The Spy Within
1994, aka The Flight of the Dove
This one caught my attention the other day when I assembled the missing
parts of Theresa Russell's career. It's kind of a grade-B version of Three
Days of the Condor, in that a top government spook (Russell) with an avian
code name (The Dove this time, rather than The Condor) is trying to escape
from her own section chief, who is trying to kill her.
The Dove has written a tell-all book, albeit for therapy, not for
publication. Her job as a spy requires her to perform unsavory sexual
practices, and she is trying to come to grips with that by writing out an
explanation for why she does it. She's completely patriotic and has written
the book exclusively for her own eyes and those of her shrink, but the head
spooks don't trust that the book will remain unpublished, and just can't
afford to have it in existence at all. Moreover, the section chief realizes
that she is trying to leave the agency, and ... well, as they say in movie
after movie, "Nobody gets out."
In the course of her flight, she stumbles into a discredited explosives
expert (Scott Glenn) who is facing civil and criminal liability for a building
implosion that killed a homeless woman and her young daughter who were living
in the basement. He is racked with guilt, feels like he has nothing left to
lose, and is just forlorn enough to join forces with The Dove in her elaborate
plan to get away and start a new life.
It's a standard thriller which would be a typical made-for-video film if it
featured unknowns, but is marked by the presence of some known performers. In
addition to Russell and Glenn, the film features Alex Rocco and Joey Pants in
roles so tiny they are barely more than cameos. The Spy Within is the one and
only film ever directed by actor Steve Railsback, and I assume that he got
some of his acting associates to participate in the film out of friendship
The plot has little credibility, and the actor playing Russell's superior
is totally unconvincing as a hardened NSA operative, but the film is not
without its guilty pleasures. There are some interesting action sequences, The
Dove's escape scheme has a couple of nice (if implausible) twists, and the
leads have some steamy sex and shower scenes, so I got through the entire
story without taking any breaks or fast-forwarding. I always consider that a
sign that a genre film will meet at least the bare minimum requirements for
those inclined to enjoy this sort of film.
If it has any interest for you, you can't lose much on it except your time.
I bought the DVD for less than the cost of a rental. (Amazon Marketplace.)
This film clip is my
take on Theresa Russell's nudity.
It's actually three separate scenes in one avi.
Some samples follow below.