Spy Games: The Looking Glass War (1969)

The second installment of my ongoing Spy Games series is now available at the Movie Morlocks and this time I’m focusing my attention on Frank Pierson’s neglected John le Carre adaption, THE LOOKING GLASS WAR (1969). I first saw THE LOOKING GLASS WAR when I was just a kid. A lot of the film’s more subtle points went completely over my head but I immediately understood that I was watching a spy film with an anti-war message that really appealed to me. But that wasn’t the only reason that I liked the film. I found its slow build-up and measured approach utterly engrossing and I was particularly impressed with the film’s lead, the handsome and enigmatic actor Christopher Jones. Jones only appeared in a handful of films during the ’60s but he was utterly mesmerizing in every one of them. He was pigeonholed as the successor to James Dean and that’s understandable but Jones had his own kind of charisma that was grounded in the ’60s counterculture where he flourished. He wore his hair longer than most actors at the time and he was often shirtless, which made him incredibly sexy to both women and men but his timeless appeal was more than just skin deep. Jones was a talented actor and he seemed to get lost in every role that he took. While I was watching THE LOOKING GLASS WAR again I was taken aback by how damn good he was in the role of Leiser, a Polish hustler who gets caught up in Britain’s cold war games. A brief excerpt from my post about Christopher Jones:

“Jones is somewhat of an enigma. He was a hugely popular up-and-coming actor in the ‘60s but he made a lot of enemies when he walked away from Hollywood in 1970 after appearing in David Lean’s undervalued masterpiece, RYAN’S DAUGHTER (Yes folks, I’m one of those weirdo’s who believes RYAN’S DAUGHTER is a masterpiece). By most accounts Jones suffered from a serious dependency on drugs and alcohol and he treated the women in his life abhorrently. But his story has yet to be written and at the moment it’s a swirling mass of half-truths, myths and rumors so I try to keep this in perspective whenever I come across the actor’s name online or in print.”

You can find my full write-up about THE LOOKING GLASS WAR at the Movie Morlocks by following the link below,
Spy Games: The Looking Glass War (1969) @ TCM’s Movie Morlocks

Advertisements