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SPY CITY Advice No One Will Ever Take


If some dopey film reviewer, uh, like me, told you, "Spy City is REALLY good. You just have to give it five or six episodes." You'd have to laugh because "Spy City" is only six episodes in length. Episode One is quite good, and draws you into the tale of disgraced espionage expert, Fielding Scott (Dominic Cooper). Seems Mister Scott dispatched fellow agent Monsieur Haldane under murky circumstances just as a hand-off went down between the two. It's a grand set-up to the old chestnut, "Okay, who is the good guy and who is the bad guy, and who is the bad gal, and who should have gotten the letter, and why are the Nazis still hanging around with the Soviets in post WWII Berlin, and what's with the French chick who won't shut up about her long-dead husband, and why is the gay guy taking the dog, and is the photographer attractive enough to boink, and is the Berlin station boss a double or even triple agent, and what happened to the story arcs, and where did the plot points disappear, and who cast the USSR soldiers, and . . . ? You get the point. The show becomes CONFUSING. Episodes Two, Three, and Four include the hunt for a former SS agent, a botched assassination that did kill someone, an East German folk singer with a West German fraulein on the hook for his early release from prison, two or is it three shady MI-6 bosses, a French cock-up of a border incident, a muddy water drowning, a flower market murder, eight cocktail parties, 487 glasses of whiskey, stock footage establishing shots used multiple times (i.e. I KNOW WE ARE IN WEST GERMANY!), etc. But episodes Five and Six are a clinic in filmmaking. Plot, pacing, story arcs, resolution, climax, and satisfaction. In 90 minutes, "Spy City" comes to a comfortable rest, and leaves the viewer spouting nonsense such as, "If the show runner had done that for the first four episodes, we'd be looking at a Season Two!" AMC+ for now.

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