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Mrs. Pollifax-Spy
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Mrs. Pollifax-Spy (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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Mrs. Pollifax-Spy -- A bored widow looks for excitement--and finds it when she begins working for the CIA.


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5.3/10   261 votes »
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Rosalind Russell (screenplay)
Dorothy Gilman (book)
View company contact information for Mrs. Pollifax-Spy on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 May 1972 (Denmark) See more »
Mrs. Polifax, The Spy Who Came Out Of The Kitchen. See more »
Mrs. Emily Pollifax of New Jersey goes to the CIA to volunteer for spy duty, being in her own opinion... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Spying - the Alternative to Retirement See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Rosalind Russell ... Mrs. Pollifax

Darren McGavin ... Farrell

Nehemiah Persoff ... Berisha

Harold Gould ... Nexdhet
Albert Paulsen ... Perdido

John Beck ... Lulash

Dana Elcar ... Carstairs
James Wellman ... Mason
Dennis Cross ... Bishop
Nick Katurich ... Stefan
Don Diamond ... DeGamez

Robert Donner ... Larrabee

Tom Hallick ... Roger
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Abejin Ajeti ... Folk Dancer (uncredited)
Patrick Dennis ... Tourist (uncredited)
Adian Gola ... Folk Dancer (uncredited)
William Landrum ... Folk Dancer (uncredited)
Vassily Sulich ... Albanian Private (uncredited)

Directed by
Leslie H. Martinson  (as Leslie Martinson)
Writing credits
Rosalind Russell (screenplay) (as C.A. McKnight)

Dorothy Gilman (book "The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax")

Produced by
Frederick Brisson .... producer
Charles Forsythe .... associate producer
Original Music by
Lalo Schifrin 
Cinematography by
Joseph F. Biroc  (as Joe Biroc)
Film Editing by
Fred Bohanan 
Gene Milford 
Philip W. Anderson (uncredited)
Stefan Arnsten (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Jack Poplin 
Set Decoration by
William L. Kuehl  (as William Keuhl)
Costume Design by
Noel Taylor 
Makeup Department
Fred Williams .... makeup artist
William Turner .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Sherry Wilson .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Production Management
Ben Chapman .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Baxley .... second unit director
Fred Gammon .... assistant director
Clifford C. Coleman .... assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
Fred Giles .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Lynn Guthrie .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Tom Morrow .... artist: original drawing
Lowell Chambers .... leadman (uncredited)
Robey Cooper .... prop master (uncredited)
Les Gobruegge .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Wally Graham .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Don Miller .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Everett A. Hughes .... sound
Jerry Whittington .... sound effects editor
Ora Hudson .... boom man (uncredited)
Dennis Jones .... cable person (uncredited)
Brandon Kellogg .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Paul Baxley .... stunt coordinator
Richard E. Butler .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
William Bledsoe .... key grip
Mark H. Davis .... camera operator: second unit
Lee Wilson .... gaffer
Warren E. Boes .... best boy (uncredited)
Jack Gereghty .... still photographer: second unit (uncredited)
Arthur Gerstle .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Gilbert Haimson .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Jack Harris .... still photographer (uncredited)
Joe Jackman .... camera operator (uncredited)
William C. King .... assistant camera: second unit (uncredited)
William Perillard .... best boy grip (uncredited)
Roger Shearman .... camera operator: second unit (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
May Booth .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Dell Hayden .... assistant wardrobe: women (uncredited)
G. Tony Scarano .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Music Department
André Previn .... composer: "Merdita" theme and dance music (uncredited)
Lalo Schifrin .... musical director (uncredited)
Dan Wallin .... score mixer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Bud Dawson .... transportation: second unit (uncredited)
Robert J. Madden .... transportation (uncredited)
Other crew
Dorothy Aldrin .... script supervisor
Don Record .... title designer
Jean Adams .... production secretary (uncredited)
Dino Ajeti .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Wendell Baggett .... comptroller (uncredited)
Vera Burrows .... location secretary (uncredited)
Rita Cross .... production secretary (uncredited)
Dave Davies .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Tony Faehnle .... wrangler (uncredited)
Louise Griswold .... secretary (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
110 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Final film of Rosalind Russell.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When Mrs. Pollifax looks in the mirror at the reflection of her hotel door, the digits of her hotel room number(700) should all be mirror images, including the "7" digit. But although the digits are correctly reversed in their order (007), the "7" is NOT reversed, as its mirror image actually would be. This is presumably because the film-makers didn't want the audience to miss the allusion to James Bond's number, 007.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax (1999) (TV)See more »


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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Spying - the Alternative to Retirement, 29 August 2007
Author: Bogmeister from United States

An unusual take on the spy / secret agent genre, Mrs. Pollifax represents a sideways look at what audiences had become accustomed to in the just-ended sixties, which were dominated by James Bond, his campy imitators and flashy, young femme fatales. The closest anyone came to this in the previous decade, in terms of a female spy, was probably "Fathom," starring a very young Raquel Welch. This one presents actress Russell in her final theatrical film, as a retired housewife and recent widow who strolls into C.I.A. headquarters and volunteers for the 'dirty tricks' business. There's a certain charm attached to this scenario and it continues throughout the film. Mrs. Pollifax, though entering her twilight years, is nowhere near senility, is very well spoken and seems sharper than most of the people around her. Her character was created in a series of mystery novels by Dorothy Gilman, kind of an American version of the British sleuth 'Miss Marple.' Russell also had a hand in the script, writing under a pseudonym. The tone of this film is kind of a cross between the tongue-in-cheek escapades of elderly adventurers and serious spy business, so it may strike some as a bit uneven. For example, even though Pollifax faces definite danger during the story, the filmmakers also throw in a sight gag referencing famous agent 007. In the plot, the C.I.A. rep expectedly dismisses Pollifax at first as a harmless eccentric, but there happens to be a simple courier job available in Mexico which the rep's boss (Elcar) thinks she is well suited for. And off we go.

I first saw this film only recently, having heard about it once or twice over the past 30 years. I was taken a bit by surprise as to the direction the story veers off to. Based on the rather bland atmosphere of the introduction and first few scenes at C.I.A. HQ, I expected Pollifax to have some sort of silly short adventure in Mexico, similar to a TV episode, and head back to the USA for more repartee with her supervisors and other agents. However, the courier job, which involved simply picking something up in a bookstore, does not go as planned: Pollifax finds herself leaving Mexico on an airplane heading to parts unknown with another captured agent, the seasoned & cynical Farrell (McGavin, just before "The Night Stalker"). After debarking the airplane at gunpoint, they're transported by automobile until the road runs out somewhere in the mountains and head further into the boonies via mule. By this point, I was thinking, what the hell is all this? They end up in the most isolated prison for spies imaginable, somewhere in Albania. Things looked very bleak but Pollifax is a 'never say die' type of dame and soon charms most of the guards and wardens (Persoff, Gould and John Beck in a very early role). The exception is Perdido (Paulsen), the one in charge, and it's clear that the two prisoners will eventually be executed. Pollifax soon takes charge of 'the mission' (mostly now an escape plan), despite Farrell's long experience in these matters. This kind of keeps you guessing most of the way, and, despite the slow spots in the early sections of the film, there's enough suspense to keep your attention to the very conclusion. Mrs. Pollifax would not return on film, as it happens, though there was a TV Movie in the nineties. Heroine:8 Villains:6 Male Fatales:7 Henchmen:5 Fights:4 Stunts/Chases:6 Gadgets:3 Auto:5 Locations:7 Pace:6 overall:6

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