Pack of Lies
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Top Customer Reviews
A neglected masterpiece that all drama lovers should see.
effect on a long time friendship between two women (Ellen Burstyn and
Teri Garr) when Scotland yard asks Burstyn to use her house to spy on
Garr, a suspected Russian spy (along with her husband) during the cold war. The film is extermely intelligently scripted and builds to a climax
that is at once disturbing and tension ridden as well as painful. It
can be watched repeatedly and never seems to lose its bite.
This is an extraordinarily well acted and directed film with Ellen Bursten as the English housewife and Terri Garr as her best friend Helen Schaefer. Alan Bates is also featured as the Intelligence officer.
Definitely worth buying. You'll watch it again and again!
Teri Garr and Ellen Burstyn are top notch!!
Burstyn's character is a pleasant, simple, somewhat repressed middle class British matron who is befriended by the new married couple living across the street--and forms a particularly close friendship with the wife, Garr. Terri Garr's character is younger and their relationship reflects an interesting inversion of the Older Sister-Younger Sister situation. Garr takes her under wing & Burstyn blooms & blossoms with the attention (her own husband is nice, but very conventional). The two households' basically have an open door policy toward each other--except for Sundays. The childless American/Canadian neighbors say that this is their special, inviolate time for themselves alone--always, absolutely no exceptions.
As it turns out, the people across the street are being investigated by British Intelligence and Burstyn & hubbie are first politely asked, then forced under threat of National Security, to spy on them. 24-hr surveillance is set-up in a spare bedroom facing the spy house. The parents even have to lie to their daughter about what is really going on. This poses a terrible moral dilemma for Burstyn, leading to the break down of her health.
The horrible pretence causes Burstyn to quickly spiral downward & emotionally crack. Garr's notices that something is wrong & she keeps pushing to find out what's going on.Read more ›
We'd never heard of this great little film, which in one way is worthy of Hitchcock.
I say "one way," because as we were watching, we assumed it was fiction. And that makes a big difference!
As a "fiction" film, the suspense builds and builds. Before long you wonder just what the "Scotland Yard" investigators are up to. There are a couple of seemingly intentional throwaway moments that lead you to wonder seriously who these cloak-and-dagger types are *really* working for and what they're *really* after.
Alan Bates is terrific in his role as the undercover man, and both Ellen Burstyn and Teri Garr are at the top of their game (despite Burstyn's uncertain "English" accent).
Interesting point: if you're thinking it's fiction, the ending will infuriate you. If, however, you know that the story is based on actual events, the ending makes perfect sense - but the otherwise incredible suspense and doubt disappear. It becomes a different kind of movie.
Four stars - but most of the time it felt like five!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Sad and True Story. Teri Garr, in an amazing performance.Published 7 months ago by Francesca Pagan
Thank you very much, Excellent film just what was required to brighten up the day and have a good laugh toPublished on July 9, 2013 by Les
I liked the movie. I have been looking for this particular movie to purchase for a number of years. The DVD was in excellent condition. I received it in a timely manner. Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by George B. Dean
This was an okay movie. What else can I say? I thought with the one actress it would have been better but sorry to say, "No.".Published on February 8, 2012 by Peace
I am a collector. I collect many kinds of things. One thing I collect now is Hallmark Hall of Fame movies. Read morePublished on July 16, 2011 by Edith Biggar
PLOT: 1960's UK~ Police use the Jackson home to "watch" their best friends across the street~
THE DOORBELL rings and the police /secret service ask the Jackson's a nice... Read more
Sorry, neither Terry nor Ellen portray very believable charachters in this debaucle and try to overcome it by gross overacting. Read morePublished on January 27, 2010 by William J. Wilhite