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The Bourne Identity Online

The Bourne Identity  Online
Original Title :
The Bourne Identity
Genre :
TV Series / Action / Adventure / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Cast :
Richard Chamberlain,Jaclyn Smith,Anthony Quayle
Type :
TV Series
Time :
3h 5min
Rating :
The Bourne Identity Online

An unconscious man is washed ashore on the beach of a small French village during a heavy storm. A retired doctor takes care of the unconscious stranger. When the mysterious man recovers, he can't remember a thing. He does not know his name, he does not know where his flashback memories come from, and he does not know why the access code for an anonymous Swiss bank account is implanted in his thigh. As he seeks his own identity, things quickly become dangerous. There are attempts to kill him, he is well known in first class hotels across Europe, and worst of all, there are strange similarities between his memories and reported actions of the notorious terrorist, Carlos the Jackal. {locallinks-homepage}
Complete series cast summary:
Richard Chamberlain Richard Chamberlain - Jason Bourne 2 episodes, 1988
Jaclyn Smith Jaclyn Smith - Marie St. Jacques 2 episodes, 1988
Anthony Quayle Anthony Quayle - Gen. François Villiers 2 episodes, 1988
Donald Moffat Donald Moffat - David Abbott 2 episodes, 1988
Yorgo Voyagis Yorgo Voyagis - Carlos 2 episodes, 1988
Peter Vaughan Peter Vaughan - Fritz Koenig 2 episodes, 1988
Denholm Elliott Denholm Elliott - Dr. Geoffrey Washburn 2 episodes, 1988
Michael Habeck Michael Habeck - The Fat Man 2 episodes, 1988
Wolf Kahler Wolf Kahler - Gold Glasses 2 episodes, 1988
Philip Madoc Philip Madoc - D'Armacourt 2 episodes, 1988
Bill Wallis Bill Wallis - Chernak 2 episodes, 1988
Franziskus Abgottspon Franziskus Abgottspon - Zurich cabbie #2 2 episodes, 1988
Frederick Bartman Frederick Bartman - Man in bank lobby 2 episodes, 1988
John Carlin John Carlin - Stossel 2 episodes, 1988
George Lane Cooper George Lane Cooper - Gigantic Man 2 episodes, 1988
Otto Dornbierer Otto Dornbierer - Boarding house manager 2 episodes, 1988
Freddie Earlle Freddie Earlle - The Beggar 2 episodes, 1988
John Harding John Harding - BBC TV newsman 2 episodes, 1988
Kate Howard Kate Howard - Angelique 2 episodes, 1988
Leslie Lai Leslie Lai - Vietnamese wife 2 episodes, 1988
Michael Mellinger Michael Mellinger - Bertinelli 2 episodes, 1988
Wayne Michaels Wayne Michaels - Man in elevator 2 episodes, 1988
Jürgen Pruschanski Jürgen Pruschanski - Zurich cabbie #1 2 episodes, 1988
Terry Richards Terry Richards - Johann 2 episodes, 1988
William Roberts William Roberts - Peter 2 episodes, 1988
Cyril Shaps Cyril Shaps - Apfel 2 episodes, 1988
Rand Takeuchi Rand Takeuchi - Vietnamese boy 2 episodes, 1988
Roger Tebb Roger Tebb - Blonde man 2 episodes, 1988
Bruce Boa Bruce Boa - Sen. Crawford 2 episodes, 1988
James Faulkner James Faulkner - D'Anjou 2 episodes, 1988
James Laurenson James Laurenson - Gillette 2 episodes, 1988
Jacqueline Pearce Jacqueline Pearce - Madame Jacqui 2 episodes, 1988
Shane Rimmer Shane Rimmer - Gen. Conklin 2 episodes, 1988
Michael Anthony Michael Anthony - French priest 2 episodes, 1988
Robert Arden Robert Arden - Stevens 2 episodes, 1988
Marianne Borgo Marianne Borgo - Boutique receptionist 2 episodes, 1988
David Michael Clarke David Michael Clarke - Carl 2 episodes, 1988
Joseph Frost Joseph Frost - Young David Webb 2 episodes, 1988
Leon Herbert Leon Herbert - New York cabbie 2 episodes, 1988
Fabreice Houg Fabreice Houg - Paris cabbie 2 episodes, 1988
Raymond Johnson Raymond Johnson - Abbott's driver 2 episodes, 1988
Robert MacLeod Robert MacLeod - Yachtsman 2 episodes, 1988
Sylvia Marriott Sylvia Marriott - Meg 2 episodes, 1988
Ted Maynard Ted Maynard - Dugan 2 episodes, 1988
James Walker James Walker - Chef 2 episodes, 1988

