The Spy With Alfie’s Face: “The Jigsaw Man” (1983)


       “The Jigsaw Man”  (1983)

    Featuring a story which obviously taking its cue from real-life double agent scandals (just where would half of the British espionage films have found their inspiration withoutjigsawmanOS Kim Philby?) Terence Young’s “The Jigsaw Man” is a spy thriller which seems to take more pleasure in the diversity of oddball eccentricity it presents as representative of British Intelligence than in making sense.

     Beginning as if it intends to be a continuation of “Scream and Scream Again”, traitorous former head of MI6 Philip Kimberley (whose backstory sounds suspiciously like details from the life and times of Philby and Guy Burgess) who is now living in the bosom of Mother U.S.S.R. is unceremoniously whisked away to undergo a session of secretive surgery involving major facial reconstruction, the result being a miraculously undetectable transformation from Kimberley (Richard Aylen) into defector Sergei Kuzminsky (Michael Caine), who has agreed to return to England to hand over his former “insurance policy”: a pay list of every Soviet spy operating in Great Britain, for the meager price of one million Swiss francs. However, the altered Kimberley has plans of his own, including a reuniting with his estranged daughter Penelope (Susan George) and double-crossing the KGB by selling the critical documents to the British Secret Service for one million dollars. Naturally the Soviets anticipate this deception (then why allow Kimberley the opportunity?) and they seem to have no problem in locating the supposedly wily Kimberley no matter how elaborate his machinations, despite being depicted as some of the most obvious and incapable agents ever to grace the screen. 

To read the complete review, click the following link to:

About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in books, British films, Cold War, espionage, Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Movies, Romance, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Spy With Alfie’s Face: “The Jigsaw Man” (1983)

  1. I would enjoy watching this as, like Pete, I’m drawn to the acting of Michael Caine.

  2. beetleypete says:

    I saw this at the cinema, attracted by the presence of Michael Caine. But it was dire, especially the unreliable Susan George, who seemed to be at her best in films where she was exposing her body, or giving that attractive sultry pout, rather than actually trying to act.
    By coincidence, it was shown on a TV film channel here, on Friday night. I didn’t bother to watch it again.
    Best wishes, Pete.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.