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  • Check caller ID
    The phone rings. A voice on the other end quotes Frost "The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep". This triggers Soviet Manchurian Canidate killers to carry out missions programmed long ago when the cold war was hot. Enter Charles Bronson, Soviet KGB agent to save the day and prevent WWIII with his double agent femme fatal Lee Remick in a race against time to find the evil Dr. Strangelove type villian....more info
  • Ah, the good ol' days of the Cold War!
    This was a flick I saw as a teenager, loved and forgot about. I only came to watch it again recently and had forgotten what an effective, well acted and original cold war thriller it was.

    Bronson gives one of his best performances and Lee Remick's cool, blonde beauty combined with her sensational acting instincts (did she ever give one bad performance? I don't think so) make this a good, gripping drama.

    Nutshell synopsis: The Soviets had set up a network/cell of some 52 agents brainwashed to believe themselves U.S. citizens, using the identities of deceased Americans. At any time they could receive the "code" from Mother Russia - in the form of the final verse of Robert Frost's classic poem "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" at which point they would go into automaton mode, each agent specifically programmed to destroy a strategic U.S. military installation.

    The Soviets realize the top secret list of agents has fallen into the hands of one Nicolai Dalchimsky - the wonderfully creepy Donald Pleasance - who from payphones across the U.S. is systematically calling the sleeper cell agents (in a particularly methodical fashion) and blowing up their U.S. targets. The Soviets send their top agent, Charles Bronson to rendevous with an agent in America and find and stop Dalchimsky. The chemistry between Bronson and Remick is wonderful, with Remick also adding a healthy dose of old movie tough gal humor to Bronson's no-nonsense performance. (In his first scene, we're given a device to endear Bronson to us as he coaches an adorable group of Russian kids playing hockey).

    Look for Tyne Daly in a very early appearance as a brilliant computer nerd trying to crack the same case for the American team.

    ...more info
  • The woods are lovely dark and deep...
    I love this movie. If you are or aren't a Charles Bronson fan you will like it. It is a bit dated but not much. Bronson is his usual menancing self which is great as played off by his side kick Lee Remick who is mesmerizing. Donald Pleasanse is his typical creepy villianous self. The story is really cool and different and I liked every minute of it... except the goofey Tyne Daily and C.I.A. stuff. It was put in for a kind of light contrast to what was going on but this is the part that is most "dated" to me. It just comes off as hokey 70's crap that is added for no reason.

    Quick synopsis: Some generals in the U.S.S.R. set up a bunch of brain washed sleepers in the U.S. When called they are told a part of a Robert Frost poem which activates them and they go like zombies and blow up military instillations. The only problem is its many years later and they have been left in the U.S. as citizens, unknowing even to themselves that they are walking time bombs. The generals never told the Kremlin about them and now they must defuse them so they are not found out and because crazy Donald Pleasance has a list of the names and the trigger and is going to set them off all over the U.S. Bronson is sent in as a KGB officer with his American sympathizer lacky Lee Remick to stop Pleasance and possibly stop WWIII.

    Bronson is The man.

    Miles to go before you sleep... ...more info
  • Good Cold War Era Plot Concept
    What if the Soviet Union, during some of the most intense moments of the Cold War, created agents to go deep undercover in the United States and around the world, waiting for certain lines of poetry to be read to them to activate a programmed act of destruction? Then, what would happen if the agents were never used until a madman obtained a copy of the list of agents, and then started calling them, 15 years later? This unlikely premise is the basis of this excellent spy movie.

    Nicolai Dalchimsky (Donald Pleasance) is the madman who obtains a copy of the list. Pleasance has very few lines in this movie, but a lot of screen time as we see him either calling agents or watching the results of their destruction. The Soviet Union quickly realizes a list of the agents has been stolen and sends super-spy and assassin Grigori Borzov (Charles Bronson) to eliminate Dalchimsky and retrieve the list. Borzov is to work with active agent Barbara (Lee Remick).

