IMDb > Power Play (1978)

Power Play (1978) More at IMDbPro »


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5.5/10   208 votes »
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Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Edward N. Luttwak (suggested by the book "Coup d'Etat" by)
Martyn Burke (written by)
Release Date:
1 November 1978 (UK) See more »
Their objective... to steal a nation! Their plan... to strike without warning! Their agreement... to share the spoils! Their only obstacle... each other!
A group of military officers, angered and frustrated by the corruption and repression of the current government... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Uneven but still intriguing See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order)

Peter O'Toole ... Colonel Zeller

David Hemmings ... Colonel Narriman

Donald Pleasence ... Blair

Barry Morse ... Jean Rousseau
Jon Granik ... Raymond Kasai
Marcella Saint-Amant ... Mrs. Rousseau

George Touliatos ... Barrientos

Chuck Shamata ... Hillsman
Gary Reineke ... Aramco

Harvey Atkin ... Anwar

August Schellenberg ... Minh
Eli Rill ... Dominique

Dick Cavett ... Dick Cavett
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eugene Amodeo ... Photographer (uncredited)

Michael Ironside ... Torturer (uncredited)
Wolf Krakowski ... Secret Police Technician (uncredited)
Alan Rosenthal ... Plane Pilot (uncredited)

Alberta Watson ... Donna (uncredited)

Directed by
Martyn Burke 
Writing credits
Edward N. Luttwak (suggested by the book "Coup d'Etat" by)

Martyn Burke (written by)

Cliff Osmond  uncredited

Produced by
Ronald I. Cohen .... executive producer
Bob Cooper .... executive producer (as Robert M. Cooper)
Christopher Dalton .... producer
Alain Delon .... producer
John M. Eckert .... associate producer
David Hemmings .... producer
Original Music by
Ken Thorne 
Cinematography by
Ousama Rawi 
Film Editing by
John Victor-Smith 
Casting by
Karen Hazzard 
Production Design by
Karen Bromley 
Makeup Department
Sandi Duncan .... assistant makeup artist (as Sandy Duncan)
Sound Department
Alban Streeter .... sound editor
Richard Ayers .... stunts
Marcel Bérubé .... stunts (as Marcell Berube)
Brett Jacobsen .... stunts
Terry Martin .... stunts
Dwayne McLean .... stunt coordinator
John Stoneham Sr. .... stunts (as John Stoneham)
Keith Wardlow .... stunts
G.A. Winnington-Bell .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Ian Foulds .... electrician
Micky Wilson .... gaffer
Music Department
Ken Thorne .... conductor
Other crew
Claudio De Davide .... dubbing director: italian version: italy
Claudio De Davide .... dubbing voice italian version, artist Peter O'Toole: italy
Caroline Langley .... production assistant
Keith Large .... location manager

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Germany:102 min | USA:102 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Colonel Zeller:Those are not our tanks out there. They are my tanks.See more »


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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Uneven but still intriguing, 24 June 2000
Author: Jordan-36 from Denton, TX

When I first saw this movie about ten years ago, I was blown away by it. On subsequent viewings, its flaws have become more apparent -- most of the characters are flatly written, a few of the minor roles are poorly played. However, the film still remains a worthy effort. Whereas most political films only pay lip service to ideological concerns, Power Play actually attempts to examine both what it means to live in a totalitarian regime and how easily the best intentions can be subverted. The film has a fine lead performance from David Hemmings. While he at first seems to be flamboyantly overacting, Peter O'Toole eventually reveals the chilling truth behind his character's manner. Lastly, Donald Pleasence plays the head of the Secret Police but, as opposed to later performances, doesn't descend into camp and is a frightfully Himmleresque figure. The scenes where he tortures a young woman are disturbing and, thankfully, played for outrage than for exploitation. Powerplay features a downbeat ending but in the end, its the only honest way the film could end. Check it out if you get a chance.

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