James Mason gives one of his greatest performances in Sidney Lumet’s skillfully told spy drama. Bringing the emotional vulnerability of a man on the brink, who can see deceit all around. The tense economy of the film balance perfectly with Masons career man of the dark arts. A man that has many friends, who are equally enemies. A younger wife with many lovers and an air of defeat in his every step. A film that might just let you return to it with a feeling that somewhere else a new dimension can be found.
Charles Dobbs (James Mason) has a meeting with a Foreign Office staffer. Dobbs is tired and in a job that will see him out of the service to a pension. When the Office staffer is found dead in his house in an apparent suicide, alarms start ringing. Dobbs investigation lead to a disillusioned wife (Simone Signoret), a best friend and former agent Dieter Frey (Maximilian Schell) and a police contract with muscle called Mendal (Harry Andrews) Building to the finale and a shock discovery that cuts to his heart.
Espionage is a complex game of sides, sexes and signals. The Deadly Affair, translated from John Le Carre first novel contains these in abundance. In the hands of Le Carre, we have a compelling labyrinthine of a tale, that still lives inside a realistic world and with human characters. This has been successfully translated to film with an eye for performances and pacing that contrasts the slow burning nature of discovery and despair. Taken together with the direction of Lumet, the film becomes compelling and captivating.
Indicator have given us something of beauty. The remaster looks great, in fact it looks amazing! Then the commentary sticks out as a work of brilliance. Michael Brooke knows this film inside and out, giving it context and substance. Johnny Mains ditto. So together it is well worth listening to. The lectures that run alongside the film from Mason and Lumet are SUPERB! Then that extremely put together booklet.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES:
• High Definition remaster
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary
• The John Player Lecture with James Mason (1967, tbc mins): archival audio recording of an interview conducted by Leslie Hardcastle at the National Film Theatre, London
• The Guardian Lecture with Sidney Lumet (1983, tbc mins): archival audio recording of an interview conducted by Derek Malcolm at the National Film Theatre, London
• David Kipen on screenwriter Paul Dehn (2017, tbc mins)
• New interview with camera operator Brian West (2017, tbc mins)
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive booklet featuring newly commissioned writing by Thirza Wakefield , an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Dual Format Edition of 3,000 copies