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Robert Ludlum's Covert One: The Hades Factor

3.1 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Stephen Dorff (Blade) and Academy Award(r) winners Mira Sorvino (Best Supporting Actor, Mighty Aphrodite 1995) and Anjelica Huston (Best Supporting Actor, Prizzi's Honor 1985) star in this globe-spanning tale of action and intrigue, based upon the bestselling series written by Robert Ludlum (The Bourne Identity, The Osterman Weekend). Colonel Jonathan Smith (Dorff) is a disease specialist and former secret agent for Covert One, an elite intelligence agency made up of political and technical experts that report directly to the President (Huston). When an unknown deadly virus begins to surface, Smith is called into action to find and isolate the source before the outbreak can endanger millions of lives. Featuring an all-star supporting cast including Blair Underwood (Rules of Engagement) and more, it's a race against time for Covert One to stop the virus and uncover the truth behind a conspiracy at the highest and most dangerous levels of society.


Based on Robert Ludlum's novel, The Hades Factor puts a bio-terrorism spin on a good old-fashioned spy thriller storyline for this tense TV miniseries. Stephen Dorff is top-billed as a former spy turned medical researcher who is pulled back into the espionage business when a new and mysterious disease erupts simultaneously in three military-sensitive regions. The target of the investigation centers on another covert operative (Mira Sorvino), who made off with a black-market virus in the middle of a government sting. The film's solid cast, which includes Blair Underwood and two Hustons--Danny and Anjelica (as the U.S. President)--helps the suspension of belief required for this sort of story considerably, and director Mick Jackson delivers the required amount of action at a brisk and engaging clip. Squeamish viewers should know that the outbreak scenes are particularly grisly for a television production. --Paul Gaita

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Josh Hopkins, Sophia Myles, Danny Huston, Blair Underwood, Colm Meaney
  • Directors: Mick Jackson
  • Producers: Sherri Saito
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FP2OP4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,539 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Robert Ludlum's Covert One: The Hades Factor" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 7, 2006
Format: DVD
Great literature its not, but Robert Ludlum is hard to beat as a writer of suspense thrillers and COVERT ONE: THE HADES FACTOR is no exception. Writing the screenplay with Ludlum is Elwood Reid and together they have created a very fast moving tale of the threats of bio-terrorism, found in Mick Jackson a perfect match for a director, and gathered an exciting cast to make this 160 minute made-for-television movie fly by at tremendous speed.

The premise of the film involves the worst of all 'weapons of mass destruction' - biological warfare - and here the topic is dealt with in a fascinating manner that pulls the US Government into the fold as implicated in the feasibility of such warfare. Not possible? Well, watch the film and make up your own mind.

Stephen Dorff plays Jon Smith, a one time covert agent for the White House, who becomes ensnarled in a plot to release the Hades Virus (a hemorrhagic lethal variant of the Ebola virus) to destroy the US. Smith's girlfriend Dr. Amsden (Sofia Myles) works for the government in the department that watches for measures just such as this. When the plot to sell the virus (is it possibly a virus known to the US government as the Scimitar project?) falls into the hands of an agent Rachel Russell (Mira Sorvino), the confusion of who is working for whom unfolds and all manner of agents and FBI, CIA, etc agents tumble around the President (Anjelica Huston) trying to identify the true culprits and the race to stop the dissemination of the deadly virus. In the many roles of varying consequence are actors Blair Underwood, Danny Huston, Colm Meaney, Josh Hopkins, etc.

The film is not without its gruesome elements: what depiction of bio-terrorism could avoid that?
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Format: DVD
Robert Ludlum should rise from the grave to beat the snot out of everyone involved in making this piece of trash. I would have given it zero stars if I was able to. Absolutely none of the great aspects of The Hades Factor novel make it into this miniseries. The whole story of what Covert One is is completely changed, and not even remotely for the better. The characters of Klein and the President are completely changed, along with pretty much every single other character.

Ludlum was a genius of the spy thriller and suspense. About .05% of this bares any resemblance to his work. I was really hopeful for this series to hit the big screen someday. When I found out it was going to be a miniseries I was still hopeful it wood be done well on TV, but that hope was deflated when I saw this.

Why do people who make movies/TV shows based on very successful books feel that they can do it better just because? Why can't they just make a movie as the book was because the book was already a hit? I know certain things have to be adjusted for the screen. While the Bourne movies were only loosely based on Ludlum's trilogy, they were still very enjoyable. The Hades factor miniseries can say no such thing.

The acting is horrible, the direction is lame, and the story has been so bastardized that it makes me fear they might do the same to the later books in the series. Please stop ruining great books because of your massive ego Hollywood. Ludlum was better than you on his worst day ... even dead.

Go read the Covert One series (the ones written by Ludlum, not the trash written by other authors to continue his series after his death). They are the only way to truly enjoy what he has given us.
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Format: DVD
5 of 5 stars to the suspense movie, The Hades Factor. First, I should explain that I have read the book twice and seen the movie twice. Second, I am a big fan of Robert Ludlum's work. This is one of Ludlum's best efforts and I highly recommend either/both the book and the movie.

The story opens with the start of a plague. First a couple of soldiers die, then other people. Clearly easy to spread this disease and clearly it is deadly. No cure. Early the story takes on a mid-east terrorist theme and we begin to learn the disease is being spread by the terrorists. As the team at "Covert One" (a secret US government intelligence agency) ramps-up, we learn that the terrorists have a method of deployment of this airborne virus that will be very effective. The story mostly focuses on where did the original virus come from and who is causing it to be spread. There are some plot twists slowing down the investigation (like murder of some key people). While the story seems to be exclusively a bio-terrorist plot, there is a big plot twist where the terrorists are simply the agent of the people who are really behind the plot.

The movie is very long at 2h45min. I believe it was originally a for TV-mini series (two episodes). The style and approach of the movie is that of a high-end TV program rather than an epic movie approach. Lots of photography techniques you see often in TV but never in the movies. The settings, though rich in look, seem "closed-in" (more like a studio than a location). Clearly broken into chunks where commercials could be placed. Well acted, well photographed, just a bit "closed-in" compared to a made-as-a-movie movie.

A well told story with building suspense. Alot of reality in the story which is chilling to imagine this could really happen (i.e.
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