The Deadly Affair Blu-ray Review – A Classic Espionage, Thriller Starring James Mason

the deadly affair blu-ray review

The film I’m looking at today, The Deadly Affair (1966) is based on the John le Carré’ novel Call for the Dead. It features George Smiley but due to the film rights for that character being owned by Paramount Pictures, James Mason’s character has been renamed Charles Dobbs. Does that affect the story? Of course not so let’s take a look, so without further ado here’s The Deadly Affair blu-ray review.

  • The Deadly Affair (1966)
  • Genre: Espionage, Thriller
  • Directed by Sidney Lumet
  • UK Rating 12
  • Discs: 2 (Blu-ray & DVD)
  • Released By Powerhouse Films
  • Blu-ray Released: 28 August 2017


MI5 operative Charles Dobbs (James Mason) is given the task of interviewing a Foreign Office official Samuel Fennan over possible leaks. Following that interview Fennan is found dead at his home. Was it suicide or is there more to it? Dobbs will have to find out all while dealing with domestic issues.

Style / Direction

The films directed by Sidney Lumet whilst the cinematography is handled by Freddie Young.

Music / Audio Effects

The music score comes from Quincy Jones.

Acting / Characters

James Mason is on top form as he shows two very different sides to his characters personality. Confident and forceful at work and insecure at home. He does this exceptionally well.

Backing up Mason is a strong cast with Simone Signoret, Maximilian Schell and Harry Andrews. Oh and there’s a great role for Roy Kinnear as a dodgy garage owner.

Everyone delivers and it makes the film so enjoyable.


  • James Mason as Charles Dobbs
  • Simone Signoret as Elsa Fennan
  • Maximilian Schell as Dieter Frey
  • Harriet Andersson as Ann Dobbs
  • Harry Andrews as Mendel
  • Kenneth Haigh as Bill Appleby
  • Roy Kinnear as Adam Scarr
  • Max Adrian as Adviser
  • Lynn Redgrave as Virgin
  • Robert Flemyng as Samuel Fennan
  • Leslie Sands as Inspector
  • Corin Redgrave as David

Conclusion: The Deadly Affair (1966) Film Review

The Deadly Affair is a thoroughly intriguing and gripping espionage-thriller. Sidney Lumet delivers a fabulously constructed film whilst the acting is top draw. James Mason really impresses as the Charles Dobbs (George Smiley) character.

I highly recommended taking the time to see The Deadly Affair (1966) it’s a tense and thrilling plot expertly acted and directed.

The Deadly Affair Blu-ray Review

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Conclusion: The Deadly Affair Blu-ray Review

The film has been released on to blu-ray by Powerhouse Films under their Indicator label. That means the picture quality is excellent. This is a ‘High Definition remaster’ and it really does look flawless.

On the extras side of thing, wow there’s a ton of stuff to watch. There are interviews with James Mason and Sidney Lumet along with a lot of interesting information. If you are prepared to sit through a few of hour’s worth of content then you will no doubt love these extras.


  • Audio Commentary with film historians Michael Brooke & Johnny Mains
  • The National Film Theatre Lecture with James Mason (1967) (48 mins)
  • Guardian Lecture with Sidney Lumet (1983) (89 mins)
  • Lumet’s London (2017) (4 mins)
  • A Different Kind of Spy: Paul Dehn’s Deadly Affair (2017) (17 mins)
  • Take One & Move On (2017) (5 mins)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Image Gallery

Popcorn Cinema Rating: The Deadly Affair (1966)




The Deadly Affair (1966) Blu-ray is available now from Amazon.

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The Deadly Affair Blu-ray Review

The Deadly Affair (1966) Film Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…

Clip may not be representative of the blu-ray version

That concludes my The Deadly Affair blu-ray review. I’m aiming to review more classic films over the coming weeks. What’s next? Check back soon…

What Do You Think?
Summary: The Deadly Affair (1966) Blu-ray Review
The Deadly Affair Blu-ray Review

Movie title: The Deadly Affair (1966)

Movie description: Espionage thriller starring James Mason

Duration: 107 mins

Director(s): Sidney Lumet

Actor(s): James Mason, Simone Signoret, Maximilian Schell, Harriet Andersson, Harry Andrews, Roy Kinnear

Genre: Espionage, Thriller

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Picture Rating
  • Extras


Tense and gripping espionage, thriller.