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Hopscotch, a 1980 spy-comedy film, is directed by Ronald Neame and features one of Hollywood's finest powerful and versatile actors, Walter Matthau, along with Glenda Jackson and Sam Waterston. The film was adapted from Brian Garfield's novel of the same name and captivates the audience with a lively combination of intrigue, boundless humor, and clever plotting.

The plot introduces us to the protagonist, Miles Kendig, brilliantly played by Walter Matthau. Kendig is a seasoned and experienced CIA field agent who has often been lauded for his superior skills. However, his unconventional methods of operation and refusal to tow the line of bureaucratic management often find him at odds with his superiors, particularly his ambitious and stubborn boss, Myerson, excellently portrayed by Ned Beatty. Following an incident that leads Myerson to dismiss Kendig from field duty and assign him a desk job, Kendig decides he's had enough. Instead of moping around, he devises a plan that turns the tables on his bosses.

By ingeniously manipulating the bureaucratic constraints of government agencies, Kendig obtains a manuscript that he threatens to publish, which contains some of the agency's highly confidential secrets. His justification for this audacious move is his deep-rooted belief that the truth, often obscure in a cloud of secrets, should reach the public. The CIA, upon getting wind of his impending expose, is thrown into a flurry of chaos, leading to an exciting and hilarious chase sequence as they attempt to thwart Kendig’s audacious plans.

Glenda Jackson perfectly complements Matthau in her role as Isobel von Schonenberg, Kendig’s ex-lover and long-time friend with whom he shares a great connection. Jackson shines in her strong, supportive role, showcasing a character who is not just an accessory, but an active participant in the story. She indulges in the scheme, offering essential assistance to Kendig, which exponentially compounds the complications and challenges facing the CIA.

Sam Waterston offers a spirited performance as Joe Cutter, Kendig's protégé in international intelligence. Cutter’s character is caught in a moral crossfire, grappling with his loyalty to his mentor, and his duty as a CIA officer, adding an additional layer of depth and intrigue to the narrative.

With scenic locations that unfold like a picturesque travelogue, Hopscotch takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride across continents. From Washington D.C.'s bureaucratic offices to the idyllic verdant hills of Georgia, the breath-taking beauty of Salzburg, the romantic charm of Mykonos, and the bustling streets of Munich, the stunning visuals add a delightful, dramatic backdrop to the story.

The film's undulating pace is maintained by the clever cat-and-mouse games that Kendig masterfully orchestrates. He doesn’t just elude the agency, but continuously manages to outsmart them, highlighting both the fallacy in their high-handed approach and his expertise in the world of espionage. His cheeky, often sardonic tactics, doubled with his daring stunts, provide the viewers with a fulfilling mix of intellectual banter and adrenaline-pumping chase sequences.

Hopscotch is an eclectic blend of humor and suspense, infused with a satirical critique of the complex world of international espionage. Heroism and resourcefulness receive a refreshing presentation, through the character of Kendig, whose refreshing audacity forms the essence of the film's charm. While it's a spy movie, it’s also a satirical commentary on bureaucracy, making Hopscotch more than just a standard movie of its genre.

Created at a time when spy thrillers often focused on high-octane action, Hopscotch stands out for the intellectual chase it presents. The film is successful in balancing its plot twists with a healthy dose of comic relief and never fails to entertain. With top-notch performances, engaging screenplay, and brilliant direction, Hopscotch is as delightful and engaging today as it was when it was initially released.

Hopscotch is a Comedy, Adventure movie released in 1980. It has a runtime of 104 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.1..

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Where can I stream Hopscotch movie online? Hopscotch is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Plex, Tubi TV, Apple TV, Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Hopscotch for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Ronald Neame
Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson, Sam Waterston, Ned Beatty
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