Telefon (1977)

Don Siegel took over the directing chores from Peter Hyams on this taut cold war action film, based on the novel by Walter Wager. With the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union thawing, old KGB hard-liner Nicolai… More

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Rated: PG
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Critic Score: 33% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

Instead of winding tighter and tighter, as a suspense story should, Telefon just winds down, rather like -- come to think of it -- a phone call between two people who don't really have much to say to each other.

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Chris Petit
Time Out

Most disappointing is Siegel's contribution: he, of all directors, should have been able to inject some life into the proceedings, but this is his most nondescript outing in years.

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TV Guide

The ludicrous relationship between these two spies almost destroys what little credibility the story has, but director Siegel keeps their screen time to a minimum and instead concentrates on propelling the narrative at top speed.

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Gary Arnold
Washington Post

Following Telefon is about as thrilling as being kept on hold for the better part of the day.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

To describe Telefon as synthetic is to take it more seriously than it's taken by anyone connected with it.

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Christopher Null

This Cold War thriller may not have the most complicated story, but it's curiously effective and has been been surprisingly influential, a nice companion piece to The Manchurian Candidate.

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Variety Staff

Tyne Daly is notable as a CIA staffer. Remick's teaming with Bronson is a graceful one for both players.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Apart from a certain energy evident in the cutting, you'd never know it was the work of Don Siegel, a generally excellent action director.

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Siegel handles the action adequately, but this is not one of his best shots.

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More reviews for Telefon

Flixster Audience Score: 48% Flixster User Reviews
JY Skacto
<i>Telefon</i> is an intriguing spy thriller from Don Siegel, and while it does have its moments, it also falls short of expectations. It just… More
xGary Xx
A rather flat and dour cold war thriller starring a rather flat and dour Charles Bronson as a Russian agent sent to kill a cell of sleeper agents who are… More
Christopher Brown
Assassins living as normal Americans are programed to kill when they are given a certain phrase (I'll think of the word later and replace this... what the… More