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Spy Game (2001) Poster

(2001)

Trivia

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Tony Scott asked for more money to film the rooftop scene in "Berlin" (in order to rent a helicopter for an aerial scene) but the producers refused. Scott believed that the scene was important and rented the helicopter with his own money.
The scene where Robert Redford's character asks Brad Pitt's character if he knew anybody in 'this apartment house' and tells him to be up on one of the balconies in five minutes is from a book by former Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky who describes this test as part of the training of a Mossad agent.
On being introduced to Robert Redford, Omid Djalili joked "Mr. Redford, delighted to meet you - I loved you when you starred in Hawaii Five-O (1968). Without missing a beat Redford fired back "Well thanks, and I loved you in Doctor Zhivago (1965), although you have let yourself go since then."
Part of the film was originally set to have been filmed in Israel, but due to the sudden escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (in September-October 2000), and following the requirements of the actors' insurance companies, the filming took place in Morocco instead.
Brad Pitt turned down the lead role in The Bourne Identity (2002) in order to star in this film.
Dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Jean Scott (died 2001), mother of Tony Scott and Ridley Scott.
Nathan Muir's personal car is a Porsche 912, basically a 911 with boxer 4 engine produced for a short while in the late 60s.
In the scene where Nathan enters his office after the CIA employees rummaged through it we can see director Tony Scott's faded red hat on the right next to the door.
Tony Scott dedicated this film in memory of his mother. His brother Ridley Scott did the same with Black Hawk Down (2001).
The coffee cup Bishop drinks from before finding Hadley's empty apartment is nearly identical to the coffee cups seen at CIA in Langley.
Kimberly Paige, playing the part of Sandy at the embassy in Berlin, is wife of the former US ambassador to Hungary, the location where the Berlin scenes were filmed.
Robert Redford was drawn to the film because, "It's a thinking man's action film. That was the basic draw to the project."
When the film was previewed in the summer of 2001, Brad Pitt said that it dealt with blow back from unsuccessful CIA operations and suggested that it might mean America had been the world's leading power for too long. However, after the 9/11 attacks, Pitt was quoted as saying the movie indicated that CIA operatives were needed "now more than ever".
The building identified as the US Embassy in Hong Kong is actually the headquarters of HSBC - the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
The filmmakers call this a companion piece to Robert Redford's Three Days of the Condor (1975).
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Robert Redford was baffled by Tony Scott's use of helicopters to shoot the intimate conversation on the roof. But when he saw it, he was impressed by how dynamic it made the scene.
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Tony Scott was nervous to work with Robert Redford since he was also a director he really admired. Scott said that Redford's Quiz Show (1994) is one of his favorite movies.
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Pitt announced to the media that he'd committed to the picture "basically because Bob was aboard" and expressed warm friendship to Redford throughout.
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Bishop was Redford's character name in Sneakers (1992).
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The pack of cigarettes Muir uses as a distraction are "Morley" brand, the same fictional brand used in "The X-Files" TV show by the infamous character known as the "Cigarette smoking man".
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The filmmakers re-created Vietnam in the one lush area they could find in the Moroccan mountains.
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Tony Scott said that the scenes in the conference room were like a "poker game." "Every time we came back, we saw a different hand being played."
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Average Shot Length (ASL) = ~2.7 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~2.6 seconds.
In real life, Brad Pitt is an avid photographer and always has a camera with him on set. After seeing the photos Pitt took on set, Tony Scott said he has a future as a director.
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Tony Scott said that the scenes in the conference room were the "most challenging part of the movie." He says he had to rely on camerawork and great actors to bring this room to life.
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Robert Redford says it was helpful that he and Brad Pitt already knew each other.
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Tony Scott was worried that viewers would lose sight of Bishop's plight if they didn't see him. So he used the same torture footage three times to keep Brad Pitt's face in the movie.
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To prepare for her role, Catherine McCormack met with an aid worker who fell in love with a CIA agent.
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Tony Scott had trouble getting permission to use a building for an explosion. But at the last minute, he was able to pull some strings with Moroccan royalty and buy the building.
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Tony Scott gave each flashback a distinct look to remind the viewer of that time in history. For Vietnam, he desaturated the colours to give it this "strange sepia green."
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Pitt had signed on for Ocean's Eleven which was due to commence directly after Christmas. Filming was hemmed in by Pitt's dates and Scott acknowledged there was a stopwatch on them all the time. Redford understood the pressures on Brad and he never complained.
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A producer told Tony Scott to make the CIA guys look like they're from "a car convention in Texas." Scott says he was happy because "that's how it looks in the CIA."
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Brad Pitt joked that his hair in the flashbacks looks like a "Don Johnson mullet" from the '80s.
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Tony Scott wanted to add more of a love story between Bishop and Elizabeth, but he lost to the producers, who wanted the relationship to develop more off-screen.
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Amidou, the actor who plays the doctor, is Moroccan and had to learn his lines phonetically.
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Tony Scott said that the film is like a James Bond movie.
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Both Omid Djalili and David Hemmings had performed in Gladiator (2000) one year before this movie, which was directed by Ridley Scott, who is the brother of Spy Game-director Tony Scott.
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Tony Scott said that Charlotte Rampling was his "childhood fantasy."
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Tony Scott gave Stephen Dillane (Harker) tapes of the journalist David Frost to prepare. Frost is famous for interviewing President Richard Nixon after he stepped down.
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Dutch Oscar-winning director Mike van Diem was once attached to the project.
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Tony Scott heightened the colours in the Beirut segment to mimic news clips from 1985.
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There was always an element of real danger around the shoot in Casablanca. The filmmakers recalled that everyday they'd hear about a violent crime happening near their shoot.
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Tony Scott inserted the flask sequence to give the audience an emotional reminder of Bishop.
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Brad Pitt and Tony Scott worked together on True Romance (1993).
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The side of the building in Lebanon has a blue mural which has the words "The Bahamas" written on it in Arabic.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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