Hopscotch (1980) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hopscotch (1980)



Critic Consensus: Boosted by a deftly underplayed performance from Walter Matthau, Hopscotch is a Cold War spy caper with comic bounce.

Movie Info

Walter Matthau plays a CIA agent who's been confined by office politics to a desk job. The disgruntled Matthau quits the service and heads to Europe, where he links up with former lover (an fellow ex-agent) Glenda Jackson. All goes smoothly until Matthau acts on the advice of yet another retired agent, Russian Herbert Lom, who suggests that Matthau write a tell-all autobiography. Spitefully, Matthau sends out copies of his first chapter to the heads of the CIA agencies throughout the world--and from that point on, he and Jackson don't have a moment's peace. This delights Matthau: now that all of his former colleagues are chasing after him, he has a reason to get up in the morning. As written by Brian Garfield, Hopscotch was a conventionally serious espionage novel. As adapted for the big screen by Garfield and Bryan Forbes, Hopscotch is a lively exercise in cloak-and-dagger comedy, even when the pursuit of Matthau turns deadly towards the end.

Watch it now


Walter Matthau
as Miles Kendig/James Butler/Mr. Hannaway/Leonard Ross
Ned Beatty
as Myerson
George Baker
as Westlake
George Pravda
as Saint Breheret
Allan Cuthbertson
as Chartermain
Anne Haney
as Mrs. Myerson
Roy Sampson
as Police Sergeant
Shan Wilson
as Spy in Octoberfest
Joe Dorsey
as Security Guard
Candice Howard
as Maddox's Receptionist
Susan McShayne
as Cocktail Waitress
Yolanda King
as Coffee Shop Manager
Antony Carrick
as Salesman in Electric Shop
Osman Ragheb
as CIA Telephone Technician
Roland Frohlich
as Border Guard
Jeremy Young
as Immigration Officer
Sally Nesbitt
as Telephone Operator
Susan Engel
as Westlake's Receptionist
Michael Cronin
as Policeman
Joanna McCallum
as Bookshop Cashier
Laura Whyte
as Myerson's Secretary
Larry Larson
as FBI Technician
Sean Worthy
as FBI Man
Richard Moore
as Seaplane Pilot
Philip Voss
as Helicopter Pilot
Debra Hook
as Band Singer
View All

News & Interviews for Hopscotch

Critic Reviews for Hopscotch

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (14)

Matthau is laconic yet charming, and he comes dangerously close to letting us know how cute he is.

June 2, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Even Matthau's slumping shoulders can't carry the weight of Ronald Neame's heavy-handed direction.

June 2, 2021 | Full Review…

Funny, engaging, sometimes highly improbable, but who cares?

June 2, 2021 | Full Review…

The plotting is seamless, the humor to the point, the cinematography serviceable and direction craftily precise.

June 2, 2021 | Full Review…

It's strictly superficial stuff that works as well as it does in the playing because the cast is far more skilled than anything they are asked to do.

June 2, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A consummate actor whose talents have not been exploited by Hollywood as ably as they should have been, Matthau this time around gets to employ a whole bag of his theatrical tricks, his wry and his sly expressions, and he's great.

June 2, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hopscotch

Though it's aged a bit awkwardly in an era where espionage films are expected to deliver thrills, Hopscotch remains an amusing comedy bolstered considerably by the presence of Walter Matthau.

Isaac H
Isaac H

Super Reviewer


Its all very silly, but still entertaining. I can't help but enjoy something that makes our intelligence organizations look like a bunch of bumbling idiots. Matthau is great, as is the score which consists of random Mozart, Puccini, and Rossini selections.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

Half boring, and half funny. This movie isn't really worth watching unless you're a fan of Landau. The story is kind of silly, but it's okay.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Hopscotch Quotes

News & Features