John le Carré: The author's official website

Richard Burton's Coat - A Portrait of a Moment

‘The coat worn by Richard Burton in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold represents the mood of an era’ writes Antonia Quirke

In a wonderful essay for the BBC’s Radio 3 ‘Listener, They Wore It’ series, film critic Antonia Quirke pays homage to the careworn overcoat, worn by Burton, in his career-defining portrayal of Alec Leamas.

Writing of his journey from Welsh mining town to Hollywood, ‘The whole story is this coat. It transmits the simple idea of cold, and cold things, and cold people… The coat is the perfect portrait of the moment.’

The essay is published in edited form in The Financial Times .