6.1/10
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214 user 104 critic

The Tailor of Panama (2001)

A tailor living in Panama reluctantly becomes a spy for a British agent.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Marta
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Uncle Benny
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Francesca Deane
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Lola Boorman ...
Sarah Pendel
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Luxmore
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Rafi Domingo
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Teddy, the Reporter
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Maltby
Martin Savage ...
Stormont
Edgardo Molino ...
Juan-David
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Storyline

John LeCarre's spy thriller is brought to the big screen. A British spy is banished to Panama after having an affair with an ambassador's mistress. Once there he makes connection with a local tailor with a criminal past and connections to all of the top political and gangster figures in Panama. The tailor also has a wife, who works for the canal administrator, and a huge debt. The spy's mission is to learn what the President intends to do with the Panama Canal, but he's really in business for himself, blackmailing the tailor into spinning a fantastic tale about the canal being sold to China and former mercenaries ready to topple the current government. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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Plot Keywords:

panama | spy | tailor | president | canal | See All (126) »

Taglines:

In a place this treacherous, what a good spy needs is a spy of his own. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

30 March 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El sastre de Panamá  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,837,068 (USA) (30 March 2001)

Gross:

$13,491,653 (USA) (6 July 2001)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'The Tailor of Panama' of the film's title is played by Geoffrey Rush. His character's actual name is Harold Pendel aka Harry Pendel. See more »

Goofs

When Andy is dancing with Francesca for the first time at the outdoor bar/restaurant, her sunglasses at one point are almost completely falling off the back of her head; when the shot moves to close up, they are back on the top of her head. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
MI.6 Handler: Panama.
Andrew 'Andy' Osnard: Panama?
MI.6 Handler: Best I could do Andrew. Under the circumstances, given your sins. They were baying for blood.
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Connections

References Frankenstein (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Carnaval Dance
Written by Jorge Manuel
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User Reviews

 
Good, entertaining and worthwhile, but not quite great
18 November 2012 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Geoffrey Rush is excellent as Harry, an Englishman with a sadly shady past who has re- invented himself in Panama as the best tailor in the country, making clothes for the rich and politically powerful. Into his world comes Osnard, played by Pierce Brosnan. A morally corrupt, self-serving MI6 spy, sent to Panama as a last chance after seducing a Euro diplomats wife.

Many were bowled over by the irony of casting Brosnan, so associated with James Bond, as this much realer, creepier Bond alter ego. A man who is handsome, and self-confident, but whose endless seduction of women seems smarmy not sexy, and who delights in screwing other people while profiting himself.

For me the casting was actually problematic. Brosnon's terrific, but the irony is so distractingly obvious, that it pulled me out of the story, and made me think too much about film and our hero images instead of simply accepting the character. Beyond that, Osnard is drawn a little too broadly for my taste. He's so transparent, I have a hard time he gets anyone to trust him even for a moment. If his inner self-serving pig were a bit better hidden, it might have given the audience more to unravel, and make other characters' willingness to do his bidding a bit easier to buy.

The mix of tones also was a bit of a misfire for me. Never quite darkly funny enough to ascend into true satire, but certainly never edgy enough to be taken seriously, there's a lack of danger here. Unlike 'Dr. Strangelove', we never really think Harry and Osnard's games will reduce Panama to a pile of rubble, and the intimation of it seems false and a bit silly.

Yet, all that complaining is because the movie is good enough, smart enough, brave enough and entertaining enough that I felt frustrated it didn't quite work as brilliantly as is should. But I'd certainly still recommend it, in spite of my long winded misgivings, and I'm also willing to give it another look.


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