Abbott (Donald Moffat) says that Interpol had been trying to catch Carlos for twenty years. In fact, the real Carlos was born in 1949, and did not become a terrorist until 1970, at age twenty-one, when he joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (P.F.L.P.). Therefore, if Interpol had been trying to catch him for twenty years in 1987 (when the movie was in production), they would have been trying to catch him before he was known to the world. In actuality, he was not known until his first successful bombing, in France, 1975, just twelve years prior to production.

The microfiche embedded under Bourne's skin and read by the doctor has the following "GEMEINSCHAFT BANK ZURICH".

User reviews



"The Bourne Identity" (1988) is a faithful recreation of Robert Ludlum's book about an amnesiac slowly (in a very long book) discovering who he is. The supporting cast is dotted with veterans that make the movie come to life during their brief parts: Denholm Elliott, Anthony Quayle, Peter Vaughan, James Faulkner.

The stars strain to carry the movie. Jaclyn Smith is immensely watchable, though her range is limited. Richard Chamberlain is a fine actor, but, perhaps because of insufficient rehearsal time or because he was never able to find a character who didn't know who he was, he comes off with the range of Bill Bixby, though that keeps him from burying Smith. In the end, Chamberlain may be much too nice for the character, but he's a likable actor and she's a likable actress and they make a pretty pair.

Because it was originally a two-part television drama, the 1988 "Bourne" has sufficient time to let the story unfold, as well as to build the unlikely relationship between Chamberlain's character and Smith's. It also gives the supporting characters flesh out their meager parts. After a slam-bang first hour, the movie settles into a more leisurely pace (that occasionally drags), that builds again into an exciting final hour.

The possible overplotting, as well as the outright absurdities (such as the truth of Treadstone 21) are squarely to be laid at Ludlum's door. And though it's quite faithful to Ludlum, the setting of the climax makes this movie version far more poignant than Ludlum himself was capable of.

"The Bourne Identity" has the technology of '80s television, so newcomers shouldn't expect contemporary sensibilities. It may not be as exciting as the remake, but it has a solid storyline.


This is one of the best espionage/thriller ever produced on television. It's a shame that this production ended on television and not in the big screen during its released in 1988.

Although, it's understandable because during those times television was definitely much "bigger" than the movies....plus the stars Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith were the sort of royalties of U.S. television -- dubbed King & Queen of Miniseries.

Excellent performances which was awarded with nominations from the Golden Globe and Emmy Awards.

This is true to the book. If you're going to watch the movie version with Matt Damon make sure you see this one first...


Filmed in Europe, the story is based on a classic Robert Ludlum novel. This made for TV movie is better than the average TV fare. Originally a two part mini-series, it tends to have some periods where it drags with too much interplay between the stars but it still contains the usual amount of Ludlum action, suspense and his keen senss of scenery. Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith are supported by a fine European cast which includes Anthony Quayle and Denholm Elliott. Well worth your time. A collectors movie.


Well, finally I saw the old Bourne movie/miniseries with Richard Chamberlain as Bourne. And I have to say i pretty much LOVED it. Chamberlain's Bourne was much closer to the one in the books than Matt Dammon ever was. Okay, Dammon is a better fighter, and he plays much better than I had thought before seeing his Bourne movies. But these movies are just about totally ignoring the plot of the books, which annoyed me greatly.

In Chamberlains Bourne movie they mostly stuck to the book, with few variations. I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I could follow the plot from the books from point to point. Especially I liked the way Marie St. Jaques were portrayed by Jaclyn Smith. Okay it got a bit overly mushy on both her and Chamberlines side, but all in all they both did a fair job. Franka Potente were a LOUSY Marie in the new movies. Partly also because of the infuriating way her character were written in the script.

The only complains I have, the before mentioned overly romantic air over the movie, and that I always had the feeling I was watching a seventies movie instead of one made in 1988. The col ours, the clipping and the way the movie progressed, it was so incredibly seventies spy movie.So therefore i give this one a 7. Otherwise it would have been a sure 8maybe more.


