Laconic and self-contained, Edward Wilson heads CIA covert operations during the Bay of Pigs. The agency suspects that Castro was tipped, so Wilson looks for the leak. As he investigates, he recalls, in a series of flashbacks, his father's death, student days at Yale (poetry; Skull and Bones), recruitment into the fledgling OSS, truncated affairs, a shotgun marriage, cutting his teeth on spy craft in London, distance from his son, the emergence of the Cold War, and relationships with agency, British, and Soviet counterparts. We watch his idealism give way to something else: disclosing the nature of that something else is at the heart of the film's narration as he closes in on the leak. Written by
Robert De Niro had a deal with Leonardo DiCaprio who was interested in playing the film's protagonist Edward Wilson. De Niro planned to shoot the movie in the fall of 2004 but DiCaprio couldn't do it then because he was making The Departed (2006) for Martin Scorsese. The role ultimately went to Matt Damon, who played DiCaprio's antagonist in The Departed. Both movies were nominated for Oscars in 2007. See more »
During Edward's stay in London during WW2 he is listening to a radio broadcast from a brown and cream colored Bakelite radio. The model, a Bush DAC10, wasn't introduced into the UK until 1950. See more »
[Referring to the chocolates he's eating]
They're from Switzerland. I had them sent with the pouch to Berlin.
[He offers one but is declined]
They're a weakness of mine. When I was a child, my mother would always reward me with a chocolate.
[He takes another]
It's a dreadful habit.
Chocolates or seeking approval?
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The good shepherd is an excellent film. The reason this film was dubbed the "Godfather of spy movies" is because ala the "Godfather" De Niro uses real life situations involving the CIA and blends them together creating a story around the lead character played by Matt Damon. In addition,several great performances in character parts complement Damon's performance, notably Michael Gambon and John Turturro were both superb. You shouldn't view this film expecting to be blown out of your seats, it is deep, and requires strict attention to detail. My wife and I viewed this film in a packed movie house and we were very certain that half the people in the audience didn't understand or appreciate what they had just seen. I am not saying you need to be of great intellect to enjoy this film, but one of the things De Niro manages to do is bring back a thinking man's drama that is often not seen in today's attention deficit, shoot them up, bang bang movies. This film makes it obvious that Directors Bertolucci and Leone have left a huge impression on De Niro and the result is a movie that both would be proud of.
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