Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks-Secret Agents and Spy Films


Another week and the first Thursday in November to pick three films that work with the topic which is Spy Films and/or Secret Agents (That song Secret Agent Man is going through my head right now-Love the British TV show and The Prisoner). Head on over to Wandering Through the Shelves to see what the other bloggers have chosen.

I love spy films. I could have picked so many from The Bourne films to the Jack Ryan Films, Red...you name it! I should call myself a new name, you can call me...Ta-Tania...Ta-Tania Enassenwhopper. OK so I am no Pussy Galore, Plenty O'Toole or Ivana Humpalot but then that name can still work:)

1. THE MAN BETWEEN-1953


This is a great post war spy intrigue film. I consider it a spy film since it takes place post World War 2 Berlin where intrigue was rife at this time and tensions were high between East and West. James Mason plays a man caught between 2 forces who tries to find a way to be able to stay in the West and not in jail. When a British diplomat's sister is taken by the East's spies by mistake, Mason's character is her only hope to get her back safely to the West. I love the music in this film. This film is rare and has not been released on DVD in North America which is a crime!

2. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE-1962



This is one disturbing film that was not seen for over 30 years either because Sinatra decided not have it shown or the studio just didn't show it due to lack of interest. I had heard it was banned due to the content. Whatever the reason, it was not re-shown until the late 1980's. A troubled war hero is used as a pawn by the Communists to infiltrate high levels of government. Brainwashing, torture, PTSD are all involved in this film and it is riveting. Angela Lansbury, of Murder She wrote fame, plays one nasty mother.

3. THUNDERBALL-1965


You think I would not post a James Bond film? Listen, he is an egotistical, alcoholic whose dick will probably fall off due to gangrene and his lungs will implode from his smoking but...who cares! It's fun and the gals all swoon for him while he finds the bad guys. I always love the opening numbers and Tom Jones belts out the main theme. It also introduces another Bond music that is played during the action sequences, the highlight being under the water. I had to include a Bond film even though my favourite opening is not from the Bond films but from a Leslie Nielsen parody called Spy Hard:)

Gosh I could have picked so many more....


70 comments:

  1. Interesting picks indeed, greetings.

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  2. Oh wow, I haven't seen any of these, but I've definitely heard of The Manchurian Candidate. Gonna have to check these out :)
    - Allie

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    1. The original Manchurian Candidate is better than the remake. I always think everyone has seen the Bond films

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  3. Another week where I haven't see any of these, though I did see the remake of the Manchurian Candidate. One of these weeks I won't be such a failure. lol

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    1. I know...I usually pick older films but I hope you see the original film of the Manchurian Candidate-I think it is better

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  4. There are a ton indeed. Can't go wrong with picking a Bond film either. I've seen both versions of the Manchurian candidate, the original was better, as almost always.

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    1. I agree about the original film being better. I love Bond even with all his shenanigans

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  5. Hi, dear BB! I have seen movies $2 and #3. Goldfinger was my favorite of the 007 series. I laughed when I heard Connery's Bond pronounce Pussy Galore's name "Poosy." That Ian Fleming series, songs like "Secret Agent Man" and "Agent 00-Soul," and spy themed television series that included The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart and Bill Cosby's I Spy, gave me a hunger for action, adventure and danger. I found all that and more at the Shady Dell and it is one of the main reasons why I became a regular there. I could actually become James Bond for a few hours nightly.

    Thank you, dear friend Birgit!

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    1. Those TV themes were so great! You are right about Connery's pronunciation-hilarious-even if he thinks he is dreaming. It sounds like you had a few martini's in your day but I bet no nifty car like his

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  6. Your description of Bond made me laugh!!

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    1. Well...he would be in bad shape wouldn't he:)

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  7. Got to admit I love the James Bond films...they cheer me up!you have to laugh they are so unreal!.....haven't seen the new one yet that is usually my birthday treat....xxxx

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    1. i know what you mean-they are fun and I plan to see the new Bond film for sure

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  8. OOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooh The Manchurian Candidate! Love that one. I haven't seen any Bond films - until Skyfall. I'm not really sure why. Haven't seen The Man Between but with Carol Reed directing and James Mason starring how could it not be good? Pity it hasn't been released on DVD.

