6.5/10
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32 user 14 critic

The Fourth Protocol (1987)

John Preston is a British Agent with the task of preventing the Russians detonating a nuclear explosion next to an American base in the UK. The Russians are hoping this will shatter the "special relationship" between the two countries.

Director:

John Mackenzie

Writers:

George Axelrod (screen story), Richard Burridge (additional material) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... John Preston
Pierce Brosnan ... Valeri Petrofsky / James Edward Ross
Ned Beatty ... Borisov / Pavel Petrovic
Joanna Cassidy ... Irina Vassilievna
Julian Glover ... Brian Harcourt-Smith
Michael Gough ... Sir Bernard Hemmings
Ray McAnally ... General Karpov
Ian Richardson ... Sir Nigel Irvine
Anton Rodgers ... George Berenson
Caroline Blakiston ... Angela Berenson
Joseph Brady ... Carmichael
Betsy Brantley Betsy Brantley ... Eileen McWhirter
Sean Chapman ... Captain Lyndhurst
Matt Frewer ... Tom McWhirter
Jerry Harte Jerry Harte ... Professor Krilov
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Storyline

KGB agent Major Valeri Petrofsky has been reassigned at the request of the KGB Chairman for a secret mission wherein he is sent to England to establish a residence near an American military base and receive various items from couriers from the USSR. John Preston is the top British spy catcher, currently at odds with his superior because he doesn't lick his boots. After he conducts an operation without his superior's permission caused his superior some embarrassment, he is reassigned to the menial task of overseeing airports and ports. One day one the couriers Petrofsky was expecting comes off a freighter has an accident which leaves him dead. Preston is informed by the pathologist that the man is not a seaman so Preston goes through his things and finds that he was carrying something which he is told is an atomic bomb component. Preston now suspects that someone is bringing in parts for an atomic bomb, his superior doesn't want to let Preston be proven right so he doesn't authorize ... Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If the Fourth Protocol is ever breached, there would be no warning, just a nuclear explosion from a bedsitter...The unthinkable has just begun... See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 August 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cuarto protocolo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,423,831
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fourth Protocol See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two lead roles in this spy movie are played by actors who have played famous spies: Sir Michael Caine (Harry Palmer) and Pierce Brosnan (James Bond). See more »

Goofs

The van's blue number plate gets smashed when trying to escape the traffic jam, yet is intact later. See more »

Quotes

General Karpov: Govershin need not last forever.
Borisov: [Realizing what Karpov is suggesting] I want to die in my bed.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version shown on British Television contains all the violence but is missing one entire scene involving Michael Caine knocking out two racially abusive skinheads on an underground train. The scene was reinstated for the BBC1 showing on 8th February 2006. See more »


Soundtracks

We Shall Overcome
(uncredited)
Musical and Lyrical adaptation by Zilphia Horton, Frank Hamilton, Guy Carawan and Pete Seeger
Sung by the protesters at the air force base
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretty standard spy thriller with a good performance from Pierce Brosnan
2 February 2015 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

Rogue spies try to undermine the Fourth Protocol, which is a secret agreement between the USA, Britain and Russia to cease smuggling nuclear weapons into their respective countries. A Soviet agent is sent to the UK to stage a nuclear accident that could be blamed on the Americans and set off a chain reaction of events to unbalance this stand-off.

The Fourth Protocol is based on a novel written by Frederick Forsyth. I have never read it but have read others by this author. His style focuses on the intricate detail of the spy/politics of his thrillers, while his characters contrastingly always seem to be really cardboard, with very little recognisably human about them. With this in mind it's not too surprising that The Day of the Jackal was his most successful book, seeing as the very blankness of the central character was an actual important plot point. But usually this weakness in characterisation is more noticeable. The Fourth Protocol is a quite typical Forsyth spy thriller, in that it has a fairly detailed plot and paper thin characters. Michael Caine phones it in as a Harry Palmer type spy who doesn't play by the rules. It's a quite weak and clichéd character and to be honest Caine doesn't bring much to the table with this one. Pierce Brosnan, on the other hand, is pretty good as the cold Soviet killer. Like in Day of the Jackal, it's this villain who is the more interesting when set alongside the dull heroes, meaning that its actually the bad guy whom we want to succeed, which I'm sure could not have exactly been the original intention. Unlike Caine, Brosnan is playing against type and certainly makes better work of what he is given and is certainly the best thing about the movie. On the whole, this is a pretty standard spy film, with nothing very distinctive about it. Despite its generic nature, it is quite enjoyable though.


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