I saw this movie for the first time when I was about 12 years old. I've seen it several times afterwards and I still think there's something very thrilling about this movie. Only little is revealed to the audience in the first half of the movie and it's easy to imagine how hard it must be for Bourne to know so little about himself. During the whole movie but especially in the beginning he's the one being chased by the others and everyone else seem to have more information about him than himself. I think that "The Bourne Identity" is well worth watching although it might seem a bit outdated now. Even if the historical facts (Carlos wasn't really killed by Bourne, on the other hand, the link to the real terrorist is pretty weak anyway) might not be true it's still a very good and exciting movie.


Since the release of the 2003 theatrical version starring Matt Damon, this mini series version of "The Bourne Identity" has been much maligned, primarily by people who have never seen it. While it is a little dumbed down from Ludlum's book, and has some soap opera elements inherent to being a Richard Chamberlain mini series, it's also infinitely more faithful to the book than the Damon version, and considerably less dumbed down. If you want to see some great action scenes, check out the movie. If you want a good story, try the mini series (or even better, read the book).


I have just finished watching this Movie and felt very complelled to come and write a review on here.

Where to start??! A good compliament of "The Bourne Identity" is simply that the 3 hours went by very quickly, never dragged on. It would have been perfect I imagine when first screened, over two evenings and the end of the first part is an excellent cliff hanger!

I loved the way clues, plot pieces unraveled as the Movie went along. The micro chip... finding out Bourne's name?... various clues forced out of people...

Richard Chamberlain, was good, likeable. He tackled the role very well and was, in the most part, very sucessful. Jaclyn Smith, I suppose, was the reason I watched this Movie. I am a fan of hers, initially from Charlie's Angels of course, and this was the 8th Movie featuring her I have collected. Because it's the most recent one I have seen I would be inclined to say it is my favourite but I honestly think it is! Far too often her Movies are family dramas and this is a Spy Thriller!! Yay! Marie (Jaclyn's character) develops a great deal through the Movie, her preconceptions alter, she falls in love, she becomes stronger.

I get the impression the 2002 version won't spend as much time focussing on the relationship between Bourne and Marie but I think that is just as important as the action. I certainly imagine the action scenes are better. There are no major complaints I can make about the action in this 1988 version except perhaps the "fat villain" may not have been very good at it, not too convincing. To mention one other slight down side to the film (there must be + and -) the opening scene didn't look great, of the ship, looked a bit model-ly.

But that is simply because there was no huge budget, afterall it is a TV Movie, and an excellent one at that! A good cast, Paris was an inspired choice for the main location of the movie and overall this is a Movie with a fantastic plot and main cast.


In light of its recent availability on tape and DVD (circa Sept 2002) and this year's film version there is likely to be some curiosity among movie fans about the merits of this tv movie. Here is my opinion on whether you should spend 3hours on this movie.

If you can get past Chamberlain as the hero of Ludlum's complex thriller, you will certainly enjoy the movie. The script adaptation by Carol Sobieski is very faithful to the book and it takes time to develop the romantic relationship between Bourne and Marie (a relationship that is key to the plot and to the book's sequels). Although this might discourage action fans, the complexity of the plot and the manner by which the script unfolds it, is in my opinion, very well done. The music score by Laurence Rosenthal is especially good and is not the usual tv film drek. The score is alternately eerie, menacing and moody and suitably atmospheric. The European locations are well shot by camera ace Tony Pierce-Roberts. The film looks good. The acting by a great team of seasoned pros is uniformly good (not a ham in sight!)

Some might find the key plot device---the chase for carlos---anachronistic but i think it resonates well even today when there is no shortage of villains to chase on the global stage. So savor the 188 minutes of exciting complex talespinning by an A-Team of technical crew and seasoned actors.

Incidentally the romance is largely thrown away in the 2002 film. In that version, the female lead does not figure in the development of the plot beyond acting as a device to get the hero from point A to point B. I found the intimacy depicted in the 2002 film to be rather shallow. And the film itself despite some substantial thrills and modern violence is largely unsatisfying as a result in comparison to this tv film. For a good example of excellent balance of romance and action watch how Peter Jackson (of Lord of the rings movie fame) develops the romance between Michael Fox and Trini Alvarado in the Frighteners.