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    1. I thought most people have seen all the Bond films. It is a pity about The Man Between-great film!

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  9. I love The Manchurian Candidate as well. So smart and cutting. It makes you sad movies aren't made like this anymore.

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    1. How true! I wish more thinking man's films did come out

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  10. I didn't know that about the original The Manchurian Candidate; fascinating how it was kept locked up (basically) for those 30 years. I did see the remake; it was an interesting story. I think I've seen all the Bond movies for the past 35 years since hubby like them. I particularly like Daniel Craig as Bond, but maybe its just because I find him a bit attractive :)

    betty

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    1. Yes the Manchurian Candidate had a lot of controversy. Bond is always fun to watch but I have to love Pierce Brosnan

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  11. Terrific picks! Caught The Man Between on that savior of older films TCM and thought it was aces. Love James Mason, he's one of my top 10 favorite actors, and he nails his role here as he usually did. Of course the direction by Carol Reed helps immeasurably.

    Manchurian Candidate is a great choice. Sinatra had it pulled after JFK was assassinated, he owned a large portion of the film so was able to do that. It's brilliantly director with one of Sinatra's better performances. It also utilizes Laurence Harvey's natural reserve to wonderful effect and Angela Lansbury's performance is one of the greatest unrewarded pieces of work in film history. Love to show it to people who are only familiar with her from Murder, She Wrote where she was consistently good but worlds away from this.

    I'm a casual Bond watcher having seen most of them through the years by running across them rather than seeking them out. That said the Connery ones are the best of the lot with Daniel Craig's a close second. I think I prefer Dr. No to Thunderball but it's a good one and I agree the openings are usually marvelous.

    Oh and by the way I like your choice of spy name.

    I went with a mix of serious and silly for my picks this week...you're right it's a rich vein of choices for the theme:

    If Looks Could Kill (1991)-High school senior Michael Corben, then hot young actor Richard Grieco, headed to France with the French club is mistaken for international spy Michael Corbin and finds himself, now outfitted with all sorts of spy paraphernalia, pursued by an evil cartel that is planning to take control of the European money markets. Fun spoof on the spy genre with Roger Rees and especially Linda Hunt chewing the high grade ham and Robin Bartlett hysterical as The French Teacher.

    Three Days of the Condor (1975)-Joe Turner code name Condor (Robert Redford) a CIA reader whose function is to search literature for conspiracy theories works with a small group in a quiet neighborhood in Washington D.C. One day he slips out the back door for lunch and when he returns finds everyone dead. He phones the agency to be brought in but when he arrives at the rendezvous another attempt is made on his life. A hunted man now he must stay one step ahead of the covert agency within the CIA while trying to solve the puzzle of what the murders mean.

    Pick-up on South Street (1953)-Small time hood Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) pickpockets a young woman’s purse on a crowded subway. Unknown to both is that along with the money she was carrying a piece of top secret microfilm planted by her boyfriend, a Communist agent. Under duress the young girl, Candy, contacts Moe Williams (Thelma Ritter) a police informant to discover Skip’s whereabouts and recover the purloined article. She reluctantly attempts to seduce Skip to recover the film but falls for him instead. The agent desperate to get the incriminating item takes extreme measures causing Skip, now determined to stop him, into a confrontation.

    Honorable Mention- Gotcha! (1985)-Jonathan Moore, played by Anthony Edwards when he had a full head of hair, is a puppyish UCLA college student who is also the reigning champ at “Gotcha!”, a paintball game played throughout campus. On vacation in West Germany with his best friend he’s seduced by the mysterious Sasha (Linda Fiorentino) a sexy slightly older woman who turns out to be an international spy. When she suddenly disappears he finds himself pursued by mysterious men who are trying to kill him for reasons unknown. When he returns home to LA he finds a strange canister of film in his backpack and a team of KGB agents in pursuit. All at once Jonathan is in a real life or death game of “Gotcha!”. As serious as it sounds this is played in a lighthearted vein. It’s fluff but good fluff.


