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The Amateur (1981)

5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 607 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 2 critic

A researcher for the CIA who convinces his superiors to send him to the eastern bloc in order to avenge the murder of his wife by enemy agents discovers a web of deception underneath his ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Charles Heller
...
Professor Lakos
...
Elisabeth
Arthur Hill ...
Brewer
...
Schraeger
...
Rutledge
...
Molton
...
Kaplan
...
Anderson
Miguel Fernandes ...
Botaro
Jan Tríska ...
Rodzenko
Graham Jarvis ...
Porter
Jacques Godin ...
Argus
Chapelle Jaffe ...
Gretchen
...
Sarah
Edit

Storyline

A researcher for the CIA who convinces his superiors to send him to the eastern bloc in order to avenge the murder of his wife by enemy agents discovers a web of deception underneath his wife's death. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

At 29, Charles Heller was a mathematician without equal. At the CIA, he was a computer expert without peer. But when terrorists murdered the most important woman in his life, he became an assassin without experience. To avenge her death, the CIA trained him, briefed him, armed him, and then...they abandoned him. The first 11 minutes will absolutely shock you. The last 11 minutes will rivet you to your seat. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 February 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'homme de Prague  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 10,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some movie posters for this film featured a long text preamble that read: "At 29, Charles Heller was a mathematician without equal. At the CIA, he was a computer expert without peer. But when terrorists murdered the most important woman in his life, he became an assassin without experience. To avenge her death, the CIA trained him, briefed him, armed him, and then...they abandoned him. The first 11 minutes will absolutely shock you. The last 11 minutes will rivet you to your seat. The Amateur". See more »

Quotes

Kaplan: I lost my first wife, my first family. Two beautiful little girls. In the war, in the camps. I thought for a long time the loss would kill me but, I survived.
Charles Heller: How?
Kaplan: By creating a ritual to keep me alive. To survive the death of people close to you, you need a ritual. A ritual for revenge is what I made. I thought about it and planned it every waking moment. When I got out I spent three years tracking down the doctor who sent them to the camps.
Charles Heller: Did you fing him?
Kaplan: I found him, yes.
Charles Heller: What did... what...
[...]
See more »

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User Reviews

Half what it could have been.
7 January 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie is along the lines of "Gorky Park," "The Macintosh Man" and "The Spy Who Came In from The Cold." That is, it's a dark, cerebral spy flick. I happen to love this type of movie. However, "The Amateur" pales in comparison to the others mentioned.

It could have been remarkable. The basic concept is strong, and several scenes are excellent. However, much of the dialog and editing are plodding, awkward, and slow.

Additionally, John Savage is one of the most wooden actors ever to find work in Hollywood. How anyone could have cast him in this role is beyond my comprehension. Keanu Reeves is positively Shakesperian by comparison.

I can only imagine how good this film might have been with a little quicker editing, and, say, a young Paul Newman in the lead role.

Still, if you're a fan of the genre, and can stay seated through the boring scenes, this is not a bad movie. -just far from a great one.


10 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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