    The cat and mouse game is handled reasonably well, though there are a couple of small discrepancies in Borzov's demeanor while Borzov and Barbara are attempting to understand how Dalchimsky is choosing his targets. The development of the relationship between Borzov and Barbara is handled very well, as Barbara is first repelled by Borzov, and then understands the choices he must make, and eventually comes to love him.

    The special effects in this late 70s movie are generally good, with a few discrepancies that I tend to overlook because of the novelty of the story.

    Bronson was a perfect choice for the role of Borzov. He is generally quiet, logical and methodical, and takes no pleasure in what he must do. Lee Remick provides contrast as a somewhat cynical Soviet agent based in the United States, influenced too much by the difference in ideologies. Tyne Daly appears as computer expert Dorothy Putterman, anticipating computer geeks in future movies. Daly appeared in the previous year as Inspector Kate Moore in the Clint Eastwood movie "The Enforcer," an entry in the "Dirty Harry" series of movies, establishing herself as an extremely versatile actor.

    Spy movies require a good plot to be believable, and credible actors to maintain that credibility. The plot in this movie is very good, and has a little bit of plot similarity to "The Manchurian Candidate," but only because both movies deal with deep undercover spies who are programmed to do things and then forget about the programming until certain code words are spoken, then they mindlessly carry out their programming, even if they die in the process of doing so. The initial meeting between Borzov and Barbara put me off a little, as Barbara behaved somewhat uncharacteristically, it seemed to me, but as the movie progressed and the relationship between Borzov and Barbara developed I became very comfortable with the actors in their roles.

    This movie is one of the better spy movies of the late Cold War era. After watching this movie, you may wonder just who is calling next time you hear a phone ring.
    ...more info
  • A Mediocre But Entertaining Charles Bronson Action Movie
    In 1978, I saw this film in a theater on a double-bill with the Peter Sellers' comedy "The Pink Panther Strikes Again." "Telefon" is a forgettable yet fun Charles Bronson thriller.

    Crazed Russian defector Donald Pleasence sets out to activate a group of hypnotized human-time bombs who were programmed many years earlier. Russian agent Charles Bronson is out to stop Pleasence.

    "Telefon" is a so-so yet entertaining Charles Bronson picture. As a brainwashing-oriented political paranoia thriller, "Telefon" is nowhere near as witty and chilling as John Frankenheimer's "The Manchurian Candidate." Nevertheless, "Telefon" is still a fun movie. The film also has none of the sleaziness that would characterize the Bronson movies of the 1980s. "Telefon" never has a dull moment from start to finish. Charles Bronson may have been the greatest action hero of the big screen. Bronson exudes an absolutely formidable presence. Donald Pleasence, who previously worked with Bronson in the unforgettable classic "The Great Escape," is one of cinema's more underrated villains. A pre-"Cagney And Lacey" Tyne Daly has a small supporting role.

    Although the film doesn't qualify as a classic, "Telefon" is for all Charles Bronson fans....more info

  • nicky, don't lose that number...
    Great Cold War intrigue with all the nifty spy vs. spy plots and subplots with the obligatory "follow that car/plane" action sequences.

    Nicky (Nicholas Dalchimsky, played by Donald Pleasance) goes on a rampage calling all those ex-KGB agents with a deadly phone mantra that rekindles their brain implanted directives to blow up some antiquated American military facility.

    In order to stop this madness, staid agent Charles Bronson gets hooked up with with his flighty counterpart, Lee Remick, and sparks immediately fly! This matchup provides great tension and inevitable release between the two principals. They go on a cross-country romp to try to predict the antagonist's next move. The plot gets thicker as those who control the two aforementioned agents have ideas of their own.

    Tyne Daly does the screen justice with her portrayal as the nerdy CIA computer whiz, who statistically narrows down who the adversary might be.

