5.9/10
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63 user 59 critic

The Osterman Weekend (1983)

Trailer
2:47 | Trailer
During the Cold War, a controversial television journalist is asked by the C.I.A. to persuade certain acquaintances, who are Soviet Agents of the Omega network, to defect.

Director:

Sam Peckinpah

Writers:

Robert Ludlum (novel), Ian Masters (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rutger Hauer ... John Tanner
John Hurt ... Lawrence Fassett
Craig T. Nelson ... Bernard Osterman
Dennis Hopper ... Richard Tremayne
Chris Sarandon ... Joseph Cardone
Meg Foster ... Ali Tanner
Helen Shaver ... Virginia Tremayne
Cassie Yates ... Betty Cardone
Sandy McPeak ... Walter Stennings
Christopher Starr Christopher Starr ... Steve Tanner
Burt Lancaster ... Maxwell Danforth
Cheryl Carter Cheryl Carter ... Marcia Heller
John Bryson John Bryson ... Honeymoon Groom
Anne Haney ... Honeymoon Bride
Kristen Peckinpah Kristen Peckinpah ... Tremayne's Secretary
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Storyline

In this adaptation of the Robert Ludlum novel, the host of an investigative news program has been convinced by the C.I.A. that the friends and associates he's invited to weekend with him in the country are actually engaged in a nefarious conspiracy which threatens national security, Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It will be a weekend to remember...if they survive it! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Osterman-Weekend See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$301,129, 23 October 1983

Gross USA:

$6,486,797

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,486,797
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first movie in two consecutive years where Sir John Hurt starred in a surveillance movie. Hurt appeared in George Orwell's 1984 (1984). See more »

Goofs

In the kitchen scene after Ali and the Tanner son are kidnapped, Ali refers to the boy as 'Steve', which is supposed to be the character's name according to the closing credits. But the actor's real name is Christopher, and he is referred to as 'Christopher' or 'Chris' numerous times throughout the movie. Note that it may have been challenging for Meg Foster to remember to refer to him as 'Steve' since he is her real life son. See more »

Quotes

Maxwell Danforth: Suppose I was to tell you that our enemies are capable of impairing rational thought, of dismantling our willingness to defend ourself, of dissociating whole societies from their value systems.
John Tanner: You mean they've got televisions.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On the Anchor Bay DVD release there is a rough cut made by Sam Peckinpah which he made showed to the test audience. Because the majority of the audience walked out, from the imfamous sex between Fassett and his wife. The producer wanted Peckinpah to cut the scene out. Once he refuse to made the cuts, he got fired. Other scenes. 1) The sex scene is more extended and shot more wobbly to express how Fassett breaking point for revenge had started. 2) Delete scene of Osterman and Joe talking on the phone about their deal. 3) Extended scene of Virginia flirting with Dick on the phone. 4) There a deleted scene of John Tanner of having an affair with his director Marcia, there wakes up to find her dead. 5) The scene where Tanner and guest are arguing by the dinner table, in the theatrical cut Fassett switches on a Swiss ad, the Peckinpah's cut he has like a big image of Danforth. 6) Alterative ending is juxtapositioned between Tanner searching for his family and the TV studio. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Peckinpah's last
12 July 2001 | by virek213See all my reviews

After the utterly ridiculous good-ol'-boy trucker film CONVOY in 1978, Sam Peckinpah languished for five years before returning in 1983 with what would prove to be his final film--THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND, based on Robert Ludlum's maddeningly complex 1972 spy novel.

Despite the fact that it is often cold and sometimes confusing, this film's weakest moments are far superior to even the strongest moments of CONVOY. Rutger Hauer stars as a hard-hitting TV talk show host with a habit of skewering people inside the U.S. government. As this film opens, he is about to have a reunion with five friends of his from the good old days of 1960s radical college politics.

But then a CIA operative (John Hurt) drops a bombshell on him: Those friends of his (Craig T. Nelson, Dennis Hopper, Helen Shaver, Cassie Yates, Chris Sarandon) are supposedly traitors working for the Soviets in a scheme involving germ warfare sabotage. The result is that Hurt, with Hauer's reluctant acceptance, sets up surveillance equipment throughout Hauer's property to document further evidence of his friends' betrayal. When those people start coming unglued, however, more is at stake than just national security or the Cold War. So are peoples' lives!

Though Peckinpah was clearly on his last run while making it, THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND shows that he still could deliver the goods when it came to setting up great action sequences. The final shootout between Hurt's CIA underlings and Hauer and Nelson is edited in such a way as to resemble THE WILD BUNCH, while its actual filming suggests still another Peckinpah masterpiece, STRAW DOGS. Lalo Schifrin's score brilliantly accentuates things. Peckinpah, in depicting the head of the CIA (Burt Lancaster) as the heavy, also clearly makes a statement against America's heavy-handed approach toward Communism in the Reagan era.

All in all, despite its slight confusion, THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND works for those willing to give it a go.


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