A Russian officer is sent to USA to try and stop sleeper agents who will mindlessly attack government entities when they hear certain coded words.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Barbara
...
Nicolai Dalchimsky
...
Dorothy Putterman
...
Colonel Malchenko
Patrick Magee ...
General Strelsky
...
Marie Wills
Frank Marth ...
Harley Sandburg
Helen Page Camp ...
Emma Stark
...
Doug Stark
...
Mrs. Hassler
Ed Bakey ...
Carl Hassler
John Mitchum ...
Harry Bascom
Iggie Wolfington ...
Father Stuart Diller
Hank Brandt ...
William Enders
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Storyline

The KGB is looking for one of their people, a man named Dalchimsky because he has stolen something important but, unfortunately, he manages to get through the border. Later in the U.S. some seemingly ordinary people after receiving a phone call go out and destroy key American military installations. Back in the U.S.S.R. General Strelsky and Colonel Malchenko send for Grigori Borzov, a KGB agent who has been to the U.S. on missions before. They inform him that after the U-2 incident in fear of the possibility that a war with the U.S. will occur; they were part of an operation called TELEFON that involved recruiting young agents and then brainwashing them into believing that they are Americans. They would assume the identity of an American who died a long time ago and who would be their age now. They would be situated in a city that is near or where a key U.S. military installation is located. They were also programmed to destroy upon receiving the command phrase. They have been ... Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Your next phone call may be your last! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Телефон  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The braided wedding bands worn by Charles Bronson and Lee Remick are the same as those worn by Walter Matthau and Jacqueline Scott in Charley Varrick (1973) which was also directed by this film's director Don Siegel. See more »

Goofs

All of the KGB characters shown in uniform at the beginning of the film are "out of uniform." Although Borzov, Bronson's character, and the others are clearly meant to be in the KGB, the uniforms they wear are trimmed in red, the color of the regular Soviet Army, not the KGB. During the era of the film KGB uniforms were trimmed in Royal Blue. Also, the uniforms in the film lack the distinctive "Sword and Shield" patch worn by KGB officers on their jacket and coat sleeves. See more »

Quotes

Nicolai Dalchimsky: The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, but I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep. Remember. Miles to go before I sleep.
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Connections

Referenced in Death Proof (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
51 Manchurian Candidates Get A Wake Up Call
27 October 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Telefon casts Charles Bronson as a KGB agent on assignment in America trying to stop Donald Pleasance from igniting World War III. Bronson is aided and abetted uneasily by CIA agent Lee Remick and the two of them get involved with each other as well as the mission at hand.

It's quite a mission they have, Pleasance is an old line Stalinist and he's noticed the new regime is slowly doing away with his kind. So he knows about this operation involving 51 Manchurian candidates who are Russian sleeper agents the way Laurence Harvey was in the Manchurian Candidate. With the proper phrase these people who are under hypnosis and just living regular humdrum lives get a signal to complete a mission involving sabotage of some military installation in their area. Pleasance has come to America to set these agents off.

It might have been a whole lot easier to just dial long distance once he was out of the Soviet Union, but apparently Pleasance is also getting a few jollies and really wants to see his handiwork. Bronson gets the list and follows Pleasance's trail hoping to head him off.

A nice cast of talented players pulls off and makes entertaining when you think about it, a really silly Cold War era story. Pleasance as usual pulls all the stops out as the villain and Bronson is his usual menacing self. His loyal legion of fans might like Telefon, I'm kind of partial to it myself, but I recognize it's illogicality.


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