Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday movie Picks-Undercover


I know there are a ton of films regarding undercover agents, spies etc... and, for some reason, I had a tough time but I came up with 3. I am thinking "The Departed" will be a big one this week, and it’s a good film, but I went  another way, of course, with one film I have talked about before but, I love it, so I am repeating this film yet again. It’s fun to check out Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what everyone else has chosen. Here are my 3...

1. WHITE HEAT-1949


This gem is the film I have talked about before but it is brilliant and I love it, so here we go again. James Cagney plays one whack a doodle gangster who loves his mother in a unhealthy way. Mom enables her son and helps him lead his gang which includes Cagney’s no good wife, played by Virginia Mayo who was great as his snoring, two-timing slut. Enter the cops who decide to infiltrate the gang using Edmond O’Brien who becomes Cagney’s confidant when Cagney goes to prison to dodge something bigger. The menace that Cagney displays along with his vulnerability, in psycho kind of way, leads to some pretty epic scenes culminating in an explosive ending.

2. COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR-1962


I recall seeing a photo in my Life book of William Holden crying out through the bars. From that moment I had to see the film and I finally did a decade ago, and I loved it. It’s based on a true story of Eric Erickson, a U. S. born Swedish citizen, who has business oil dealings in Germany during World War 2. He is approached by The Allies to spy on some big Nazi bastards with the help of the German underground. His contact is the beautiful Marianne (Lilli Palmer) who works for the resistance, and they fall in love but, it is unfortunately, short lived. This is another gem that is hard to find unless you have the DVD like I do or you watch it on YouTube. It is well acted, tense and shows that not all Germans were Nazi lovers. It's a must see!

3. SPY-2015


For a complete change of pace, I chose this very funny movie starring Melissa McCarthy as a low level spy helper who is the eyes and ears for the top spy played by Jude Law. He is killed and the one they have to choose to go undercover is, yup, McCarthy who is given a horrible name and is only supposed to follow the mark. She does more and it goes from there. I find this movie hilarious from the basement where she works that is infested with mice and bats, to the scene stealing Jason Statham as a dim-witted spy. I also love Rose Byrne and her big hair as the evil nemesis. This is so funny and I can watch this over and over again.

Which 3 would you choose?

55 comments:

  1. Saw White Heat many times. Don't care for Melissa so never saw her movie and am putting the Counterfeit traitor on my list. Recently watched The Spy Who Came in from the Cold on YouTube after reading the book. Not impressed with either.

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    1. I love Melissa and never even thought people wouldn’t like her:). Hope you get to see Counterfeit Traitor. I like the film The Spy Who Came 8n from the Cold but it is depressing.

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    2. Our state library exchange system has the movie so I should have it this week. Yes, the movie was very depressing and the book more so.

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  2. I've seen White Heat. Sorry, not a fan of McCarthy.
    Movies that come to mind include The Fast and the Furious (first one), No Man's Land (80's film), and Miami Vice (the movie).

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    1. Glad you glad you saw one of my all time favourite movies. A second person who dislikes Melissa..wow. I don’t know No Man’s Land but have seen the other 2 and they are good choices

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  3. havnt seen any of these Birgit..but having fun watching Killing Eve on the tv...hugs xxx

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    1. I have to still see that show but have heard good things about it

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  4. Love your synopses, even if I've never seen any of these. You would think I'd seen Spy since it was made while I was alive, but I'm not a fan of comedies. Thanks for these FUN reviews, though.

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    1. Glad you enjoy reading my synopsis. Comedies are tough because comedies are personal. I find most very funny but my mom? She was picky and didn’t care for most of them.

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  5. I've seen the first and third ones, loved them both. The second one is new to me, but of course, I want to watch it. ☺ My mother and family weren't Nazi lovers either, and neither were yours, as I recall, Birgit.

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    1. I think you would like the film. No, they were not. My dad was born in Barry’s Bay, Ontario so he was Canadian and fought with the stormont, Dundas, Glengarry regiment and he was part of the liberation of Holland. My mom, as you know was German and she disliked the regime as did my uncles even though one was in the army and the other in the Navy.

