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(YouTube) Video Saturday Cinema - Hopscotch, 1980: A CIA man grows fed up with his idiot colleagues and decides to embarrass them by publishing a tell-all book. Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson star   (youtube.com ) divider line
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741 clicks; posted to Video » on 26 Jul 2014 at 12:05 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-26 11:20:36 AM  
scopophiliamovieblog.files.wordpress.com
Brian Garfield was unhappy with the smash hit film Death Wish, based upon his 1974 novel of the same name. To be fair, the script that came from the book had been written for Henry Fonda who was horrified and turned it down. Tough guy Charles Bronson, who made nearly 80 films without being able to act, got his hands on the script and turned it into the murderous franchise we know and love. (By the way, the film is being re-made with Liam Neesom.)

When producers approached Garfield to purchase his dark comic novel Hopscotch for cinema screens, Garfield insisted on penning the screenplay. Actor Walter Matthau annotated the script heavily and suggested that Glenda Jackson play his love interest. While the film eventually became a light comedy, apparently Garfield was happy with the result released in 1980.

Matthau plays a bored CIA man who's at the end of his career and increasingly frustrated with the futility of his job. So, on his way out the door, he ensures that his HR records are shredded. He then leaves a note that he'll be publishing a tell-all book about his CIA career.

The memoirs will not emphasize grand strategic or national secrets. It will tell the world how incompetent most of people working in the intelligence business are. Oh, and to make it interesting, he'll be mailing in one chapter at a time to his former boss and the publishers.

This sets off an international man hunt as the opera-loving retiree with a typewriter in tow tries to write his book.  Ned Beatty costars as the dingaling boss. The photograph of Beatty on the desk where Matthau is typing his book is first seen with a smiling face. As the writing continues throughout the film, the expression gradually changes as the pursuit goes on. According to wiki, Hopscotch received a lukewarm response from critics. It is what it is, a light comedy. As such Matthau never really seems to be under any threat. Perhaps telling the story in medias res or something could have worked better.

An appallingly young Sam Waterston is Matthau's protégé. Waterson nearly didn't make it. He's been in remote Montana shooting Heaven's Gate for so long he'd been ill. As a consequence, in several scenes other actors remark on how ill his character looks.

Matthau had lost family and friends during the war and was reticent about travelling to Germany for cross-Europe pursuit. Over the course of the production and rehearsals, Matthau's son eventually became involved and gave up his opposition. Matthau's son appears in the Oktoberfest scene. The reason why that sequence looks so good is that it was the real thing, filmed with hidden cameras.

British director Ronald Neame (Blithe, Spirit, Poseidon Adventure, Scrooge, The Man Who Never Was,  Tunes of Glory, The Prime of Miss Jean Brody) was the cinematographer on 47 films before taking the helm. He directed three Oscar-winning performances. In 2003, the British Film Institute called him "a living embodiment" of cinema, and "a sort of one-man world heritage site".

Link to last week's Saturday Cinema
Next week's Saturday Cinema can turn any American into a traitor in 36 hours.

c2.staticflickr.com
 
2014-07-26 11:41:55 AM  
It's a good flick and I miss the ever adorable Walter "The Human Basset Hound" Matthau.

That's all I have to add.
 
2014-07-26 12:18:38 PM  
"I know where it is.  That son of a ----- rented my house!"

Love that movie!
 
2014-07-26 01:32:37 PM  
One of my favorite movies. I watched it last week on Netflix.
 
2014-07-26 01:42:40 PM  
I haven't seen Hopscotch in years.  Great little film.
 
2014-07-26 03:03:48 PM  
And whole crap ton of Mozart.
"Now I know what FBI stands for!"
 
2014-07-26 03:46:40 PM  
First R rated film I ever saw...my parents took me when I was nine. I don't know why they took me, maybe the babysitter couldn't make it, but I remember liking it even at that age.
 
2014-07-26 03:51:37 PM  
"You mean 'See You Next Tuesday' Myerson?"

One of my favorite movie lines of all time, delivered every so evisceratingly by the cool and crisp Glenda Jackson...
 
2014-07-26 05:08:04 PM  
One of the best spy comedies ever made.

