erik lundegaard

Tinker Tailor, Elliott Philby

“Over-suspicion can sometimes have more tragic results than over-credulity. His tragedy was that he was so often deceived by his own ingenuity, and the consequences were disastrous.”

-- MI6's Nicholas Elliott on CIA counterpart James Angleton, who became paranoid and trusted no one after it was revealed that their mutual friend, Kim Philby, had, for the entire length of their friendship, been a Soviet spy, as recounted in Ben Macintyre's excellent book, “A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Greaty Betrayal,” which I finished this morning. More later. In the meantime, I realized, after reading the afterword by John Le Carré, that the two parts of the main relationship in the book (Elliott and Philby) have been played, more or less, by Colin Firth. He was (SPOILER ALERT) the Philbyesque traitor in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”; and he played a supercharged version of Elliott, the Etonian, well-mannered, well-tailored MI6 agent, in this year's “Kingsman.”

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Posted at 03:59 AM on Thu. Apr 02, 2015 in category Books  

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