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Spies Like Us is the name of a 1985 comedy film directed by John Landis, starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest, and Donna Dixon. The movie presents the comic adventures of two novice intelligence agents sent to the Soviet Unionmarker. The promotional song from this movie, "Spies Like Us", was composed and performed by Paul McCartney.


Dan Aykroyd plays Austin Millbarge, a geekish, basement-dwelling codebreaker for the Pentagonmarker, who aspires to escape his under-respected job to become a secret agent. Chase is Emmett Fitz-Hume, a wisecracking, pencil-pushing son of an envoy who takes the foreign service exam under peer pressure. Millbarge and Fitz-Hume meet during the test, on which Fitz-Hume is openly attempting to cheat.
Fitz-Hume cheats on the test

Needing expendable agents to act as decoys to draw attention away from a more advanced team, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) decides to enlist the two and promote them to the ranks of GLG20, Foreign Service Operatives, and put them through minimal training, then send them on an undefined mission into Soviet Central Asia. Meanwhile, professional agents are well on their way to reaching the real objective: the overtaking of a mobile SS-50 ICBM launcher.

The main team takes a loss, leaving only Dixon's character (Boyer), while Millbarge and Fitz-Hume miraculously escape enemy traps, attacks, and other certain perils. Eventually the bumbling pair team up with Boyer.

In the Pamir Mountainsmarker of the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republicmarker, the team overpowers a mobile missile guard unit, and following orders in real-time from the intelligence agency (operating from a military bunker located deep under an abandoned drive-in theater), they begin to operate the launcher. At the end of their instructions, the vehicle launches the ICBM into space, presumably targeting the United Statesmarker. Thinking they have begun a nuclear war, the American agents and their Soviets counterparts pair up to have sex before the world ends.
Russian ICBM just before launch

Meanwhile, the military commander at the operations bunker (Steve Forrest, looking much like the similarly psychotic General Ripper from Dr. Strangelove) initiates the conversion of the drive-in theater to expose what is hidden beneath the screens and projection booth: a huge black-op "Star Wars"-esque megawatt laser and collector/emitter screen. The purpose of sending the GLG20 team to launch a Soviet ICBM is then exposed as a means to test this anti-ballistic missile system. Unfortunately, the laser fails to intercept the nuclear missile, which is heading for the U.S. and will almost certainly trigger a global thermonuclear war. In another parallel to Dr. Strangelove, the general insists they are prepared to survive underground for years "to guarantee the American way of life."

back in the Soviet Unionmarker, guilt-ridden and horrified at the thought of having launched a nuclear missile at their own country, the American spies (and their new Soviet friends) use Millbarge's technical knowledge to force a malfunction in the launcher vehicle and transmit junk instructions to the traveling missile ("source programmable guidance!"), sending it off into space where it detonates harmlessly. Immediately afterwards, the underground bunker back at the drive-in theater is stormed by U.S. Army Rangers, and the intelligence and military officials involved in the covert operation are arrested. For their part, Millbarge, Fitz-Hume, and Boyer go on to become nuclear disarmament negotiators, playing a nuclear version of Risk-meets-Trivial Pursuit against their Soviet friends, who lose Eastern Europe when they miss the correct answer to "What Little Richard song was the title of a Jayne Mansfield film ("The Girl Can't Help It".)

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