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Espion Lève-toi

Here's a belated digest of mid-'60s espionage clichés, from the bandstand rendezvous at the start (The Ipcress File) to the perforated hero and heroine at the end (The Spy Who Came In From the Cold). Once again government agencies and their creatures are characterised as ruthless, cynical and devious beyond comprehension, crushing the innocent in the interests of some great obscure McGuffin. The setting (Zurich, with all its Franco-German confusions) might have stimulated some originality, but no: this is all cold-eyed hitmen, spot the traitor and shoot-outs on the funicular. Ventura, Piccoli and the composer Morricone in their different ways keep their heads below the parapet, but Janda unwisely charges forth, acting away as though all this might mean something. From George Markstein's novel Chance Awakening.

Release details

Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Yves Boisset
Screenwriter: Michel Audiard, Claude Veillot, Yves Boisset
Cast: Lino Ventura
Michel Piccoli
Krystyna Janda
Bruno Crémer
Heinz Bennent
Bernard Fresson
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