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Once Upon a Spy (1980)

Ted Danson plays a computer genius who gets involved in the theft of an important NASA computer, then thrust into the world of espionage with Christopher Lee.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jack Chenault
... Paige Tannehill
... Marcus Valorium
... the Lady
... Dr. Webster
Terry Lester ... Rudy
... Susan
... Christine (as Yuliis Ruval)
Irena Ferris ... Greta
... Burkle
Gary Dontzig ... Klaus
... Hans
Vicky Perry ... the Cashier
... Chief (as John R. Hostetter)
... Commander


Ted Danson plays a computer genius who gets involved in the theft of an important NASA computer, then thrust into the world of espionage with Christopher Lee.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Attention James Bond Fans! This is Your Kind of Movie! See more »


Action | Thriller | Drama


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Release Date:

19 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lethal Games  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Watch for a mysterious costume change near the end of the film. One minute, Paige is wearing a rather sexy skintight yellow catsuit, the next she's wearing a top and stretch pants, with the pants in a slightly different shade of yellow! See more »


Marcus Valorium: How many years has it been now?
Jack Chenault: Twelve.
Marcus Valorium: And seventeen days.
Jack Chenault: That's a great memory.
Marcus Valorium: I don't like losing, Chenault.
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References You Only Live Twice (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

Before the Mac
22 September 2014 | by See all my reviews

I guess this television Movie of the Week planned to be back-door series pilot. A hokum version of The Man from Uncle with the James Bond like theme after the opening titles.

It stars a young Ted Danson as a government computer expert called in by a mysterious American intelligence service to track down a supercomputer stolen by dastardly Christopher Lee.

The reluctant Danson is paired up with attractive, blonde agent Mary Louise Weller and they make a good pair and Danson does well with the comedy and drama and has some literate lines although the plot is tosh. The final challenge set by Lee is called the Cat and the Canary with some Pacman type graphics.

As it was shown in 1980 a few years before films like Wargames and just before the Home Computer boom of the early 1980s, you have big computers the size of several walls that play a nifty game of chess just like the supercomputer in Wargames.

Danson shows talent which would make him a star a few years later in Cheers, but the the film was rather flimsy. It lacked the spark of the Man from from Uncle and I could not take seriously the secret entrance to the agency's office via a Tunnel of Love ride. From the short of the big wooden roller coaster, it looked like Knott's Berry Park!

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