How did I miss this film until just recently? What a difference to the ludicrous James Helm/Matt Bond (or is it the other way round?) movies.
The Cold War atmosphere in Germany at the time was perfectly captured. I was there with the British Armed Forces from Jan 1961 until Sept 1964, and remember it well, and old memories came flooding back.
Not that I was a spy, but the first thing we were told on our arrival in Germany was that we were only there to give the Yanks an extra six minutes to prepare for, and retaliate to, a nuclear attack. Just how we were supposed to do that no one knew. Then we were told (as people tell their kids today) not to talk to strange men. Presumably they meant Communists.
In the British Section of West Germany, everything appeared normal, but the claustrophobic atmosphere of Berlin with the Wall and checkpoints ever present, was different. There was always the feeling of paranoia, of someone watching you. This movie brought it all back.
I'm well aware that "The Quiller Memorandum" was not a perfect representation of reality, but it's a damn sight closer to it than "Goldfinger" and all other similar types of pap. Spying is mostly a secretive, lonely occupation in which James Bond and Matt Helm wouldn't last a minute.
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