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The Bourne Identity (1988)

TV Mini-Series  |  Unrated  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,136 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 11 critic

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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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
 Jason Bourne (unknown episodes)


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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the book by Robert Ludlam, the master writer of international espionage. See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

8 May 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bourne rejtély  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (remix for video release)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


In one scene, Marie St. James mentions an underground tunnel between the terminal building and the parking lot at the Ottawa airport. No such tunnel has ever existed. See more »


Jason Bourne: Why here, Geoff, when you're as good as you are?
Geoffrey Washburn: 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 »


Version of The Bourne Identity (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

26 October 2002 | by (England) – See all my reviews

I have just finished watching this Movie and felt very complelled to come and write a review on here.

Where to start??! A good compliament of "The Bourne Identity" is simply that the 3 hours went by very quickly, never dragged on. It would have been perfect I imagine when first screened, over two evenings and the end of the first part is an excellent cliff hanger!

I loved the way clues, plot pieces unraveled as the Movie went along. The micro chip... finding out Bourne's name?... various clues forced out of people...

Richard Chamberlain, was good, likeable. He tackled the role very well and was, in the most part, very sucessful. Jaclyn Smith, I suppose, was the reason I watched this Movie. I am a fan of hers, initially from Charlie's Angels of course, and this was the 8th Movie featuring her I have collected. Because it's the most recent one I have seen I would be inclined to say it is my favourite but I honestly think it is! Far too often her Movies are family dramas and this is a Spy Thriller!! Yay! Marie (Jaclyn's character) develops a great deal through the Movie, her preconceptions alter, she falls in love, she becomes stronger.

I get the impression the 2002 version won't spend as much time focussing on the relationship between Bourne and Marie but I think that is just as important as the action. I certainly imagine the action scenes are better. There are no major complaints I can make about the action in this 1988 version except perhaps the "fat villain" may not have been very good at it, not too convincing. To mention one other slight down side to the film (there must be + and -) the opening scene didn't look great, of the ship, looked a bit model-ly.

But that is simply because there was no huge budget, afterall it is a TV Movie, and an excellent one at that! A good cast, Paris was an inspired choice for the main location of the movie and overall this is a Movie with a fantastic plot and main cast.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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to those people who thought this was better than the Damon versions... JacksImdbAccount
Not only bad but AWFUL holdingz1
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