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The Amateur
The Amateur
Actors: John Savage, Christopher Plummer, Marthe Keller, Arthur Hill, Nicholas Campbell
Director: Charles Jarrott
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2005     1hr 52min

At 29, Charles Heller was a mathematician without equal. At the CIA he was a computer expert wtihout peers. But when terrorists murder the most important woman in his life, he becomes an assassin without experience. To ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: John Savage, Christopher Plummer, Marthe Keller, Arthur Hill, Nicholas Campbell
Director: Charles Jarrott
Creators: John Coquillon, Andrew G. Vajna, Garth H. Drabinsky, Joel B. Michaels, Mario Kassar, Diana Maddox, Robert Littell
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Espionage, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 07/26/2005
Original Release Date: 02/12/1982
Theatrical Release Date: 02/12/1982
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

An intelligent movie with suspense and a true underdog
Alan R. Holyoak | 05/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Though this movie is now nearly 20 years old, it is still extremely watchable. It does not rely on special effects. It, rather, relies on the development of Hitchcock-like suspense. In the movie, the magazine reporter fiance of a CIA computer specialist is executed by terrorists via random drawing while she is on assignment in europe. This infuriates the main protagonist of the movie -- the CIA employee. He collects enough information on CIA sensitive activities to blackmail the agency into allowing him to go into eastern europe so he can locate and eliminate the terrorists that killed his fiance himself.He is the amateur in a professional's game. The plot is believable, the suspense is tangeable, and the story line not predictable.I promise that if you like suspense movies, you will love this one! The acting, from main and supporting characters, is good. I particularly enjoyed the character who played the father of the murdered fiance. CIA officers and execs also play their roles (though perhaps a bit stereotyped) quite well.5 stars."
Flawed but engrossing thriller
F. J. Harvey | Birmingham England | 01/28/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"John Savage plays Charles Heller ,a cryptographer in the employ of the CIA ,whose girlfriend is killed by Munich based terrorists .He demands that his employers exact retribution on the low lives responsible .They refuse and in retaliation he threatens to expose the Agency's covert activities unless they train him to carry out his own vengeance .
He gets his way and travels to Czechoslavakia where they have their base .It is there that his problems really start to mount up-the Czechs are not too thrilled by his presence and the Agency renage on the deal and send their own hit squad to take him out .
The premise of the movie is good and the support cast is excellent .The production values are well up to standard and the action scenes are well mounted and credible The locations are attractive too ,with Vienna standing in for Prague .
I was not too impresssed by Savage in the title role -he is a skilled actor but not charismatic enough to carry a movie as the action lead ,and the script fails to build on the "fish out of water "scenario as much as I would have liked
It still remains a very watchable movie however and you could do a lot worse than try to uncover this neglected 80's picture"
The Professional Amateur
C. A. Luster | Burke, VA USA | 07/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"At least he is CIA intel and that is actually a big part of spying. The fact he wasn't part of the gun set doesn't make him less a spy. The story however wants you to think of him as a helpless bookworm. John Savage does one of the best roles of his career as a CIA agent that has been relegated to desk duty research which is his forte. When his fiance is killed overseas by ruthless terrorist he wants justice. With the help of his abilities he is able to formulate a plan and apply pressure in a way the CIA can't refuse. Good acting, directing, camera work, and music. Good action and great locations. A very entertaining movie that has been far overdue getting to DVD. Fans of spy movies should enjoy it and many that like action movies as well. Just as in the real world of espionage, all the loose ends aren't always tied in nice little knots. Fans of Tom Clancy will probably enjoy this one."