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    1. I thought if anyone has seen The Man Between it would be you:) Connery is a great Bond..I agree. You are so right about the actors involved in The Manchurian Candidate. Sinatra was able to keep it off the radar for so long but I had also read it was the studio...which I doubt. People would be shocked by Angela Lansbury's performance here. I have not seen most of the films you picked here although i have heard of Pick Up on South Street. I have seen 3 Days of the Condor-just this past summer and was not overly taken in by this film. It is very...70's. The anti-government feelings of the 70's are really put forth in this film. I also found it funny that after everything that girl goes through the first thing she thinks of is sleeping with him. I can say, after being kidnapped, shot at, tied up...yup I would sleep with the guy to:)

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  12. BIRGIT, the only one I've seen here is 'THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE'. (I don't think I've ever seen a James Bond movie in its entirety. "Action" is just not one of my favored genres.)

    Funny that now, all these decades later, the U.S. really DOES have a "Manchurian Candidate" in the White House. Life imitating art.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Oh wow-I love Bond:) You radical you...:)

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  13. I'm not really a spy movie gal. I didn't realize this until just this moment.

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    1. I guess not but I will add this...The Man Between could be considered a post war film with drama and romance. It is not the typical spy film one thinks of...if you ever get the chance to see it

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  14. Manchurian is a disturbing film. Weirded me out.

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    1. Oh-the same for me. I would almost classify it as a horror film

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  15. The Manchurian Candidate is a gripping movie.

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  16. Haha. I'm equally amused by Ivana "Humpalot" as I am by your reviews, Birgit. You're too much fun.

    Happy weekend.

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    1. That name comes from Austin Powers:) One has to have fun:)

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  17. You're take on Bond is hilarious, Ta-Tania Enassenwhopper. You almost have me wanting to see one. Yeah, I've yet to see a Bond or Mission Impossible movie. I don't know why. I like spy movies. Kinda. Seems to me I just saw a movie -- or maybe I read one -- about a double agent. Brain truly on a run right now.

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    1. I am shocked that you have not seen one Bond flick. I have a feeling spy films are not your thang

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  18. I've actuallly seen a couple of these. I love spy movies.

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    1. I do as well...almost picked "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold."

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  19. I don't really watch spy movies and haven't seen these. I enjoyed Roger Moore's Bond movies though because they were so funny! :)

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    1. Bond films should never be taken seriously but I would say Roger Moore played it the most cheeky

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  20. Another great selection, Birgit. I absolutely LOVE the Manchurian Man. For the record, I detest all things Bond. Can't stand the twerp! So full of himself!!! Aaaargh! Have a lovely weekend.
    hugs Asha

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    1. hahahaaaa! I know you are not the only one and believe me, I would look at him and run the other direction. he probably has every sexual disease under the sun.

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  21. WOW on Manchurian Candidate! I never saw the film (didn't even know Ol' Blue Eyes was in it... how embarrassing), but LOVED the novel. Yes, very disturbing—but riveting. Apparently there's a remake coming up soon, right? Or am I getting my films/novels mixed up? ;)

    Great list, Birgit. And thanks for the visit over at Quiet Laughter earlier... My apologies for the late reply, too. I'm finally back in the land of reliable internet, and playing catch-up :)

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    1. There are 2 films made on the Manchurian candidate-the first and best version is the one I mentioned. There is a later version with Denzel Washington and Liev Schreiber which is good but not as good as the original. I know what you mean about computer woes-I ahd plenty of that this past late summer

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  22. Not seen the first two, but I have seen Thunderball! I'm not a huge Bond fan but funnily enough, Thunderball is the only 'old' Bond film I've seen! Oh apart from Goldeneye.

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    1. I consider Goldeneye a newer film:) Glad you at least saw my favourite of the first Bond

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  23. 'Thunderball" is my favorite Bond film ("You Only Live Twice" is a close second.
    Incidentally, every time I hear the song, "Secret Agent Man," I sometimes hear "Secret Asian Man."
    Try it next time YOU hear it.

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    1. Hahahaaaa-You are right:) That could be the main theme song for the film, "What's Up Tigerlily."

