The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  25 January 1985 (USA)
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Reviews: 50 user | 22 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Charlie Boyce
Mrs. Boyce
Rob Reed ...
Boyce Child
Rob Newell ...
Boyce Child
Karen West ...
Boyce Child
Boyce Child (as Arturo Comacho)
Boyce Child
Dr. Lee
Mrs. Lee
David Lee
Mady Kaplan ...
Larry Rogers


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


The Falcon & The Snowman. A True Story. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 January 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Traição do Falcão  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$17,100,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The nick-name of Christopher Boyce (Timothy Hutton) was "The Falcon". See more »


(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 »


[explaining how he met fellow traitor Daulton Lee]
Christopher Boyce: We were altar boys together.
See more »


Referenced in Zeg 'ns Aaa: Goudeerlijk (1987) See more »


Written by Tom Johnston
Performed by The Doobie Brothers (as Doobie Brothers)
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Obscure classic from the eighties
5 December 2004 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I was too young in 1985 to appreciate a movie like this, but I watched it recently and thought it was quite an achievement. Everything about it hit the mark, without anything cheap or exploitive. The Snowman was a hilarious character for all his contradictions and brassiness.

The movie nicely recalls the cold war, when the Soviets were busy beavers trying to infiltrate governments and media institutions. The Falcon is shocked to learn the United States is using the CIA to block the Communist threat, and decides to become a traitor to his own country.

In too many films today, the writer loves one side and hates the other, so you get a dishonest film. In this film, the writer doesn't portray any of the characters as anything other than humans with their own beliefs, goals and foibles. That I find truly refreshing.

The movie is mostly accurate, from what I have read of the real event. There are a few notable exceptions where truth diverges from the movie, however. After quitting TRW, Christopher Boyce (AKA the Falcon) planned to learn Russian and earning a political major, and then returning to espionage for the Russians (the movie says the opposite). It makes you wonder how far he would have gotten, and how many other Christopher Boyce's there were during the cold war. In real life, Boyce and his lawyer tried to blame *everything* on the Andrew Lee (the Snowman), even saying Lee forced him into it. The Falcon escaped prison for an 18 month period before being recaptured. He was released from prison in 2003. Andrew Lee was paroled in 1998.

36 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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