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The Endless Game 

A British Agent comes back from retirement, after several of his former colleagues, including his former lover, are murdered. He must examine events from his own past to determine who killed them, and why.
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1  
1989  

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Albert Finney ...  Alec Hillsden 2 episodes, 1989
George Segal ...  Mr. Miller 2 episodes, 1989
Monica Guerritore ...  Silvia 2 episodes, 1989
Ian Holm ...  Control 2 episodes, 1989
Kristin Scott Thomas ...  Caroline 2 episodes, 1989
Benedick Blythe Benedick Blythe ...  Gunther 2 episodes, 1989
Julian Holloway ...  Waddington 2 episodes, 1989
Michael Medwin ...  Bayldon 2 episodes, 1989
John Standing ...  Belfrage 2 episodes, 1989
Sandor Elès ...  Hansel 2 episodes, 1989
Pamela Armstrong Pamela Armstrong ...  TV Newscaster 2 episodes, 1989
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Storyline

A British Agent comes back from retirement, after several of his former colleagues, including his former lover, are murdered. He must examine events from his own past to determine who killed them, and why.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There are no rules. There is only survival.


Certificate:

PG-13
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 January 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Endless Game See more »

Filming Locations:

Austria See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Belfrage: What do you believe in, Hillsden?
Alec Hillsden: Religion, you mean?
Belfrage: No, belief. What holds you together?
Alec Hillsden: Oh, that. I believe in evil, plain old-fashioned evil. That way you're never disappointed. Expect the worst, the rest is a bonus.
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User Reviews

Espionage Forbes style
29 June 2006 | by sol-See all my reviews

During the 1960s, Bryan Forbes directed a small number of black and white films with excellent visual designs that were perfectly suited to the screenplays. This film, made towards the end of his film career, is not quite on the level of some of his earlier efforts, however his talent for directing is still quite visible in this film, which he wrote as well as directed, based on his own novel.

One sequence that is particularly well done features Finney meeting up with an old acquaintance on friendly terms, but slowly their conversation starts to turn into an interrogation. As this change progresses, the camera angles also start to tilt to one side. By the end of the scene, the shots are all on angles of at least 30 degrees. But perhaps the most amazing thing is that the characters are still shot so that they appear upwards - it is just the sets that look like they have gone askew, reflecting how their conversation has gone askew.

Another superb sequence features Finney and his wife are having an argument while the television set is turned on. While his wife is heard shouting at him, he is either seen looking at her, or the television set is seen from his point of view. The volume on the television sets seems muted, but then all of a sudden the television volume increases as something of interest to him appears on TV, and yet his wife can still be heard, showing his shift in concentration to the television set, with his wife as a distraction.

In general though, the film is visually and audibly interesting. The scenes in the first half that involve Segal are filmed in a very different manner to everything else, with Segal viewed from high camera angles, and yet he is still able to exert a sense of a menace since we are positioned on a different level to him. The overall camera-work is great: following the characters around and extended tracking shots as characters cross streets. The beginning shots are also very reminiscent of the opening shots in 'The Whisperers' and the kidnapping scene in 'Seance on a Wet Afternoon'.

The film's weakest area is probably the acting. George Segal is fine throughout, however the rest of the performances vary in effectiveness, particularly Albert Finney. Towards the end he is very intense and credible, but towards the beginning he delivers his lines in a fashion so that the words droop off towards the end - the way he says his dialogue is rather flat. Most of the supporting performances are a bit stale too - although maybe Forbes was trying to achieve something here, as the dialogue that the supporting characters speak more often than not sounds rehearsed and unnatural.

Ennio Morricone's music compositions for the film are used to great effect towards the end, particularly mood-setting during certain shots, but in the first half of the film his music more so played at just the usual dramatic points. The frequent use of dissolves is a bit distracting, especially some of the extended ones, but the overall editing design brings an interesting feel because it is so unusual for a espionage movie, in which just straight cuts are often the norm. And overall, 'The Endless Game' is unusual espionage movie, but in the best sense possible. Having written the source material, Forbes knows in every shot the exact sensations that he was trying to achieve in his novel, and the resulting product is as engaging as a good spy novel.


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