Other Titles • The Osterman Weekend • Das Osterman-Weekend (1983)
Synopses for The Osterman Weekend (1983)
Once a year, a reporter invites some dear friends over for a fun-filled weekend. Shortly before this year's shindig however, the CIA convinces the journalist that some of these buddies are also Russian operatives; the agency even outfits his home with surveillance equipment. The guests arrive, but they eventually realize what's going on -- and their host's new misgivings. The weekend then takes on a decidedly different tone.
The host of an investigative news show is convinced by the CIA that the friends he has invited to a weekend in the country are engaged in a conspiracy that threatens national security.
Sam Peckinpah's final film has a lot to recommend it, including a complicated story derived from a Robert Ludlum novel but laced with Peckinpah's hard questions about loyalty and the balance between civilization and basic instincts. Rutger Hauer stars as John Tanner, a television host with strong criticisms of America's cold-war conduct. Looking forward to a weekend of socializing with old friends (played by Craig T. Nelson, Dennis Hopper, and Chris Sarandon), Tanner is approached by a CIA agent (John Hurt) who tells him his friends may be Soviet agents. Tanner agrees to let the spy agency set up surveillance in his house; it turns out there is more to the agent's claims than meets the eye and Tanner's weekend eventually erupts into violence. Osterman is not Peckinpah at his best (though, typically, the director was under siege from production politics), but the maestro of montage certainly worked in some extraordinary action sequences. --Tom Keogh
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