Hopscotch Reviews

  • Jul 20, 2020

    One of those films that may not be as good as you remembered it, Hopscotch finds Walter Matthau covering a lot of the same ground he did in Charley Varrick, but without the violence or thrills. While his character also spends most of this film outsmarting pursuers and ultimately faking his own death, the grittiness with which Don Siegel infused Varrick has been traded for light comedy and bloodless intrigue by veteran director Ronald Neame. Perhaps too well mannered for its own good, Hopscotch imagines a world populated by gentle, cultured, middle-aged spies that prefer Mozart to gunplay, where CIA agents are stymied by growling dogs, and the KGB willingly hands over sensitive information in the name of good sportsmanship.

    One of those films that may not be as good as you remembered it, Hopscotch finds Walter Matthau covering a lot of the same ground he did in Charley Varrick, but without the violence or thrills. While his character also spends most of this film outsmarting pursuers and ultimately faking his own death, the grittiness with which Don Siegel infused Varrick has been traded for light comedy and bloodless intrigue by veteran director Ronald Neame. Perhaps too well mannered for its own good, Hopscotch imagines a world populated by gentle, cultured, middle-aged spies that prefer Mozart to gunplay, where CIA agents are stymied by growling dogs, and the KGB willingly hands over sensitive information in the name of good sportsmanship.

  • Jul 14, 2020

    Matthau is good but the script doesn't help him out.

    Matthau is good but the script doesn't help him out.

  • Jun 08, 2020

    This flick is worth watching just to hear Matthau singing the opera aria alone, but it is even better than that--the nifty plot and the repartee with Jackson, who starred with in House Calls as well, made this film so much fun to watch!

    This flick is worth watching just to hear Matthau singing the opera aria alone, but it is even better than that--the nifty plot and the repartee with Jackson, who starred with in House Calls as well, made this film so much fun to watch!

  • May 15, 2018

    A lot of nonsense but a pretty enjoyable ride. Mattheau plays a character that balances between legitimate leading man material and absurd shtick, which is hard to pull off.

    A lot of nonsense but a pretty enjoyable ride. Mattheau plays a character that balances between legitimate leading man material and absurd shtick, which is hard to pull off.

  • Mar 26, 2018

    Hopscotch: Hopscotch is a pleasant adult comedy about a CIA field agent (Walter Matthew) forced behind a desk by new boss (Ned Beatty) and having his young protege (Sam Waterston) take his place. He leaves the CIA instead. He hides out with an old flame (Glenda Jackson)recently widowed and rich while pursued to turn sides by his old adversary an amiable KGB officer (Herbert Lom) The Good: Amiable is a good word for this entire film. Walter Matthew does nothing to surprise keeping in his pleasant but rascally grandpa mode he would use to such great effect a few years later in Grumpy Old Men. Despite the globe-trotting, the occasional gunfire and explosion there really is never a sense of threat to anyone. Atomic Blonde this is not. As for the rest of the cast. Sam Waterston gives a surprisingly pleasant performance as the protege, Ned Beatty seems to channel Jackie Gleason in Smokey and the Bandit (with even less menace) and Herbert Lom is the kindest most relaxed KGB bureau chief you will ever see. The Bad: Glenda Jackson (who is fine by the way) plays an ex-agent who got out when the CIA started getting too rough. It's that old it wasn't like this in the old days chestnut. The only problem with this theme is that anyone with a cursory knowledge of the CIA certainly would know it was much rougher and no holds barred in the sixties and early seventies than it was under Carter after the Church Committee hearings. To much paperwork or your not allowed to torture anymore would be a more accurate complaint but alas would not fit into the theme of the film. In Conclusion: If you like Walter Matthew you will like this film. It really is grumpy old spies. It clearly dropped some "f" bombs in the script so it could get an "R" rating in the US and market itself to an older crowd. There is nothing here in reality that would offend grandma or the grandkids. One trivial aside, there is a scene in a Hilton in London where they use key cards to get into their hotel room. I had no idea hotels had that in the late seventies. A fun relaxing funny movie.

