T Nation

Spy Movies

I know that I am probably going to get made fun of for this but I was just curious as to whether the jobs in spy-type movies really existed. The ones I mean are like Mission Impossible, I know that the IMF is made up, or James Bond type movies. Do spys really do all of this or do they just do things much less exciting, and the adventure is just added in Hollywood. If they do exist how would you go about getting a job like that. Do you have to start out in the military, and move to CIA? Well thanks to all the people who take this seriously and not just say don’t watch so many movies, or don’t be so naive, or the infamous well we could tell you but then we would have to kill you.

Curious- If you want to work for the CIA then you need a degree from a first rate college and a squeky clean record. No drugs, arrests or weird activites (ie non mainstream). Then just apply because they are hiring. Learn a language such as arabic or farsi for an inside tract. If you want to go more for the paramilitary side of things (guys who carry guns) then your best bet is to be in the military first. The CIA has likes Marines and Special Forces types…also with a degree. Good Luck if you do it. This message will self destruct in 30 seconds.

I would say the Ethan Hunt/James Bond varieties are nonexistant, but a more realistic take on it would be Liev Shrieber (sp?) in Sum of All Fears, Bishop in Spy Game, those types of guys, and they were both CIA operatives if I recall correctly.

While in D.C. a few years back, I talked with a former CIA agent about her past. Pretty cool stuff. She was in the Clandestine division. Think True Lies, but obviously not that dramatic. Of course though she could not reveal what she had actually done. She did speak like 4 languages. I remember when we (students) asked her about the movies that had been based on her occupation, she laughed. She said they’re all junk except one worthy film: Ronin with Deniro. I never saw it, but she said most agents thought that it was the most realistic portrayel. I hope this is even mildly interesting.

I could tell you but then I would have to Kill you.

The have been interviews with former spies on TV and it’s nothing like in the movies. They are like slightly overweight middle-aged bald guys and their missions are not as exciting as James Bond’s to say the least.

yah if u want to go paramilitary for the CIA you’d have to probally be some special forces liek green berret (sp?) or SEAL or force recon. however these jobs arent exatcally very glamorous, remember when that cia agent was killed in afganistan durring the revolt of tha taliban that we found john walker lind in? yah he was most likely PM. I dont know if you want to do that kind of special stuff you could alway get into the army and go green berret. It won’t be easy but they do a some behind the lines stuff. good luck buddy

Thanks for the replies guys, I was just curious because I am currently in college and not sure what I want to do. I am about to join the reserves to get money for college, and thinking about choosing Counter Intelligence as my job. I have also been toying with the idea of enlisting full time. But I wasn’t sure what kinds of jobs were available afterwards either in the Army, or with CIA or something. Well it has given me something to think about, thanks again.

On the other hand, there HAVE been a few James Bond-like (well, somewhat) characters in history. Richard Burton comes to mind, as does Markus Wolf (I think that’s the right spelling), the East German guy. If you read WWII spy stuff, a lot of which was published posthumously, there are a couple MI6 people who fit the mold to certain degree.

I thought Ronin was about mercenaries?