The KGB is looking for one of their people, a man named Dalchimsky because he has stolen something important but, unfortunately, he manages to get through the border. Later in the U.S. some seemingly ordinary people after receiving a phone call go out and destroy key American military installations. Back in the U.S.S.R. General Strelsky and Colonel Malchenko send for Grigori Borzov, a KGB agent who has been to the U.S. on missions before. They inform him that after the U-2 incident in fear of the possibility that a war with the U.S. will occur; they were part of an operation called TELEFON that involved recruiting young agents and then brainwashing them into believing that they are Americans. They would assume the identity of an American who died a long time ago and who would be their age now. They would be situated in a city that is near or where a key U.S. military installation is located. They were also programmed to destroy upon receiving the command phrase. They have been ...Written by
When Borzov (Charles Bronson) encounters Immigration on the Canadian border, the agent asks about his citizenship and birthplace, to which he responds, "American, from Pennsylvania", Bronson's true birthplace. See more »
The helicopter sent by the KGB to retrieve Borzov from the hockey practice in Moscow is a French Alouette, which was never used by the USSR. See more »
This isn't the most well-known movie in the world, so I really wonder if anyone realized that the Zucker/Zucker/Abrams team that made the original "Naked Gun" copied the whole idea of everyday people activated as assassins with bizarre catchphrases directly from this movie (remember the scene in which Ricardo Monalban "activates" his sweet elderly secretary, played coincidentally by the Zuckers' own mother, to go on a shooting rampage). I have no doubt about it: I went to the U.S. premier of "Naked Gun 33 1/3" in Milwaukee (the hometown of myself and the filmmakers) at which David Zucker said that for each of their movies, they would copy plot lines directly from serious, sometimes obscure genre films like this. I thought of this movie immediately when I saw "Naked Gun" for the first time. When you think about it, the central idea of everyday people becoming murderous robots just by hearing a stanza from Robert Frost is pretty funny by itself, and the Zuckers milked all the absurdity they could from it.
I have rather fond memories of watching this film when it was broadcast at odd hours on a local independent television station. The ideas this movie adapted from Walter Wager's original novel were quite creative, but I recall the acting of everyone here to be pretty bad (especially leads Bronson and Remick). The old-fashioned '70s computers, rotary phones, and Cold War ultra-seriousness further diminish its effectiveness. This isn't the kind of movie MGM is probably anxious to reissue on a deluxe DVD - probably because its two stars and director are all deceased, but it is a reasonably entertaining film to catch on television.
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