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The Osterman Weekend (Two-Disc)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rutger Hauer, John Hurt, Craig T. Nelson, Dennis Hopper, Chris Sarandon
  • Directors: Sam Peckinpah
  • Writers: Alan Sharp, Ian Masters, Robert Ludlum
  • Producers: Don Guest, E.C. Monell, Guy Collins, Larry Jones
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS ES 6.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 2004
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00012FX4K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,378 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Osterman Weekend (Two-Disc)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Alpha to Omega - all-new 78-minute documentary
  • Sam's First Cut - never before seen version of film
  • Still gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Burt Lancaster, Rutger Hauer, John Hurt. A TV personality looking forward to a reunion with close friends is told by the CIA that they are Soviet agents. Directed by Sam Peckinpah from the novel by Robert Ludlum. 1983/color/102 min/R/widescreen.


Sam Peckinpah's final film has a lot to recommend it, including a complicated story derived from a Robert Ludlum novel but laced with Peckinpah's hard questions about loyalty and the balance between civilization and basic instincts. Rutger Hauer stars as John Tanner, a television host with strong criticisms of America's cold-war conduct. Looking forward to a weekend of socializing with old friends (played by Craig T. Nelson, Dennis Hopper, and Chris Sarandon), Tanner is approached by a CIA agent (John Hurt) who tells him his friends may be Soviet agents. Tanner agrees to let the spy agency set up surveillance in his house; it turns out there is more to the agent's claims than meets the eye and Tanner's weekend eventually erupts into violence. Osterman is not Peckinpah at his best (though, typically, the director was under siege from production politics), but the maestro of montage certainly worked in some extraordinary action sequences. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Like Rutger Hauer. good spy movie of the 80s very clear ..
Anthony J Marella
A thriller, whether it's a book or film, should at the very least provide some thrills, and it's here that the film falls far short of the mark.
The assistance of the bad guy that thinks he's a good guy knows better so this makes him a bad guy and an unwitting pawn in the scheme.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 7, 2004
Format: DVD
Although it starts off a bit shakey, "The Osterman Weekend" regains its balance and becomes a suspenseful thriller worth watching. While it isn't Peckinpah's best film, it has many of the best qualities that made "The Wild Bunch", "Straw Dogs" and other thrillers interesting and an example of vital cinema.

Rutger Hauer plays John Tanner a TV reporter devoted to uncovering the truth about our government's covert operations, illegal dealings, etc. When a CIA operative Lawrence Fassett(John Hurt)comes to him with the story of a career there's a catch--it involves Tanner's friends. Fassett reveals that Tanner's three best friends Osterman (Craig T. Nelson), Tremayne (Dennis Hopper) and Cardone (Chris Sarandon)are all three Soviet spies. Fassett proposes that Tanner can break an incredible story if he'll cooperate in trying to turn one or all of the spies over a weekend at Tanner's house. Tension builds as the three spies suspect that Tanner knows that they're agents for the Soviets and they're undecided what, exactly, to do about it.

On disc one we get the original theatrical version. It looks quite good and but this high definition transfer highlights the high amount of grain in the original film itself. That's due to the choice of film stock, lighting, etc. That doesn't mar the transfer just keep in mind it won't look quite as smooth as a more contemporary film. The print looks quite good with minimal digital and analog blemishes. The soundtrack in 5.1 sounds a bit hollow to me and lacks the presence it should but that's not a surprise given that it was transferred (If I'm not mistaken) from a stereo soundtrack master.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Erik North on August 3, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Although at times confusing (unless one is really looking hard), THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND is a pretty good final film for one of the cinema's most controversial directors, Sam Peckinpah. It is his statement on the Cold War, courtesy of Robert Ludlum's 1972 novel, and has many of those well-staged action sequences that make later imitators like Quentin Tarantino and John Woo look like rank amateurs.
Rutger Hauer stars as a controversial L.A. talk show host with a penchant for tearing down government officials for their hackneyed explanations of U.S. policy towards the Soviets. He is anticipating the arrival of three old college friends (Craig T. Nelson, Chris Sarandon, Dennis Hopper) and Sarandon's and Hopper's wives (Cassie Yates, Helen Shaver) for an annual get-together.
But then, a CIA operative (John Hurt) throws a monkey wrench into things when he presents evidence that seems to indicate that Hauer's friends are working for the heathen Soviets in an attempt to sabotage America's germ warfare program. Hauer thus allows Hurt to set up surveillance equipment around the house to monitor their friends' doings. Then things get very hairy, complicated, and, not surprisingly, somewhat violent.
Despite having the usual difficulties with his producers, who were (like many others) penny-pinching, Peckinpah managed to make the most out of his final cinematic effort. The incredible shootout between Hauer, Nelson, and the CIA assassins in Hauer's back forty is Peckinpah at his prime (one would never suspect that in reality he was slowly dying when he made the film). Burt Lancaster turns in a hideously frightening role as the right-wing director of the CIA whose anticommunist paranoia (not too much unlike Sterling Hayden's in DOCTOR STRANGELOVE) sets the film's events in motion.
Finished off by a fine Lalo Schifrin score, THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND is a solid and efficient espionage thriller, worthy for at least one curious look.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Interplanetary Funksmanship on October 6, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Sam Peckinpah ("The Getaway") delivers his usual blend of action and paranoia in this 1983 sleeper, which stars the underrated Rutger Hauer as a investigative TV reporter out of the Mike Wallace mold, and John Hurt as the CIA operative. Burt Lancaster as the national security chief reprises his role as an overzealous cold warrior type (like he played in "Seven Days in May"). The plot takes off when Lancaster, the frequent target of Hauer's hit pieces for his civil liberties violations, turns Hauer over to Hurt, who reveals that Hauer's business partners (Craig Nelson, cast against his "Coach" type as a ruthless businessman, and the ever-edgy Dennis Hopper) are traitorous subversives selling government secrets to the communists.
Soon the plot takes several twists and turns and everyone is mice trapped in a maze with the cat having just been dropped in. "The Osterman Weekend" starts off as a traditional espionage thriller as a red herring just to fool you, but becomes a paranoid psychological manhunt which will leave you wondering who is the good guy and who is the bad guy (which I won't give away here).
The acting is top notch, especially Hauer; It is such a shame seeing an actor with such a fine sense of timing and the ability to impart dialogue with intelligence, wit and subtle power, being trapped in made-for-cable and miniseries supporting roles. "The Osterman Weekend" shows off the full power of his dramatic acumen , and is up there with his performances in "Fatherland," "The Hitcher" and "Inside the Third Reich." Lancaster and Hurt are chilling as the tough-guy spook and the manipulative psychological warfare agent, respectively. I still say that *no one* can deliver an impassioned speech better than Lancaster, and he's in top form here.
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The Osterman Weekend (Two-Disc)
This item: The Osterman Weekend (Two-Disc)
Price: $14.98 $10.12
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com