/I own it on DVD
//and the book, too
 
2014-07-26 06:21:22 PM  
I read the book after seeing the film and admired that both were good in their own ways. The book's more of a thriller and as unrealistic, just in a different way.

brap: It's a good flick and I miss the ever adorable Walter "The Human Basset Hound" Matthau.


Yeah, he was one of the best character actors the US has ever produced. I'd be very hard pressed to identify who's a replacement for him. People like Edward Norton are clearly going to have long and stellar careers but the ability to get cast in a farce one year and a thriller the next doesn't seem to come to most acting careers.
 
2014-07-26 11:12:55 PM  

EngineerBoy: "You mean 'See You Next Tuesday' Myerson?"


Okay, I'll bite. It apparently sailed right over my head What does  "You mean 'See You Next Tuesday' Myerson?"  mean?

Two other notes about the film. 1) The pilot is Matthau's daughter. So, when she says 'You remind me of my father' she's not kidding. 2) Many of the throwaway names used in the film are those of thriller writers: Follet, Ludlum and Westlake.
 
2014-07-26 11:18:42 PM  

gaslight: I read the book after seeing the film and admired that both were good in their own ways. The book's more of a thriller and as unrealistic, just in a different way.

brap: It's a good flick and I miss the ever adorable Walter "The Human Basset Hound" Matthau.

Yeah, he was one of the best character actors the US has ever produced. I'd be very hard pressed to identify who's a replacement for him. People like Edward Norton are clearly going to have long and stellar careers but the ability to get cast in a farce one year and a thriller the next doesn't seem to come to most acting careers.


Walter Mathau is not a character actor. He's always Walther Mathau in everything always.
 
2014-07-27 01:30:07 AM  
One of the best stories ever.  I love Walther Matthau and I pull out this movie when ever I am angry at my boss at work.  Mrs. Hofheim was having a tough time too and we even nick-named one of her bosses "Meyerson".

Great fun in this movie.  Glenda Jackson accpeted this relavtively small role for her just work with Matthau again after they were together in 'House Calls'.

I see some picked up the airplane pilot is his step daughter.  The CIA Agent "Ross" is his son.

Find a way to see this on folks - very well worth it.

"Talk about playing into his hand...."
 
2014-07-27 02:17:22 AM  

gaslight: EngineerBoy: "You mean 'See You Next Tuesday' Myerson?"

Okay, I'll bite. It apparently sailed right over my head What does  "You mean 'See You Next Tuesday' Myerson?"  mean?

Two other notes about the film. 1) The pilot is Matthau's daughter. So, when she says 'You remind me of my father' she's not kidding. 2) Many of the throwaway names used in the film are those of thriller writers: Follet, Ludlum and Westlake.


Imagine what the first letters in each word spell out if you spell "see" with a "c"
 
2014-07-27 02:18:38 AM  

zerkalo: gaslight: EngineerBoy: "You mean 'See You Next Tuesday' Myerson?"

Okay, I'll bite. It apparently sailed right over my head What does  "You mean 'See You Next Tuesday' Myerson?"  mean?

Two other notes about the film. 1) The pilot is Matthau's daughter. So, when she says 'You remind me of my father' she's not kidding. 2) Many of the throwaway names used in the film are those of thriller writers: Follet, Ludlum and Westlake.

Imagine what the first letters in each word spell out if you spell "see" with a "c"


Well. and "you" with a "U". It's complicated, but not very. Sorry for the confusion.
 
2014-07-27 09:22:13 AM  
Very funny comedy, one of my favorites.
 
2014-07-27 10:17:39 AM  

zerkalo: gaslight: EngineerBoy: "You mean 'See You Next Tuesday' Myerson?"

Imagine what the first letters in each word spell out if you spell "see" with a "c"


Ah!
 
2014-07-27 10:51:33 AM  
I've read that Ned Beatty was very devout and his role in this movie was very difficult for him.... Apparently he sucked at swearing; which makes his dialogue even funnier (at least for me).

/Up yours, Kendig!
 
2014-07-27 08:37:44 PM  
Great Movie!
 
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