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S*P*Y*S (1974)

In 1974, flanked by such filmic monuments to paranoia and corruption as Chinatown and The Parallax View, Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland tried to re-create the screwball nonchalance of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Sybil (as Zou Zou)
...
Xavier Gélin ...
Paul (Revolutionary)
...
Borisenko (Russian Spy Chief)
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Sevitsky (Defector)
...
Hessler
Kenneth Griffith ...
Lippet
Pierre Oudrey ...
Revolutionary (as Pierre Oudry)
Kenneth J. Warren ...
Grubov
...
Lafayette
Jeffry Wickham ...
Seely (as Jeffrey Wickham)
...
Croft
...
Evans
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Storyline

In 1974, flanked by such filmic monuments to paranoia and corruption as Chinatown and The Parallax View, Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland tried to re-create the screwball nonchalance of their earlier M*A*S*H performances in this lightweight spy spoof, directed by Irvin Kershner. Gould and Sutherland play two CIA agents-Griff and Bruland-who are marked for death by their own agency after botching the defection of a Russian ballet dancer (Michael Petrovich). As they repeatedly mess up their assignments and wriggle out of tight corners, they not only find themselves pursued by the CIA, but also by the KGB, the Chinese Communists, and a terrorist group that wants to destroy the CIA. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

With SPYS like SUTHERLAND & GOULD who needs enemies? See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 September 1974 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Wet Stuff  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

S*P*Y*S (1974) was originally titled 'Wet Stuff', but was changed because the producers were hoping with the re-teaming of Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland they could tie it to the success of MASH (1970). This change was something that bothered director Irvin Kershner.

In an interview about the film, Kershner said "I started to make a film that was a little black comedy, and I empathized that it had no relationship to Robert Altman's 'M*A*S*H', in which, of course, they'd been teamed so brilliantly. The original title was 'Wet Stuff', meaning blood. And the studio promised that there would be no attempt to compare it to 'M*A*S*H' in the publicity. Because it wasn't like that. It wasn't that kind of freewheeling film. There was no time nor the budget to do that sort of film anyway."

Kershner also pointed out that the film had much success in countries that hadn't seen M*A*S*H and comparisons weren't being made. "Now, there were many places where they hadn't seen 'M*A*S*H', like parts of South America, Scandinavia or Germany... In those areas they loved 'S*P*Y*S'. Actually the film made a lot of money. And it got some great reviews in countries where it wasn't compared to 'M*A*S*H'." See more »

Goofs

When Griff and Bruland and the Russian gymnast are escaping by jumping over a railing, the stair landing is obviously cushioned. See more »

Quotes

Bruland: The Chinese are quiet, right? The Russians are quick, and we're sloppy.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Dead Men Don't Die (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria
(uncredited)
Played at the wedding rehearsal at the church
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nowhere as bad as the user ratings imply
26 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

SPYS is an aggressive laugh out comedy in the tradition of the old "Road" pictures that never really works. It has no real plot so to speak and relies on the chemistry of the lead actors of which there is plenty for its appeal. Wise cracks fly aplenty and barbs of witticism fill the air. This hit movie which was released in 1974 feels like a movie from the 80s. There is a certain fluidity of camera and mis-en-scene that MTV brought to the eighties movies that permeates the aurae of this movie. It feels like a 1985 movie SPYS and the likes that ruled the beat-box era. Laughs ring true after a very strong start but even a plot less seems or needs to deceive the audience into thinking it has a direction. The plot is silly if not confusing and just happens and the french actress Zuzou who was also a popular singer isn't very good. She just complicates matters. In all, not great but the ending is bitter-sweet and sharp on the money. You wish the movie itself had that kind of vive de joie.


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