Hopscotch

A disarmingly elegant, entertaining revenge tale, written by Brian Garfield (Death Wish) and directed, in a return to his pre-Poseidon Adventure gentility, by Ronald Neame. Apparently, the film began life as a straight thriller and became a comedy with the casting of Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson, though the darker feelings remain effectively in force throughout this cleverly plotted story of a betrayed CIA vet who turns on his superiors. The stars don't generate the chemistry of House Calls, perhaps because Jackson's role has been too clearly shoehorned in, but Matthau is infectious in a broad star turn of a type seldom seen these days, and Ned Beatty's bureau chief is a masterpiece of comic timing. An enjoyable effort with a little something extra (1980).

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