‘In From The Cold . . .’

Another cold snap has found us, and I came in about an hour ago from shoveling three inches of fluffy snow off the sidewalks. My fingers have warmed up, and I plan on staying inside until late this afternoon when I’ll combine a stop at the library with a stop to pick up the Texas Gal after work.

In what may seem like an entirely unrelated subject, I’ve kept for years a mental list of movies I need to see. One of them has been Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese’s award-winning adaptation of boxer Jake LaMotta’s memoir. I’ve tried several times to watch it, and I can’t get into it. I sent the DVD back to Netflix yesterday for maybe the third time. The same holds true for Mean Streets, another highly regarded Scorsese film; I start watching it and can’t get into it. Maybe it’s Scorsese, although I’ve seen and enjoyed a few of his other films, notably Taxi Driver and The Last Waltz. (The Aviator was just okay.) So it’s likely me.

But I added a film to my list this morning as I was wandering through the mp3s, looking for something suitable for a frigid Minnesota morning. Back in the mid-1960s, when I was in my James Bond phase, I went beyond Ian Fleming’s books and the movies based on them and read other spy novels and watched other movies. I’ve mentioned here before Len Deighton’s novel The Ipcress File and the movie based on it. I read a lot of Deighton’s other work, and I read, among others, many of John le Carré’s spy novels.

And when I looked for mp3s with “cold” in their titles this morning, the search function on the RealPlayer reminded me that I’ve never read the 1963 novel that seems to have been le Carré’s first true spy novel , The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. Nor have I seen the 1965 film, starring Richard Burton, based on the book. (In that long-ago post about my Bondmania, I said I saw the film, but after some thought, I do not think I did.) So the movie goes on my list (and I add the book to my long list of books I want to read).

And I’ll likely take a look at a couple more Scorsese films soon, maybe Cape Fear or Gangs of New York. (I’d welcome suggestions.)

In the meantime, here’s something related to the cold. Here’s Billy Strange’s version of the theme from The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. It’s from Strange’s 1965 album, The Secret Agent File.


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