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Spies Like Us (1985) Poster

(1985)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (10) | Director Trademark (3) | Spoilers (1)
The movie was inspired by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby's "Road" movies, thus explaining Bob Hope's cameo appearance. Hope's cameo of less than 30 seconds playing a round of golf through a tent was his final appearance in a film.
The film originally ended with the destruction of the world, but test audiences didn't like it, so a new, happier, ending was shot on a sound-stage in Burbank.
In 2009 "Family Guy" presented something of a sequel to the movie called Family Guy: Spies Reminiscent of Us (2009), featuring Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd as themselves on another spy mission. They explain that President Reagan appointed them real-life spies after seeing the film.
The Russian phrase spoken by Dan Aykroyd to the Russian agents is: "Chem men'she znaesh', tem loocheh." This translates as: "The less you know, the better."
Vanessa Angel's first movie role.
As a guest on The Chevy Chase Show (10/4/93), Dan Aykroyd tells a story about he and Chase being pursued by a truck full of paratroopers, while on location in Morocco. Aykroyd had taken a snapshot of the military unit, who then pursued them at high speeds back to their hotel, where they evaded detection by abandoning their jeep and hiding inside a van with curtains in the windows. The next day, as a prank, Aykroyd had 'John Landis' tell Chase that he had been arrested and should expect them to be coming for him next.
The "Ace Tomato Company" is most likely a reference to United Fruit (now Chiquita Bananas) a company widely known to have been involved with the CIA in the 50s. The connection is subtly underlined with the name of one of the generals, Miegs: - one Henry Meiggs, an American business magnate operating in South America, was the uncle of one of the founders of what would become United Fruit.
The first movie collaboration of actor-comedians Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd.
Paul McCartney's "Spies Like Us" song for this film has been McCartney's final American solo top-ten hit in the USA [to date, July 2013].
Chevy Chase took the role originally intended for Joe Piscopo.
Actors Donna Dixon and Dan Aykroyd are married. They tied the knot after working together on Doctor Detroit (1983) and apart from this film also both appeared in The Couch Trip (1988) as did Chevy Chase who cameoed in it. Aykroyd and Dixon also both appeared in Exit to Eden (1994) and the fourth segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983).
In an interview on The Today Show (a.k.a. Today (1952)) (included on the Saturday Night Live: The Best of John Belushi (2005)), Dan Aykroyd stated that the movie that would eventually become Spies Like Us was intended to star Aykroyd and John Belushi. Belushi's death shortly after the interview obviously prevented his participation.
The answer to Emmett Fitzhume's question regarding who led the AL in HR's in 1953 is Al Rosen of the Cleveland Indians. Coincidentally, the last name Rosen was used as an alias (Dr. Rosen) in the movie Fletch, also starring Chevy Chase.
The "Spies Like Us" title song, which plays over the closing credits, went to the No. #13 spot in the UK pop charts. In the USA, it peaked at the No. #7 rank on the American charts in early 1986.
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The song, "Soul Finger", played by the Russians on a portable cassette deck was, as Milbarge says, recorded by the R&B group the Bar-Kays and released in 1967. The song was covered by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi's band, The Blues Brothers, for their 1980 album "Made in America".
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The final scene with the chess pieces represents Eastern Europe being knocked down - this pre-dated the Revolutions of 1989 where Eastern European nations overthrew their Communist regimes, leading to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
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Playing Colonel Rhumbus in this spy spoof, actor Bernie Casey had at the time recently appeared in the James Bond espionage film Never Say Never Again (1983), where Casey had played American CIA agent Felix Leiter.
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The movie that Emmett Fitz-Hume (Chevy Chase) watches while at his desk at the State Department is the musical She's Working Her Way Through College (1952), starring Virginia Mayo, Gene Nelson, and Ronald Reagan. The scene watched features the song "I'll be Loving You" by Vernon Duke and Sammy Cahn - and Reagan even sings!
In total there were nine cameos by directors alone which included: Costa-Gavras, Sam Raimi, Terry Gilliam, Joel Coen, Frank Oz, Michael Apted, Larry Cohen, Martin Brest, and Bob Swaim. None have ever directed either Dan Aykroyd or Chevy Chase in any of the 100 plus films any one of them made.
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When the computer operator sets the deflectors into bounce mode a moment before rocket launch, the computer plays tones that are the first notes of "The Jetsons" theme song.
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This spy spoof film's "Spies Like Us" title song was sung by Paul McCartney who had previously sung the title song for the James Bond espionage movie Live and Let Die (1973).
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In "Chuck Versus the Angel of Death", a communist state called Costa Gravas is featured. The name of one of the actors playing a Tadzhik Highway Patrolman is Costa Gavras.
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The movie was a commercial success at the box-office.
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Intelligence agencies featured in the film included the CIA, the KGB, The Pentagon and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
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This is one of six movies in which both writer-director-actor-producer Terry Gilliam (Dr. Imhaus) and writer-producer-actor Charles McKeown (Jerry Hadley) have both been involved with, in one capacity or another. The others include Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Monty Python and the Life of Brian, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and Time Bandits.
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One of two 1985 movies directed by John Landis. The other film was Into the Night (1985). Both pictures featured numerous cameo appearances. Dan Aykroyd and B.B. King appeared in both films.
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The acronym OIO was said to stand for "Obligated Involuntary Officer".
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Star Billing: Chevy Chase (1st), Dan Aykroyd (2nd), Steve Forrest (3rd), and Donna Dixon (4th) and Bruce Davison (5th).
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House in the beginning of the movie with the agent with the briefcase is 3320 N Street NW in Georgetown/Washington, DC.
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Principal photography on this picture started lensing in February 1985.
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Cameo 

B.B. King: As an Ace Tomato Agent (CIA agent) at the drive-in.
Sam Raimi: The director as a Drive-In Security Guard.
Derek Meddings: The film's visual effects supervisor as Dr. Stinson.
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Terry Gilliam: The director as a Dr. Imhaus.
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Joel Coen: The director as a Drive-In Security Guard.
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Michael Apted: The director as an Ace Tomato Agent.
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Bob Swaim: The director as a Special Forces Commander.
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Larry Cohen: The director as an Ace Tomato Agent.
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Ray Harryhausen: The fxpert as Dr. Marston.
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Bob Hope: As himself, a golfer.
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Director Trademark 

John Landis: [filmmakers] Appearances by directors Michael Apted, Martin Brest, Joel Coen, Larry Cohen, Costa-Gavras, Terry Gilliam, Frank Oz; Sam Raimi; filmmaker Ray Harryhausen; cinematographer Robert Paynter; and visual effects artist Derek Meddings.
John Landis: [Looking directly into the camera] Aykroyd's character looks directly into the camera when he realizes how the launched missile can be successfully stopped.
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John Landis: [SYNW] on the recruitment poster behind the desk of the commander of the army training post.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The missile from the end of the movie is targeted at Detroit (on the launch pad display, in Cyrillic).

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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