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Code Name: Emerald (1985)

eric stoltz,code name emerald,movie posterCode Name: Emerald (sometimes known as Deep Cover) is a spy thriller written by Ronald Bass (based on his novel The Emerald Illusion) and directed by Jonathan Sanger.

Ed Harris stars as Gus Lang, an double agent for the Allies who is sent to France to rescue an American soldier captured by Nazis. Eric plays Andy Wheeler, the young soldier in question. Horst Buchholz, Max von Sydow and Helmut Berger play the German officers at the French prison.

The film opened in theatres in September 1985. It was released on DVD in December 2010.


In April 1944, an allied agent is sent to France in order to rescue an “overlord” captured by the Germans. (An “overlord” is one of the few men who knew the date and place of the “D” day). To achieve this goal, he will be supported by a secret friend of the allies, a very important German officer and the French resistance.


Ed Harris (Gus Lang), Max von Sydow (Jurgen Brausch), Horst Buchholz (Walter Hoffman), Helmut Berger (Ernst Ritter), Eric Stoltz (Andy Wheeler), Cyrielle Clair (Claire Jouvet), Patrick Stewart (Colonel Peters)

DVD ON AMAZON: Code Name: Emerald


Remember when spy movies used to stress intricate plot lines and intriguing characters, as opposed to over-the-top action sequences? If you pine for the days of thrillers like The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and The Quiller Memorandum, then the Warner Archives’ release of the 1985 movie Code Name: Emerald should fit the bill. Never heard of the film? Neither had I until a review copy arrived from the studio. There’s an inherent prejudice that most of us have regarding movies that we haven’t heard of – namely, if it’s obscure, then it must be bad. Emerald proves, however, that some truly fine films are merely the victim of bad marketing or audience indifference. I’m not sure if this movie ever received a theatrical release, but it’s certainly a worthwhile venture.

Ed Harris (who resembles the young Robert Duvall, not only physically, but in terms of mannerisms, as well) plays a triple agent – an American working for British Intelligence who poses as a valued collaborator for the Germans, even though he’s really with the Allies. Got that? (Then please explain it to me!). Harris is sent on a perilous mission to occupied Paris when a key American soldier (Eric Stoltz) is captured. Stoltz is an “Overlord”, one of the few men who know the time, date and landing locations for the forthcoming D-Day invasion. If the Germans can break him, the entire invasion would be jeopardized. The Germans plant Harris as a cellmate of Stoltz in the hopes of getting the vital information. — Cinema Retro


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