DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

TROUBLE WITH SPIES, THE (director/writer: Burt Kennedy; screenwriter: novel "Apple Spy In The Sky" by Marc Lovell; cinematographer:Alex Phillips ; editor: Warner E Leighton; music: Ken Thorne; cast:  Donald Sutherland (Appleton Porter), Lucy Gutteridge (Mona Smith), Ned Beatty (Harry Lewis),  Ruth Gordon (Mrs. Arkwright),  Fima Noveck (Colonel Novikov), Robert Morley (Angus), Suzanne Danielle  (Maria Sola), Gregory Sierra (Captain Sanchez), Michael Hordern (Jason Lock); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Burt Kennedy; HBO Video; 1987)

"An impressive cast but an awful spy film."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An impressive cast but an awful spy film. It sat on the shelf for years before released. Clumsily directed and written by Western filmmaker Burt Kennedy ("The War Wagon"/"Support Your Local Sheriff"/"The Train Robbers"). It's based on the novel "Apple Spy In The Sky" by Marc Lovell. At least it's cheerful.

Donald Sutherland is a bumbling US agent who is sent to Ibiza to work with the Brits to get the secret formula for a truth serum before the Soviets get it. He also tries to learn what happened to the spy George Trent, who was here before on that assignment but has vanished. The spy thwarts several attempts on his life, talks with busybody hotel guests to get info and strolls on a topless beach.

The film, supposedly a comedy, lacks wit spoofing Brit and Soviet spies. Even Robert Morley, as head Brit spy, who should be a natural for such a film but  looks dumbfounded that he's in it. Ruth Gordon has a supporting role as the cutesy old lady. She died before the film was released. Lucy Gutteridge plays a hotel owner where a lot of the action is set.

REVIEWED ON 1/21/2016       GRADE: C-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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