Category Archives: Cold War

The Manny deWitt trilogy by Peter Rabe

This omnibus – a secret review copy of which arrived, via three drop boxes and as many couriers in disguise – comes courtesy of those very nice people at Stark House Press. It brings together the trilogy of decidedly off-beat adventure … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Africa, Cold War, Espionage, Germany, Paris, Peter Rabe, Stark House Press, The Netherlands | 15 Comments

No Way Out (1987) is now on Blu-ray!

No Way Out, adapted from Kenneth Fearing’s classic suspense novel, The Big Clock (which I previously reviewed here), is a terrific thriller starring a young Kevin Costner and quirky and beautiful Sean Young as young lovers who get caught in a … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Espionage, Film Noir, Kenneth Fearing, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Washington DC | Tagged , , , | 36 Comments

And your favourite Hitchcock movies are …

Drum roll please … Having gone through a week of voting for the favourite films directed by Alfred Hitchcock on a decade by decade basis, this was meant to lead to a top 10, though we ended up with a … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, California, Cold War, Cornell Woolrich, Ed McBain, England, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, London, New York, San Francisco, Scotland, Spy movies, World War II | 51 Comments

Results for the Hitchcock poll

Well, the polls are now closed and the results are in. First things first though – the response to this celebration of the 53 films directed by Alfred Hitchcock was really gratifying, so special thanks to everyone who joined in. … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Arizona, Boileau-Narcejac, Cold War, Cornell Woolrich, Ed McBain, England, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, London, New England, New York, Psycho, Robert Bloch, San Francisco, Scotland, Spy movies | 45 Comments

Hitchock in the 60s and 70s – time to vote

Hitchcock’s life and career changed forever with the release of Psycho in 1960. Made on a tight budget, its enormous success made him a very wealthy man and saw him change studios to Universal for the rest of his career. … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Boston, Cold War, Cuba, Daphne Du Maurier, Ed McBain, Espionage, Film Poll, France, Germany, London, New York, Norway, Paris, Psycho, Robert Bloch, San Francisco, Spy movies, Sweden, Washington DC | 63 Comments

Hitchcock in the 1940s – vote now!

With the success of The Lady Vanishes, Hitchcock got a contract with producer David O Selznick and headed to Hollywood to make the Oscar-winning Rebecca – and never looked back. This period saw the director blossom as he got to … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Anthony Berkeley, Australia, California, Cold War, Courtroom, Daphne Du Maurier, England, Espionage, Film Poll, Francis Beeding, London, Los Angeles, New York, Noir, Patrick Hamilton, Philip MacDonald, Screwball, Spy movies, The Netherlands, World War II | 59 Comments

SMEAR JOB (1975) by James Mitchell

David Callan is a dyspeptic working-class spy employed by a spartan MI6 black ops unit known only as ‘The Section.’ An exceptional marksman with a deep-rooted (and usually well-founded) distrust of authority, his nasty assignments do little to assuage his sense … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, Cold War, David Callan, Espionage, Friday's Forgotten Book, Germany, Italy, James Mitchell, Las Vegas, London, Mexico, Ostara Publishing | Tagged | 18 Comments

CALLAN UNCOVERED 2 by James Mitchell

Following on from the success of the first collection of James Mitchell’s long-thought lost short stories about his classic Cold War secret agent David Callan, here’s comes a very welcome and unexpected surprise – a sequel! The diffident protagonist was … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, David Callan, Espionage, James Mitchell, Mike Ripley, Ostara Publishing | Tagged | 19 Comments

The Man Who Finally Died (1963)

Stanley Baker stars in this above-average conspiracy thriller that boasts Bavarian locations, some neat twists and a first-rate supporting cast that includes: Peter Cushing as a sinister doctor; Mai Zetterling, in one of her last film acting roles, as a … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Espionage, Film Noir, Germany, Spy movies, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 28 Comments

CALLAN UNCOVERED by James Mitchell

David Callan is an agent for British Intelligence and his great skill is marksmanship – but he is tortured by ethical and moral dilemmas. For every double agent uncovered or paid assassin eliminated, there is always a cost, usually borne … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, David Callan, Espionage, James Mitchell, Mike Ripley, Ostara Publishing | Tagged | 27 Comments

The Jigsaw Man (1983) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This spy thriller was inspired by the exploits of double agent Kim Philby. Indeed the author went so far as to cheekily dedicate the book to him, and all her ‘dear friends in the KGB’ including those, ‘not yet surfaced.’ … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Cold War, England, Espionage, London, Moscow, Spy movies, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 36 Comments

