Condorman [1981]

Director: Charles Jarrott
Stars: Michael Crawford, Oliver Reed, Barbara Carrera, James Hampton, Jean-Pierre Kalfon
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 90 minutes

A pre-Phantom Michael Crawford plays Woody, a goofy cartoonist-accidentally-turned-spy in this Cold War-era lark. In Paris visiting his friend, a CIA "file clerk," Woody is sent on a cloak-and-dagger errand and is mistaken for an operative by his beautiful Russian counterpart. She then contacts the agency with the demand that he, and only he, help her defect. Writer adopts comic book persona and voilĂ : Condorman! This wide-winged hero thwarts the pesky Soviets at every turn. From the old run-down farmer's truck he's driving emerges a flashy race car that outruns a fleet of Russian vehicles. Later, in a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang moment, the car sprouts floaters, allowing the pair to escape their pursuers by sea. Barbara Carrera's Natalia--the true spy of the two--is really just along for the ride. It's Condorman's show, as confirmed by the ending: a shot-filled showdown off the shores of Monte Carlo.--Kimberly Heinrichs

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