The Bourne Identity (1988 film)

The Bourne Identity
Based on The Bourne Identity
by Robert Ludlum
Screenplay by Carol Sobieski
Directed by Roger Young
Starring Richard Chamberlain
Jaclyn Smith
Anthony Quayle
Donald Moffat
Denholm Elliott
Music by Laurence Rosenthal
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Frederick Muller
Running time 185 minutes
Production company(s) Alan Shayne Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Original network ABC
Original release
  • May 8 (1988-05-08) (TV)


  • May 9, 1988 (1988-05-09) (TV)

The Bourne Identity is a 1988 American mystery thriller television movie adaptation of Robert Ludlum's novel The Bourne Identity.[1] The film adaptation was written by Carol Sobieski, directed by Roger Young for Warner Bros. Television with Richard Chamberlain in the title role, along with Jaclyn Smith. It follows the storyline of the original novel, with a run-time of 3 hours 5 min. With commercials added, the running time was extended to four hours. The film was first shown on ABC in two two-hour installments over two nights. The film was the last TV film for both Anthony Quayle and Denholm Elliott.

The book was adapted again in 2002 by Doug Liman starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, launching the Bourne series of theatrical films, with considerable deviations from the original Cold War novel.[1][2] It was followed later by a new series of Bourne best sellers written by Eric Lustbader with the permission of the Ludlum estate.

Differences from the book

The film's plot exhibits some differences from that of the novel by Ludlum. The undercover identity of Jason Bourne is simplified. In the book and film, David Webb, because of his amnesia, believes himself to be Jason Bourne and an assassin called Cain. Alexander Conklin is accidentally shot by his own people when attempting to kill Bourne; in the novel he survives and appears in subsequent novels. In the book's ending, Carlos escapes in the confusion, whereas in the film he is killed in the climactic battle with Bourne.



  1. 1 2 The Bourne Identity at AllMovie
  2. William Bibbiani (November 3, 2011). "'The Bourne Identity' vs. 'The Bourne Identity'". Remake Rumble. CraveOnline Media. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
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