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The Osterman Weekend (1983)

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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:

...isolation, violence, slaughter 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$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

Meg Foster and her son Christopher Starr appeared in this movie playing mother and son Ali Tanner and Steve Tanner, respectively, Rutger Hauer's John Tanner, being her husband, and his father. To date (April 2019), this is the only movie credit for Starr. Sam Peckinpah had previously directed his father Ron Starr in Ride the High Country (1962). See more »

Goofs

In the car chase, before the taxi hits the loader with the huge steel pipe, the cab driver ducks down sideways on the front seat. The next slow motion scene shows the pipe crashing through the taxi windshield. That segues into a scene with the taxi driver again sitting up and looking horrified before the crash. And finally, it goes back to a scene with the pipe having crashed through the windshield. See more »

Quotes

Bernard Osterman: The truth is just a lie that hasn't been found out.
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

 
Turn off your television..... if you can!
16 April 2010 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

For all the poor reviews this film originally got, it isn't that bad. Sam Peckinpah's final film deals with the cold war, double agents, mind games, and how we watch such things every day through our television screens. And its often the perception of the camera that gives us our own. Even during the more confusing parts, the film is difficult to turn away from. The cast is exceptional, there is quite a bit of action, and you will sometimes feel the need to back up and re-watch some scenes. There were certainly worse films being made back in those days...

The central character is a television host played by the typically outstanding Rutger Hauer. One day he is summoned to a meeting with the CIA who instruct him that three of his best friends are really KGB agents and he must help expose them! That would be quite a thing to hear. Hauer is at first approached by John Hurt (who steals this movie), and then by the CIA director played by Burt Lancaster. Once Hauer agrees to expose his friends over the course of a weekend at his place, they inform him he never had a choice but to do so, anyway! Nice bunch of guys at the CIA. Hurt clearly has his own agenda, and it is one of revenge since Lancaster apparently once ordered Hurt's wife killed to protect their operations in Europe. And Hurt does not hesitate putting Hauer and his friends in jeopardy to achieve his goals. Are the friends KGB? I don't think we ever learn for sure if any are, but they do have left-leaning attitudes as well as things to hide. Honestly, by the end of this film it hardly even matters. The film concludes with both Hurt and Lancaster being exposed as crooked on Hauer's TV show, and Hauer attempting to rescue his wife and child from Hurt. Yes the plot is messy, but its based on a novel. Often times there are important things that need to be left out of a novel in order to have time to make it into a movie. That could be one explanation for the impenetrable plot details.

Peckinpah may have been near death, but this is still his film. You can tell with all the pretty women, slow motion action and gun play. Peckinpah claims the studio wanted him to re-cut it after a poor test audience reaction. But by this late stage in his life, it is unclear that he had the facilities to make this one a true winner. Give this film a try if you stumble across it. Or maybe just read the book. 6 0f 10 stars.

The Hound.


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