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    2. Then again, I hear "Bald Headed Woman" every time I hear the Bee Gees sing "More Than a Woman."
      I believe I have mental issues.

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  24. I know your last two. My wife introduced me to Manchurian Candidate, the book first. I haven't seen Thunderball in probably 30 years.

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    1. I have not read the book but have seen both films and the original Manchurian Candidate is better. I love Bond so I have the whole series in DVD

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  25. I love the Jack Ryan films. I think they're probably my favorites.
    Hope your Sunday is perfect.

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    1. The Jack Ryan films are great! I think my favourites are the ones with Harrison Ford. My Sunday was very nice and hope yours was as well

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    2. Harrison Ford's are classic, but......I love Christopher Pine:)

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  26. This used to be my favorite genre and still remains one that I enjoy. I've always liked the Bond films--they have some great stunts and effects along with fun story lines.

    Never saw (or even heard of) The Man Between. I'll have to increase my awareness for that one.

    Arlee Bird
    Wrote By Rote

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    1. Q is one of my favourite characters and I love each Bond even Lazenby in the killer chase scene with bobsleds. Oh! You must see The Man Between-Great film!

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  27. I haven't seen any of these. In fact, I haven't seen a single Sean Connery James Bond flick. I know, I suck, right? To make up for it, though, I will say that I did see Spy Hard and I loved that one.

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    1. OMG-No Bond films? At least the Connery ones? I forgive you since you have seen Spy Hard and I almost peed my pants at the song done by Weird Al-The gals swimming made me laugh til it hurt

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  28. LMAO at the "egotistical alcoholic who's gangrenous dick will fall off"!! ☺
    "My name is Bond. James Bond". ☺ Gives me chills every time, along with the opening sequence when the eye unfolds and he shoots at the camera. I read all of Ian Fleming's books between the ages of 10 and 13 and have seen all the movies. BTW, Spectre is FANTASTIC! We saw it on Saturday. Favourite Bonds in order: Sean, Daniel, Pierce, Timothy. HATED Roger Moore, except for his debut in Live and Let Die. He turned the franchise into a cartoon. George Lazenby was a terrible actor, which is too bad because On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a good story and was the only one where Bond got married. Oh sorry, there were other movies mentioned......The Manchurian Candidate is such a classic!

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    1. hAAHAAAI didn't mind Moore, except when he dressed up as a clown-was that Octopussy? I want to see Spectre and will. Poor Lazenby-he was bad and too bad because Diana Rigg was a great actress in the role. I only read You Only Live Twice

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    2. Yes, the clown suit was from Octopussy. :P I agree; Diana Rigg was excellent. Such a waste to cast Lazenby in what would have otherwise been a good film.

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  29. The James Bond Thunderball is the only one I've seen here. I'll have to catch the other two on my next time-out. I have to give Sean Connery the thumbs up for doing his own stunts, the fight sequences in Thunderball are pretty amazing.

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    1. I did not know he did his own stunts here. I do commend him. The other 2 films are worth the watch

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  30. I've never gotten into espionage or gangster films. They just don't interest me.

    The closest I've come is Point of No Return with Bridget Fonda, a remake of La Femme Nikita. Does that count? :)

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    1. Yes that counts! My first film could be classified as a post war film and more about how the war and the split of Germany took its toll

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  31. Are you going to see the current Bond movie?

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  32. I love the Bourne Identity series. So excited that another one is coming out! I've never really gotten into the Bond movies. I guess I should give them a shot. I also really liked Red. Didn't see Red 2 though. Did you?
    I like political thrillers. I'm currently hooked on Homeland. Do you watch that?
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I love the Bourne films but the ones with Matt Damon. I actually saw the TV mini series with Richard Chamberlain which wasn't bad. I have seen Red and Red 2. The first movie is better as is typical but it is still quite entertaining. I don't see Homeland...if it is on HBO then nope! I don;t have HBO

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  33. I haven't seen any if these and I love special agent/spy movies!

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    1. Wow! I hope you have seen some Bond films and I think you will love the Manchurian Candidate but see the original one. I also think you would love The Man Between and probably can only view it online if you find it

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