DATELINE: Not Sean Connery, or even Daniel Craig!
Kim Philby in Moscow grave.
One of the most notorious real spies was a man named Kim Philby. He was a Cambridge, class-oriented Brit upper-crustaceon. Put James Bond out of your mind. This was a slimey limey traitor with charm and sociopathic standards. Spy Who Went Out into the Cold is a nasty person
Back in the 1930s all his friends were in the spy business. It was a social means of fulfilling one’s communist principles. He was recruited by the Soviets and became an ultimate hypocrite. His friends became the right-wing aristocratic class. He fit in, and they all loved his wit and debonair attitude. He was a spy out of the Noel Coward school of blithe spirits.
Some claimed he was two people; how else could he betray his family, friends, and country? His attitude was that Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and other high rankers were simply idiots.
Kim Philby recruited his gay friends Burgess and McLean to be the bottom line of spy workers.
After World War II, it became bad business when the Soviets became cold war opponents. Burgess and McLean could not take the heat and defected, leaving J. Edgar Hoover to look for a “third man,” their enabler. It was Kim Philby, but his charm and friends helped him skate off in the coverup.
The film does a wonderful job in digging up old compatriots, finding photos and newsreels to depict Philby’s life of indolent drinking and fake journalism in Beirut for few years.
The truth was he was a despicable drunkard who had no scruples. When the authorities offered him a deal to continue to coverup and placate Hoover, he defected on a Soviet trawler. He lived his final years in Moscow, apparently unfazed by his low-life.
In the late 1980s with the Soviet Union crumbling, they dusted him off before burying him. He did not receive the justice he deserved: a firing squad.