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The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)

6.8
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Reviews: 48 user | 17 critic

The true story of a disillusioned military contractor employee and his drug pusher childhood friend who became walk-in spies for the Soviet Union.

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Title: The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Mr. Charlie Boyce
...
Mrs. Boyce
Rob Reed ...
Boyce Child
Rob Newell ...
Boyce Child
Karen West ...
Boyce Child
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Boyce Child (as Arturo Comacho)
...
Boyce Child
...
Dr. Lee
...
Mrs. Lee
...
David Lee
...
Gene
Mady Kaplan ...
Laurie
...
Larry Rogers
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Storyline

The true story of Christopher Boyce, a young All-American man whose job as a guard for sensitive documents shatters his faith in his country and leads him to a sometimes comic, sometimes chilling sideline as a spy for the Soviets, aided by his scruffy buddy, Daulton; it can't last, though, and the consequences are tremendous for Boyce and his family. Written by Dan Hartung <dhartung@mcs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drugs | soviet union | spy | cia | embassy | See All (51) »

Taglines:

They came from the best of families...and now they're the two most dangerous political criminals in the world! [Australia Video] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 January 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Traição do Falcão  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$17,100,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1986, this movie became associated with one of the most famous hacking incidents in television history. On the night of April 27, 1986 at about 12:30am, a Florida satellite TV dealer named John MacDougall was working late at Central Florida Teleport which up-links pay cable services to satellites. At the time, he was up-linking "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" but before he left, he pointed the dish directly upwards toward the location of HBO's Galaxy 1 satellite and for four and a half minutes, East Coast subscribers who has been watching The Falcon and the Snowman saw a message on a colored test pattern which read: GOODEVENINGHBO FROM CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT $12.95/MONTH? NO WAY! [SHOWTIME/MOVIECHANNEL BEWARE!]. MacDougall had performed the stunt as a protest of satellite subscribers being forced to pay higher fees than regular cable subscribers. He turned himself in, was charged a $5,000 fine and placed on one year probation. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) The scene where Chris walks into work and several close-ups are shown of incoming telex transmissions has some date discrepancies. The very first telex shown right before Chris walks in the door has a date stamp of March 2nd, 1976 while others in the scene say September 9th, 1974. Also the cipher card he pulls out of the binder that day is marked for September 1st, 1974. See more »

Quotes

[Alex, a KGB agent, informs Christopher and Dalton that they are not patriots, but paid traitors]
Alex: The moment you accepted money, you became professionals. It's just beginning.
See more »


Soundtracks

THIS IS NOT AMERICA
Written by David Bowie, Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays
Performed by David Bowie
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Traitor is such a harsh word.
19 April 2007 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Set in the 1970s Los Angeles, Christopher Boyce has just dropped out of seminary school and returned back home were his father gets him a job where he monitors intelligence documents. His old friend Daulton Lee is a ratty cock drug-dealer, and gets caught in a set-up and must choose between becoming a narc or facing a long stint in prison. When up on bail, he jumps and heads to Mexico City. Chris offers Lee in a partnership to be his messenger to sell secret papers to the Soviet Union embassy in Mexico City, because of the disgrace he feels about the US Government's control over weaker countries to their own gain. But over time the two begin to clash with their motivations and find themselves in something bigger then they had originally intended.

Director John Schlesinger has spun out such films like the respectable "Midnight Cowboy", "Marathon Man", "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Day of The Locust". While "The Falcon and the Snowman" might not be held up that high, there's no question that this sombre espionage drama (inspired by a true incident) is an unjustly overlooked character portrait. Everything about it, is quite a subdued affair with no real grandeur qualities hitting a massive mark. The driving factor of the film has got to be the admirably versatile lead performances of Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn as the two ambitious young lads Chris and Daulton. Penn is especially good with his uneasy intensity, which works well off Hutton's superbly cool-and-collected turn. What starts off as easy, we watch the situation gradually crumble, as the two amateurs find themselves really out of their league. The strongly detailed and symbolic (predatory behaviour) plot mainly centres on the pair's relationship and that of their reasoning's for their actions, which eventually shows us the knotty developments that led to their downfall. The plan opens up like a wound to never properly heal, due to Daulton's drug addiction, which really makes him go off the rails and leaves Chris to pick up all the slack. The searing political aspect is there, but it focus on the themes of idealism (Boyce) and greed (Lee) to get its point across. Both don't mix and results show. Suspense is justified through its stimulating pot-boiling script and character interactions then that of any visual gimmicks. Action is very little, but still there's a pressure induced style to Schlesinger's assured and realistically dark 'n' gritty direction. Pacing is mostly well handled, although some sequences do seem to wallow on for too long, but however it grips you as it plays on its authentically paranoid tone to slowly build up to an exploding tight latter end. Adeptly fleshed into the technical production is an airily harrowing music score and professionally poignant cinematography. The supporting cast are exceptionally fine with Pat Hingle, Lori Singer, David Suchet, Boris Leskin, Jerry Hardin and Joyce Van Patten. Also look out for Michael Ironside in a tiny part as a FBI agent.

A mostly outstanding spy-film that benefits largely from talented lead performances and by not playing the usual stakes. It's more an emotional ride, then a complex one of twists. Recommended.


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