    The story line moves along at a nice pace, augmented by the varied locales that are encountered on their mission to stop this madman. A must for Cold War buffs!...more info

    If you read the reviews on this movie you will see
    that since 2000,people want this movie to come out
    on dvd.They have put some of Bronson's worst pieces
    of c**p out on dvd yet this excellent movie languishes
    in vhs hell.I don't like Bronson generally speaking,
    however he did make a few good films and this one tops
    my list.Read the other reviews for info.on the story line.
    I got tired of waiting for this to come out on dvd so I
    transferred my vhs copy onto a blank dvd disc so that at
    least it wouldn't deteriorate any further,but I want the
    real thing.This movie really is a gem....more info
  • Another Bronson Thriller
    Wow, another Bronson thriller. Bronson as a KGB agent trying to stop a potential World War 3 after the cold war has ended some time ago. Sleeper agents are blowing up everything, and Bronson is the only one that has a chance to find the man that is setting them off with that triggering "telefon" call. Lots of action. This movie makes you think: is this really based on fiction? You never really know who is living right next door to you?...more info
  • Mr. Bronson, I wish I could reach you by TELEFON !!
    Charles Bronson got better looking with age and I have never seen him handsomer than in this film. Lee Remick is one of the most beautiful actresses of the yester-years as Catherine Zeta Jones is today.
    Donald Pleasance is the villain. At first I did not like him as I felt a physically strong villain would have been better so that Bronson and he could face off at the end. However, I changed my mind halfway through the film. Pleasance was genius casting. Don Siegel, as always, has done a good job directing the film. The music, the photography and the locales are great.
    Telefon will keep you entertained from start to finish.
    I just wish Charles Bronson would have taken charge of his career like Clint Eastwood has. Then, we would have had more of his films to cherish. He had such a great screen presence and an absolutely incomparable style of walking. Marlene Jobert his co-star of "Rider on the Rain" once commented on the same.
    There are a whole new generation of youngsters who are into Bronson's films. Millions of us down here miss you very much Mr. Bronson. May you rest in peace.

    ...more info
    One of Bronson's best flicks. It deserves to be released on DVD (Blu-ray preferably)....more info
  • Excellent Thriller During the Cold War Era !
    I just finished seeing this movie on Turner Classic Movies in Letterbox format,it looks excellent. I thinks its time Mgm does
    the same thing. Its about a Russian experiment gone wrong and Bronson must do to stop the menace before war breaks out. A must for Bronson fans...more info
  • Telefon
    This is a great movie. It should be on DVD. It is an interesting Cold War Era Spy thriller. Bronson does a particularly good job portraying a Russian KGB agent. Buy it it is great. This is truly some of Bronson's best work. Excellent Actin throughout the film....more info
  • Entertaining, insufficient development
    A pleasent film to watch (not a boring moment), Telefon lacks development of certain characters and situations.
    The role played by Tyne Daly's and the other CIA agents in the plot is so irrelevant and their contribution ultimately so unimportant that they might have been virtually eliminated and still the movie would have gone on (I suspect in the novel they might be more relevant).
    Donald Pleasence plays an interesting bad guy, who should have had a chance to explain himself better. He almost says nothing during the whole film.
    Finally, the relationship between Bronson and Remick should have been developed much, much more. Remick's final reaction appears uncalled for or unfounded, judging from the little she and Bronson have shared before.
    The gorgeous and lovely Lee Remick is sorely miscast in this. The antipode of a spy, her character resounds homely and Pollyanesque, like a Hockey-Mom. The way it is written, the role could have been given to Doris Day, Barbara Eden or Connie Stevens (kinda Legally Blonde girl).
    Bronson is good only because his wooden style of acting is appropriate to his role, but he does not show much otherwise.
    Apart from that, it is a lot of fun to watch. ...more info
  • Best of Bronson
    WHY ISN'T THIS MOVIE ON DVD? They're putting absolute JUNK out all the time, but they don't put really excellent movies like this one out? Who's running the show? Come on, guys, this is absolutely top of the line Bronson! ...more info