Release date: 1980
Color; 105 Minutes
Directed by Ronald Neame
Screenplay by Brain Garfield and Bryan Forbes
Based on the novel by Brian Garfield
Walter Matthau as Miles Kendig
Glenda Jackson as Isabel von Schoenberg
Sam Waterston as Joseph Cutter
Ned Beatty as Myerson
David Matthau as Ross
A delightfully funny spy comedy starring Walter Matthau as Miles Kendig, a CIA agent relegated to a desk job by his annoyingly short boss, played by Ned Beatty. Kendig decides to write his memoirs and consequently the memoirs of the "Dirty Tricks Department" of the CIA. With the help of ex CIA member Isabel, he sends chapters of this astonishing body of work to all the big players in the Cold War. He suddenly finds himself pursued by the Americans and Russians, all desperate to get their hands on him, for their own reasons. Kendig deftly escapes all attempts at capture with his usual aplomb. This is a terribly undervalued classic of the spy genre. It was recently released on DVD by the Criterion Collection.
Trivia Note: To the best of my knowledge, this is the only film in which Walter Matthau appears with his son, David Matthau.