Spies

The Best Spy Movies Based on Books  

Ranker Film
327 votes 41 voters 40 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite spy movies that are based on or inspired by literature.

From secret agents risking their lives to CIA operatives investigating global conspiracies, this list includes information about the best spy movies based on books. Some spy movies based on novels stay true to the source material while other spy films adapted from books create new storylines. Some of the best spy movies based on books have at award-winning directors at the helm.

What sagas will you find on this best spy movies based on books list? Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy has to be near the top. This 2011 Cold War spy thriller was based on John le Carre's novel of the same name. Double agent drama and spies investigating spies are at the heart of the film's mysterious story. Argo is another good spy movie based on a book.

CIA secrets worth killing for are found in The Bourne Identity. Other good spy movies based on books include The Third Man, The Lady VanishesThe Constant Gardener, and of course, Bond films.

Do you have a favorite spy movie based on a book? Vote the best films up to the top of this list and please add any good options we may have missed.

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26
Three Days of the Condor is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow
Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 American political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, and Max von Sydow. The screenplay by ...more
27
Atomic Blonde is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman
Atomic Blonde is a 2017 American action spy thriller film directed by David Leitch and written by Kurt Johnstad. It is based on Antony Johnston's 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City, which ...more
28
Never Say Never Again is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Sean Connery, Kim Basinger, Rowan Atkinson
Never Say Never Again is a 1983 spy film based on the James Bond novel Thunderball, which was previously adapted in 1965 under that name. Unlike the majority of Bond films, Never Say Never Again ...more
29
You Only Live Twice is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Sean Connery, Donald Pleasence, Lois Maxwell
You Only Live Twice is the fifth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fifth to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film's screenplay was written by Roald Dahl, and ...more
30
Moonraker is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Roger Moore, Lois Chiles, Richard Kiel
Moonraker is the eleventh spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The third and final film in the series to be directed by ...more
31
The Man with the Golden Gun is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Christopher Lee, Roger Moore, Britt Ekland
The Man with the Golden Gun is the ninth spy film in the James Bond series and the second to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. A loose adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel of ...more
32
Live and Let Die is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Jane Seymour, Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto
This film is the eighth spy film in the James Bond series to be produced by Eon Productions, and the first to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Produced by Albert R. ...more
33
Firefox is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Clint Eastwood, Nigel Hawthorne, John Ratzenberger
Firefox is a 1982 U.S. action film produced, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. It is based upon the 1977 novel of the same name by Craig Thomas. Though the film was set in Russia forcing ...more
34
Diamonds Are Forever is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Sean Connery, Sammy Davis, Jr.
Diamonds Are Forever is the seventh spy film in the James Bond series by Eon Productions, and the sixth and final Eon film to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film is ...more
35
Charlotte Gray is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Michael Gambon
Charlotte Gray is a 2001 British–Australian–German drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong and adapted from the novel of the same name by Sebastian Faulks. It is set in Vichy France during ...more
36
The Sum of All Fears is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Liev Schreiber
The Sum of All Fears is a 2002 American action political thriller film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. The motion picture, which is set in the Jack ...more
37
The Russia House is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
The Russia House is a spy novel by John le Carré published in 1989. The title refers to the nickname given to the portion of the British Secret Intelligence Service that was devoted to ...more
38
The Quiller Memorandum is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Alec Guinness, Max von Sydow, George Sanders
The Quiller Memorandum is an Anglo-American Eurospy film adapted from the 1965 spy novel The Berlin Memorandum, by Elleston Trevor under the name "Adam Hall", screenplay by Harold ...more
39
The Deadly Affair is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Lynn Redgrave, Simone Signoret, David Warner
The Deadly Affair is a 1966 British espionage–thriller film, based on John le Carré's first novel Call for the Dead. The film stars James Mason, Harry Andrews, Simone Signoret and ...more
40
Icon is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Spy Movies Based on Books
Patrick Swayze, Michael York, Patrick Bergin
Icon is a Hallmark Channel original television film directed by Charles Martin Smith and based on the novel by Frederick Forsyth. The film premiered on the network May 30, 2005. It is set in the ...more