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The Amateur (1982)

John Savage , Christopher Plummer , Charles Jarrott  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Price: $49.98 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Savage, Christopher Plummer, Marthe Keller, Arthur Hill, Nicholas Campbell
  • Directors: Charles Jarrott
  • Writers: Diana Maddox, Robert Littell
  • Producers: Andrew G. Vajna, Garth H. Drabinsky, Joel B. Michaels, Mario Kassar
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007WQGW2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,227 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Amateur" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

At 29, Charles Heller was a mathematician without equal. At the CIA he was a computer expert wtihout peers. But when terrorists murder the most important woman in his life, he becomes an assassin without experience. To avenge her death, the CIA trained him, briefed him, armed him, and then... they abandoned him. The first 11 minutes will rivet you to your seat. IN A WORLD OF PROFESSIONALS, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR AN AMATEUR.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Though this movie is now nearly 20 years old, it is still extremely watchable. It does not rely on special effects. It, rather, relies on the development of Hitchcock-like suspense.
In the movie, the magazine reporter fiance of a CIA computer specialist is executed by terrorists via random drawing while she is on assignment in europe. This infuriates the main protagonist of the movie -- the CIA employee. He collects enough information on CIA sensitive activities to blackmail the agency into allowing him to go into eastern europe so he can locate and eliminate the terrorists that killed his fiance himself.
He is the amateur in a professional's game. The plot is believable, the suspense is tangeable, and the story line not predictable.
I promise that if you like suspense movies, you will love this one! The acting, from main and supporting characters, is good. I particularly enjoyed the character who played the father of the murdered fiance. CIA officers and execs also play their roles (though perhaps a bit stereotyped) quite well.
5 stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally on DVD July 9, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this movie many years ago and have been waiting for it to come to DVD. This story is especially relevant today, as the country hears more and more about terrorist cells within our midst. It was interesting to see how an everyday Joe trains (Hollywood style) to become an assassin and to follow the action as he avenges his sweetheart's death.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but engrossing thriller January 28, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
John Savage plays Charles Heller ,a cryptographer in the employ of the CIA ,whose girlfriend is killed by Munich based terrorists .He demands that his employers exact retribution on the low lives responsible .They refuse and in retaliation he threatens to expose the Agency's covert activities unless they train him to carry out his own vengeance .

He gets his way and travels to Czechoslavakia where they have their base .It is there that his problems really start to mount up-the Czechs are not too thrilled by his presence and the Agency renage on the deal and send their own hit squad to take him out .

The premise of the movie is good and the support cast is excellent .The production values are well up to standard and the action scenes are well mounted and credible The locations are attractive too ,with Vienna standing in for Prague .

I was not too impresssed by Savage in the title role -he is a skilled actor but not charismatic enough to carry a movie as the action lead ,and the script fails to build on the "fish out of water "scenario as much as I would have liked

It still remains a very watchable movie however and you could do a lot worse than try to uncover this neglected 80's picture
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful August 29, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of those movies that won't allow you to run to the bathroom or kitchen. It holds your attention for the entire film. John Savage is the perfect actor for the part that he plays. His demeanor and attitude in this film are essential to the part. He did a superb job.
I don't know how I missed this at the box office, but I'm certainly glad I discovered it later. This will be a good movie to watch on a cold winter's night.
ENJOY!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Professional Amateur July 1, 2007
Format:DVD
At least he is CIA intel and that is actually a big part of spying. The fact he wasn't part of the gun set doesn't make him less a spy. The story however wants you to think of him as a helpless bookworm. John Savage does one of the best roles of his career as a CIA agent that has been relegated to desk duty research which is his forte. When his fiance is killed overseas by ruthless terrorist he wants justice. With the help of his abilities he is able to formulate a plan and apply pressure in a way the CIA can't refuse. Good acting, directing, camera work, and music. Good action and great locations. A very entertaining movie that has been far overdue getting to DVD. Fans of spy movies should enjoy it and many that like action movies as well. Just as in the real world of espionage, all the loose ends aren't always tied in nice little knots. Fans of Tom Clancy will probably enjoy this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of my all-time favorite spy flicks, and it is great that it is finally on DVD. This one was produced during the bad old days of the Cold War, but it still has relevance today, as it deals strongly with the subject of international terrorism, albeit of the Bader-Meinhoff gang variety rather than Islamofascism. No matter. This is a really fine film that most will enjoy.

The political message of this film is a bit disappointing, but never let it be said that I allow that to get in the way of enjoying a good film. John Savage, as the protagonist in this film, does a bang-up job, and I am surprised that this talented actor did not get more roles of this type.

This film features really good Cold War nostalgia, and has the effect of transporting the viewer back to Cold War Eastern Europe. Christopher Plummer, always a superb character actor, turns in a fine performance as the Czech counterespionage chief.

This is a fine film that anyone who likes spy flicks will want to pick up immediately, and view repeatedly. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie October 29, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I like this movie. It is a good mix of action, suspense and drama. After being pummeled by Hollywood's "explosions" and "special effects", it is nice to view a movie that gets the viewer involved in the problems of the actor.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Grrr again
Great movie, but not captioned. In this day and age it is an insult to the public to discriminate, We are people too
Published 11 months ago by John W. Hargis
5.0 out of 5 stars i loved it !
This is such a suspenseful thriller !
i saw this movie years ago - and i just had to have it in my collection of thrillers. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Roceter Payton
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amateur on DVD
So glad that they put this on DVD. This film really did capture my thoughts and attention. The begining grabs your captive attention, that you have to watch it all NOW.
Published 19 months ago by Kenneth DeLue
4.0 out of 5 stars the art of revenge
i'm a big fan of 80's movies,and this film is no exception.if it'a a revenge or hitman movie i like it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by thunderunner
5.0 out of 5 stars Good thriller.
I like tales of revenge, and this movie is done in the 80's style without too much gore and violence. Read more
Published on July 31, 2012 by Duane G. Jacobs
3.0 out of 5 stars Far-fetched nonsense...
Another far-fetched spy adventure that couldn't/wouldn't happen in any semblance that this film presents. I'm being generous with 3-stars.
Published on March 21, 2012 by D. Vick
5.0 out of 5 stars An all time classic!
Perhaps one of the best movies around. It is based on the book of Frederick Forthside--ODESSA-- This movie gives an idea of how really worked the nazi hunting after WWII and how... Read more
Published on September 1, 2011 by josegdc
5.0 out of 5 stars Amateur with John Savage VHS
A very good movie. My husband had seen this movie years ago and wanted a copy for himself. Found it here on Amazon and am very happy with it.
Published on May 9, 2010 by Luvzflowrz
3.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock wouldn't write something this lame
Although I can imagine the CIA killing someone to cover a conspiracy I do not find the plot believable. Read more
Published on June 16, 2007 by Frank Selden
4.0 out of 5 stars very good movie but with lot of loose ends
in this movie, just like the original novel, 'the amateur' actually didn't only mean the vengeful young man who lost his love to bunch of terrorists, it seemed that everyone... Read more
Published on June 4, 2007 by JustAReader
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