From legendary director John Schlesinger (MIDNIGHT COWBOY, MARATHON MAN, THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN). Oscar(R)-winner Anthony Hopkins (THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, Best Actor, 1991) stars with Isabella Rossellini (ROGER DODGE... more »R, EMPIRE) in this steamy thiller that combines passion with international intrigue! A dangerous espionage mission turns deadly when an aggressive CIA agent (Hopkins) learns that his young partner (Campbell Scott, ROGER DODGER) has become involved with a mysterious seductress (Rossellini). The suspense escalates as the agent races to save his doomed partner ... with a plan that will force the young man and his beautiful lover to choose between untold secrets ... and dark passions!« less
A Flawed but Intense Film of Espionage, Intrigue and History
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE INNOCENT is a little known movie released in 1995 and only just now available on DVD. For those who are fans of novelist Ian McEwan stories (The Atonement, Amsterdam, Enduring Love, The Comfort of Strangers, The Child in Time, etc) then this foray into screenwriting based on his own 1989 novel by the same name will be of great interest. Based on a true bit of history, the story takes place in 1954 when the British and Americans were carrying on a clandestine partnership in digging a tunnel beneath the Berlin Wall to gain access to the buried telephone lines that provided wire tapping of Russian communications. The CIA agent in charge of the American division is Bob (played by a very oddly cast Anthony Hopkins) who receives the genteel and innocent 25-year-old British soldier Leonard (Campbell Scott) as a technician to direct the wire-taping mission. Leonard is the true 'guileless fool', a wide eyed virgin on his first undercover military mission and eventually his first affair with an older German woman Maria (Isabella Rossellini), a woman with a dubious past, who eventually involves him in the murder of her husband Otto (Ronald Nitschke) and his rather Grand Guignol disposal. Now completely trapped by the circumstances of the Cold War and his inadvertent entry into espionage, Leonard is forced to escape to England in a way that involves Maria and Bob and the fact that the Russians discover the intrigue. The film ends with a return of Leonard to the Berlin of 1989 when the Berlin Wall come down: the intervening 25 years have taken their toll on all concerned.
The film is very well directed by John Schlesinger and while Campbell and Rossellini are excellent, Hopkins as a brash American CIA agent seems oddly miscast. He is a fine actor and is able to bring off his multifaceted role well, but just seems uncomfortable and makes us feel that. A movie well worth your attention, especially if you happen to love Ian McEwan's elegant way with words and story line."
Linda Laucks | Jefferson City, MO United States | 10/02/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Set in the 1950's during the Cold War, "The Innocent" is a story of a young English engineer named Leonard (Campbell Scott) who is sent to Berlin to tap into Russian telephone wires. His commanding officer, the American CIA agent Bob (Anthony Hopkins), is constantly reminding Leonard that there is danger in trusting civilians. Bob's fear is that an American-British multi-million dollar project used to spy on the Russians will be uncovered. Meanwhile, Leonard, who is inexperienced with women, falls in love with a seductive German woman named Maria (Isabella Rossellini). Bob warns him of the potential danger, but Leonard proceeds with his love affair despite the warning. Maria probes Leonard for bits of information about his job, and when Leonard discovers that Maria has not been truthful with him the story takes a twist.The story moves slowly and the acting has a lot to be desired. It is not the worst movie I have seen, but far from the best. While portraying an American, Anthony Hopkins has many problems with the dialog which causes him to speak loud, abrupt, and with no emotion. Campbell Scott tries his best to speak a British dialect and in the process is very soft-spoken. Isabella Rossellini gives it her best shot to speak German and frequently giggles. Personally, being a fan of the great Anthony Hopkins, I felt that his bills might have waited until he received another movie offer."
John Cobb | 04/29/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Another really bad cold war movie! Sir Anthony Hopkins tries to speak American English but fails completely! And so do the other actors. The story line is ridiculous, as most of the cold war movies. However, this movie could be worth seeing. But you would need Cary Grant, James Stewart and Ingrid Bergman in the cast. A waste of time and money!"
Another Schlessinger disappointment..
John Cobb | Austin, TX | 02/13/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I don't go out of my way usually to see John Schlessinger movies-somehow Sunday, Bloody, Sunday never had the impact on me, that it did on others. In fact, I always have to remind myself that Herr. Schlesinger directed Cold Comfort Farm, seeing as I enjoyed it immensely.Why then am I watching The Innocent? Two immediate reasons come to mind. First, my affinity for The Comfort of Strangers has sent me on a mission to find all adapted Ian McEwan novels. Second, the fact that Campbell Scott stars is something to which I immediately find appealing.In recent years I've decided that Scott will soon become an important American actor...his almost genius cameos in The Daytrippers, and Big Night (which he also co-directed) as well as his starring roll in David Mamet's Spanish Prisoner lend me to believe the young man is indeed on his way.The film itself, unfortunately pales in comparison to a startling, brilliant piece of work like Comfort of Strangers. Anthony Hopkins is miscast as an American CIA agent, the story is shallow and uneven.On to the next McEwan work."
One of the Worst Directed Films I've Ever Seen
David Thomson | Houston, TX USA | 11/09/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"John Schlesinger is a respected director. What happened with this film? Was the screenplay so awful that he was unable to do anything to save the production? To be kind, I will describe the music score as banal and forgettable. Did Anthony Hopkins bet too much money in Las Vegas leaving him desperately in debt? There are no redeeming qualities to recommend this Cold War spy story. It is entirely senseless. We are expected to buy into the story of a woman supposedly trying to seduce a scientist to learn about the secret project he is working on. I never did figure out who was employing her. The film ended with me scratching my head in total bewilderment. One can literally find made for TV movies which offer far more entertainment value. Alas, I suffered through to the bitter end. Please do not do likewise. Ignore The Innocent. Life is too short. You have better things to do---like watching grass growing in the back of your house.