The Soldier (1982 film)

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The Soldier
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJames Glickenhaus
Produced byJames Glickenhaus
J. Boyce Harman
Written byJames Glickenhaus
Music byTangerine Dream
CinematographyRobert M. Baldwin
Edited byPaul Fried
Distributed byEmbassy Pictures
Release date
  • June 15, 1982 (1982-06-15) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$6,328,816

The Soldier (also released as Codename: The Soldier) is a 1982 American Cold War action-thriller film written, directed, and produced by James Glickenhaus[1] and starring Ken Wahl, Alberta Watson, William Prince, Joaquim de Almeida, and Klaus Kinski,[2] with a cameo by country singer George Strait.[3] The film was shot on location in Buffalo and New York City, New York, West Berlin, and Israel. The ski sequence was filmed in St Anton am Arlberg in Austria, and the opening sequence was filmed in Philadelphia. The original score was composed and performed by the German electronic band Tangerine Dream.[4][5]


Renegade KGB agents hijack a plutonium shipment inside the United States and use it to plant a nuclear device in the Saudi Arabian Ghawar oilfield. They threaten to detonate it, thereby contaminating 50% of the world's oil reserve, unless Israel withdraws its settlements from the West Bank. The fact that the KGB is behind this threat is unknown, as the culprits are believed by the Israelis and Americans to be Islamic fundamentalist extremists. The American president (William Prince) contemplates starting a war with Israel, in order to save the world from a potential oil crisis. The director of the CIA (Ron Harper) offers the president an alternative solution.

An elite CIA agent codenamed 'The Soldier' (Ken Wahl), working outside the usual channels, is assigned to the case. After Russian agent Dracha (Klaus Kinski) attempts to terminate him, he contacts the CIA director from the US embassy in Berlin. A KGB agent assassinates the director and frames The Soldier for his murder, leaving no official knowledge of his activities other than the president, who has disavowed any knowledge of his actions. On the run from his own government, he seeks refuge in the Israeli embassy. He and his team cooperate with the Israeli Mossad, represented by their director of covert operations Susan Goodman (Alberta Watson). Meanwhile, the president authorizes military action against Israel.

Given the unpleasant options of the KGB destroying a large part of the world's oil supply or the United States having to invoke a military response to force Israel to remove its settlements from the West Bank, the Soldier decides to take a third option. His team infiltrates and captures a US nuclear missile silo in Smith Center, Kansas, and obtains independent launch capability. As the American military launches their air strikes toward Israel, The Soldier and Susan break into East Berlin by launching their car over the Berlin Wall, confronting the KGB agents and informing them that if their nuke in Saudi Arabia is detonated, his team in Smith Center will nuke Moscow. This forces the Russian KGB to dismantle their device in Saudi Arabia and the American air strike is recalled.


The Soldier's Force[edit]

George Strait has a cameo appearance as himself, performing the song "Fool Hearted Memory".


  1. ^ "A Movie A Day #331: The Soldier (1982, directed by James Glickenhaus)". Through the Shattered Lens. December 7, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  2. ^ Canby, Vincent (September 3, 1982). "New York Times: The Soldier". NY Times. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  3. ^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:..The Soldier
  4. ^ "The Soldier".
  5. ^ "Tangerine Dream - The Soldier". Discogs. Retrieved February 3, 2018.

External links[edit]