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The Serpent (1973)

Le serpent (original title)
PG | | Thriller | November 1973 (USA)
A soviet diplomat hatches a complicated plan to enable him to defect to the West.

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Writers:

(novel), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Col. Alexei Vlassov
...
Allan Davies
...
Philip Boyle
...
Lucien Berthon
...
Tavel
...
Mrs. Annabel Lee
...
Robert Deval
...
...
Suzanne Walter
Nathalie Nerval ...
Tatiana Vlassov
André Falcon ...
French Diplomat
Robert Party ...
Debecourt
William Sabatier ...
...
Polygraph interrogator
...
Jeannine Santelli
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Storyline

Vlassov (Yul Brynner) is a Soviet spy. In France, Vlassov defects. He is whisked to the U.S.A., where Allan Davies (Henry Fonda) takes over the case. After polygraph tests and cross-examinations, Vlassov names several Western European agents who are also spying for the Soviets. Davies wants to take the listed agents into custody; meanwhile, those on the list start dying under mysterious circumstances. Written by Ken Miller <wkmiller704@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One of these men is working for the C.I.A.

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

November 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night Flight from Moscow  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Westrex Recording System) (as Westrex 1135)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was made and released about two years after its source French novel "Le 13e suicidé" (English translation: "The Thirteenth Who Committed Suicide") by Pierre Nord was first published in 1971. See more »

Quotes

Allan Davies: He is finished and he knows it. He will get a score of medals and he will quietly fade away under wraps.
?Connolly?: How come?
Allan Davies: That serpent has tasted Eden
[showing the American cigarette he is smoking]
Allan Davies: . They won't trust him again.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Difficult to follow with very little action
4 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For those of you expecting an edge-of-your-seat nail-biter with great vehicles for two big Hollywood stars -- I'm sorry, you won't find it in this movie.

This has to be one of the oddest films I've ever seen. The biggest reason is because of the language(s) of the film. I spent quite some time trying to figure out if this film was supposed to be an English, French or even German speaking film. I finally turned on the English subtitles about 20 minutes through after it became clear that I needed to understand what the frenchies were saying to follow the film at all.

Activities take place in France, Germany, Britan and the U.S., and wherever we go pretty much everyone just speaks their native language. I'd say about half the film is French, half English, with a few misc. languages probably thrown in there somewhere. Understanding that the film itself has no subtitles (just included on DVD) makes this rather weird, unless of course, you're fluent in both languages. To make it even weirder, there are some places where English (instead of French) was obviously dubbed in on the film! I don't have a clue what they were thinking... even if it was not the original print. It really made no sense whatsoever.

The film's direction is definitely not in the traditional Hollywood style, but beyond that, I found it pretty difficult to follow. We follow a certain group of individuals for a while, then jump to a different group, then a different group, some in France, some in the US, etc. None of the characters are really developed very well. Sometimes you feel like you're watching a thriller, sometimes a docu-drama.

This is a spy film, yet there is nothing mentioned about the kind of spies they are, what secrets they might be stealing, what the dangers are, etc. -- just that they are Russian spies. I guess this is all we're supposed to care about. Also, this has to be the slowest-moving spy movie I've ever seen. The action and excitement is very, very minimal. This might have been all right had the plot and characters been engaging and fascinating, but unfortunately they just weren't.

It's not the worst movie ever, but it definitely is pretty strange language wise, and just not very interesting.


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