Richard Chamberlain _is_ Jason Bourne

The Bourne Identity – brilliant movie, huh? Do you know what isn’t a brilliant movie, though? The Bourne Identity.

Confusing, huh? That’s because you probably didn’t realise that the excellent 2002 movie starring Matt Damon wasn’t the first adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s book The Bourne Identity, about a spy apparently called Jason Bourne who loses his memory after being shot and has to recover his identity. Nope, back in 1988, US TV network ABC adapted it as a three-hour movie which they turned into a two-part mini-series. Except rather than Matt Damon, they got Richard Chamberlain to play ‘Jason Bourne’. And they forgot to get someone decent to direct it. Or give it a decent special effects budget.

Ironically, the 1988 adaptation, which you can watch part of below, while worse is a lot more faithful to the book and it does feature Anthony Quayle, Jaclyn Smith and Denholm Elliott as well, so you might prefer it, particularly if you’re a Ludlum fan.

This is only part 1 – other parts are on YouTube, but you should probably get it on DVD if you like it for some reason.