7.2/10
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Trailer
2:56 | Trailer

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Grounded with a desk job by incompetent superiors, a clever CIA agent retires and writes a tell all memoir that will embarrass his bosses, prompting him to go on the run and elude them.

Director:

Ronald Neame

Writers:

Brian Garfield (novel), Brian Garfield (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Matthau ... Miles Kendig / James Butler / Mr. Hannaway / Leonard Ross
Glenda Jackson ... Isobel von Schmidt
Sam Waterston ... Joe Cutter
Ned Beatty ... G.P. Myerson
Herbert Lom ... Mikhail Yaskov
David Matthau David Matthau ... Leonard Ross
George Baker ... Parker Westlake
Ivor Roberts Ivor Roberts ... Ludlum
Lucy Saroyan Lucy Saroyan ... Carla
Severn Darden ... Maddox
George Pravda ... Saint Breheret
Jacquelyn Hyde Jacquelyn Hyde ... Realtor
Mike Gwilym Mike Gwilym ... Alfred P. Booker aka Alfie
Terry Beaver Terry Beaver ... Tobin
Ray Charleson Ray Charleson ... Clausen
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Storyline

CIA agent Miles Kendig decides to get out of 'the game' and to ensure he's left alone he threatens to send his memoirs to the world's intelligence agencies. When the CIA doesn't believe him, he calls their bluff and starts writing and sending out chapters one by one. Realizing that their operations would be compromised, the CIA (led by Myerson and Cutter) set out to put an end to Kendig's plan by whatever means necessary. The heart of the movie follows a game of cat and mouse between a fumbling CIA and an artful Kendig. Written by P. Wong <pwong@nt.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Together they're dynamite! Apart they're deadly... See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French | Russian

Release Date:

10 October 1980 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

2 sotto il divano See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the DVD special feature "Introduction by Neame & Garfield", Walter Matthau's agent suggested the film include music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as this would be pleasing to Matthau. So they made Matthau's character Kendig a lover of Mozart's music. Conductor and arranger Ian Fraser located many pieces of Mozart's music but was at a loss for the scenes where Kendig is typing his book. So they asked Matthau if he could make any suggestions and he obliged by finding some. See more »

Goofs

The Mrs. Myerson's voice in the two phone calls is different from that of actress Anne Haney who actually plays the part in a later scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Kendig: Hey Yaskov, how are ya?
Yaskov: Kendig. What as unexpected pleasure.
Kendig: May I have it please?
Yaskov: Have what?
Kendig: I got it all on film, Yaskov. You don't want to deal with the West Germans, they don't like Russian Intelligence, you know that. Just give it to me, and we'll forget all about it.
Yaskov: I could make a run for it, you know.
Kendig: Come on, Yaskov. You running, me chasing? We'd look like Laurel and Hardy.
See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD version contains both the original theatrical soundtrack and a redubbed soundtrack used for television release (replacing profanity and other objectionable dialogue). See more »


Soundtracks

Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in D major, K. 382
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Funny, charming, witty...don't overlook this one!
2 April 2006 | by wcj61See all my reviews

I agree with the above review completely: we watch this movie several times a year and it never gets old! It's like a fabulous view from a high place; you just never get tired of it. My rating of 10 reflects how much I love this picture. I don't think you can rent it but you can buy it. Recommended! As to picture quality: the movie was re-released on DVD with a complete remastering of both picture (fantastic!) and sound (good audio, but still monophonic; there's only so much you can do when the original is single-track mono) plus interviews with Ronald Neame (D) and Brian Garfield (writer of the novel and co-screenplay) a couple of years ago. The DVD is anamorphic widescreen, so all the stuff that was pan-and-scanned out of the VHS release is back, just like it was in the theater. I bought two copies as soon as it was available and sent one to my brother, who introduced me to this gem. One of my all-time favorites.

Note to producers: do NOT attempt to remake this picture. It would be folly. There are no actors on the planet who could pull it off. No one, I mean NO ONE has the charisma and charm of Walter Matthau, and the chemistry between he and Glenda Jackson isn't something you can fake. If anyone else had been the co-stars, this picture would have disappeared completely. You wouldn't remake It's a Wonderful Life, would you?


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