KGB: The Secret War

Movie, 1985
aka 'Lethal'
Directed by Dwight Little
Michael Billington - Peter Hubbard/Petyr Kolpakov
Denise Dubarry - Adelle Martin
Michael Ansara - Lyman Tayler
Walter Gotell - Nickolai Dyukov
Sally Kellerman - Fran Simpson

Plot Summary

Mild-mannered engineer Peter Hubbard is plagued by nightmares - someone named "Nickolai" chases him and shoots him. His girl friend Adelle Martin tries to comfort him (and succeeds). But Peter is not all he seems, for it becomes apparent that he is, in fact, a Soviet agent - real name Petyr Kolpakov. For 7 years he has been posing as slain engineer Peter Hubbard - the last three with Adelle, who works at the same aerospace plant as Peter. She has a security pass, however, which Peter pilfers in order to get into a secured area and photograph some highly classified guidance chips which the Soviets are keen to get their hands on.

It becomes apparent to Peter that his Soviet friends are up to something. He is told this will be his last mission - he will be returning to Russia - he's done a great job, et cetera, but Peter is suspicious. When the contact meets him to collect the film, Peter is shot. Luckily, he had worn a bullet proof vest, and gets the upper hand on the contact. He then shows up unexpectedly at a party at his immediate superior's house. He tells him he could not get the pictures - he needs more time.

Nickolai Dyukov - a.k.a. "Viktor" - knows he is lying - he is the one who sent the guy to kill Peter, and he muses now that he should have known that guy was no match for Peter. The party ends with a very familiar chase scene - armed thugs chasing Peter with guns.

Meanwhile, American agent (I think they are NSA) Fran Simpson has been keeping an eye on Peter Hubbard, and she is convinced that he is really Kolpakov and that he just might be ripe for defection.
She and her partner, Tayler, contact Peter and he agrees to a deal with them. In exchange for protection, he will give them Viktor - the top rated Soviet agent in the US. They tell him they want a certain list, hoping Peter will lead them to Viktor in the pursuit.

Anyway, poor Peter must avoid the Soviet agents trying to kill him while a) protecting Adelle, who is less than pleased to find out her lover is a spy, b) hunting for the list the Americans say they want, c) trying to use and at the same time protect his network of agents, all of whom are being picked off one by one by the Russians who know they will all defect as well as soon as they know Peter plans to do so.
AND! To make matters even more complicated, Nickolai has Peter's son, Fedor, shipped over as a little added insurance. Peter had been told that his wife and child died in a car crash some years before. Nickolai even showed him the graves - knowing that if he knew the truth - that his wife had died from pneumonia and his son was alone - Peter would want to return home and they needed him in place where he was. Well, now, they think he will turn himself over to protect his son, who has actually been brainwashed by now so he is a nice little Communist...


This is a pretty good example of a cold war propaganda film - a pretty good film in it's own right, if one ignores the stupid prolog about some real Soviet defector ("This is not his story, but it could be"), which has absolutely nothing to do with anything. The only complaint I have really, is the very end - it is too neat and tidy and gee whiz, isn't that just a nice happy Hollywood ending to be believable.
Billington is sizzling and sultry, however, as Peter/Petyr and this is definitely a watchable film.


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