Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1980. Edie & Ely Landau Inc., A Ronald Neame Film, International Film Investors, Sham Productions. Screenplay by Brian Garfield, Bryan Forbes, based on the novel by Brian Garfield. Cinematography by Arthur Ibbetson, Brian W. Roy. Produced by Edie Landau, Ely A. Landau. Music by Ian Fraser. Production Design by William J. Creber. Costume Design by Rosemary Burrows. Film Editing by Carl Kress. Golden Globe Awards 1980.
Hilarious comedy shows Walter Matthau in top form. He plays a CIA agent who is demoted by his bullheaded boss (Ned Beatty) from field agent to desk employee against his wishes. Matthau reacts by quitting the agency, setting himself up safely in the European villa of his sexy girlfriend (Glenda Jackson) and penning a tell-all book about his experiences working for the American government. Having revealed many critical state secrets in his book, Matthau then sends the manuscript to various publishing houses around the world, sparking the ire of his former boss and putting into action a cat-and-mouse chase that leads all players to various locations around the world. The story could use a little punch, but there are still plenty of laughs to be enjoyed, and Jackson is delicious as the female counterpart to Matthau’s trickster.
The Criterion Collection: #163