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Telefon

Pleasant escapism, Don Siegel's film stars Charles Bronson and Lee Remick as two spies trying to stop a diehard Stalinist (Donald Pleasence) from upsetting detente by triggering a war between the US and USSR.

Pleasant escapism, Don Siegel’s film stars Charles Bronson and Lee Remick as two spies trying to stop a diehard Stalinist (Donald Pleasence) from upsetting detente by triggering a war between the US and USSR.

Walter Wager’s novel was adapted into a screenplay that is credited to Peter Hyams (once involved as a prospective director when Martin Elfand was the producer before he went to Warners) and Stirling Silliphant. Intriguing premise is that old-line cold warriors in Russia are resisting detente and have activated some deep cover spies planted in the US two decades ago under drug-induced hypnosis, ready to blow up key military sites on telephonic code cue.

Dalchimsky (Pleasence) escapes to the US from a round up of the Stalinilsts ordered by secret police toppers (Patrick Magee, Alan Badel). Borzov (Bronson) is recruited to come to the US to eliminate the potential bombers before Dalchimsky triggers their response. Barbara (Remick) is supposedly a Russian agent.

Tyne Daly is notable as a CIA staffer. Remick’s teaming with Bronson is a graceful one for both players.

Telefon

  • Production: M-G-M. Director Don Siegel; Producer James B. Harris; Screenplay Peter Hyams, Stirling Silliphant; Camera Michael Butler; Editor Douglas Stewart; Music Lalo Schifrin; Art Director Ted Haworth
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1977. Running time: 103 MIN.
  • With: Charles Bronson Lee Remick Tyne Daly Donald Pleasence Alan Badel Sheree North
  • Music By: