The Fourth Protocol (1987) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: KGB agent Major Valeri Petrofsky has been reassigned at the request of the KGB Chairman for a secret mission wherein he is sent to England to establish a residence near an American military base and receive various items for couriers from the USSR. John Preston is the top British spy catcher, currently at odds with his superior because he doesn't lick his boots. After a recent operation caused his superior some embarrassment, he is reassigned to the menial task of overseeing airports and ports. One day one the couriers Petrofsky was expecting has an encounter with customs which leaves him dead. Preston then goes through his things and finds that he was carrying an atomic bomb component. Preston now suspects that someone is bringing in parts for an atomic bomb, and obtains permission from an official higher than his own superior to attempt to find this person. And back in the USSR, Petrofsky's boss is so disgruntled that Petrofsky has been taken from him that he calls his old friend, the Vice-Chairman of the KGB, to find out what's going on because he believes that the Chairman wouldn't be able to do any of these things without his friend's input. But his friend is just as incredulous as he is. So he tries to find out what the Chairman is up to. Runtime: 119 mins Release Date: 27 Aug 1987
One of Caines best films to this point (by garrycane)
My personal view is that Caines interpretation of the character made TFP one of his best films to date, it reflected the Forsythes hero very acurately and was easily the best performance of the film. Again, my view is that the film was grossly under rated by the critics at the time and even today stands up well among films of this type. Well worth watching even today.
Good movie (by pratikg462)
Great spy thriller with good story line. Great acting.
Great thriller, first-rate cast (by AlabamaWorley1971)
Fascinating old-fashioned spy thriller with for the 80s new high tech elements. Pierce Brosnan is very good as the smiling sociopathic Russian deep cover agent. Michael Caine is, well, Michael Caine. Ian Richardson has a lot of WONDERFUL lines as Caine's superior. Ray McNally and Ned Beatty are fine as old Cold War veterans whose time is passing.
Exciting and suspenseful, but unrealistic (by george-purdy)
The film differs from the book in that the crazy right wing politics is left out. The labour party is not filled with communists. Both the book and the film postulate goings on in Moscow Centre, but it just doesn't work that way. Readers of Le Carre's spy novels would tell you for example, that "Moscow Centre prides itself in always getting its agents back alive. " There is a James Bond film, Octopussy, with a similar story, trying to nuke a circus near a Nato airbase in Germany, rather than Britain, but that detail was probably inspired by this story as much as the books <more>
of Ian Fleming, who worked for Naval Intelligence and would have known better. The Americans were terrified of the prospect that a nuke might explode accidentally anywhere in Europe, because the gamma rays would be detected by US satellites, and Nato Rapid Deployment Bombers would immediately head for Russia, as a reflex action--this could not be stopped. The concern then was what the Russians would do when the RDBs showed up on their radar and there were no Nato exercises scheduled for that day. They hoped that cool heads would prevail, and that the Russians would wait to see if the bombers halted at their fail safe points. For reasons like this, it seems unlikely that even a rogue Russian General would arrange for such a nuclear incident.There's now an official history of MI6, by the way, "The Secret History of MI-6: 1909-1949," and a rogue British agent is detailed there, but he was only a little crazy.
Easily the best spy thriller I've ever seen. (by Svenstadt)
This movie holds up so well, on so many levels. It is easily one of the best spy thrillers I've ever seen. The acting is solid, the plot engaging, and the flow of the story is well enough that you pay attention. Due to corruption in the former Soviet Union historically accurate, BTW , a Soviet agent gets sent on, essentially, a suicide mission, which would have succeeded if not for intentionally being made to fail. An infiltration expert, Pierce Brosnan is sent to England, with a smuggled nuclear weapon, and ordered to detonate it near an American Air Base. Hence, the title of the <more>
movie, The Fourth Protocol, a treaty which says that no one is allowed to smuggle dangerous materials into other countries in an attempt to attack them. This was all set up by a corrupt KGB Colonel who was trying to overthrow his superiors and gain the position for himself!! Also seen, is the notorious Russian practice of Kompromat - essentially blackmailing others with embarrassing materials. Michael Caine plays a straight laced but not entirely liked counter-intelligence agent. He is hot on the trail of the newly arrived spy. It should be noted, that he never would have found him if the KGB hadn't arranged for the mission to fail! . The cinematography in this film is top-notch! Just about every scene is memorable. The one shortfall of this film, as with many adaptations from novels, is that there is a series of scenes where the spy is almost pushed into breaking his cover by some nosy neighbors who won't take no for an answer... These scenes could have been dropped from the film. Nevertheless, Brosnan is portrayed as a very serious and brutal, cold-blooded spy! Several of the scenes turn quite violent. There is a scene where he is noticed by a gay man at an airport, so he uses that attraction to his advantage and lures the man and kills him! These were indeed the types of situations that people in government work faced during to eighties.
Usually we get treated to one type of spy movie these days. This type is made up of good looking young agents with all sorts of high tech weapons and gear. There are beautiful women who are just lining up to sleep with the good guy. The Fourth Protocol is not one of these movies and thank goodness! It is one of the most realistic cold war spy movies out there. Despite it's age 1987 it is relevant to today's world. There is nuclear terrorism and real looking spies. Michael Cain plays a British agent and is too busy looking for Russian spies to be sexing up fine Russian female agents. <more>
In fact he has a family. He is excellent as the seasoned agent who uses his mind and not gadgets to track down the Russian spy played by Pierce Brosnan. For those of you who saw Brosnan in Tailor of Panama and found it refreshing to see him play a creep secret agent will be in for a real treat in The Fourth Protocol. Brosnan plays Petrofsky, a young hot shot KGB agent who tries to slice and dice his way to the top. I mean Petrofsky is a flat out cold blooded killer. He makes the guy in Tailor of Panama look like a saint. He has a conscience but he doesn't let it get in the way of his mission to explode a nuclear weapon on a US Air Force base in Great Britain in order to make it look like the US had a nuclear accident. Petrofsky was the right man for the job he would blow up two or three thousand people just like that. If he wasn't a KGB agent, he could surely find work as a serial killer. The story moves along quickly and sometimes a bit too quickly. However it doesn't detract from the movie. The movie looks more like a cop movie in the way the investigation unfolds. When they finally find out what's going on there is a good action sequence that doesn't go over the top. It just serves the purpose in this movie. Other things I liked was the scene where they constructed the bomb.I would recommend this one to anyone who likes spy movies and are tired of the James Bond rigmarole. Rayvyn
I was quite surprised to see that this movie got a 5.9 rating. I think that it's a lot better than that. Brosnan is good, the plot is sufficiently tricky to be interesting, and Caine delivers the kind of reliable, excellent performance that you can count on at least when the movie isn't total junk -- he only seems to phone it in when the movie is entirely hopeless . The ending is a little abrupt, but I can't find any fault with it other than that. The cast is uniformly strong, too. Maybe people underrate the movie because the movie is low-budget. It looks like a British <more>
TV-movie, and maybe it was, but I find it easy to get past the production values when the acting is good.I've seen it twice, and it holds up to a second viewing.
some comments on this film have stated that there are unnecessary killings of agents or witnesses, this is done to show the politics of the film and how there must be no trace back to those who planned the operation, whilst also portraying that petrofsky is a lethal killer, and as Caine says in the film "the best". A great story, and very believable, spies that remain hidden from each other and no excruciating scene where the bad guy reveals his plot to the good guy. Would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the operation had turned out differently, or the <more>
ending for that matter!Of course one of the best things about this film is the acting as previously stated by other people. Caine brings his character to life and is very believable in the role of John Preston, the agent who cares, and will "bend" the rules to make sure things get down. Brosnan is similarly good, his character will stop at nothing to complete his mission, he is a stone cold killer and this is portrayed well, he doesn't let anything get in the way of the mission.All in all a very good little film, much better than some of the tripe we get from Hollywood and with one of the finest British casts i've seen in some time.