Covert Action

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Terence Gavish

3 comments

  • Ken Watkins 2 years ago
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    One Star, December 25, 2016
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    This review is from: Covert Action (Amazon Video)
    poorly made
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  • Dail Jordan 2 years ago
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    very entertaining, December 16, 2016
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    This review is from: Covert Action (Amazon Video)
    I enjoyed it, would give it a 5 star rating. Dail
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  • Mc De Jong 2 years ago
    2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Clearly a B-movie, albeit an amusing enough one, June 20, 2010
    By 
    Mc De Jong (Netherlands) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

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    This review is from: Covert Action [VHS] (VHS Tape)
    Saw “Covert action” (aka “Sono stato un agente C.I.A.”), spy movie from 1978, directed by Romolo Guerrieri, starring David Janssen, Arthur Kennedy, Maurizio Merli, Corinne Clery, etc. This movie is clearly a B-movie, albeit an amusing enough one. The story is less complicated than in many other spy movies, but this is compensated for by the overt denunciation of the authorities in spy land and their despicable methods. The scene in the mental institution is totally insane (no pun intended). The portrayal of the other patients (like the woman breastfeeding the doll) reminded me of the fact this movie is Italian (I saw the English version): it’s got that absurd quality one often finds in Italian movies. Other Italian markers in “Covert Action” would be the use of a child as a shield to prevent one’s pursuer from shooting (compare the pathos in such a scene with similar moments in other Italian action movies of the time) and the Mediterranean locations (though not Italy). Perhaps the Greek surroundings pleased me most in this film: the Athens shots were so beautiful I could often recognize the very places where I had walked myself during my holidays. In this sense, the film almost feels like Greece promotion, since there are so many beautiful panoramic shots of the country (and it is telling that the Greek police inspector is a good guy, unlike many of the others). I guess it is a certain lack of depth that gives “Covert Action” the feel of a B-movie. Some of the scenes seem to have a rather abrupt ending, but having said that I realize these were only a few. It is just hard to lay one’s finger on the B-movie qualities of it, even though one realizes they are unmistakably there. It may be in the editing, the one-sided choice of locations, the lack of depth (what is Horton (Janssen) actually writing about, why is the Greek inspector helping him, what and where exactly is/was the tape – all such things are not elaborated on). It is certainly not in the acting, however. The main actors are very good, especially Arthur Kennedy. I recently saw a film called “The Sell Out” (1976), which compares to this one in the sense that it is also a spy movie concerning CIA machinations (victimizing former and/or present employees) set in a Mediterranean country with an undeniable B-movie feel, but all this without marring the viewing experience.
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