A 1988 television adaptation of Robert Ludlum's thriller. An injured, unconscious man (Richard Chamberlain) washes ashore in a small French town. As he recovers, it becomes quite clear, someone is trying to kill him. Jaclyn Smith co-stars.
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Kevin James Dobson
An unconscious man is washed ashore on the beach of a small French village during a heavy storm. A retired doctor takes care of the unconscious stranger. When the mysterious man recovers, he can't remember a thing...he does not know his name, he does not know where his flashback memories come from, and he does not know why the access code for an anonymous Swiss bank account is implanted in his thigh. As he seeks his own identity, things quickly become dangerous. There are attempts to kill him, he is well known in first class hotels across Europe, and worst of all, there are strange similarities between his memories and reported actions of the notorious terrorist, Carlos the Jackal. Written by
Alto Speckhardt <Alto.Speckhardt@student.uni-ulm.de>
Abbott (Donald Moffat) says that Interpol had been trying to catch Carlos for 20 years. In fact, the real Carlos was born in 1949, and did not become a terrorist until 1970, at age 21, when he joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Therefor, if Interpol had been trying to catch him for 20 years in 1987 (when the movie was in production), they would have been trying to catch him before he was known to the world. In actuality, he was not known until his first successful bombing, in France, 1975, just 12 years prior to production. See more »
When Bourne shoots buckshot at a gas tank from fifty meters/yards, buckshot from that distance would not make a gas tank combust (it probably won't even make a dent), and lead pellets do not spark when they hit cast iron. See more »
Why here, Geoff, when you're as good as you are?
They said I was drunk. They said I killed two patients on the operating table because I was drunk. I could've got away with one but not two. They said they saw a pattern emerging.
See more »
"The Bourne Identity" (1988) is a faithful recreation of Robert Ludlum's book about an amnesiac slowly (in a very long book) discovering who he is. The supporting cast is dotted with veterans that make the movie come to life during their brief parts: Denholm Elliott, Anthony Quayle, Peter Vaughan, James Faulkner.
The stars strain to carry the movie. Jaclyn Smith is immensely watchable, though her range is limited. Richard Chamberlain is a fine actor, but, perhaps because of insufficient rehearsal time or because he was never able to find a character who didn't know who he was, he comes off with the range of Bill Bixby, though that keeps him from burying Smith. In the end, Chamberlain may be much too nice for the character, but he's a likable actor and she's a likable actress and they make a pretty pair.
Because it was originally a two-part television drama, the 1988 "Bourne" has sufficient time to let the story unfold, as well as to build the unlikely relationship between Chamberlain's character and Smith's. It also gives the supporting characters flesh out their meager parts. After a slam-bang first hour, the movie settles into a more leisurely pace (that occasionally drags), that builds again into an exciting final hour.
The possible overplotting, as well as the outright absurdities (such as the truth of Treadstone 21) are squarely to be laid at Ludlum's door. And though it's quite faithful to Ludlum, the setting of the climax makes this movie version far more poignant than Ludlum himself was capable of.
"The Bourne Identity" has the technology of '80s television, so newcomers shouldn't expect contemporary sensibilities. It may not be as exciting as the remake, but it has a solid storyline.
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