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  6. I haven't see these or heard of them, but I am intrigued about the Counterfeit Traitor. I'll have to look up that one on YouTube.

    betty

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    1. I bet you would like this film if you can find it

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  7. Thanks, Birgit. I am hooked on series TV programs, like FBI, the Blacklist, and Billions.

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  8. I love White Heat and Spy. Both are great, great choices. Cagney is THE MAN! Haven't seen your other pick.

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    1. Glad you like my picks and Cagney is so great. I bet you would love the Counterfeit Traitor

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  9. Statham was the scene stealer in Spy, but hard to get through as I can't really stand McCarthy.

    Fast and Furious and Point Break, former pretty much a rip off of the latter, comes to mind.

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    1. He was a scene stealer but now a third who dislike McCarthy and I wonder why as I love her. I have seen Fast and Furious...hahahaaaa.....I find these films so dumb. I haven’t seen Pointe Break

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  10. LOVE these and we match on an unexpected pick!

    White Heat is just a corrosive drama of intense emotions with one of Cagney's matchless performances.

    Counterfeit Traitor is wonderful and unjustly obscure. Glad you shined some light on it. Bill Holden and Lilli Palmer are both so good in it.

    I didn't have any great expectations for Spy when I started watching it but it was so much fun. I've rewatched it a couple of times since.

    Aside from our match I went with two film noirs derived from the same source material.

    Spy (2015)-CIA agent Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is the eyes and ears for dashing agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law) keeping him safe in dangerous situations. But when Bradley is assassinated by Bulgarian arms dealer Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) Susan convinces agency head Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney) to let her go out into the field to try and basically save the world! McCarthy kicks some serious butt in this ripper of a comic spoof with able help from Miranda Hart as Susan’s goofy friend and a hilarious performance by Jason Statham as a fellow agent who thinks he’s the greatest but is in reality a buffoon.

    The Street with No Name (1948)-FBI Agent Gene Cordell (Mark Stevens) goes undercover to investigate the seedy underworld of Skid Row. Gene joins a gang of vicious thugs who are responsible for recent murders and helps them plan a heist; unbeknownst to the criminals, they'll be playing right into a police set-up. Unfortunately, manic crime boss Alec Stiles (Richard Widmark) knows that one of his underlings is an informer, and it's only a matter of time until he figures out which of his men is the undercover cop. Gritty noir with a fantastic Widmark.

    House of Bamboo (1955)-A reworking of The Street with No Name. US undercover agent Eddie Kenner (Robert Stack) arrives in postwar Tokyo to infiltrate a violent crime ring run by former GI Sandy Dawson (Robert Ryan) and falling into a relationship with Mariko (Shirley Yamaguchi) the widow of one of the gang members. As he gets closer to exposing the organization he risks being exposed himself. Once again it’s the villain this time enacted by the great Ryan who stands out.

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    1. I can’t believe we match with Spy! I found that scene with that weird German silver singer very funny. Glad you like The Counterfeit Traitor which should be better known. I haven’t seen you other 2 picks but Widmark and Ryan are always great

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  11. I've heard about Spy, but I haven't seen that movie yet. Great list!

    Here’s my Thursday Movie Picks!

    Ronyell @ The Surreal Movies and TV Blog

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    1. Unless you dislike Melissa McCarthy, 8nthink you will find it very funny.

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  12. You sold me on Sad Clowns, and I'd never heard of it.
    Cheers and well wishes, Birgit.

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    1. I am finding there are people who can’t stand Melissa McCarthy but I love her and this movie is so funny especially if you need a good laugh

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  13. I need to check out that White Heat as I remember you writing about it before. But I haven't seen any of those films this week. I think Spy sounds good too. I need to check that out. It sounds like a good FRiday night film when or when you don't want anything heavy. And thanks for your comment when you mentioned your friend whose hives went away when they retired. Maybe that's the answer. Smile. Have a great rest of the week and weekend. hugs-Erika

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    1. Yes, don’t we wish we could retire:). Spy is perfect for a Friday night to sit back and laugh and not think too hard

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  14. I don't get current humor. I tried to watch Spy. In the end, I had to fast forward through most of it as I couldn't watch it. I found it cringeworthy. Just goes to show how tastes are different.

