- 1 hr 44 min
Hopscotch is a 1980 American spy comedy film that offers a delightful and humorous take on the espionage genre. Directed by Ronald Neame, the movie stars Walter Matthau as CIA field operative Miles Kendig. Glenda Jackson plays Isobel and Sam Waterston plays Joe Cutter - two of Kendig's former colleagues at the CIA. The film also includes excellent supporting performances from Ned Beatty, Herbert Lom, and David Matthau (son of Walter Matthau).
The plot of the movie follows Miles Kendig, a veteran CIA agent whose methods go against the bureaucratic norms and whose wit and instincts in the field have gained him a reputation within the agency. When his boss, the new head of the CIA's Department of Operations, Yaskov (played by Ned Beatty), becomes displeased with his insubordination and decides to remove him from his position, Kendig decides to retaliate in crafty ways. He writes down all of the secrets he knows about the agency in a memoir that he sends to major intelligence agencies around the world. Using his insider knowledge of the CIA to stay one step ahead of his pursuers, Kendig goes on the run across Europe, accompanied by Isobel, a former lover.
Throughout the movie, the audience is treated to many comical and tongue-in-cheek moments as Kendig outwits the CIA and eludes them time and again. He utilizes every trick in the book to stay alive, out of harm's way, and one step ahead of his pursuers. Along the way, he'll meet a few colorful characters, including a daring pilot, a sly German hotelier, and a Russian spy.
Walter Matthau's Miles Kendig is the standout role in the film, offering a performance that is both suave and cunning. His ability to charm his way out of dangerous situations and to think on his feet makes the character a likable protagonist, and he manages to evoke a range of emotions from the audience - from good-natured humor in his humorous shenanigans to a sense of unease when confronted with the unstoppable force of the CIA. As a veteran actor, Matthau infuses the role with a level of sophistication that makes Kendig into an intriguing and formidable spy.
Glenda Jackson shines as Isobel, Kendig's former lover and fellow CIA agent. Her character serves as both Kendig's love interest and his helping hand, and Jackson delivers both components with equal measures of charm and grit. Sam Waterston, in a supporting role as Joe Cutter, Kendig's former protÃ©gÃ© and later his adversary, brings a level of gravitas to an otherwise humorous movie.
The film's cinematography is excellent, with gorgeous shots of European cities and countryside from London, Vienna, Munich to Salzburg. The director, Ronald Neame, does an excellent job of blending the spy thriller elements of the story with the comedic aspects, and the result is a film that has elements of both genres. There are plenty of snappy one-liners, witty banter, and well-executed scenes that will keep audiences laughing and entertained.
Overall, Hopscotch is a fun, lighthearted movie that is perfect for anyone who loves a great spy comedy. With a strong cast, an intriguing plot, and plenty of humor, it's easy to see why Hopscotch is still beloved by audiences decades after its initial release.
Hopscotch is a 1980 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1.