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Death Has a Bad Reputation (1990)

A British agent is chasing after famous terrorist Carlos when he resurfaces in Europe.


Frederick Forsyth (story), Murray Smith


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Lo Bianco ... Carlos
Pamela Villoresi Pamela Villoresi ... Antonella
Elizabeth Hurley ... Julia Latham
Gottfried John ... Rodimstev
Alan Howard ... Sam McCready
Venantino Venantini ... Umberto Aidoni
David Lyon David Lyon ... Patrick Cowlishaw
Sabina Trooger Sabina Trooger ... Irenya
Udo Vioff ... Andropov
Guy Scantlebury Guy Scantlebury ... Nick McCready
Richard Hope ... Spry
Garrick Hagon ... Stephen T. Hamilton
Philip Lowrie ... Supt. Jamieson
Pier Luigi Misasi Pier Luigi Misasi ... Luca Chiesa
Marzia Ubaldi Marzia Ubaldi


A British agent is chasing after famous terrorist Carlos when he resurfaces in Europe.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »




PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

24 November 1990 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A halál nem felejt See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

FremantleMedia See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Wished we had more Murray Smith
2 October 1999 | by Jack_YanSee all my reviews

Death Has a Bad Reputation was one of a series of tele-movies penned by Murray Smith (The Paradise Club), before he decided to become a novelist. It is arguably the most enjoyable and well-paced of the Frederick Forsyth Presents series, if somewhat less hard-hitting than Pride and Extreme Prejudice and Casualty of War.

There is an interesting plot twist in a story which centres around some real-life incidents, groups and people. Terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, a.k.a. Carlos the Jackal (Tony Lo Bianco) sets off two people who, driven by guilt and revenge, attempt to destroy him.

After disappearing for four years as ordered by his KGB controllers, Carlos surfaces in Rome, spotted by journalist and Carlos authority Julia Latham (Elizabeth Hurley). The information leads other intelligence services, most notably the British, led by Sam McCready (Alan Howard), onto Carlos's tail.

Howard gives a trademark performance and pulls it off nicely, as a frustrated spy whose son has been seriously injured in the course of following his father's footsteps. Hurley's future-star quality can best be seen here (and not in Inspector Morse or Act of Will). German actor Gottfried John is, as expected, playing a KGB agent and Carlos's controller, but does so casually and naturally.

The tele-movie is helped by location filming in Rome, but most of all, by Smith's usual high standard of scripting and ability to incorporate realism. There are some small points about the timing (it is set in 1990, while the killing of agents in the pre-title sequence apes an incident that occurred in 1975) and more recent developments which occurred seven years after the film's release. However, in the world of fiction, these points are inconsequential.

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