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Holcroft Covenant

43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Michael Caine (The Ipcress File) and legendary director John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, Ronin) team up for an explosive action/thriller jam-packed with heart-stopping suspense and international intrigue. Based on the best-selling novel by Robert Ludlum (and scripted by George Axelrod, Edward Anhalt and John Hopkins), the adventure unfolds "with a crispness that suggests acid etching a nightmare on glass" (Los Angeles Times). Noel Holcroft (Caine) is a New York architect who receives an unexpected inheritance from his ex-Nazi father: $40 billion in funds stolen from the Third Reich, now intended to aid Holocaust survivors. But as Holcroft delves into the treasure's mysterious history, he is thrust into a pulse-pounding adventure in which he alone stands in the way of a plan that is moving inexorably toward its terrifying conclusion: the rise of an all-powerful Fourth Reich!

Amazon.com

The 1980s weren't too kind to John Frankenheimer, but this film stands out as a top-notch spy thriller. A Nazi pact to steal a fortune from the Third Reich to aid Holocaust survivors results in a bizarre inheritance 40 years later, with architect Michael Caine having to come to terms with his father's past and the terrifying prospects of a Fourth Reich. The whole thing becomes a metaphor for a witches' covenant. It's exciting and well-paced and full of precious little moments (though Caine and Victoria Tennant fall short of being interesting characters). Supporting actors Mario Adorf, Michael Lonsdale, and Bernard Hepton really shine. The film was based on Robert Ludlum's bestseller and coscripted by George Axelrod (The Manchurian Candidate). Terrific audio commentary by the director provides valuable insight--for instance, allowing Lonsdale to carry a long exposition scene through his commanding presence. --Bill Desowitz

Special Features

  • 8-Page booklet featuring trivia and production notes

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Anthony Andrews, Victoria Tennant, Lilli Palmer, Mario Adorf
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 1999
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792840445
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,953 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Holcroft Covenant" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By MediaCritic on March 20, 2005
Format: DVD
Michael Caine always can anchor a spy flick, and this is no exception. While the plot is a trifle flat, and a couple of the supporting actors (Victoria Tennent) are stretched beyond their abilities, the cinemagraphic techniques and direction by John Frankenheimer are superb. Several elements, particularly the outdoor angles from crowded streets and the icy violin sound effects echo back to the great spy movies of the post-war era and lend an almost Hitchcock-esque eeriness to the film. And when the climax finally reveals the implications of the plot, even the dense can see the relevance to comtemporary events.

Hard to believe this timely film is nearly 20 years old.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Mast on May 1, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
OK, so I wasn't really paying attention when I pre-ordered this movie. I was surprised when I checked the invoice and noticed that the movie cost about 5 USD. However, it is fair to say that even at five dollars this DVD is grossly overpriced.

Why? Because this looks like the worst kind of 4th generation bootleg VHS transfer. The video is crap and the audio is worse. This is, without a doubt, the worst DVD in my library (and it won't be there long). I actually checked the packaging to see if in fact this was a studio release.

If you are an afficianado of Mexican bootleg DVD's then this is for you. Otherwise, ZERO STARS .(...)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bernie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 20, 2011
Format: VHS Tape
At the end of WWII a German General and two of his cohorts plan a covenant with a great deal of funding. They drink to their children and a better world.

Michael Caine of "The Ipcress File" (1965) fame is once again caught in a web of mystery as he must fathom the meaning of the Covenant and who if any are the good guys among all those trying to help him sign and activate the Covenant

The film is well paced and you get wrapped up in the story. The only drawback is that the music and special sound effects are extremely loud and they people are almost mumbling.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Harvey Pekar on June 16, 2000
Format: DVD
The Holcraft Covenant is nothing more than your average 80's thriller that has the benefit of having a top-notch leading man and director attached. The picture looks excellent and there is just enough intrigue added to the film's premise to keep the viewer on board the whole way. Frankenheimer displays his trademark visual flair without going over the top(as many were guilty of at the time). The one thing that really detracts from the film is it's obviously low budget and irritating synth score. It is an overall average adaptation of a fairly decent Ludlum thriller that is worth picking up only for the excellent picture quality and commentary by the director. It is a delight to hear Frankenheimer discuss one of the film's most exciting scenes being filmed and constructed around of the absence of a leading man! For Fans of the star and director only.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bela on May 17, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I don't get the negative reviews! This movie starts off with Caine
finding out his dad was a nazi and left him millions of dollars
to do what he wishes but he's being set up by a new nazi party!
The mystery and action are very good and Caine is great as always.
I highly recommend this one!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rick Lane on November 23, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First of all, this isn't one of his great films; although, this has a good story line and thrill through out the whole movie. the movie is from the 80s and shot in Widescreen format and about an hour and forty minutes in length. If bought new you get a booklet inside the case that mentions in seven pages with pictures, details about the insight of the movie, about the Director, and the list of the chapters on the back. Overall I would recommend this to anyone who likes Michael Caine or mystery type movies.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steven Kuroiwa on August 5, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I rented John Frankenheimer's "The Holcroft Covenant" back in the late-1980s when I was a big fan of Michael Caine spy movies. This movie is a disappointment.
"The Holcroft Covenant" is one of the very worst films of both actor Michael Caine and director John Frankenheimer. I couldn't make much sense out of the story. The screenplay is absolutely ludicrous. At times, the movie can't seem decide whether it wants to be a bizarre satire or a spy thriller. The superior Caine is absolutely wasted in this picture.
John Frankenheimer simply forgot how to make great movies. As a Frankenheimer film, "The Holcroft Covenant" is even worse than "Dead Bang" and "99 and 44/100% Dead." I am disappointed that the director of the unforgettable "The Manchurian Candidate" made this piece of nonsense. I don't understand why efforts were made to transfer such an inferior Frankenheimer movie from videotape to DVD when the director's vastly superior "The Iceman Cometh" hasn't yet been released to home video in ANY form.
"The Holcroft Covenant" is a failure. For a great Michael Caine spy movie, see "The Ipcress File."
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MadMacs on April 2, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
***Spoiler Warning***

Starts off with an intriguing premise. Suppose, at war's end, a handful of Nazi generals recognized the terrible crimes they had committed and decided to make amends to a world they nearly destroyed? But knowing their lives were forever stained, planned to let the passage of time heal wounds and bequeathed a secret legacy to their children.

While straining credulity, it's a pretty straight forward premise.

'Cept of course this is based off a novel by conspiracy writer Robert Ludlum.

The Covenant is billions of dollars held in trust to be used by the grown-up offspring of those Nazi officers, to be released 40 years after the end of the war. Time enough to allow their children the freedom to stand apart from their paternal heritage, legally and emotionally free from the past, and ready for the covenant's ultimate goal of paying back society.

One child in particular, Noel Holcroft, has already been chosen to be its titular head, and whose sole signature is the only means of opening the covenant's treasure. Having been raised by an adoptive father and a mother who scorns the very mention of Noel's biological father - he's the one man who holds the key to the massive Nazi fortune.

But that kind of money never stays a secret for long. Several parties are well aware of the covenant. And with Noel's fortieth birthday, they begin to slither and slime their way into his life; along with concealed purposes, they bring with them death.

Will Noel deduce whom to trust - and as the designated sacrificial lamb - does it make a difference?

My issues with the screenplay were three-fold:

- First, I had a very difficult time buying into a supposed American character with a heavy British accent.
Read more ›
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