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Hopscotch [VHS]
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Product Description

Walter Matthau is in peak form in Hopscotch, a featherweight spy-game comedy in which he plays a CIA agent who's way smarter than his dimwitted superiors. That's the fantasy part--this amusing cat-and-mouse game is so lopsided that you can't take it seriously. The movie's charm is derived from the sardonic pleasure with which Matthau makes his pursuers look like idiots, after they've targeted him for "termination" for publishing a tell-all memoir about his tenure in "the Company." He's no stool pigeon, however; it's his boss (played with blustery thick-headedness by the great Ned Beatty) who's abusing his power, so Matthau recruits an old lover (Glenda Jackson) to join him in a globetrotting game of clandestine cleverness. Under Ronald Neame's too-casual direction, this is a not-so-wild goose chase, but Matthau and Jackson (reuniting after they had fun making the 1978 comedy House Calls) have an easygoing chemistry that's nicely balanced with Matthau's cantankerous shenanigans. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • Great flick!
    A really fun movie to watch. Walter Matthau is at his best baiting Ned Beatty's character. Matthau and Glenda Jackson are a terrific pair. I never get tired of watching this movie. ...more info
  • Ex-Spy vs Spy(s)
    An older spy revolts against the new program by writing his career down. A spy find and kill exspy travelcade becomes less funny and more dangerous at each turn; but the old head can still run circle's around the new crew. Love and friendships come and change, this movie is both a comic high and an adventure....more info
  • One of the BEST....rivals Casablanca!
    HOPSCOTCH is one of the best all-time flicks! Great characters, superb acting...Ned is F___ing Great! And of course, Walter is as versatile and charming as ever. See this movie!!!...more info
  • "Hopscotch"..."Good Title"
    was suprised to see criterion release hopscotch, but glad they did. here matthau is repremanded for allowing a wanted KGB agent to walk. matthau's integrity is too precious to take guff from even the CIA. subsequently, he does not take the news of being reassigned to the job of file clerk very well so he begins to write his memoires, leaking secret information to the opposition. the ensuing chase is slapstick, a spy vs. spy comedy with great international locations. frankly, using the cold war as a catalyst for comedy was long overdue by 1980....more info
  • Classic Matthau
    Tight plot, well acted, amusing, and more truth about the CIA than most Americans would care to admit....more info
  • Hopscotch - A Classic
    A smart, fun comedy for grown-ups, especially for people who aren't afraid to buck the system and who know that James Bond is not a real spy....more info
  • Hopscotch
    We love the movie Hopscotch. Thanks so much for having that movie. WE like Walter Mathau alot. ...more info
  • hopscotch
    An absolutely superb show! THE favorite for my entire family! interesting, fun and smartly written. matthau and jackson are the super couple!...more info
  • Best Movie: A Little Known Classic
    This is our number one favorite movie. Clever, fast-paced, a must see and must own. We watch it at least once a month and never tire of it....more info
  • A classic Walter Mathau film
    Dated, but still fresh. When I need "bubblegum" this is one of my favorites. Comical, with a good twist ending....more info
  • Excellent -- witty and very clever
    One of Matthau's best films as he plays a retiring CIA operative who runs circles around his new clueless boss (Ned Beatty) and former colleaguess (including a young and admiring Sam Waterson). Shot all over Europe and includes a wonderful portrayal by Glenda Jackson as his girlfriend who lends her assistance. Very witty script with Mozart music and also incredibly clever and intricate plot which is completely satisfying in every way. I'm so delighted this has finally been released on DVD....more info
  • Hopscotch...Good Title
    was suprised to see criterion release hopscotch, but glad they did. here matthau is repremanded for allowing a wanted KGB agent to walk. matthau's integrity is too precious to take guff from even the CIA. subsequently, he does not take the news of being reassigned to the job of file clerk very well so he begins to write his memoires, leaking secret information to the opposition. the ensuing chase is slapstick, a spy vs. spy comedy with great international locations. frankly, using the cold war as a catalyst for comedy was long overdue by 1980....more info
  • Hopscotch for the intelligent rebel
    What a delight. Hopscotch is a tight, intelligent romp, with Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson playing the haves, and Ned Beatty and the CIA playing the have-nots. In the middle is a young Sam Waterston, the protege of Matthau, trying to ablate the friction between the two factions.
    This is a wonderful tale of a discarded CIA operative, clashing with "The Company" with hilarious and clever international "one-upsmanships". Staying one step ahead, Matthau & Jackson foil Beatty and the CIA and Herbert Lom and the KGB, who are trying to keep Matthau from writing an expose about the CIA's operations.
    What a treat! I have seen it many times and recommend it highly to anyone who likes the game of tag, clever dodges, and Mozart....more info
  • Smart, Stylish Comedy
    We saw this movie back in the early 1980's and loved it, but by the time we tried to get a copy, it had gone out of print. Many thanks to Criterion for releasing it on DVD! This film is superb, well-written and directed, with a cast of very gifted performers. The actors play their roles to the hilt and have a terrific chemistry onscreen.

