriously, Le Carre's books and films are probably as close as we'll get to a snapshot of espionage in the Cold War. No guns, no action sequences, no buff super-spy who stands out a mile away. Just somewhat smart, ordinary people playing a super-sized game of chess with real people as pawns.

                          I recognize my bias, but Tinker and "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold" are #1, #2 in my book. The Bourne Identity movies are probably better "cinema" and maybe even more fun to watch, but they're not spy movies. Or they are, in the same way that "Star Wars" is science fiction.

                          So, c'mon. More votes for Le Carre, even if you haven't seen the movie or read the books.
                          Good choices. I voted for both. And it looks as though early returns have TSWCIFTC probably making it.
                          History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. Napoleon Bonaparte
                          _________
                          BoRG
                          __________
                          "I am Arthur, King of the Britons!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This was a tough bracket! It took some work to narrow down my list to just 8 movies. I'll concur with "...in from the Cold" and "Tinker Tailor" I will add that "The Lives of Others" is amazing and a must see if you're interested in the Cold War.
                            "Nations are never content to confine their rivalships and enmities to themselves. It is their usual policy to disseminate them as widely, as they can, regardless how far it may interfere with the tranquility or happiness of the nations which they are able to influence." -- Alexander Hamilton

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Is there gonna be a campaign ribbon?

                              I'm trying to impress a girl...
                              "This life..., you know, "the life." You’re not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you don’t shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

                              BoRG

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