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Once Upon a Spy (1980 TV movie)

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 9:28 pm    Post subject: Once Upon a Spy (1980 TV movie) Reply with quote

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"Cheers" fans will get a kick out of watching Ted Danson play a likeable computer expert who is reluctantly drawn into a James Bond adventure by gorgeous American agent Mary Louise Weller after Danson's supercomputer is stolen by evil genius Christopher Lee.

Lee's base of operations is a mountaintop observatory. He has a shrinking ray which he can bounce off communications satellites and shrink anything on Earth. He demonstrates his power to the U.S. government by shrinking a Naval vessel down to the size of toy boat. Danzen's stolen supercomputer is necessary for Lee's satellite tracking system.

Danson is determined to get his computer back, but he has a hard time adjusting to the hair-raising experiences that result from his uneasy alliance with cool super-agent, Miss Weller.

After an assassination attempt on Danson and a high speed car chase that ends with the bad guys' car being carried off by a helicopter (an idea lifted from You Only Live Twice), Danson is so bewildered he just stands in the road next to Weller and repeats "Those guys shot at me!" several times with great indignation while the picture fades to black for a commercial.

Trust me, it's a funny scene.

Nice sets and special effects decorate the climax in which Weller and Danson blow up Lee's stronghold and ride off into the sunset. (Come on, admit it. You knew this was how it ended.)



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The whole thing is done up wonderfully tongue-in-cheek, with no apologies for the stolen ideas and the proudly cliche-ridden plot. Hey, that's the whole point!

Even the title work revels in the fact that it's a straight copy from all those fondly remembered Bond films. Directed by Ivan Nagy from a script by the prolific Jimmy Sangster.

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:37 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Since this enjoyable TV movie has been released on DVD (probably a MOD disc), maybe we'll get a download source one of these days.



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There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em. ~ Yogi Berra
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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The DVD shown above has five user reviews on Amazon, and they all give it a 5-Star rating. One of the reviewers has an interesting story to tell.
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5 stars Great '80s spy spoof

Ridiculously campy made for TV movie from 1980. Ted Danson and Christopher Lee star in a James Bond spoof about an evil genius with a shrink ray and the computer programmer who is drafted to stop him.

This movie was made where I lived in 1980 and Ted Danson actually spent time in my classroom telling us about how movies are made. He even rode my BMX bike on the playground during recess. He was genuinely nice to all of the kids who were so interested in the movie being made. I've looked for this movie for years and was ecstatic to find it for sale!

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I'm still interested in watching this enjoyable made-for-TV spy spoof, but so far the only way to watch is to by getting the DVD shown above. I saw it when it aired and 1980 and thought it was fun.

Meanwhile, here's the jazzy opening credits. Not bad at all, really, if you bear in mind that it's a spoof. Cool


____________ Once Upon A Spy opening credits


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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Well I'll just be damned! Shocked

After forty years of waiting for a chance to see this light-hearted spy spoof a second time after its 1980 television premiere, it's FINALLY available on YouTube! Very Happy:

The picture is quite good, so it must be a copy of the DVD I posted the image of, earlier on this thread.

I've downloaded it and I'll be watching it today before I get too old to still be aroused by the lovely Mary Louise Weller.






__________________Once Upon a Spy (1980)


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Krel
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember this TVM, and I like it. I don't remember much, but I liked how Ted Danson's character was unimpressed by the wheelchair rocket launchers. Laughing

David.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Right!

And when you watch it, you'll love the scene where Lee's henchmen rush into his office and threaten Ted with their guns, so Ted dashes around behind Lee, grabs the back of the wheelchair, and threats THEM with the rockets! Very Happy

The movie is even better than I remembered, and I thoroughly enjoyed it yesterday. Not only are the sets which were built for the movie extremely impressive, the huge industrial locations used for the interior of Lee's "abandoned observatory" lair are astounding!

Ted's wisecracks during the film are just as witty as his Sam Malone's dialog in Cheers. The writers really knew how to take advantage of Ted's particular delivery.

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