    The plot is basic revenge, perpetrated on the CIA by one of its top operatives. Walter Matthau plays the amiable Kendig, a man who's served in the field for decades and is an excellent agent. He's smart yet still down-to-earth; his reputation among the underworld of spydom is the stuff of legends. Kendig is respected even by his enemies for his savvy decisions and sense of fair play, and his reluctance to resort to dirty tricks. His new boss, Meyerson (Ned Beatty) resents his underling's popularity and decides to neutralize Kendig's effectiveness by yanking him from the field and assigning him to a desk job as a file clerk.

    To say that Kendig despises his new boss would be a gross understatement. A switched file is shredded and Kendig vanishes, fleeing to Austria and his lover Isobel (Glenda Jackson). From there, he nurses his wounds and launches on his vengeance against Meyerson and the CIA by writing a book that reveals the agency's dirty tricks and botched missions. Meyerson is livid and assigns Joe Cutter (Sam Waterston) to put a stop to Kendig by any means necessary, especially assassination. Cutter admires Kendig and is torn by his personal feelings for the man and his desire to serve his country.

    The story then twists and turns as Kendig leads his former employers on a huge wild goose chase. He calls them from a phone booth right near the CIA headquarters, hides out in Meyerson's southern house---which is later demolished by the feds themselves---, and feeds chapters of the book to Meyerson to whip him into a frenzy of ineffectual rage. He plans on getting the entire book to a publisher, and his means for doing so and ensuring his own protection from future assassination attempts are ingenious.

    We are very happy that this movie was released to the public once again. Matthau is superb as a real man working in an unreal world of espionage. Herbert Lom is great for the role of his KGB counterpart, and Glenda Jackson is both tart and elegant as the enigmatic Isobel, who frankly adores Kendig. Ned Beatty plays the part of the oafish Meyerson to perfection, making the viewer hate him thoroughly. Waterston is in excellent form as the good-hearted and conflicted Cutter, and shows hints of his mildly acerbic wit that would come to fruition in his later role of McCoy. The supporting players are fine, too, and the plot is well-crafted and believable.

    The DVD is nicely done. There aren't many extras, but it's beautifully produced and does have a nice feature: an alternate soundtrack that deletes the foul language, so even kids can watch it with their parents. We are pleased with our investment, and highly recommend "Hopscotch" to anyone who enjoys a well-done and stylish comedy. It's also perfect for fans of Walter Matthau!...more info

  • Great Fun
    A real "fun" movie. Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson shine in this funny, exciting movie. The good guy triumphs and the jerk cops it big time. Glenda portrays a great chick, the epitome of the sexy older woman (without any actual sex in the movie)
    Fantastic fun !!!...more info
  • HOPSCOTCH
    Movie came in a timely fashion. Played it right away. Everything is perfect. Am enjoying it very much....more info
  • OK, but that's about it.
    I received this as a Christmas gift and was going to exchange it until I read the reviews and decided to watch it. Minor mistake. This movie made me smile a few times but that's about all. Everything is too predictable and the many of the characters are so clich¨¦d and cartoonish that they aren't believable. I never felt drawn in and there wasn't any real tension to make the comedy work.

    The alternate sound track that takes out the occasional swear word and the lack of violence or sex makes it a light movie that a family with small children could enjoy. Small children won't be bothered by the major plot flaws at the end.

    I'm not sorry I saw it, but there's no reason to watch it again. If you want to see how good Walter Matthau can be in a movie of this type, get "Charlie Varrick". I wish that would come out in DVD. Now if I could figure out how to get "Hopscotch" back in the shrink wrap....more info

  • Movies
    Hopscotch - Criterion Collection
    A wonderful and hilarious film with superb acting. A must see film for those that enjoy drama and comedy at the same time. ...more info
  • CIA Antics
    I first saw this movie when it was shown on TV, and added it to a list of must haves.
    If you like clever comedy and like to see the underdog win, it's a must watch....more info
  • My Favorite Movie - Ever
    Best romantic comedy and best movie ever in my book. You can't find smarter comedy and the natural chemistry between Matthau and Jackson. I'm from Minnesota and the Grumpy Old Men series, while great, isn't 1/10th as good as this movie.

    Lost in Translation is going to earn some Oscars and this didn't???? Well those who have seen Hopscotch once or, many times as I, know better.

    Matthau..." let see your's is gin and ginger ale"
    Jackson " mine, was never gin & ginger ale, Montrachet 69' next to the beer".

    After Matthau looses a $135 to Jackson in a game of Gin R....
    Jackson " you still owe me $135"
    Matthau "want to take it out on trade?"
    Jackson " what do you have that's worth $135?"
    Matthau " Like antiques?"

    Simply the best ever..IMO Had to cast my vote... 6 Stars...more info

  • Comedy
    This is a long time favorite. Walter Mattau at his best. Great lines, quirky plot. Watched over and over again. A definite keeper....more info
  • Fun and entertaining
    This is a movie that shows there is an option for an excellent spy movie formatted as a witty smart comedy that avoids bloody violence. It is a classic, with characters that have a full and rich personality trait and a fast paced plot that leaves no loose ends...

    You will enjoy from begining to end, and you can watch it with your children! ...more info