Old spy movies 📺

A couple months ago, we watched The Spy Who Came In from the Cold and then became kind of obsessed with finding other old spy movies. Next we watched a series with Michael Caine, and then moved on to James Bond, and so on, filling in a bunch of movies we’ve never seen over the course of a month.

Here’s the complete list, with a short note about each one or each series. First the standalone movies:

  • The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965): John le Carré. We didn’t rewatch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but it’s another great one.
  • North by Northwest (1959): Alfred Hitchcock. Now I understand all the praise this movie gets.
  • Three Days of the Condor (1975): With Robert Redford, I feel like this could almost be a prelude to Sneakers. One of my favorites from our month of watching spy movies.
  • The Third Man (1949): Not a spy movie, but written by someone with espionage in their Wikipedia bio. We discovered it while looking for other films.

Then three movies with Michael Caine, based on books by Len Deighton:

  • The Ipcress File (1965)
  • Funeral in Berlin (1966)
  • Billion Dollar Brain (1967)

This series started great, and I would’ve loved to see more movies with Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer character, but by the 3rd movie the plot has gone completely off the rails. The author Deighton had an interesting career.

Sean Connery as James Bond. I hadn’t really seen most of these, and never in order before:

  • Dr. No (1962)
  • From Russia with Love (1963)
  • Goldfinger (1964)
  • Thunderball (1965)
  • You Only Live Twice (1967)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

We alternated between old Bond and the new movies with Daniel Craig:

  • Casino Royale (2006)
  • Quantum of Solace (2008)
  • Skyfall (2012)
  • Spectre (2015)

Just for fun, we rewatched all the Austin Powers movies too:

  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

I think I’m now officially burned out on spy movies for a while.

Manton Reece @manton