The Flight of the Dove

 (1994, aka The Spy Within)

by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

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The Dove has written a tell-all book, albeit for therapy, not for publication.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book exclusively for her own eyes and those of her shrink, but the head spooks don't trust that the book will remain unpublished, and just can't afford to have it in existence at all.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 and/or loyalty.

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.

It's not a great film, but I got through the entire story without fast-forwarding or taking any breaks, and  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.

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:



  • Scott Glenn shows his buns

  • Theresa Russell shows breasts and buns.





No major reviews online.





No record of a theatrical release.





4.5 IMDB summary (of 10)





Full screen only

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.)