This John le Carré story – set during the Cold War – begins with British Intelligence receiving a blurred photograph from East Germany which Director Leclerc (Sir Ralph Richardson) believes to be Soviet missiles being installed close to the border with the west.
Meanwhile, British agent and courier, Taylor King (Timothy West) receives a further film from a Finnish pilot and is found dead on the road, apparently killed in a hit-and-run.
Ill-tempered German-speaking Polish defector Fred Leiser (Christopher Jones) is reluctantly recruited to cross the border and spy on the East German facility to check on the missiles.
After he is trained by agent John Avery (Anthony Hopkins) Leiser is deployed into East Germany (codenamed “Mayfly”) where he meets up with local girl Anna (Pia Degermark), falls in love with her, and decides to flee from all the espionage with her – while the expert ruthless old men use them both as decoys.
Despite some pretty good performances by some of the lead actors, The Looking Glass War is dull, lacks momentum or suspense, and the characters all largely unsympathetic.
Christopher Jones’ voice was dubbed in the movie.
Anna (“The Girl”)
Leiser’s pregnant girlfriend in London
Under Secretary Of State
East German Detective
Frank R. Pierson