MY SPY (2020) – A Quick-Fire Look

Podcast Episode

MY SPY (2020) – A Quick-Fire Look

Join Dan and Tom in Cracking the Code of My Spy - the first spy movie released by a major studio in 2020 - and it's not in theaters!  It's on Amazon Prime!

Join Dan and Tom in Cracking the Code of My Spy – the first spy movie released by a major studio in 2020 – and it’s not in theaters!  It’s on Amazon Prime!

The Quick-Fire Look will not giveaway the movie, but we will look at certain revelations and things to look for in the movie so you can enjoy it even more!  Join us in our My Spy review!

All our Podcasts are at: https://spymovienavigator.com/spy-movie-podcasts/

Related Content

In This episode we examine the movie My Spy. Some of the things we look at include:

  • The main characters of My Spy
  • JJ’s role in the CIA
  • The role of the cities Chicago and Toronto in the making of the movie
  • The music
  • The fight scene
  • Ties to movies like Spy Game, Bourne Identity, Quantum of Solace
  • Interesting references to other films – ET, Phone home?
  • Is JJ like James Bond?
  • And more …

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Q Planes (1939) – aka Clouds Over Europe

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Q Planes (1939) – aka Clouds Over Europe

Join Dan and Tom as they dig deep into the key scenes of the 1939 movie, Q PLANES, which is also known as CLOUDS OVER EUROPE in the US. They'll look into where this movie has connections to other spy movies and real-world events to come!

Q Planes is a spy comedy, treating a top-secret invention the British were testing just prior to World War II and what they had to do to keep the invention and information about it out of enemy hands.   In the US, it is also known as Clouds Over Europe. It is more spy than comedy, but it has a comedic element.   Starring Ralph Richardson, Lawrence Olivier, and Valerie Hobson.

Join Dan and Tom as they dig deep into the key scenes in this film and connections to other spy movies to come!

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Q Planes is one of those cult-spy movies that has a small but avid following. True spy movie fans should know this movie.

In this podcast, we’ll examine:

  • The reason for the two different names: Q Planes and Clouds Over Europe
  • The basic premise of the film
  • The impact Ralph Richardson’s portrayal of Colonel Hammond had on the tv show “The Avengers”
  • Ties into the world of James Bond in print and on the big screen: Including You Only Live Twice, For Your Eyes Only and The Spy Who Loved Me
  • Ties into the Mission: Impossible franchise; both on tv and movies.
  • The “Nelson Touch”
  • And many more items

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This movie stars:

  • Jackie Chan as Bob Ho
  • Billie Ray Cyrus as Coltan James
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  • Where the movie The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming is mimicked
  • The Jet Pack in Thunderball and Never Say Never Again
  • A shot in Dr. No which is very similar to one in The Spy Next Door.
  • A scene that highlights Parkour, like in Casino Royale.
  • An escape scene reminiscent of Licence to Kill.
  • A mole in the CIA, which we’ve seen with Jim Phelps in Mission: Impossible, Bill Haydon in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, among others
  • Bob Ho is retired and brought back in, like George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and James Bond in a few movies, including the upcoming NO TIME TO DIE
  • Musical cues influenced by the James Bond series
  • A line about knowing women that reminds us of Thunderball
  • A call-out to Octopussy
  • An agent gets paid off to help a criminal escape like in Licence to Kill
  • Gadgets galore
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Did the title Q Planes come from Q-Ships?

The movie Q Planes got it's title post-production.   It is assumed the name was derived from the Q-Ships that were popular in World War I. These were freighters or steamer designed to look like non-military ships that would be easy targets for German U-boats. The idea was to get the U-boat to surface, and then the Q-ship would reveal its guns and blast away. In the movie Q Planes, no one ever does this with one of the planes. Nor is the term Q Planes ever used in the film!  The title appears to have been thought of more for marketing to UK audiences than for how it relates to the plot. The British public loved Q-ships in World War I, but they were not terribly effective according to some historians, and even less effective in World War Two. The designation “Q” came from the ships being outfitted in Queensland, Ireland, and it helped promote the idea of “Q” being a designation for taking something ordinary and outfitting it to be a deadly weapon. This clip lets you see a real Q-Ship.  It's old footage showing the troops and a Q-ship in action. RELATED CONTENT:

Q Planes and The Nelson Touch

When we at Spy Movie Navigator watch spy movies, we try to find where a movie may influence or was influenced by a real-world event or another spy movie. Happily, two things from this 11-second clip give us one of each type of influence. Specifically, Q Planes delivers with a phrase right at the end of this clip ("The Nelson Touch") that has real-world historical significance.  Additionally, we get one phrase that may have influenced the Mission: Impossible series of movies and TV.
  • "You're acting against instructions" - Major Hammond's boss tells him "Unofficially, of course, you understand. I'll give you every facility, but if he finds you out, you're acting against instructions."
    • This instantly brings a 20th and 21st Century spy movie fan to the Mission: Impossible TV and movie series.  "As always, should you or any of your IM Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions."
    • Does this line get it's birth from the movie Q Planes?  Remember, this movie came out in 1939.  The "Mission: Impossible" TV show didn't happen for another 27 years.
  • Q Planes and "The Nelson Touch" -  Major Hammond says "The Nelson Touch" in response to the above directive.  This phrase brings a real-world reference into the movie.  It refers to Lord Horatio Nelson and what he initially described as one of his battle strategies.  It's great to see a historical reference in this type of movie.  Q Planes use of the phrase The Nelson Touch brings us to two different eras of history and two different wars.  We discuss this in more detail in our Q Planes podcast.
So, check out this clip and see if you agree with us. RELATED CONTENT

Got a cigarette? What Hammond asks in Q Planes

In this short scene, we see a trope that has been used in many spy movies.  In fact, we see it in spy movies from Hitchcock thrillers through Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible and naturally, many James Bond movies.  Of course, we're talking about the "Got a cigarette" Spy to Spy password conversation to validate to the other person you are who they think you are. In this case, Hammond asks man: "Got a cigarette?" The man gives him the cigarette.  However,  in reality, it’s a Comm or a note wrapped around the cigarette. The note says "The supercharger is the enemy's objective. They may know of proposed flight from secret agent here." This is a very important scene for the movie.  The note tells Hammond that he was right about the supercharger. Therefore, Hammond knows he has to remove it before the next test flight.  Thank goodness that note was written on that cigarette.  What would he have done if it wasn't? We think Leslie Bradley was the actor playing the man Hammond got the note from.  He was also the assistant in the scene in Hammond's office.  His role was uncredited and it was such a brief shot of his face. Therefore, although we're not certain it was him, we believe it was.  The uniform he had on said "Barrett & Ward" which is the airplane company who's airplanes went missing.   So, even though he was passing notes, he looked like he worked for the airplane company. Just as any good spy would. RELATED CONTENT

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