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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Hopscotch (1980)

After he quits his position at the CIA, a former agent (Walter Matthau) plans to publish a memoir revealing all the dirty doings behind the scenes. His superior (Ned Beatty) will stop at nothing to prevent the book from being published, even if he has to have the former agent killed. Based on the novel by Brian Garfield (DEATH WISH) and directed by Ronald Neame (THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE). This amiable spy comedy is modest in its aims and it isn't difficult to watch but it's a rather thin venture done without much style or wit. The novel's darker tones were lightened for the film to play to Matthau's comedic strengths including a slight change in the ending. The film was critically lauded when it opened and it has a cult following of sorts but unless you saw the movie when it was first released, I doubt you'd be impressed. Glenda Jackson seems overqualified for fluff like this and she isn't given much to do. I assume she accepted the role because it provided an opportunity to reunite with Matthau, who she loved working with in HOUSE CALLS. With Sam Waterston, Herbert Lom, George Baker, Severn Darden, Allan Cuthbertson, Anne Haney and Lucy Saroyan.

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