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The Osterman Weekend (1983)

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During the Cold War, a controversial television journalist is asked by the C.I.A. to persuade certain acquaintances, who are Soviet Agents of the Omega network, to defect.

Director:

Sam Peckinpah

Writers:

Robert Ludlum (novel), Ian Masters (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rutger Hauer ... John Tanner
John Hurt ... Lawrence Fassett
Craig T. Nelson ... Bernard Osterman
Dennis Hopper ... Richard Tremayne
Chris Sarandon ... Joseph Cardone
Meg Foster ... Ali Tanner
Helen Shaver ... Virginia Tremayne
Cassie Yates ... Betty Cardone
Sandy McPeak ... Walter Stennings
Christopher Starr Christopher Starr ... Steve Tanner
Burt Lancaster ... Maxwell Danforth
Cheryl Carter Cheryl Carter ... Marcia Heller
John Bryson John Bryson ... Honeymoon Groom
Anne Haney ... Honeymoon Bride
Kristen Peckinpah Kristen Peckinpah ... Tremayne's Secretary
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Storyline

In this adaptation of the Robert Ludlum novel, the host of an investigative news program has been convinced by the C.I.A. that the friends and associates he's invited to weekend with him in the country are actually engaged in a nefarious conspiracy which threatens national security, Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It will be a weekend to remember...if they survive it! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Osterman-Weekend See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$301,129, 23 October 1983

Gross USA:

$6,486,797
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The setting of the novel was changed from New Jersey to California for this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Tanner goes to the airport, we hear jets taking off and see a sign revealing the place to be the Oxnard Airport in Ventura County. In real life this is a small airport with no facilities for passenger jet takeoff. See more »

Quotes

Bernard Osterman: I'm still wondering how we got into this mess.
John Tanner: It's called being programmed.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On the Anchor Bay DVD release there is a rough cut made by Sam Peckinpah which he made showed to the test audience. Because the majority of the audience walked out, from the imfamous sex between Fassett and his wife. The producer wanted Peckinpah to cut the scene out. Once he refuse to made the cuts, he got fired. Other scenes. 1) The sex scene is more extended and shot more wobbly to express how Fassett breaking point for revenge had started. 2) Delete scene of Osterman and Joe talking on the phone about their deal. 3) Extended scene of Virginia flirting with Dick on the phone. 4) There a deleted scene of John Tanner of having an affair with his director Marcia, there wakes up to find her dead. 5) The scene where Tanner and guest are arguing by the dinner table, in the theatrical cut Fassett switches on a Swiss ad, the Peckinpah's cut he has like a big image of Danforth. 6) Alterative ending is juxtapositioned between Tanner searching for his family and the TV studio. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood (2019) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Alpha to Omega
25 March 2005 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

( There are Spoilers) Sam Peckinpah's very confusing and convoluted Cold War film that has to do with murder betrayal and revenge and that really has nothing to do with the Cold War at all. The movie is about a power-crazed US civil servant CIA Director Maxwell Danford ,Burt Lancaster, who feels that his power will be seriously compromised by super patriotic and very popular TV political talk show host of "Face to Face" John Tanner, Rutger Hauer.

Danford who had CIA field agent Lawrence Fassett's,John Hurt, wife murdered when he was an agent in Communist Poland to keep her big mouth shut about her husbands business there. It seemed that she was an alcoholic and couldn't keep quite when she was intoxicated. Danford used the Soviet KGB to do the "Job" on her without them, as well as Fassett, even knowing that he was behind her death.

Danford Comes up with this master-stroke in using Fassett to do in three of Tanner's best friends at their annual "Osterman Weekend" meeting at his home then finish off Tanner himself. That would not only shut him up but discredit him and make him look like an unstable lunatic in the eyes of his adoring fans and the American public. Fassett has Tanner convinced that the three Osterman's, as they call themselves, Osterman Tremayne & Cardone, Craig T. Nelson Denniss Hooper & Chris Sarandon, are working with the dreaded KGB to undermined the USA.

The doctored tapes that Fassett showed Tanner of his friends treachery were actually video tapes of them funneling money to Switzerland to keep from paying taxes which is a crime but not at all treason. Tanner goes along with Fassett to set up his friends, together with their wives, at his home during the "Osterman Weekend" and have them arrested, or better yet terminated, to keep them from doing any further damage to America.

The movie "The Osterman Weekend" goes on with a series of explosions and shootings as well as a number of Fassett's CIA men getting shot and killed by crossbows. Fassett himself later found out that he was after the wrong people, after he had most of them killed, in the death of his wife but that it was his boss the well known Mister American Patriot himself CIA Chief Maxwell Danford who had the KGB do it in order to cover up his connection in the murder.

The strange and freak-out ending has Tanner, now back at his TV studios, exposing Danford to the American people as to just what a phony he really. Tanner does his with his special guest, via a TV hook-up at his hideout, Fassett telling all he knows about Danford and his squalid past to the shell socked audience.

Danford who after protesting his innocence and how he'll expose Fassett and his sponsor on the TV show "Face to Face" host John Tanner is then left with his mouth opened and looking like he got electrocuted or struck by a bolt of lighting. The ending got even more ridicules with Tanner doing something that even Superman could never do: be in two places at the same time.


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