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Herbert B. Leonard
A mysterious millionaire buys an ad agency and begins to replace its employees with his own people, who don't appear to be advertising types at all. A copywriter begins to suspect that the man isn't interested in selling products as much as he is in inserting his own sinister political beliefs into the commercials the agency runs on TV in order to subliminally brainwash an unsuspecting public into supporting the causes and candidates he wants them to. When the copywriter confides his suspicions to a friend and soon afterwards is mysteriously killed, his friend begins his own investigation. Written by
In 1981 whilst visiting California I had a vacant evening. And so free from visiting friends and amusement parks and not wanting to waste the evening looking at four walls of a motel room or watch the novelty of 24hour TV (remember this was 1981 and TV in the UK still closed at around midnight) I ventured out to the local Cinema to watch "Agency". From the TV trailers this promised to be an exciting story of the deceitful nature of advertisers who manipulate and lie so as to entice us, the unsuspecting general public towards the products. The trailer certainly worked; unfortunately the movie itself was as far from the mark as I was from home. The whole of the story had already been told in the 30 second trailer and there was nothing added to it. Robert Mitchum's character was not given anywhere near the scope to fulfil the potential that such a Hollywood movie idol deserves and the character of Philip Morgan played by Lee Majors could have been played by any of a dozen or more actors.
To sum up - this is without doubt the worst movie I have ever endured at a cinema. Having suffered the 94 minutes (are you sure it was only 94 minutes - it seemed like an awful lot more to me), the four walls of the motel suddenly began to have a certain attraction - and as for 24 hour TV!!!
If you ever get the chance to see this film do yourself a favour - lock yourself in your house and throw the keys out of the window, tape up your eyes, plug your ears or better still stay in your room and look at four blank walls. The overall effect is the same but without the hassle and expense of going out.
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