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The Dog It Was That Died (1989)

In Stoppard's "LeCarrecature, Rupert Purvis jumps off a bridge onto a dog, and causes problems for Blair, his superior at MI5. And Blair must convince Hogbin, the agent who's been tailing ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Blair
...
Purvis
Simon Cadell ...
Hogbin
...
Suleika
Geoffrey Chater ...
Wren
Ciaran Madden ...
Pamela
Robert Lang ...
...
Bildebeck
...
Dr. Seddon
Maurice Denham ...
Vicar
...
George
Steven Law ...
Turkish Escort
Andy Bradford ...
Follower
Stephen Jenn ...
Boris
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Storyline

In Stoppard's "LeCarrecature, Rupert Purvis jumps off a bridge onto a dog, and causes problems for Blair, his superior at MI5. And Blair must convince Hogbin, the agent who's been tailing Purvis, of which side Purvis is really on--once he finds out what it is. Written by Kathy Li

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Plot Keywords:

spy | based on play | See All (2) »

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Comedy

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Release Date:

January 1989 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The title of the movie is a quote delivered by the main character of the novel 'The Painted Veil' written by W. Somerset Maugham. Maugham is quoting Oliver Goldsmith's ironic poem "An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog" (1766) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Perfect Intersection of Stoppard and Bates
20 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

This rare, hard to find, made for TV film is as fast paced, as witty, and as bewildering as anything Tom Stoppard has written. Alan Bates plays the eye of the hurricane, the perfect, understated, thoroughly British, spymaster cum civil servant. He is plagued, as is everyone in the film, by his hobbies, and must deal with the failed suicide of one of his spies, who clearly didn't get it. Can there be anything more embarrassing than a suicide note that circulates while you are living? How very, very British of Stoppard. A delightful setup, all within the first two minutes(!), expertly exploited by Stoppard's intensely rich characters. That every one of them is so fully developed in just over an hour, speaks volumes for both Stoppard and the cast. Clearly, I liked it.

This role, plus the incomparable performance in Butley define Alan Bates for me. The stage presence, commanding your attention, has always been astonishing. The ultimate proof of Bates' talent was when he played opposite Olivier the last time, and despite his own reputation and stature, purposely ceded the spotlight and did not compete. A truly excellent and underrated actor was Alan Bates.


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