Sam Peckinpah’s The Osterman Weekend is a competent, professional but thoroughly impersonal meller which reps initial adaptation of a Robert Ludlum tome for the big screen.
CIA chief Burt Lancaster, who harbors presidential ambitions, recruits operative John Hurt to convince powerful TV journalist Rutger Hauer that several of his closest friends are actually Soviet agents. Hauer is about to host an annual weekend get-together with his buddies and their wives.
After Hurt has equipped the California ranch house with a warehouse-full of sophisticated surveillance gear, Hauer warily bids welcome to his guests, who include: hot-tempered financier Chris Sarandon and his sexually unsatisfied wife (Cassie Yates); writer and martial arts expert Craig T. Nelson; doctor Dennis Hopper, and his wife, cocaine addict Helen Shaver.
After a videotape foul-up, the pals get wind of Hauer’s suspicions of them, and the domestic situation rapidly deteriorates.
Hauer is solid as the off-balance but determined protagonist. Hurt effectively plays most of his role isolated from the others in his video command post, and Lancaster socks over his bookend cameo as the scheming CIA kingpin.