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 Maximilian Schell and was directed by Sidney Lumet from a script by Paul Dehn. In it George Smiley, the central character of the novel and many other of le Carré's books, is renamed Charles Dobbs as Paramount who owned the film rights of their recently filmed The Spy Who Came in from the Cold had the rights to the Smiley character. In contemporary London, Charles Dobbs (James Mason) is a staid MI5 operative investigating Foreign Office official Samuel Fennan, a former Communist who apparently commits suicide. Dobbs becomes suspicious when a wake-up call is made to Fennan's home the next morning. While his widow Elsa (Simone Signoret) says it was for her, this is discovered to be a lie. Dobbs then suspects that Elsa, a survivor of an extermination camp, might have some clues, but other officials want Dobbs to drop the case. Dobbs privately links up with retired police inspector Mendel (Harry Andrews) to continue inquiries.