Screen Two (1985–2002)
5 user 3 critic

The Impossible Spy 

Young Israeli husband Eli Cohen is recruited by the Mossad in the early 1960's and sent to Syria. Telling his wife he has a new job that requires extensive business travel, he takes up ... See full summary »


Jim Goddard
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Shea ... Elie Cohen
Eli Wallach ... Yacov
Sasson Gabai ... General Haled (as Sason Gabay)
Michal Bat-Adam ... Nadia Cohen
Rami Danon ... Avram
Chaim Jeraffi Chaim Jeraffi ... Salloum (as Haim Girafi)
Jacques Cohen ... Assan (as Jack Cohen)
Anat Barzilai ... Galela (as Anat Barzilay)
Yossi Keinan Yossi Keinan ... Nassim (as Yossi Kenan)
Judith Millo Judith Millo ... Madame Massim
Victor Kamar Victor Kamar ... Major Massim
Fahami Shishtawi Fahami Shishtawi ... Syrian Border Captain
Shlomo Sadan Shlomo Sadan ... Syrian Colonel
Jonathan Cherchi Jonathan Cherchi ... Syrian Radio Operator
Yitzhak Aloni Yitzhak Aloni ... Mossad Radio Operator (as Itzhak Aloni)


Young Israeli husband Eli Cohen is recruited by the Mossad in the early 1960's and sent to Syria. Telling his wife he has a new job that requires extensive business travel, he takes up residence in Syria, where he befriends a high-ranking Syrian government official and provides invaluable information to Israel. On a visit home, his wife pleads with him to leave his job so he can be home more, and his handler tells him he has accomplished enough, but he decides to return to Syria one last time. One day he learns of an attack on a kibbutz scheduled for that night; he abandons normal precautions in order to warn Israel as quickly as possible, and is caught. Written by Mark Hettler <>

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Plot Keywords:

israel | syria | israeli | 1960s | spy film | See All (10) »




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Official Sites:

Janson Media





Release Date:

28 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El espía imposible See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Yacov: From now on, you will lead two lives; husband and secret agent. You will be trained in the methods of The Mossad; infiltration, observation, communication and how to survive.
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User Reviews

A so-so movie that I find myself watching again and again
17 January 2006 | by mhettlerSee all my reviews

One who is not interested in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, sympathetic to the Israeli cause, and inspired by Eli Cohen's sacrifice for that cause, will probably find this movie boring. One comes away from watching this movie, not thinking about what a great movie he just watched, but about the life of Eli Cohen. And perhaps that's what the filmmakers intended.

I can't think of anything particularly good to say about the movie. It is somewhat slow-paced, and no performances particularly stand out. But I find myself going back and watching it again and again, because the story it tells is so interesting to me. While the acting and production do not draw attention to themselves with their impressiveness, neither do they distract from the story due to poor quality; everything about the movie is unspectacular but competent.

The only complaint I can make is about the portrayal of Cohen's wife. She comes across so annoyingly that in the end, after her husband's death, when she encounters the Mossad official who lied to her repeatedly, took her husband away and sent him on the mission that resulted in his death, one finds oneself sympathizing with the spy-master because of the awkwardness of the situation, rather than with the aggrieved widow because of her loss.

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