I agree that the movie is a bit old, and I haven't read the book so I can't say if it's better. But I like it more than a newer, Matt Damon, version because it has a more interesting plot, and an intriguing ending.

The acting is good and the characters are well developed. The only thing I liked better in the new Bourne Identity is that the martial arts are phenomenal and the action scenes very intense, but everything else is better in the older one.

All in all it is a very good thriller with some corny scenes here and there, but it'll provide you with much suspense and an interesting ending that you would never expect.


I have no intention of spoiling this film for anyone. Sorry, you will have to view it for yourself.

The film is outstanding for 1988 and even more so for a "made for TV" film. My favourite thing is the fact that it is a better adaptation than the 2002 remake starring Matt Damon.

While the newer version has all the cinematographic advantages, this film is just more faithful to Robert Ludlum's book and I am excited every time I watch.

Treat yourself to a great movie night. Get a bucket of Popcorn, chips, Pizza and Soda. Keep the remote handy for those intermissions you require (the pause button) and just get ready to enjoy.

10 stars **********
I love Mercedes

I love Mercedes

This thriller starred Richard chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith.

It starts out great the first 45 minutes, with great locations shots and good calmness to the film, the next 60 minutes are more mediocre, but the film picks up the pace the last hour to provide a very good film and some great scenes.

Richard Chamberlain delivers a great performance and Jaclyn Smith looks like the queen of beauty in this film, she delivers a very fine performance as well.

All in all this was a very well made film, too long but who cares when it stars Jaclyn Smith.


I thoroughly enjoyed this I must admit, but I can't help but wonder why it wasn't made for the big screen instead of being shown on television. What makes this Bourne Identity completely nonidentical to the 2002 theatrical release is that Richard Chamberlain's character is totally in line with Robert Ludlum's book. The big screen version may have featured more dramatic car chase sequences and fighting scenes etc, but it just seemed to focus away from the original plot.

Richard Chamberlain performs Bourne to a very high standard - with strong performances from the supporting cast - and makes the role his own. Primarily, I watched The Bourne Identity just to see Jaclyn Smith if I'm honest; I've always been a fan of Jaclyn, and she gives out a believable performance as Marie St. Jacques. This movie in no doubt sealed Jaclyn's crown as the "Queen of mini-series".

I don't think film and TV buffs should be put off by the film's three hour length; the plot and any questions that may arise when viewing The Bourne Identity are answered extremely thoroughly come the end of the film, and should not disappoint fans of espionage/spy thrillers. It was a great effort from all concerned, certainly strengthened thanks to the wonderful imagery and intrigue of the many different cities involved. 7/10


The Bourne Identity is a fairly enjoyable thriller based on Robert Ludlum's best-seller. Viewers younger than 30 may not remember the dread shadow that the terrorist Carlos cast over Europe during the later years of the Cold War. This movie is about how an amnesiac CIA agent manages to remember that his mission is to capture or kill the infamous terrorist. Therefore, it is rather unique among spy thrillers. Only The Spy Who Came in from The Cold deals with the mental torment of a spy/assassin. Richard Chamberlain gives an adequate, even acceptable performance as Jason Bourne, the secret agent who is supposed to pursue Carlos, but ends up getting pursued by the CIA and other spy organizations even as he chases Carlos all over Europe. Chamberlain portrays just the right combination of vulnerability and ruthlessness as Jason Bourne, but one wishes for a more charismatic actor to have played the title role. Jaclyn Smith impresses as Dr.Marie St.Jacques, a Canadian economist whose life intertwines with that of the spy on the run. Even former Charlie's Angels do acquire passable acting skills, given enough time.

The exotic locales in the film - Switzerland, France, etc., are nice to watch because of the excellent photography. The only criticisms that can be levelled against this film are its excessive length and overly complicated storyline.

SPOILER?: One could also add lack of historical veracity to this list of criticisms, since the fate that Carlos meets with in this movie is just a scriptwriter's fantasy. The real Carlos was recently captured in Bolivia (by the French Secret Service, not the CIA) and the aging, overweight leftwing killer is now rotting in a French prison for life, his reign of terror ended forever.

Reviewed by Sundar Narayan


Although filmed in 1988 The Bourne Identity is still very actual, the fight against terrorism being very much on today's agenda as well. The two parts movie takes us mainly to Zürich, Paris and New York, to locations so beautifully chosen as to make the viewer wish he could visit them. A man looses his memory after being shot and enduring serious injuries. The story is his search of identity intelligently intertwined with the unfolding of an international secret services action to capture Carlos, a famous terrorist and assassin who kept the CIA and other intelligence agencies around the world on their toes for years. The writers of the script certainly had an arduous task condensing the complex plot, their talent created a compelling story, a sharp dialog without ever confusing the viewer.

As mentioned The Bourne Identity unfolds in three different cities. In each of them new elements and characters are added thus making the pace of the show pick up momentum until it reaches a cathartic peak on E 71st street.

The actor in the title role with whom we take the thrilling trip, rather roller-coaster ride, could only be Richard Chamberlain. His unique acting arc displays, with intensity, finesse and perfection, loving moments -- his face melting with love and crying for sadness when his failing memory catches glimpses of the past, his handsome and young body surrendering to the talented and attractive Jaclyn Smith who falls under the spell of this intriguing man -- and tough and violent moments paired with callousness, cold blood, swiftness of reactions, distress and cruel realizations as well as a formidable physical shape. Richard Chamberlain IS Jason Bourne and he is the one who keeps the viewer's attention tense during the entire movie.

One of my preferred scenes is one confronting a French General played by the much missed Anthony Quayle and Jason Bourne/Richard Chamberlain, two great actors among the greatest, on stage and on the screen; so powerful a scene, it grips you, one almost forgets to breathe .... Magnificent acting, soldiers !

The Bourne Identity ends with a moral note, Jason Bourne/Richard Chamberlain once his mission accomplished questions the violence and the need for men to become monsters to fight monsters. In the very last scene, full of symbolism, our hero, tightly holding the arm of Marie St. Jacques/Jaclyn Smith walks out of a cemetery towards a new life where he hopes to make peace with himself and be capable of love again.

A last word to say that Martin Rabbett is co-producer, adding his great talent to the list of those who made The Bourne Identity a big success.


This movie is a masterpiece. Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith are great in this movie. The redoing of this movie with Matt Damon [Bourne Identity, The (2002)] was not good. Matt Damon is good, but they have changed the story to much. The new version should never been done !!!

This movie is still the best movie I have ever seen ! I give this 10/10


This is one of the best TV miniseries ever done and far superior to the later movie version. Richard Chamberlain is Bourne. Matt Damon plays Bourne as a sadistic teenager in comparison. Denholm Elliott is one of the best supporting actors of all time and he does not disappoint in this production. Nor does Quyale and Jaclyn Smith and all the other supporting actors. What makes this version much better than the latter is because of it having been made at a time when people expected a thriller to contain both a good story action and believable actors. The 2002 version is so dumb and clichéd that it's a wonder that it didn't bomb at the box office. I wish more producers directors and actors would combine the strengths of "old" movies with the advanced movie techniques available today. A good story should not be allowed to be slaughtered by the director and scriptwriters. If you get a chance to see this Chamberlain version of The Bourne identity don't miss. But pass on the latter version............


Having read the original novel and seen the 2002 film 'adaptation' starring Matt Damon, I was always curious to see this older rendition of Robert Ludlum's most ingenious and complex novel, The Bourne Identity. Having recently had the opportunity to do so, I can safely say that this miniseries, starring Richard Chamberlain is as good as it gets. This film is meticulously close to the original novel and truly recaptures the feel of Ludlum's suspenseful Cold War era thriller about an amnesiac on a quest to rediscover his identity in a cloak and dagger world of espionage and murder. The locations are wonderful and really add on to the story. The action scenes are no where near as stylistic as those in the Damon version and therefore greatly benefit from a more realistic and gritty tone. The music too is brilliant and highlights the mysterious and suspenseful theme of the movie. This film has only two shortcomings. Firstly, Richard Chamberlain, though a great actor, comes across as being a bit too mild to be Jason Bourne, whom, as anyone who has read the novel or its sequels would know, is an on-edge killing machine. He comes across as being only moderately convincing in the more brutal actions of the character on screen. Secondly, although Yorgo Voyagis does a fair job as Carlos, the ruthless assassin determined to eliminate Bourne, he in no way captures the aura of mystery that lies around the Carlos of the novel, who is a faceless manipulator seated at the center of a web of deceit. But then again, Chamberlain more than makes up for his relative inability to portray Bourne's violent side with his excellent portrayal of Bourne's ingenuity and skill as a 'Chameleon' (something Matt Damon has thus far never brought onto the screen), and I can quite understand that the directors did not wish to spend much time establishing Carlos, since Bourne is the true center of the viewers attention. A mention must be made of Jaclyn Smith, who plays the part of Marie St. Jacques to perfection, though she barely physically resembles the character in the novel. All in all, this movie is certainly the definitive rendition of Ludlum's great thriller.


