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In February, 2001, Robert Hanssen, a senior agent with 25 years in the FBI, is arrested for spying. Jump back two months: Eric O'Neill, a computer specialist who wants to be made an agent is assigned to clerk for Hanssen and to write down everything Hanssen does. O'Neill's told it's an investigation of Hanssen's sexual habits. Within weeks, the crusty Hanssen, a devout Catholic, has warmed to O'Neill, who grows to respect Hanssen. O'Neill's wife resents Hanssen's intrusiveness; the personal and professional stakes get higher. How they catch Hanssen and why he spies become the film's story. Can O'Neill help catch red-handed "the worst spy in history" and hold onto his personal life? Written by
Robert Hanssen tells Eric O'Neill, "if I ever catch you in my office again, you're gonna be pissin' purple for a week." The real Robert Hanssen's undoing was a George S. Patton quote about "the purple-pissin' Japanese", a quote which Hanssen was fond of repeating. The FBI had paid a Russian agent $7 million for the KGB's file on the American mole - known to the KGB at the time only as Ramon Garcia. The file included a note of the mole about "purple-pissing Japanese" and Robert Hanssen became the prime suspect in the investigation. The FBI arrested Hanssen three months after receiving the file. The film concerns the last two months of the investigation. See more »
When Hanssen's car is thoroughly inspected his trunk contains several assault rifles including German Heckler & Koch G36s. The film takes place early in 2001. HK did not announce the release of the G36 until Spring 2001 and did not begin releasing free LEO (Law Enforcement Only) samples until 2002. It is also unlikely that Hanssen would even be issued such as gun as he did not test new firearms for the FBI. See more »
Sunday, the FBI successfully concluded an investigation to end a serious breach in the security of the United States. The arrest of Robert Hanssen, for espionage, should remind us all, every American should know, that our nation, our free society, is an international target, in a dangerous world.
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Chris Cooper, already an established actor, gives the performance of a lifetime as Robert Hansen, the FBI agent arrested for 25 years of espionage against the United States. Cooper convincingly portrays the smugness, cockiness, and "holier than thou" attitude which eventually (in my eyes) led to Hansen's downfall.
The movie is tense and moves swiftly without compromising the story line. Ryan Phillipe is equally impressive as the young FBI employee who is brought on to earn Hansen's trust and find out what made him tick.
This is a must-see - I saw it with about 100 people ... and from what I heard, almost everyone was still talking about it afterward as they walked out and in the bathrooms - and all were great comments.
Definitely an early Oscar contender for 2008 in my opinion.
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