The true story of Christopher Boyce, a young All-American man whose job as a guard for sensitive documents shatters his faith in his country and leads him to a sometimes comic, sometimes chilling sideline as a spy for the Soviets, aided by his scruffy buddy, Daulton; it can't last, though, and the consequences are tremendous for Boyce and his family.Written by
Dan Hartung <email@example.com>
Sean Penn went to Mexico and snuck into the Russian embassy as research for his role as Andrew Daulton Lee. See more »
A Russian addresses Daulton as "Comrade Lee." The title "comrade" was reserved for fellow Soviets, especially Communist Party members. No ordinary non-communist foreigner would ever have been called "comrade," but rather "Mr." See more »
[Alex, a KGB agent, informs Christopher and Dalton that they are not patriots, but paid traitors]
The moment you accepted money, you became professionals. It's just beginning.
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Set in the years of the Nixon/Ford administration, The Falcon And The Snowman is the story of a young man who wildly went off the track in his idealism and winds up a traitor. The idealist is the falcon part of the title and the young man who works for the Central Intelligence Agency and discovers that were doing some dirty tricks in the countries that are supposed to be allies is played by Timothy Hutton.
Hutton is as shocked as Claude Rains was to discover that gambling was going on at Rick's. After all it was father Pat Hingle who got him the job at CIA through his connections with the FBI. That he had no inkling that anything like this was going on is a bit much. But Hutton is actually shown the proper path. Do a Daniel Ellsberg and get it to the media. Instead he turns traitor and decides to sell secrets to the Soviet Union.
But this genius decides to go into partnership with an old childhood friend who's become a drug dealer to support his high living lifestyle, no pun intended. That's the snowman of the title and when he's on the screen, Sean Penn dominates the film. Hutton needs someone who knows the criminal ways, tutoring in those ways, and subterfuge if needed. Of course Penn knows that, but anyone with a brain has to realize that Penn's cocaine habit would sink them.
The ironic thing is that this is a true story otherwise no one would believe it. And then Hutton goes through another Rains like moment when he discovers the Russians can be as dirty as us, dirtier. The second best performance in the film is the BBC's Hercule Poirot, David Suchet. In playing Poirot for the BBC series, Suchet has reached the culmination of a career like J. Carrol Naish back in the days of the studio system playing an incredible variety of ethnic types. He even more reminds of another man who did the same, Herbert Lom. Had this been made 20 years earlier, I could have seen Lom very easily in the role of the exasperated Russian agent who is really losing his patience dealing with fools.
The Falcon And The Snowman boasts some really good performances, but in the end the general unlikeability of the leads makes you really want to hit these two upside the head with two by four.
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