    Hopscotch: Hopscotch is a pleasant adult comedy about a CIA field agent (Walter Matthew) forced behind a desk by new boss (Ned Beatty) and having his young protege (Sam Waterston) take his place. He leaves the CIA instead. He hides out with an old flame (Glenda Jackson)recently widowed and rich while pursued to turn sides by his old adversary an amiable KGB officer (Herbert Lom) The Good: Amiable is a good word for this entire film. Walter Matthew does nothing to surprise keeping in his pleasant but rascally grandpa mode he would use to such great effect a few years later in Grumpy Old Men. Despite the globe-trotting, the occasional gunfire and explosion there really is never a sense of threat to anyone. Atomic Blonde this is not. As for the rest of the cast. Sam Waterston gives a surprisingly pleasant performance as the protege, Ned Beatty seems to channel Jackie Gleason in Smokey and the Bandit (with even less menace) and Herbert Lom is the kindest most relaxed KGB bureau chief you will ever see. The Bad: Glenda Jackson (who is fine by the way) plays an ex-agent who got out when the CIA started getting too rough. It's that old it wasn't like this in the old days chestnut. The only problem with this theme is that anyone with a cursory knowledge of the CIA certainly would know it was much rougher and no holds barred in the sixties and early seventies than it was under Carter after the Church Committee hearings. To much paperwork or your not allowed to torture anymore would be a more accurate complaint but alas would not fit into the theme of the film. In Conclusion: If you like Walter Matthew you will like this film. It really is grumpy old spies. It clearly dropped some "f" bombs in the script so it could get an "R" rating in the US and market itself to an older crowd. There is nothing here in reality that would offend grandma or the grandkids. One trivial aside, there is a scene in a Hilton in London where they use key cards to get into their hotel room. I had no idea hotels had that in the late seventies. A fun relaxing funny movie.

  • Apr 14, 2017

    In Netflix's recent TV adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS an Uncle of three children explains that, like books, movies have an outer layer of entertainment, but an inner layer of philosophical brilliance. This best applies to Ronald Neame's HOPSCOTCH which, while truly delightful, is less consciously more about getting old and having one last bit of fun before the latter part of your life gets the better of you. All these moments are organized to the music of Mozart, and, ironically, the screenplay is like a symphony. Director Neame and writer Garfield crafted a film so suspenseful, so hilarious, and so intellectually wise that it is hard to believe critics dismissed it as just another okay comedy. They seemed to have missed what was hidden in a shallow layer of sand - the message of Shakespeare's "undiscovered country," or more commonly known as death. This is usually conveyed through images, but with this film, satire is the choice. You actually never see a word of Kendig's revelations about the CIA. Could it be so truthful that it's terrifying? Full of such lies that the agency could be ruined for nothing? We don't know.

    In Netflix's recent TV adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS an Uncle of three children explains that, like books, movies have an outer layer of entertainment, but an inner layer of philosophical brilliance. This best applies to Ronald Neame's HOPSCOTCH which, while truly delightful, is less consciously more about getting old and having one last bit of fun before the latter part of your life gets the better of you. All these moments are organized to the music of Mozart, and, ironically, the screenplay is like a symphony. Director Neame and writer Garfield crafted a film so suspenseful, so hilarious, and so intellectually wise that it is hard to believe critics dismissed it as just another okay comedy. They seemed to have missed what was hidden in a shallow layer of sand - the message of Shakespeare's "undiscovered country," or more commonly known as death. This is usually conveyed through images, but with this film, satire is the choice. You actually never see a word of Kendig's revelations about the CIA. Could it be so truthful that it's terrifying? Full of such lies that the agency could be ruined for nothing? We don't know.

  • Feb 15, 2016

    A truly brilliant film in every way. Script, Acting, plot, filmography, casting. Walter Matthou and Glenda Jackson,.

    A truly brilliant film in every way. Script, Acting, plot, filmography, casting. Walter Matthou and Glenda Jackson,.

  • Sep 18, 2014

    "Hopscotch" was unexpectedly good. Walter Matthau's dry humor is the perfect fit for this off-beat comedy. I had trouble envisioning this international game of cat-and-mouse as a comedy but the constant situational irony and Matthau's wit creates humorous moments from start to finish. A good film requires a good villain, and Ned Beatty fits the bill. It is easy to dislike Beatty with his constant flow of profane dialogue and unnecessarily rude treatment of Matthau at the beginning of the film, all leading to gleeful enjoyment of every scene inside of the Georgia home. While the film has a lot of great moments, the plot is rather farfetched and some of the acting falls short of the high standard set by Matthau and Beatty. I definitely prefer heist films, but this espionage comedy is unlike any story that I've seen and I would definitely give it a second watch.

    "Hopscotch" was unexpectedly good. Walter Matthau's dry humor is the perfect fit for this off-beat comedy. I had trouble envisioning this international game of cat-and-mouse as a comedy but the constant situational irony and Matthau's wit creates humorous moments from start to finish. A good film requires a good villain, and Ned Beatty fits the bill. It is easy to dislike Beatty with his constant flow of profane dialogue and unnecessarily rude treatment of Matthau at the beginning of the film, all leading to gleeful enjoyment of every scene inside of the Georgia home. While the film has a lot of great moments, the plot is rather farfetched and some of the acting falls short of the high standard set by Matthau and Beatty. I definitely prefer heist films, but this espionage comedy is unlike any story that I've seen and I would definitely give it a second watch.

  • Sep 17, 2014

    A breezy, silly little spy comedy. Mathau is good like usual.

    A breezy, silly little spy comedy. Mathau is good like usual.

  • Jul 11, 2014

    Gets better every time (X3) I see it.

    Gets better every time (X3) I see it.