5.4/10
307
12 user 7 critic

Mrs. Pollifax-Spy (1971)

Mrs. Emily Pollifax of New Jersey goes to the CIA to volunteer for spy duty, being in her own opinion, expendable now that the children are grown and she's widowed. And being just what the ... See full summary »

Director:

Leslie H. Martinson (as Leslie Martinson)

Writers:

Rosalind Russell (screenplay) (as C.A. McKnight), Dorothy Gilman (book)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $4.99 on Prime Video

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When her doctor recommends that a widow pursue her unfulfilled life ambitions, he doesn't realize that she has always wanted to be a spy. Sending a letter to her congressman gets her an ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Pullen Shaw
Stars: Angela Lansbury, Thomas Ian Griffith, Ed Bishop
Rosie! (1967)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Rosie is a sweet, rich, generous woman, especially about giving away money. Daughters Mildred and Edith worry that she'll spend all their inheritance, so they plan to have her declared ... See full summary »

Director: David Lowell Rich
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Sandra Dee, Brian Aherne
The Crooked Hearts (TV Movie 1972)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Con-artist stalks members of club of rich old women.

Director: Jay Sandrich
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Rosalind Russell, Ross Martin
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An old-line Mother Superior is challenged by a modern young nun when they take the girls of St. Francis Academy on a bus trip across the U.S.A.

Director: James Neilson
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Stella Stevens, Binnie Barnes
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A mother drops her son and husband off at a tropical vacation spot for a little rest and relaxation. The only problem is that the husband has been dead for quite some time, and his wife had... See full summary »

Directors: Richard Quine, Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Robert Morse, Barbara Harris
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rosalind Russell ... Mrs. Pollifax
Darren McGavin ... Farrell
Nehemiah Persoff ... Berisha
Harold Gould ... Nexdhet
Albert Paulsen ... Perdido
John Beck ... Lulash
Dana Elcar ... Carstairs
James Wellman James Wellman ... Mason
Dennis Cross Dennis Cross ... Bishop
Nick Katurich Nick Katurich ... Stefan
Don Diamond ... DeGamez
Robert Donner ... Larrabee
Tom Hallick ... Roger
Edit

Storyline

Mrs. Emily Pollifax of New Jersey goes to the CIA to volunteer for spy duty, being in her own opinion, expendable now that the children are grown and she's widowed. And being just what the department needed (someone who looks and acts completely unlike a spy), she's assigned to simple courier duty to pick up a book in Mexico City. But when the pickup doesn't go as plan, Mrs. Pollifax finds herself handcuffed to a handsome stranger on a plane bound for an Albania prison. And it's up to her to get them out. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Before the Albanians and the Red Chinese started chasing her, the only action she knew was enzyme action. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Meteor Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

WILHELM SCREAM: When the soldier falls off the cliff after seeing Mrs. Pollifax and Farrell hiding. See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Pollifax looks in the mirror at the reflection of her hotel door, the digits of her hotel room number (700) should all be mirror images, including the "7" digit, but although the digits are correctly reversed in their order (007), the "7" is NOT reversed, as its mirror image actually would be. This is presumably because the film-makers didn't want the audience to miss the allusion to James Bond's number, 007. See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: Research for this film was done from a documentary picture-"The Three Faces of Communism" which was filmed in present day occupied Albania. See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 28 minutes from this film for its 1975 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Version of The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Spying - the Alternative to Retirement
29 August 2007 | by BogmeisterSee all my reviews

An unusual take on the spy / secret agent genre, Mrs. Pollifax represents a sideways look at what audiences had become accustomed to in the just-ended sixties, which were dominated by James Bond, his campy imitators and flashy, young femme fatales. The closest anyone came to this in the previous decade, in terms of a female spy, was probably "Fathom," starring a very young Raquel Welch. This one presents actress Russell in her final theatrical film, as a retired housewife and recent widow who strolls into C.I.A. headquarters and volunteers for the 'dirty tricks' business. There's a certain charm attached to this scenario and it continues throughout the film. Mrs. Pollifax, though entering her twilight years, is nowhere near senility, is very well spoken and seems sharper than most of the people around her. Her character was created in a series of mystery novels by Dorothy Gilman, kind of an American version of the British sleuth 'Miss Marple.' Russell also had a hand in the script, writing under a pseudonym. The tone of this film is kind of a cross between the tongue-in-cheek escapades of elderly adventurers and serious spy business, so it may strike some as a bit uneven. For example, even though Pollifax faces definite danger during the story, the filmmakers also throw in a sight gag referencing famous agent 007. In the plot, the C.I.A. rep expectedly dismisses Pollifax at first as a harmless eccentric, but there happens to be a simple courier job available in Mexico which the rep's boss (Elcar) thinks she is well suited for. And off we go.

I first saw this film only recently, having heard about it once or twice over the past 30 years. I was taken a bit by surprise as to the direction the story veers off to. Based on the rather bland atmosphere of the introduction and first few scenes at C.I.A. HQ, I expected Pollifax to have some sort of silly short adventure in Mexico, similar to a TV episode, and head back to the USA for more repartee with her supervisors and other agents. However, the courier job, which involved simply picking something up in a bookstore, does not go as planned: Pollifax finds herself leaving Mexico on an airplane heading to parts unknown with another captured agent, the seasoned & cynical Farrell (McGavin, just before "The Night Stalker"). After debarking the airplane at gunpoint, they're transported by automobile until the road runs out somewhere in the mountains and head further into the boonies via mule. By this point, I was thinking, what the hell is all this? They end up in the most isolated prison for spies imaginable, somewhere in Albania. Things looked very bleak but Pollifax is a 'never say die' type of dame and soon charms most of the guards and wardens (Persoff, Gould and John Beck in a very early role). The exception is Perdido (Paulsen), the one in charge, and it's clear that the two prisoners will eventually be executed. Pollifax soon takes charge of 'the mission' (mostly now an escape plan), despite Farrell's long experience in these matters. This kind of keeps you guessing most of the way, and, despite the slow spots in the early sections of the film, there's enough suspense to keep your attention to the very conclusion. Mrs. Pollifax would not return on film, as it happens, though there was a TV Movie in the nineties. Heroine:8 Villains:6 Male Fatales:7 Henchmen:5 Fights:4 Stunts/Chases:6 Gadgets:3 Auto:5 Locations:7 Pace:6 overall:6


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed