S*P*Y*S 1974

director: Irvin Kershner  


Genre

Country

United States

Alternative Titles

  • Spys
  • Wet Stuff

Cast

Synopsis

Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland were an instant success as a movie team when they appeared together as the irreverent U.S. Army doctors in 1970's M*A*S*H. They were reunited with considerable comic effect in S*P*Y*S in 1974, a splendidly anarchic movie that set out to do for the world of international espionage what M*A*S*H had done for war-time medics. The ingenious and witty screenplay by Malcolm Marmorstein and Lawrence J. Cohen provides an ideal vehicle for the team's free-wheeling sense of humour and their contrasting acting styles. Given the roles of CIA agents at odds with their boss and the enemy, they are provided with plenty of opportunities to clown. And the film succeeds excellently on the level of an exciting and fast-moving spy thriller with enough in the way of plot twists to satisfy the most demanding addicts of the genre. Director Irvin Kershner starts the movie off with a (literal) bang and the pace never lets up until the final explosion which - and not for the first time in the film - conveniently gets Our Heroes out of dire trouble. Gould and Sutherland are first brought together when they both go to retrieve a mysterious package from a Paris pissoir - which immediately blows up. Deciding that they perhaps could do with a somewhat less dangerous assignment their boss (Joss Ackland) sends them off to supervise the defection of a Soviet gymnast. From then on the action and comedy never lets up as the hapless pair become increasingly more involved in a plot which has the CIA itself turning on them - to say nothing of anarchists and a dog wearing priceless contact lenses. S*P*Y*S marks a superb re-teaming of its stars with a crisp and funny script and direction that allows Gould and Sutherland to repeat and refine their great comic chemistry. S*P*Y*S is F*U*N. ALAN FRANK

Other Releases

Formats

Available on VHSAvailable on Betamax

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Distributor EMI
Catalogue Number EVH 20236
Release Series
Release Date 1981
Duration:
Printed Classification
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