Ring of Spies
Ring of Spies (also known as Ring of Treason) is a 1964 British spy film directed by Robert Tronson and starring Bernard Lee, William Sylvester and Margaret Tyzack. It is based on the real-life case of the Portland Spy Ring, whose activities prompted "Reds under the bed" scare stories in the British popular press in the early 1960s.
|Ring of Spies|
Original UK 1-sheet poster
|Directed by||Robert Tronson|
|Produced by||Leslie Gilliat|
|Written by||Peter Barnes|
|Edited by||Thelma Connell|
British Lion Films
|Distributed by||British Lion Films|
Paramount Pictures (US)
|24 March 1964|
A dissatisfied Navy clerk begins handling secret documents when he is approached by secret Soviet intelligence to hand over documents to them. Although he is being blackmailed, he agrees to do so while also being paid for the information. He begins an affair with the secretary who also has access to greater secret documents. Together, the couple continue to procure information for Soviet intelligence while getting paid. Soon, the British government gets wind of their betrayal.
- Bernard Lee as Henry Houghton
- William Sylvester as Gordon Lonsdale
- Margaret Tyzack as Elizabeth Gee
- David Kossoff as Peter Kroger
- Nancy Nevinson as Helen Kroger
- Thorley Walters as Cmdr. Winters
- Philip Latham as Captain Ray
- Cyril Chamberlain as Anderson
- Justine Lord as Christina
- Patrick Barr as Captain Warner
- Derek Francis as Chief Supt. Croft
- Paul Eddington as Partygoer
- Gillian Lewis as Marjorie Shaw
- Richard Marner as Colonel Monat
- Hector Ross as Supt. Woods
- André Mikhelson as Russian Embassy official
- Garry Marsh as 1st Member at Lord's
- Basil Dignam as 2nd Member at Lord's
- Geoffrey Palmer as Police Officer
- Brian Nissen as Portland official
- Edwin Apps as Blake
- Fred Griffiths as News vendor
- Bryan Pringle as Stakeout P.C.
- Anita West as Tilly
TV Guide gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars. Its reviewer wrote that the film "concentrates on factual evidence leading up to the crack in the case. Lending an air of authenticity, shots of the actual spies appear in the opening frames," and concluded that "despite the documentary flavor, there are a few witty touches by the hand of Tronson"; while David Parkinson in the Radio Times gave it 3 out of 5 stars, and felt "the docudramatic style rather undermines director Robert Tronson's attempts to build suspense," but "Frank Launder proved himself to be just as capable of turning out a nail-biting thriller, as he was of crafting a chortle-worthy comedy. For once, separated from his usual partner, Sidney Gilliat (although the latter's brother Leslie acted as producer), Launder and co-writer Peter Barnes capably retell the story of the Portland spy ring."
- "Ring of Spies". BFI.
- David Parkinson. "Ring of Spies". RadioTimes.
- "Ring of Treason (1964) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast - AllMovie". AllMovie.
- "Ring of Spies DVD". MovieMail.
- "Ring Of Spies". TV Guide.
- Shaw, Tony. British Cinema and the Cold War: The State, Propaganda and Consensus. I.B.Tauris, 2006.