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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Fortune played the character of Maltby, British ambassador to Panama. He said: "I've admired John Boorman's work for a long time, so I was pleased to come to Panama for him, and play the Ambassador." Discussing the character of Maltby, Fortune said: "I think Maltby is the sort of man who is all surface: 'Let's not rock the boat for goodness sake'." See more »
Harry the tailor mispronounces a common term of his trade, "worsted". He pronounces it phonetically, but at least in British English it is correctly pronounced "woosted" with the "oo" as in "good". See more »
Andrew 'Andy' Osnard:
Best I could do Andrew. Under the circumstances, given your sins. They were baying for blood.
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Excellent satire of the intelligence business, told with a straight face
It's too bad about the low IMDB rating for this movie. It is a deft blend of James Bond, Casablanca and Dr Strangelove which directs its often vicious tongue-in-cheek barbs at both the intelligence industry and the spy films which glorify it. While it can be enjoyed "straight", that is as a story in its own right, I think those who miss its satirical structure (the film doesn't directly let the audience in on the joke - it must be inferred), miss half the fun.
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