The Soldier (film)

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The Soldier
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Glickenhaus
Produced by James Glickenhaus
Written by James Glickenhaus
Music by Tangerine Dream
Cinematography Robert M. Baldwin
Edited by Paul Fried
Distributed by Embassy Pictures
Release dates
  • June 15, 1982 (1982-06-15) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Soldier (Codename: The Soldier in the UK) is a 1982 American Cold War action film directed by James Glickenhaus and starring Ken Wahl.[1] The film also features Klaus Kinski, Alberta Watson and a cameo by country music superstar George Strait.


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 contemplates starting a war with Israel, in order to save the world from oil crisis. The director of the CIA offers the president an alternative solution.

A 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 title character 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.



  1. ^ Canby, Vincent (September 3, 1982). "New York Times: The Soldier". NY Times. Retrieved October 26, 2008. 

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