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The Spanish Prisoner (1997)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 17,045 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 258 user | 94 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

An employee of a corporation with a lucrative secret process is tempted to betray it. But there's more to it than that.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Pat McCune
Richard L. Friedman ...
Businessman
Jerry Graff ...
Businessman
G. Roy Levin ...
Businessman
Hilary Hinckle ...
Resort Concierge
David Pittu ...
Resort Manager
Christopher Kaldor ...
Dell's Bodyguard
...
Security Person
Olivia Tecosky ...
Flight Attendant
Charlotte Potok ...
Bookstore Woman
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Storyline

Joe Ross is a rising star. He's designed a process that will make his company millions. He wants a bonus for this work, but fears his boss will stiff him. He meets a wealthy stranger, Jimmy Dell, and they strike up an off-kilter friendship. When the boss seems to set Ross up to get nothing, he seeks Dell's help. Then he learns Dell is not what he seems, so he contacts an FBI agent through his tightly-wound assistant, Susan Ricci. The FBI asks him to help entrap Dell. He accepts, a sting is arranged, but suddenly it's he who's been conned out of the process and framed for murder. Bewildered and desperate, he enlists Susan's aid to prove his innocence. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fbi | secret | innocence | bonus | murder | See more »

Taglines:

Can you really trust anyone? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements including tension, some violent images and brief language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 January 1998 (France)  »

Also Known As:

La prisonnière espagnole  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£78,903 (UK) (28 August 1998)

Gross:

$9,582,900 (USA) (6 November 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's title is a reference to one of the oldest con tricks in the book. See more »

Goofs

Susan claims that Jimmy Dell didn't get off the seaplane and her photos will prove it. Her photo can't prove it because Joe, after taking her picture, handed the camera to Jimmy Dell who wanted it so he couldn't be blackmailed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Airport Security: What is the purpose of your trip, please?
Joe Ross: Business.
Airport Security: Thank you and welcome to St. Estéphe.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 24 October 1998 (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now
Written by Frank R. Adams (as Frank Adams), William M. Hough (as Will Hough),
Joseph E. Howard (as Joseph Howard) and Harold Orlob
Arranged by Play-Rite Music Rolls, Inc.
Played at the carousel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
one of the year's best films
13 August 1998 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

"The Spanish Prisoner" comes closer to Hitchcock than anything I've seen in a long, long time. The cast is excellent; I haven't seen Campbell Scott in a movie since he was much younger, but he really turned in a great performance, loaded with nuance and subtlety. Steve Martin is truly outstanding--I think it's fair to say that this is one of his career's best performances. The only clunker is Rebecca Pidgeon; her character is poorly written, and she's not much of an actress. Just between you and me, I think she only got the job because she's sleeping with the director (she's Mamet's wife). Ed O'Neill even shows up halfway through the film with a nice cameo.

I don't want to give away much about the story for those who haven't seen TSP, but it really is amazing. Many of the plot twists actually made me laugh--not because they were ridiculous, but because they were so ingeniously crafted and actually plausible. Since he wrote AND directed the movie, though, David Mamet let himself get away with a few bad lines and one or two hokey plot devices. In the greater context of the movie, however, they're forgivable.


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