THE TAMARIND SEED (1971) by Evelyn Anthony

Evelyn Anthony (pen-name of Evelyn Ward-Thomas) turned 86 this month. She began writing historical romances in the Coronation year of 1953 but by the late 1960s had switched to topical suspense mixed with romance. The Tamarind Seed is a perfect example … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Barbados, Blake Edwards, Cold War, Espionage, Evelyn Anthony, London, Paris, Spy movies | 40 Comments

EXPO 58 by Jonathan Coe

Jonathan Coe is one of my favourite authors, a witty and wise chronicler of British mores, foibles and eccentricities who, in terms of book sales, is apparently appreciated even more on the Continent than he is at home – but … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Brussels, Cold War, Espionage, Jonathan Coe | 18 Comments

SPYSHIP (1980) by Tom Keene with Brian Haynes

This topical Cold War yarn about a sunken ship marked the fiction debut of two TV journalists. The premise is based on the true case of the Gaul trawler, which sank in February 1974 off the north coast of Norway, … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Cold War, Espionage, James Mitchell | 23 Comments

Callan (1974) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

In the 1970s British cinema was at a particularly low ebb following the departure of the American majors. The number of productions fell precipitously and confidence ebbed away. As a result, for the next few years British cinemas seemed to … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Cold War, David Callan, Espionage, James Mitchell, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, TV Spinoff | 24 Comments

A MAGNUM FOR SCHNEIDER (1969) by James Mitchell

David Callan is a very reluctant spy who undertakes nasty jobs for a black ops unit of MI6 known only as ‘The Section.’ An exceptional marksman with a deep-rooted (and usually well-founded) distrust of authority, his often lethal assignments do little to … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, David Callan, Espionage, James Mitchell, Novelisation, Ostara Publishing | Tagged | 32 Comments

Joseph Losey’s crime movies

In the 1940s and early 1950s Joseph Losey established himself as a new director of rare intelligence and technical dexterity in Hollywood. His promise however was curtailed by the McCarthy witch hunts that destroyed the lives of hundreds of men … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Film Noir, James Hadley Chase, Joseph Losey, London, New York, Noir on Tuesday, Paris, Stanley Ellin, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 23 Comments

DICK BARTON: THE CASE OF THE VANISHING HOUSE (1978) by Alan Radnor

In the 1940s my mum and her sister used to rush home every school night to listen to the next exciting adventure of Dick Barton – Special Agent. Broadcast by the BBC from 6.45 to 7PM, the radio serials debuted … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Cold War, Dick Barton, Espionage, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hammer Studios, London, Novelisation, Radio, Scene of the crime | 43 Comments

The Mind Benders (1963) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Dirk Bogarde is the troubled scientist at the centre of this suspense drama combining espionage, brainwashing, sensory deprivation chambers and domestic navel gazing that often feels like a rich inverted pudding, light on the bottom and heavy on top. This … Continue reading

Posted in Basil Dearden, Cold War, DVD Review, Espionage, Oxford, Scene of the crime, Spy movies, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 20 Comments

Top 20 Spy movies

The release of Ben Affleck’s smart historical satire Argo, based loosely on the true extraction by the CIA and Canadian officials of six American Embassy staff members out of Tehran in 1980, made me reflect on the spy genre as … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Adam Hall, Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Billy Wilder, Brian de Palma, Cold War, Elleston Trevor, Eric Ambler, Espionage, Film Noir, George Smiley, Ian Fleming, James Bond, John Frankenheimer, John le Carre, Len Deighton, London, Michael Powell, New York, Paris, Quiller, San Francisco, Scene of the crime, Spy movies | 77 Comments

Telefon (1977)

This adaptation of the 1975 spy novel by Walter Wager has a great central gimmick and features the unlikely pairing of granite-faced action hero Charles Bronson and high-class beauty Lee Remick under the take-no-prisoners direction of Don Siegel. It often … Continue reading

Posted in Amnesia, Cold War, Espionage, Los Angeles, Moscow, Scene of the crime, Spy movies, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 36 Comments

The Blake Edwards mysteries

In a career spanning six decades, writer-director Blake Edwards (1922-2010) really mixed it up, making almost every conceivable type of film. There were westerns (Panhandle and Wild Rovers), musicals (Darling Lili and Victor Victoria), dark drama (Days of Wine and … Continue reading

Posted in Blake Edwards, Cold War, Espionage, Evelyn Anthony, Hollywood, London, Michael Crichton, Mickey Spillane, Mike Hammer, Paris, Police procedural, Private Eye, Robert Bloch, Rome, San Francisco, Scene of the crime, Screwball, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, TV Cops | 45 Comments

Spaceways (1953)

An engaging if curious genre hybrid, this is a patchwork movie combining Cold War espionage, a murder mystery and two love triangles in a science fiction setting – and all on the tightest of budgets. Unpretentious and fun, this British … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Espionage, Hammer Studios, Science Fiction, Spy movies, Terence Fisher, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 26 Comments