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Posted on Dec 2, 2009 in Books and Movies

100 Greatest Spy Movies – What’s Number 1?

By Armchair General

Michael Caine in 'Funeral in Berlin.' Courtesy Paramount/The Kobal CollectionSpy movie buffs, this is your mission:

The editors of one of Armchair General‘s partner publications, American History magazine, have compiled a list of the 100 Greatest Spy Movies ever made. The covert operation resulted in a great deal of collateral damage, and now they need your help to narrow those 100 down to … the single Greatest Spy Movie of All Time!

Your cover for this mission will be to pose as An Englishman Abroad. From 13 Rue Madeleline, turn North by Northwest past Casino Royale and climb The 39 Steps of The House on 92nd Street. Go through The Torn Curtain. Give The Ipcress File to Our Man Flint and The Odessa File to The Falcon and the Snowman. From there, Smiley’s People will slip you out of the country; look for them in a Pickup on South Street.

La Femme Nikita sends you her regards From Russia With Love.

Click here to go to our forums and accept your 100 Greatest Spy Movies mission. Scroll down to Qualification Rounds A, B, C. and D. Be sure to vote in all four, selecting eight movies in each. After each list you’ll find a short synopsis of every movie on it. You can also leave comments about your favorite films, films you think should have been on the lists but aren’t and those you wouldn’t have included on the lists. Preliminary voting ends December 10!

If you aren’t already registered on our forums, click here. We don’t spam, and we don’t sell or trade information.

For detailed information on each film, plus data on "Reel vs. Real Spies," look for 100 Greatest Spy Movies, available on newsstands December 8.


  1. Great work on “The 100 Greatest Spy Movies” edition. I have a few comments/suggestions: Include “No Way Out”, The Tailor of Panama” and “Firefox”. Delete “Sneakers” (light at best), “Modesty Blaise” (I loved it as a 60s spoof, but Monica Vitti’s weak portrayal and lack of charisma ruined it) and “The Spy Who Loved Me” (both Goldeneye and Thunderball were far better Bond films in every way).

  2. I like to read this issue but sadly I do not have access to where to get it. Casino Royale was mentioned here.