The Amateur

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"The first 11 minutes will absolutely shock you. The last 11 minutes will rivet you to your seat."
  • R
  • 1982
  • 1 hr 52 min
  • 5.8  (877)

The Amateur is a thrilling espionage film that was released in 1981. It stars John Savage as Charles Heller, a CIA analyst who becomes embroiled in a dangerous mission to track down a group of terrorists who have stolen a valuable piece of Cold War-era technology. The film also stars Christopher Plummer as Alan Tomkins, Heller's enigmatic and unpredictable CIA mentor, and Marthe Keller as Elisabeth, a French-Canadian photographer who becomes mixed up in the political intrigue.

The film begins with Charles Heller working as an analyst at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. He dreams of becoming a field agent, but he is considered too valuable as an analyst to be risked in the field. That all changes when he is recruited by Tomkins to help track down a group of terrorists who have stolen the "Janus Machine," a device that can encrypt and decrypt any message, making it a powerful tool for espionage.

Heller is initially hesitant, but Tomkins convinces him that the mission is vital to national security. The two men travel to Europe to track down the terrorists, who are believed to be operating out of France. Along the way, Heller meets Elisabeth, a beautiful and mysterious photographer who may be working for the terrorists.

As Heller and Tomkins delve deeper into the case, they begin to uncover a web of international intrigue and deceit. They learn that the Janus Machine was developed during the Cold War by a brilliant scientist named Andreas (played by E.G. Marshall), who wanted to create a tool that would bring about world peace. However, the machine was ultimately weaponized, and now its theft could have catastrophic consequences.

The film is full of twists and turns as Heller and Tomkins race to find the terrorists before they can use the machine to cause chaos. Along the way, they are pursued by a ruthless assassin (played by Jean-Pierre Cassel) who will stop at nothing to keep the Janus Machine out of their hands.

The Amateur is a taut and suspenseful thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. The performances by John Savage, Christopher Plummer, and Marthe Keller are all top-notch, and the film's direction by Charles Jarrott is deft and assured. The film's depiction of the world of espionage is both thrilling and realistic, and it raises important questions about the use of technology in the intelligence community.

Overall, The Amateur is an excellent film that is well worth seeking out for fans of espionage thrillers. Its combination of action, suspense, and political intrigue make it a standout entry in the genre, and its talented cast and director ensure that it still holds up today, nearly 40 years after its initial release.

The Amateur
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 52 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (877)