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Covert Action (1988)

Not Rated | | Action, War | 29 June 1988 (USA)
Inside the stately Senate Hearing Room, Frank White, professional soldier, Vietnam vet and CIA operative, is fighting the toughest battle of his life: he's on trial for the assassination of... See full summary »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Burns
J. Christian Ingvordsen ...
Stuart Garrison Day ...
Rodger Blunt
Amanda Zinsser ...
Whitney Todd
Johnny Stumper ...
Senator Stumper
Joe Ambrose ...
Director Cunningham
Spike Ryan ...
Steven Kaman ...
Edwin Gomez ...
Prison Guard
Henry Torrès ...
Prison Guard
Glen Hancock ...
Detective Bryant
Charles Kay-Hume ...
Barry Feld
Robert Khaleel ...
David Galasso ...
Raphael Oritz
Douglas Dechert ...
Doug Harris


Inside the stately Senate Hearing Room, Frank White, professional soldier, Vietnam vet and CIA operative, is fighting the toughest battle of his life: he's on trial for the assassination of Miguel Rivera, a Central American diplomat. Only two men could have made the shot - White or his friend Rick Burns, ex-military sniper now working as a Mafia hitman. Testimony unravels the intricate web created by Rivera and Daniel Waterman, head of an international cartel dabbling in both Latin American Politics and cocaine. A while back, White and Burns led a commando assault into the Colombian jungle to destroy Waterman's main cocaine processing factory. After a vicious battle against counter-attacking mercenaries the entire strike team was slaughtered...all except for White and Burns. Burns returned home with a bitter obsession: revenge. But Waterman discovered his plan to assassinate Rivera and set out to stop it by blackmailing Frank White. Desperate, White turned to beautiful WHITNEY TODD, ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One Man Under Fire. See more »


Action | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 June 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bak fiendens linjer  »

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Did You Know?


The film's trailer reuses music from Hangmen, another film from J. Christian Ingvordsen. See more »


Frank White: They took us to a shitty, stinking prison run by the secret police. It was a one-way deal. They put you in but you'd never get out.
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Referenced in Mob War (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

A routine recipe of familiar ingredients
11 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

Movies that are twenty years old but have earned only one comment deserve more attention. In this case we have the usual "jungle commando adventure" wedded to the "corrupt Washington politics" plot. While testifying before a Congressional subcommittee, ex-Marine Lt. Frank White tells of a covert CIA operation designed to eliminate a drug ring operating in Central America. Scenes of White sparring with a venal and ambitious Congressman alternate with flashback scenes set in Central America -- scenes filled with gunfire and explosions. This arrangement is an efficient way to get the story across but action fans, at whom this movie seems to be aimed, may find the Washington scenes a bit tedious. Perhaps in recognition of this the movie ends with a chase-stalk-and-shootout sequence that is set in Washington rather than Central America but the sequence's degree of action and suspense don't justify its length. A continuing problem is that much of the plot hinges on the friendship between Frank White and sniper Rick Burns but this friendship is poorly developed and never very convincing. (White is played by J. Christian Ingvordsen who also directed and co-wrote the movie. He qualifies as an adequate leading man and he looks good with his shirt off.)

Remember those "macho" men's magazines with covers showing bound and bare-chested men being threatened by a beautiful Nazi babe wielding a whip? Fans of those magazines will enjoy this movie's Central American section wherein five American soldiers are captured and imprisoned by armed men working for the drug cartel. There are scenes of these prisoners, stripped to the waist and gleaming with sweat, being marched along hallways and down stairs, hands cupped behind heads. Occasionally they're tied up, arms stretched above their heads, and splashed with water. This culminates in a torture scene in which one bound man is punched in the gut, another one, seated in a chair, is given an electric shock, and a third is approached by a torturer carrying a hot iron. Before the hot iron can be applied to the prisoner's bare torso with an appropriate sizzling sound, however, the torturer is distracted -- and the audience is disappointed! For the record, the almost-scorched man is played by Spike Ryan.

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