Last night I was pleasantly surprised and saw the TV version of The Bourne Idendtity starring Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith and I found it very intense and thrilling. Yes, I have the Bourne Trilogy which I like a lot because it stars Matt Damon and I'm a big fan of his. After seeing the TV version I can see that Damon is a little too young for Bourne but they did bring the story forward to suit the star and that's all right, too. But I sure won't knock the TV version as I would think that Chamberlain was closer to the age that Bourne should be. As to comparing a movie or TV to a book is not feasible 'cause we're talking about two different mediums. I'm happy with both versions and plan to watch the TV version again. It stands the test of time.


I didn't expect too much from a TV mini-series based on an adventure novel, which was later made into a big budget action film.

I had not enjoyed the 2002 version of The Bourne Identity with Matt Damon, but this one was gripping from the first frame. I read a lot of the reviews and posts here as I always do to compare reactions, and found people were praising some elements, and criticizing others. Here is how it affected me.

Primarily it was a story about a man's search for his identity, and Chamberlain, never known as the greatest actor in the world, was very believable and effective. Jaclyn Smith was just adequate in her role and she is definitely one of the worst actresses they could have chosen, but one can't have everything. She makes good eye candy. The movie's other characters played pivotal roles and delivered excellent characterizations. Notably Denholm Elliott as the doctor.

The story was a fast moving adventure, which was almost Hitchcockian, the story of one bewildered man with villains trying to kill him, and a random pretty girl he abducts to help him (also echoes of the Redford movie Three Days of the Condor), and the extensive scenery of Paris was beautiful. Except for the obvious pauses where commercials used to be, this looks like a real movie and not a TV series. It doesn't look cheaply made. They obviously took pride in this production.

But to me the most surprising thing of all was the human element, the complex emotions in the amnesiac's story. Richard Chamberlain delivered them far above what one would expect from him, or from a TV movie. Yet this movie is all but forgotten since the theatre versions were made. I think that Hitchcock, if he had been alive to make this picture, would himself have chosen Chamberlain as he was very much like the James Stewart "everyman" who raced against time to solve the mystery of his amnesia.

There are a few places where key scenes from the past are shown briefly and never explained (apparently a sequel was planned, which would explain them), and yet I was able to fill in a likely explanation, from my own imagination. This is the mark of good film making.

There were no fantastic special effects or avant garde techniques. It was straightforward story telling.

I am easily bored, highly critical, and so because I loved this, I am very surprised and had to post about it, in case it might help someone decide to go ahead and see it. Yes, it is well worth it and highly enjoyable. It hails from another era (where the story was more important than the chases and effects).

I am glad it is still available in video, and if I find it in DVD I will buy it because it was a movie I would like to see again. I still think about it - and went to the library to get the book the next day - and that rarely happens with an action movie of this type.


I'm from India and as such had never heard of Richard Chamberlain before. But Yesterday I watched the film and was completely hooked by it. It is ten times better that the sham that has Matt Damon in it. Robert Ludlum's Bourne Identity is one of my favourite novels. After seeing Richard Chamberlain movie I think that he's a perfect cast as he follows Ludlums description of the character to the hilt.A very Fine actor paired with an actress of calibre of Jaclyn Smith, have done good justice to Jason Bourne. Also being made in the 80's it faithfully captures the time when the book was written. No comps, no cellphones just gritty streets of Paris. this film should be rated among the most faithful adaptations to the original novel.


I've read the 3 books by Robert Ludlum and i must say that the one from 1988 was much better that the one from 2002. R.C. and J.S. have done a much better job that M.D. and F.Z. In fact i don't even know on wchich criteria they chose M.D. and F. Z. to play in this version, they are not fit to do this parts. Marie is a beautiful, sofisticated woman with a long red hair just like J.S. and Jason/David in the book is a man pushing 40's not 30's like M.D. and the facts are more faithful to the book in the 1988 version that 2002. In conclusion the 1988 version is much better that the 2002 version. It would have been great to make a continuous with R.C. and J.S.


