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Posted at 1:22 PM ET, 07/23/2010

Friday List: Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt and other awesome movie spies

By Lizzie Horne

Jolie's Evelyn Salt is the latest awesome movie spy

In honor of the opening of Angelina Jolie’s “Salt,” we bring you this guest post from intern Lizzie Horne who writes about the best movie spies she wishes she could be.

Posted by Lizzie Horne

If there’s one thing Hollywood can do right, it’s make a suspenseful and action-packed spy movie. Audiences have been eating up fictional espionage since Woody Allen’s low-budget spy film “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” – and, to be honest, that movie was terrible.

Needless to say, the producers of Tinseltown have done it again with “Salt,” your average thriller about a kick-butt government agent who’s accused of being a Russian spy and fights everyone in her way. It’s true, Evelyn Salt is the real deal. But she's just the latest in a long lineage of spies that have dominated the box office.

Ethan Hunt from “Mission: Impossible”

I know that Tom Cruise has aged a bit since he first portrayed the suave and mysterious IMF point man. But I’m anxiously awaiting the release of “Mission: Impossible IV,” when I get to see Hunt back in all his glory. Aside from being the epitome of hot, the secret agent was so slick that he could fight atop a fast-moving train and still keep his crew cut intact. That’s talent.

Joe Turner from “Three Days of the Condor”

Who’s as cool as Robert Redford? No one. What’s a better code name than Condor? Nothing. In this 1975 drama, Redford plays a clandestine CIA employee gone rogue as he worked to solve a murder mystery in just three days. All the while, everyone Turner (aka the Condor) ever trusted tries to kill him. Still not sold? Watch the beginning of the movie and you’ll understand.

Jason Bourne from “The Bourne Identity”

I hold a special place in my heart for Bourne. I fell in love with Matt Damon at the ripe young age of six, when “Good Will Hunting” was released, and have never looked back. But I digress. Bourne, a psychogenic amnesiac attempting to discover his true identity, may not remember being a spy but he sure was a good one. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Bourne was that he never used any fancy gadgets, just his wits and chiseled pecs. (All three movies in the series are amazing.)

Austin Powers in “The Spy Who Shagged Me”

Yellow teeth and hairy chest aside, this free love advocate is one groovy spy, baby. Despite his fear of nuclear war and “carnies,” Mike Myers’ goofy character successfully defeated the sneaky ploys of Dr. Evil and managed to deal with the frequent change in time period. And who cares if Powers always talked about his mojo?! He shagged at least as many women as Bond, or more.

James Bond…in every movie

Bond. James Bond. Need I say more? While I am partial to “Dr. No” and “From Russia with Love,” I don’t think I can pick a favorite James Bond movie. Whether fighting bad guys in a tuxedo, plotting with his undeniable acumen or seducing women from all over the world, Bond was always the epitome of cool. The only question is who played 007 the best? (We all know it was Sean Connery.)

Share your favorite movie spies in the comments section.

Lizzie Horne, a summer intern at The Washington Post Web site, hopes that she'll one day be as stealthy as these spies.

By Lizzie Horne  | July 23, 2010; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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Lizzie, Harry Lime (Orson Welles, and later Michael Rennie) in "The Third Man." Robert Vaughn and Ian McCollum in the Bond rip-off "The Man from UNCLE." Emma Peel in the orginal "the Avengers" TV series. Even Jamie Lee Curtis in "True Lies."

Posted by: reddragon1 | July 23, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Not a government spy, but Leonardo Dicaprio in The Departed

Posted by: jEN7 | July 23, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Harry Lime

So true.

But on "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." don't you mean David McCallum, who nowadays plays NCIS's Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 23, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Stick to cars, Lizzie. You're in over your head when it comes to spy-dom.

Posted by: jsshaffer | July 23, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I prefer the COMPLETELY over the top spy movies like "In like Flint" or "Our Man Flint" from the 60's. Or Dwan Martin as Matt Helm in "Murderer's Row" or "The Silencers". Overlooked spy/camp classics.

Posted by: WoodleyParker | July 23, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer were great in "The Russia House."

Speaking of Russia, let's not forget Brian Keith and Natalie Wood speaking killer Russian as (sorta) spies in that bad classic, "Meteor".

If you haven't seen "Stormbreaker" (a"Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker"), it's a great fun film suitable for all/most ages. Watch Missy Pyle die by giant jellyfish!

Heck, I even like the "Spy Kids" movies. The camp value alone of the supporting cast (Ricardo Montalban, Holland Taylor, Sylvester Stallone). Cheesy, but fun.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | July 23, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Maybe one day you will be stealthy. Most importantly, new AP stylebook = "website." Is the Post stuck in the old version?

Posted by: areik | July 26, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

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