In honor of the upcoming online release of our newest short, The French Spy, I have picked some of my favorite spy films, old and new, with a brief word on each:
Three Days of the Condor
A tense masterpiece from Sydney Pollack with a great paranoid performance by Robert Redford which has influenced me in countless ways.
My favorite Hitchcock film, his most romantic movie (and one of the most romantic ever) as well as one of the smartest spy films ever made.
Soldier of Orange
Paul Verhoeven is known to Americans as the director of Robocop, Total Recall and Starship Troopers but before he left the Netherlands, he made several great movies including this brilliant spy/resistance tale.
Much better than Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, this recent spy drama is an incredible depiction of Cold War espionage, a true story, with lead performances by French and Russian directors. This is an underrated gem.
Eye of the Needle
A mostly forgotten movie with Donald Sutherland’s best performance (along with Klute and Don’t Look Now) as a Nazi spy is one of the most surprising, thrilling films I’ve ever seen.
Our Man in Havana
A comedy/satire from the vision of Carol Reed (British director of The Third Man) . With a great performance from Alec Guinness and lots of fun characters, this is a clever slice of spy fantasy.
Another recent entry in the genre, this film keeps you guessing from beginning to end with good performance and taut direction all around. Track it down.
No Way Out
I will argue with anyone that Kevin Costner is a good actor and this film is proof. Along with a sexy performance from Sean Young, a sinister Gene Hackman as good as always, and a movie stealing job from Will Patton, this is a great American spy film.
From Russia with Love
And finally, the best from the most famous spy of them all: James Bond. This film is to me the quintessential Bond film (and the one that they should, but don’t, look to). It’s low on gadgets and high on story/character. A pure good movie.