A Dandy in Aspic

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A Dandy in Aspic
French DVD cover
Directed by Anthony Mann
Laurence Harvey (uncredited)
Produced by Anthony Mann
Written by Derek Marlowe
Based on A Dandy in Aspic
1966 novel
by Derek Marlowe
Starring Laurence Harvey
Tom Courtenay
Mia Farrow
Peter Cook
Harry Andrews
Music by Quincy Jones
Cinematography Christopher Challis
Austin Dempster
Edited by Thelma Connell
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
April 1968 (UK)
April 2, 1968
Running time
107 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

A Dandy in Aspic is a 1968 Technicolor and Panavision British spy film, directed by Anthony Mann, based on the novel of the same name by Derek Marlowe and starring Laurence Harvey, Tom Courtenay, and Mia Farrow. It was Mann's final film.

Essentially a Cold War thriller, it is the story of a Russian counter-espionage agent known as Eberlin (Laurence Harvey) to his employers in British Intelligence, where he is working undercover for Moscow as a double agent.


Eberlin's (Laurence Harvey) superiors in Britain instruct him to find and assassinate a KGB agent named Krasnevin, believed to have killed a number of British agents. This presents a problem for Eberlin, as he is Krasnevin. Summoned to a meeting at a country house, he is presented with a photograph of the suspected Krasnevin. It turns out to be his handler and go-between with Moscow.

He is partnered with a ruthless, cynical, and sociopathic British agent Gatiss (Tom Courtenay), who openly distrusts and dislikes him. Mia Farrow plays a London-based photographer with whom Eberlin has an affair. Much of the film takes place in West Berlin, where Eberlin tackles the dilemma posed by his mission by attempting to escape across the Berlin Wall to the East. His attempts are frustrated by his partnership with Gatiss and by the Soviet authorities, who are keen to retain one of their top agents in British intelligence.



Largely filmed on location in London and Berlin, this was Anthony Mann's final film; he died of a heart attack before it was finished. Its direction was completed by Harvey. The film also features Peter Cook, at a time when his TV career was at a peak, in a minor role as the foppish but libidinous British agent Prentiss.


A Dandy in Aspic was released to DVD on 1 August 2011 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as a DVD-on-demand title available through Amazon.

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