The Day the Hot Line Got Hot (1968) Poster

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Tapping the hot-line
bkoganbing10 March 2012
Two international movie legends top the billing in The Day The Hot Line Got Hot. Robert Taylor and Charles Boyer play the operational chiefs of the CIA and KGB respectively. For Taylor this was his farewell performance on the big screen.

It was a middle-C type note to go out on. The Day The Hot Line Got Hot is a comic spoof on spy films that doesn't quite get off the ground. Someone for some nefarious reasons of their own splices into the famous telephone hot line between the White House and the Kremlin set up during the Kennedy presidency so that JFK and Khrushchev could talk one and one so that there would be no nuclear wars set off by accident. If you remember the hot line figured very prominently in a failed attempt to prevent nuclear war in Failsafe.

Anyway the individual who taps into the hot-line sent messages to both the US president and the Soviet premier that were the equivalent of an international Bronx cheer. They then kidnap the operator forced to send said messages and ship Marie Dubois to Barcelona in one of those old style steamer trunks.

Where things begin to go wrong as the trunks get mixed up and doesn't tourist George Chakiris get a big surprise when instead of his clothing, Dubois tumbles out. Now it's a case of saving the plan which was put in motion for a most interesting reason.

Taylor may have been in the first stages of the cancer that eventually killed him. Charles Boyer has the look of a man waiting for his paycheck to clear, both of them took these roles on possibly for a nice vacation in Spain where the story was filmed. There are a lot interesting jokes about spy training and double and triple agents, in fact that's the key to the whole story.

In any event fans of Taylor and Boyer should see this others will be disappointed.
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Tepid Cold War farce
gridoon201814 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"The Day The Hot Line Got Hot" is not so hot. Although it does have some distinctive characters, like the computer guy who has an irresistible compulsion to always tell the truth or the three harmless-looking but crazy and homicidal old ladies, it's often tedious to watch. It falls into that unfortunate category of films that are neither funny enough to work as spoofs, nor exciting enough to work as thrillers. It takes some potshots at the futility and the brain-numbing bureaucracy of the Cold War, but generally it hits with kid's gloves. And even the production feels kind of claustrophobic - there are relatively few exterior shots. A good cast tries its best. ** out of 4.
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A big mistake for everyone involved.
mhall-1711 March 2009
I caught this turkey on late night T.V. and was frankly embarrassed for Taylor and Boyer, two distinguished performers who deserved to end their careers with some kind of dignity and grace. The whole thing was like someone's home movie of a recent nightmare. The movies also illustrates the truth of the adage: "Dying is easy;comedy is hard." Robert Taylor (for one) has never shown any kind of comic flair. The best that can be said of his performance here is that he made the wise decision to play his role "straight", with no attempt to be 'funny" in the delivery of his lines. About the only appeal this film might have would be for devotees of bondage films who enjoy watching the three giggling old ladies tie up and terrorize the heroine.
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