HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
   
 
Newest Articles
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Telefon Miles To Go Before You SleepBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Charles Bronson, Lee Remick, Donald Pleasence, Tyne Daly, Alan Badel, Patrick Magee, Sheree North, Frank Marth, Helen Page Camp, Roy Jenson, Jacqueline Scott, Ed Bakey, John Mitchum, Iggie Wolfington, Hank Brandt, John Carter, Burton Gilliam
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Moscow, early January, and the Soviet authorities are clamping down on the Stalinists in an attempt to thaw the Cold War - not that this makes the powers that be much more liberal. Yet one of the officials their operation is designed to take out goes missing when they send soldiers over to dispose of him, and nobody seems to know where he has gone. Soon they will know: Nicolai Dalchimsky (Donald Pleasence) has escaped to America, though not to defect. He has the details of some 51 Soviet agents in that country, so secret that even they don't know they are agents - or, for that matter, human time bombs...

It's an indication of how daft Telefon is that it relies heavily on the Hollywood version of hypnosis to keep its plot moving steadily forward, and such is that faith in the practice that here it can induce its victims to not only commit suicide, but murder and cause untold mayhem as well. On the other hand, it's an indication of how skillfully and briskly this is handled by director Don Siegel that you're happy to accept any amount of absurdity when he can keep the tension ticking over, exploiting the concerns between East and West which were still very much valid at the time this was made.

What Dalchimsky is planning is to take those deep cover agents and use them to spark World War Three, but in a pleasing touch he's a couple of decades out of date with his targets. The agents have been in place so long that they have made lives for themselves as everyday Americans, oblivious to the deadly intentions of their bosses who have almost forgotten about them until they begin to, say, crash a truck full of explosives into an army base. A base which no longer holds the target, needless to say. Their missions are set off by a telephone call where Dalchimsky recites them a few lines of a Robert Frost poem, acting as the trigger to send them on their dangerous way.

But wait, I hear you ask, isn't this supposed to be a Charles Bronson movie? Worry not, for he is in this even if he doesn't appear until the film is twenty minutes in, and even then his screen time is surprisingly limited. Siegel was a fan of Bronson, and had the confidence to see that his character need not be present for the entire running time if we knew he was out there somewhere, tracking the menace to society down, although he does not pull his gun until the final half hour. So this is not your usual vehicle for the star, but he does make a pretty good KGB man although a Russian accent doesn't seem to have been of great importance to him.

He's undoubtedly a more convincing agent than his partner when he reaches the U.S.A., one Barbara, played by Lee Remick with such sunny disposition that Bronson's Major Borzov tells her to stop being so cheerful. But then, I suppose the ones you would least suspect of being an agent are the ones doing their jobs the most effectively. Anyway, they make a curious couple as they hunt down Dalchimsky, and some of the best sequences have him contacting the unwitting killers (including housewife Sheree North), followed by their attempts at causing chaos. Somewhat unnecessary are the parts with a seriously understaffed C.I.A., where boffin Tyne Daly taps away at her supercomputer to work out where the danger will strike next - these really come across as padding as they have little bearing on the outcome. So if this is no Manchurian Candidate, it is a neat and novel Cold War suspense item if you can suspend your disbelief, and even if you cannot, it's still enjoyable. Music by Lalo Schifrin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2357 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Don Siegel  (1912 - 1991)

Respected American director, a former editor, whose action thrillers were second to none. He started out in lower budget movies like The Big Steal, Riot in Cell Bock 11 and The Lineup but come the sixties he started making higher profile work such as the remake of The Killers and Madigan. His fruitful partnership with Clint Eastwood gave us Dirty Harry and Escape from Alcatraz, among others. Another of his finest 1970s films was Charley Varrick.

Siegel had small acting roles in Play Misty for Me and Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers - he had directed the classic original in the 1950s.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: