MovieChat Forums > A Perfect Spy Discussion > Le Carre anti-American?

Le Carre anti-American?

In a couple of scenes Americans are made to seem somewhat foolish. . . for instance the dog adoption party that took place in Palm Springs attended by Pym and his friend. Very stereotypical American images. . . a big fuss over very healthy looking dogs. Also, the scene where Pym is being interviewed by Americans in London (I think) in the presence of Pym's "masters". The computer agent was especially made to appear foolish, although he was probably spot on.


I know exactly what you mean. But watching the scene where the US and UK security chiefs have the meeting, it is quite clear that the US had already worked out that Pym was a spy and the British were made to look a bit silly with their "but he's one of us" attitude.

One of Le Carre's failings, IMHO, is his inability to portray "ordinary" people.

By that I mean anybody who does not fall into the English, upper-middle class, privately educated, moneyed bracket. It is very evident in his novels. And it is very evident in this TV adapation. The "working class" are almost cartoons.

The two ladies who have taken care of the body of Rick Pym, come across as cackling old crones from a poor Dickens adaptation.

It infuriates me sometimes, but the lad can spin a pretty good yarn !


I agree with you on Carre's writing of "ordinary people". A common failing of Oxbridge type writers, Colin Dexter is equally as bad.

As for his being "anti-American? Who with any taste isn't?



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Showing Pym in Palm Springs instead of say the Smithsonian museum was used to show how Pym's ego had become so greedy and crass.

The meeting with the American was very much about snotty Oxbridge types looking down their noses at the mediocre cowboys.

THe end bit of the scene when Grant(?) confronts Jack one to one was very reminiscent of Columbo's 'just one more thing.'


No, I don't think this was Le Carré is anti-American. The meetings between the British and Americans are, in part, stereotypes but you can see where it's going. The Americans want to act before there's enough information. The British leave it too late. The Americans want to predict a human using a computer and the British want to do it by the book but nobody knows where it is.

It's not that there's any disrespect shown by either side. It's more that there are too many variables to make a "right" decision. It's not a question of "if" but "when". But in the end, the Americans are right about Pym so Le Carré isn't saying anything too negative about them.


He is virulently anti-American. Go read or watch some of his interviews and the degree of hatred for the USA he expresses is quite intense. Also, his later novels were extremely anti-American, i.e. The Taylor of Panama, A Most Wanted Man, and Absolute Friends.

Of course, his hatred of us didn't stop him from accepting the royalties from his book and movie rights sales over here.