The Deadly Affair is a 1967 British neo noir spy film based on John le Carré’s first novel, Call for the Dead, published in 1961. The film stars James Mason and was directed by Sidney Lumet from a script by Paul Dehn. As it is a Columbia Pictures production and Paramount owned the film rights to the name George Smiley, the central character is renamed Charles Dobbs.
English secret agent Charles Dobbs is shocked to discover that a government official whom he knew has committed suicide. Suspicious circumstances soon point to the death being a murder, and Dobbs investigates further, contacting the victim’s wife, Elsa Fennan a survivor of a concentration camp. Despite pressures from senior officials to leave the case, Dobbs continues, hiring veteran cop Inspector Mendel to dig deeper.
The Deadly Affair received five BAFTA Awards nominations: Best British Film for Sidney Lumet.