- Actors: Michael Crawford, Oliver Reed, Barbara Carrera, James Hampton, Jean-Pierre Kalfon
- Directors: Charles Jarrott
- Writers: Marc Stirdivant, Mickey Rose, Robert Sheckley
- Producers: Hugh Attwooll, Jan Williams, Ron Miller
- Format: Color, Original recording reissued, NTSC
- Rated: Parental Guidance SuggestedPG
- Number of tapes: 1
- Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
- VHS Release Date: February 23, 1999
- Run Time: 90 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 201 customer reviews
- ASIN: 0764005529
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,045 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
A pre-Phantom Michael Crawford plays Woody, a goofy cartoonist-accidentally-turned-spy in this Cold War-era lark. In Paris visiting his friend, a CIA "file clerk," Woody is sent on a cloak-and-dagger errand and is mistaken for an operative by his beautiful Russian counterpart. She then contacts the agency with the demand that he, and only he, help her defect. Writer adopts comic book persona and voilà: Condorman! This wide-winged hero thwarts the pesky Soviets at every turn. From the old run-down farmer's truck he's driving emerges a flashy race car that outruns a fleet of Russian vehicles. Later, in a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang moment, the car sprouts floaters, allowing the pair to escape their pursuers by sea. Barbara Carrera's Natalia--the true spy of the two--is really just along for the ride. It's Condorman's show, as confirmed by the ending: a shot-filled showdown off the shores of Monte Carlo.--Kimberly Heinrichs
Top customer reviews
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We watched the DVD a couple weeks ago during our Christmas holiday. This was the first time we watched since so long ago. My sons are in the corporate world now but we still had a fantastic time; laughing and joking throughout. It brought such warm memories. Amazing how all of us were able to anticipate the scenes throughout the movie; even some of the dialogue. I wish Disney had done a Condorman 2, but such is life.
I had read the book 'The Game of X' by Robert Sheckley as well as the adaptation of the movie by Heather Simon and imagined every scene in my head as I had gone through it. The movie was everything a young boy could have hoped for - a rollicking, comedic adventure with a very beautiful female Russian agent (Carrera) and a sinister KGB chief (played by Oliver Reed).
The only problem I have with this movie is the miscasting of Michael Crawford as Woody Wilkins, the cartoonist who helps out a friend of his at the CIA office in Paris. Englishman Crawford puts on the most exaggerated American accent imagineable, although admittedly he has the brilliant comedic timing necessary to pull off this role.
The CIA in France has a problem. They need a civilian to act as a courier to Istanbul. Of course Woody gets the job, but right from the start it's obvious he is taking his role just a little too seriously. By the time he arrives to meet his KGB contact in Turkey he has fully assumed the role of his cartoon creation - top CIA agent and superhero Condorman.
Barbara Carrera (who two years later would get to play a Bond girl - the very movies this one attempts to lampoon) plays KGB agent Natalia. Later, when she makes the decision to defect, the impressive Condorman comes to mind as the only CIA agent she will trust to handle her defection.
The only problem is the CIA does not have an agent with the codename Condorman.
What follows is an adventure filled race across Europe with enough gadgets to fill several Bond movies. There is some great car chases (performed by legendary French stunt driver Remy Julienne and his 16-man crew of drivers and mechanics), boat chases and along the way Crawford sports some of the most outrageous disguises in cinema history. It's all great fun and it's executed perfectly.
For high flying escapist entertainment they don't come much more downright enjoyable than this. The DVD is a disappointment with no special features to speak off except a rather slim production notes section in the inside cover booklet. It's 2 pages of notes on the making of the movie, with sections on 'The Story,' 'The Setting,' 'Gadgetry' and 'Stunts and Special Effects,' but it's all very slim pickings.
But, I've had this movie in my DVD collection for over two years and on those quiet rainy Saturday's it's a particular favorite (along with 1980s FLASH GORDON) to put in my DVD player and sit back and remember a more innocent time in my life.
Recommended for all dreamers.
I hear they are making a new movie of this and I am sure it will be action packed.
The story is ok, Michael Crawfords American accent is terrible but I just keep coming back to watch it.
I did like the gagets and the disguises - funny.
Superhero films are big in Hollywood right now, though I doubt they'd make a reboot of this movie a part of me is glad they won't. This classic can hold it's own without the need for any blockbuster A-lister or CGI effects.
Buy it. Watch it. Love it. Thank me afterwards.