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Once Upon a Spy (1980)

Ted Danson plays a computer genius who gets involved in the theft of an important N.A.S.A. computer, then thrust into the world of espionage with Sir Christopher Lee.

Director:

Ivan Nagy

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (teleplay), Lemuel Pitkin (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Danson ... Jack Chenault
Mary Louise Weller ... Paige Tannehill
Christopher Lee ... Marcus Valorium
Eleanor Parker ... the Lady
Leonard Stone ... Dr. Webster
Terry Lester ... Rudy
Jo McDonnell ... Susan
Lillian Müller ... Christine (as Yuliis Ruval)
Irena Ferris Irena Ferris ... Greta
Burke Byrnes ... Burkle
Gary Dontzig Gary Dontzig ... Klaus
Bobb Hopkins ... Hans
Vicky Perry Vicky Perry ... the Cashier
John Hostetter ... Chief (as John R. Hostetter)
William Wintersole ... Commander
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Storyline

Ted Danson plays a computer genius who gets involved in the theft of an important N.A.S.A. computer, then thrust into the world of espionage with Sir Christopher Lee.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A mad genius must be stopped if the Earth is to survive! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lethal Games See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

(around 37 minutes) Camera and lighting crew reflected in shiny wall Paige and Jack walk by as she apologizes to him. See more »

Quotes

Jack Chenault: You're leaving?
Paige Tannehill: Chenault, I fondly hope that I never have to set eyes on you again.
See more »

Connections

References You Only Live Twice (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quite horrible...
19 December 2014 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

ONCE UPON A SPY is a deservedly unknown 1980 TV movie that stars up-and-coming Ted Danson as a computer programmer who unwittingly gets drawn into a spy plot that's straight out of a James Bond movie. And indeed this turns out to be a Bond spoof through-and-through, with the unfortunate added side-effect that it's also quite horrible.

Rarely have I seen a film in which the acting is so stilted or the narrative so predictable and boring at the same time. Danson displays none of the charisma that would make him a household name in time, and his attempts at flirting and romance with token blonde Mary Louise Weller are, to be frank, excruciating. ONCE UPON A SPY is truly a movie of its era, with cod attempts at feminism (think CHARLIE'S ANGELS style tough fighting women) mixed in with the normal "saving the girl" routines and some quite appalling jump suits that make the female cast look both fat and frumpy (although they're neither).

Bizarrely, Hammer scribe Jimmy Sangster had a hand in the screenplay, although quite what he was thinking I don't know. Keeping on the Hammer theme, we get Christopher Lee as the villain, riffing on his MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN persona. I felt sorry for him, soiled by his appearance in this; I remember his comments about breaking free of Hammer and making it in Hollywood, but even latter-day Hammer efforts like THE SATANIC RITES OF Dracula are a hundred times better than this trash. Definitely a film to be consigned to obscurity, and for good reason.


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