“I wasn’t going to submit to blackmail. I mean, the chips were down. I would not let my country down.”
The Smile and The Sword, produced in 1967 by the US Department of Defense, warns industrialists working on high-end technology to be wary of certain customers who are highly curious but never cut the deal.
Mr. Boris Gladkov, played by Conrad Bain, best know for his role as Mr. Dummond on the 1980’s sitcom Diff’rent Stroke, strings along salesman Philip Ames to extract as much information as he can for a foreign government.
As Ames wines and dines his client with baseball games and Broadway theater, he can see his big score on the horizon.
Likewise, Gladkov perpetually convinces Ames they are on the verge of a very lucrative deal.
But Boris’s people just need a little bit more information, he says. And so it goes, drip, drip, drip.
Eventually, Boris lures Ames into a compromising situation, leaving the unsuspecting businessman vulnerable to blackmail.
The Sword and The Smile dramatizes what a citizen must do when led down a path toward kompromat.