i don't know if i even knew who richard burton was when i bought the novel, 'the spy who came in from the cold' for my mom. it was a long time after that i saw the film.
richard burton has become my favorite actor. his voice is unbelievably beautiful, his presence is very imposing for a not so big man, and his performances are never anything but stellar. he absolutely astonishes me every time.
it is rare for someone who is a huge star to also have deep respect from their peers, especially when those peers are the giants of shakespearean theatre. but, burton had it all.
this spy story is a very quiet one. claire bloom's character works in a bookstore and lives in a humble dwelling. to watch these two actors come to love one another, despite her idealism and his history... well, i was very grateful for the intimacy considering the story is about espionage.