When it has been decided to end the Cold War, Russia worries about some sleeping agents planted in USA who will mindlessly attack government entities when they hear certain coded words. A Russian officer is sent to USA with the mission to stop those agents. Exciting!
Top Customer Reviews
Nicolai Dalchimsky (Donald Pleasance) is the madman who obtains a copy of the list. Pleasance has very few lines in this movie, but a lot of screen time as we see him either calling agents or watching the results of their destruction. The Soviet Union quickly realizes a list of the agents has been stolen and sends super-spy and assassin Grigori Borzov (Charles Bronson) to eliminate Dalchimsky and retrieve the list. Borzov is to work with active agent Barbara (Lee Remick).
The cat and mouse game is handled reasonably well, though there are a couple of small discrepancies in Borzov's demeanor while Borzov and Barbara are attempting to understand how Dalchimsky is choosing his targets. The development of the relationship between Borzov and Barbara is handled very well, as Barbara is first repelled by Borzov, and then understands the choices he must make, and eventually comes to love him.
The special effects in this late 70s movie are generally good, with a few discrepancies that I tend to overlook because of the novelty of the story.
Bronson was a perfect choice for the role of Borzov. He is generally quiet, logical and methodical, and takes no pleasure in what he must do.Read more ›
"Telefon" is somewhat dated these days, of course. I always figure that Bronson's best role, by far, was as "Harmonica" in Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in the West": Thus, I'm forever a huge fan, and that colors everything which he did as variegated and golden, too.
Telefon is good entertainment--it isn't so unpleasant, in any manner, as say "Seven" with Brad Pitt. The latter is the sort of film which I tend to watch merely once. (Far too often, today's producers equivalence shock value and befuddling and expensive SFX with innovation.)
As for Donald Pleasence not saying much in "Telefon," he does so well as the essential crazy and demented here, nonetheless: His expressions and movements relate his story in fine manner--quite succinctly and expertly. Telefon is one of the Bronson films which I revisit often--one of his best.
At least one reviewer here pointed out that Lee Remick was miscast in her role: That's seems reasonable, at first glance. If true, it's too bad that Theresa Russell (Black Widow) or Becky De Mornay couldn't have taken the role then--perhaps Sean Young--yeah, the late Karen Black, among many others, I suppose.
Remick was a real pro, though, and quite striking, indeed: Maybe instead the fault lies with script's fluffy and peppy dialogue presented to her. Remick might have worked out way better, forgoing that. The same scriptwriter likely wrote Tyne's dialogue, as well--so fluffy, flippant, and light! It doesn't really ruin this, though--I suppose that the producers wished to brighten things up: Perhaps that helped assure a PG rating, they figured....Read more ›
Bronson gives one of his best performances and Lee Remick's cool, blonde beauty combined with her sensational acting instincts (did she ever give one bad performance? I don't think so) make this a good, gripping drama.
Nutshell synopsis: The Soviets had set up a network/cell of some 52 agents brainwashed to believe themselves U.S. citizens, using the identities of deceased Americans. At any time they could receive the "code" from Mother Russia - in the form of the final verse of Robert Frost's classic poem "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" at which point they would go into automaton mode, each agent specifically programmed to destroy a strategic U.S. military installation.
The Soviets realize the top secret list of agents has fallen into the hands of one Nicolai Dalchimsky - the wonderfully creepy Donald Pleasance - who from payphones across the U.S. is systematically calling the sleeper cell agents (in a particularly methodical fashion) and blowing up their U.S. targets. The Soviets send their top agent, Charles Bronson to rendevous with an agent in America and find and stop Dalchimsky. The chemistry between Bronson and Remick is wonderful, with Remick also adding a healthy dose of old movie tough gal humor to Bronson's no-nonsense performance. (In his first scene, we're given a device to endear Bronson to us as he coaches an adorable group of Russian kids playing hockey).
Look for Tyne Daly in a very early appearance as a brilliant computer nerd trying to crack the same case for the American team.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic! I recently watched it again, after many years. Great plot. Wonderful acting.l It is still timely.Published 1 month ago by Barry Rhodes
Charles Bronson (as usual) is fantastic in this movie. Lee Remick is also great. If you want to see a movie that is so different from most movies, this is one to watch.Published 1 month ago by Shodan
This is a great old Cold War movie. Charles Bronson and Lee Remick play excellent characters, nuanced and interesting. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Scott Hammond
Good acting by Charles Bronson and Lee Remik. Donnald Pleasence part is interesting but did not require much acting. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Heinrich
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