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    1. Oh my goodness! This just shows how humour can be very personal. It’s harder to make a comedy that everyone likes than to make a drama.

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  15. Spy is awesome. The idea of Jason Statham playing a funny version of his action persona is just incredible. I feel like he got seriously robbed of an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor.

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    1. You are so right! He should have been nominated

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  16. All time favourite has got to be North By North West. Then, of course, there are all those James Bond movies.
    That's Purrfect
    Not So Sweet Toffee

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    1. You are so right with North by Northwest..great film. I purposely stayed away from James Bond but they fit for sure

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  17. Birgit,

    Thanks for the movie review, especially for Spy. I'm not a huge Melissa McCarthy fan but this one looks like it has potential. I will see if it's available on my streaming apps. Have a furtastic weekend and thanks for visiting, my dear! ;)

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    1. I would say it’s great but reading the above comments...I can’t say. I am shocked by how many dislike this actress

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    2. Birgit,

      I'm surprised to hear that others aren't fond of her. I figured she'd be an instant hit with everyone other than me. :) For me the things I've seen her in, her roles are too crass to suit my taste. She's a good actress otherwise.

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  18. Hmmm.... Ain't nuttin' at all coming to my mind. Highly unusual.

    I've seen 'White Heat', of course, but not your other two choices.

    Well, Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson do go undercover as German army officers in 'The Dirty Dozen', but that's only in the last, climactic portion of the movie. Not sure if that would count.

    -- D-FensDogG

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    1. Oh yes, that would count and I love that scene since Lee Marvin had to keep his mouth shut. They had no clue how nutty Telly, aka Maggot, would become.

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  19. You school me on films all the time. I haven't seen any of these, but I have heard of White Heat.

    Spy sounds like fun.

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    1. Spy is a lot of fun and when I feel down, I love watching this film.

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  20. I haven't seen any of these movies. I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I've never seen a James Bond film. I guess I'm not big on "undercover" movies. I'd rather be under the covers.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Wow! No James Bond??! You sound like my mom who was not a fan of spy films.

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  21. I've seen White Heat but not the other two. I know there are many films that can fit this category, but as usual none are coming immediately to mind.

    I like those films about infiltrators--like the old ones about folks getting into the Communist Party to spy on them. One of the funniest films I've seen is The Man Who Knew Too Little with Bill Murray. In this one, Bill's character thinks he is part of a theatrical group portraying a real spy group when we really has become involved in a spy group. I laugh so hard whenever I watch this film.


    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Oh I have to see that movie because I love Bill Murray and just the take on the film title makes me laugh. I have this marked down to see. I hope I get to see it one day

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    2. Let me know when you watch it if you do. I don't think I've ever heard anybody else say they've seen this film and it is so darn funny! One of Murray's best in my opinion.

      Lee

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  22. Haven't seen any of these.

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  23. I love Spy, I didn't think I'd like that at all and it ended up being so funny.

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    1. It is so funny..I love Jason Statham who should have had an Oscar nom and Rose Byrne was hilarious as the evil gal.

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  24. I have not seen any of these movies, but I do believe I will at least add that last one to my growing list.
    Have a wonderful week,
    Andrea

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    1. Hello and hope you are well. Yes, if you see one of these, I think you would enjoy them.

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  25. I haven't seen any of these and somehow never even heard of Spy even though it's so recent. You have me curious about it as it sounds so funny, I'll have to check it out.
    I love spy stories and, as someone above mentioned, have just become obsessed with Killing Eve on tv. Love it.
    Good to see you, Birgit!

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    1. If you like Melissa McCarthy and don’t mind some potty mouths..yes it is hilarious! I still haven’t seen Killing Eve but I heard it’s great and Sandra Oh won a Golden Glover for her performance

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