Who is the 'real' Jason Bourne? It's Richard Chamberlain. He is Bourne and would be him also in the sequels. Just perfect! And this is the difference to Matt Damon. Looking at the past of Jason Bourne, Matt Damon cannot, must not be Jason Bourne. Because he is too young to have the experience Jason has and too young to have lived all the live of Jason Bourne. In my opinion, he is not trustworthy for this role. But most of the people do not know how Robert Ludlum saw Jason Bourne. So it's OK for the others who will see the movie but do not read the book(s). Another problem with the new movie is the time period: Bourne lived about 25 years ago, not today. He does not fit in these days, because of the story (difficult to put in words, really). But again, it is not that what counts, is it? Is it just that todays movie makers do not have any good ideas for a thriller anymore. Or are there no ideas left because this times are gone?


I've read the 3 books by Robert Ludlum and i must say that the one fronm 1988 was much better that the one from 2002. R.C. and J.S. have done a much beter job that M.D. and F.Z. In fact i don't even know on wchich criteria they chose M.D. and F. Z. to play in this version, they are not fit to do this parts. Marie is a beautiful, sofisticated woman with a long red hair just like J.S. and Jason/David in the book is a man pushing 40's not 30's like M.D. and the facts are more faithful to the book in the 1988 version that 2002. In conclusion the 1988 version is much better that the 2002 version. It would have been great to make a continuous ith R.C. and J.S.


Starring Richard Chamberlain as Jason Bourne (see what a difference casting can make?) and Jaclyn Smith as Marie (a far cry from Franka Potente, indeed), this Bourne ostensibly hews a little closer to the book (I've never read it, but I've been told that the only thing the book and the Damon film have in common is the title). In this version, Bourne is helped by a kindly old doctor named Washburn (the ever-remarkable Denholm Elliot) and meets up with Marie while he is trying to escape being gunned down by sinister Swiss spies (led by Wolf Kahler, better known as slimy Nazi Dietrich from Raiders of the Lost Ark). There's a whole lot more going on (at three hours, there'd better be), but there's also a snorefest of details about international finance that the Damon version wisely condensed to a single tense scene at a Swiss bank. This Bourne is longer on plot, and there's even more going on behind the scenes at Treadstone and so on. There's also a ludicrous and maudlin revelation near the end about who Jason really is (compared with the tag-on at the end of Supremacy delivered by Pam Landy, this is positively Harlequin-esque).

Granted, it's damned hard for a TV miniseries to compare with a fairly-big budget film, and both of the new Bourne films play much better to the short attention span of modern sensibilities. This Bourne delves into a lot more character and takes a much longer time developing the relationship between Jason and Marie (though it's never half as believable as the Damon-Potente one). The films also had very different aims, so in a way comparing them isn't fair, but since they are interpretations of the same material, one can't help but see how they match up.

I'd only recommend this film for serious Ludlum fans or people like me who simply loved the two modern movies and wanted to see how an older stab at the material would play. Most people would find this version needlessly talky and slow – I did – and at three hours, I really can't suggest this to anyone. It's far longer and far slower than it needs to be, and it compares most unfavorably to Damon's films. There is a neat plot in this film that they could use for a potential third movie – Bourne sort of fighting the anti-Bourne, an uber-terrorist named Carlos – but it's certainly not worth sitting through this whole film to get to. A passably interesting exercise for Bourne die-hards, but certainly one to be skipped by anyone else.


Compared to the very advertised and highly praised 2003 remake, at least this movie has a storyline, some character development, and a slight resemblance to the original Ludlum manuscript. Also, Chamberlain as Jason Bourne is far more believable as a top spy than Matt Damon, who instead of resembling a spy, looks more like a kid who might need help in getting his nose wiped, and is more likely to get lost anywhere in Europe rather than having the experience to feel at home in several European cities and their high-class establishments.

On the downside, this being a film made in the 80-ies originally for television and VHS, the picture and sound quality leave a lot to be desired. Some of the dialog is also a little overly simplistic at times. But all in all, this was a very enjoyable experience, a well directed, interesting made-for-TV movie, much better than the highly praised 2003 remake.