6.8/10
9,672
56 user 29 critic

The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)

The true story of a disillusioned military contractor employee and his drug pusher childhood friend who became walk-in spies for the Soviet Union.

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writers:

Robert Lindsey (book), Steven Zaillian

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1978 Pennsylvania, an absentee father is reacquainted with his estranged teenage sons who become intrigued with his romanticized life of crime.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Sean Penn, Christopher Walken, Mary Stuart Masterson
Bad Boys (1983)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Chicago crime kid Mick O'Brien is sent to reform school after accidentally killing a rival's kid brother.

Director: Rick Rosenthal
Stars: Sean Penn, Reni Santoni, Jim Moody
Colors (1988)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An experienced cop and his rookie partner patrol the streets of East Los Angeles while trying to keep the gang violence under control.

Director: Dennis Hopper
Stars: Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, Maria Conchita Alonso
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

American judge in Germany must decide if the hijacking of an East German plane into West Berlin was justified.

Director: Leo Penn
Stars: Martin Sheen, Sam Wanamaker, Max Gail
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Hutton ... Christopher Boyce
Sean Penn ... Daulton Lee
Pat Hingle ... Mr. Charlie Boyce
Joyce Van Patten ... Mrs. Boyce
Rob Reed Rob Reed ... Boyce Child
Rob Newell Rob Newell ... Boyce Child
Karen West Karen West ... Boyce Child
Art Camacho ... Boyce Child (as Arturo Comacho)
Annie Kozuch ... Boyce Child
Richard Dysart ... Dr. Lee
Priscilla Pointer ... Mrs. Lee
Chris Makepeace ... David Lee
Dorian Harewood ... Gene
Mady Kaplan ... Laurie
Macon McCalman ... Larry Rogers
Edit

Storyline

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 <dhartung@mcs.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They were best friends from the best of families. Then they committed a crime against their country and became the two most wanted men in America. [USA theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Falcon & the Snowman See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,358,846, 27 January 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$17,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sean Penn went to Mexico and snuck into the Russian embassy as research for his role as Andrew Daulton Lee. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) The scene where Chris walks into work and several close-ups are shown of incoming telex transmissions has some date discrepancies. The very first telex shown right before Chris walks in the door has a date stamp of March 2nd, 1976 while others in the scene say September 9th, 1974. Also the cipher card he pulls out of the binder that day is marked for September 1st, 1974. See more »

Quotes

[explaining why he didn't express his unhappiness with the CIA in a more acceptable manner]
Christopher Boyce: It wouldn't have made a difference. I freely chose my response to this absurd world. If given the opportunity, I would have been more vigorous.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big Time Rush: Big Time Bad Boy (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Lookin' for a Love
Written by J.W. Alexander and Zelda Samuels
Performed by The J. Geils Band
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp./ABKCO Music Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Rare political gem from Hollywood.
21 October 2000 | by Gary-161See all my reviews

I think some critic somewhere said this film fell short of being a great film, but was a very good one. That's accurate, you are left wanting to know more. The best performance comes from David Suchet as a sardonic and frequently supercilious Russian. The film commendably avoids trying to make us empaphise with traitors and even manages some humour in all the madness. In one blink or you'll miss it scene, Daulton infiltrates an embassy function where he speaks to a foreign diplomat. "Is this the usual garb of your countrymen?" He asks. "Yes, it's garbage" the man replies.

The film appears open minded about whether Boyce is an idealist or an opportunist who fails to realise the significance of his actions. His confession of having received payment from the Soviets and his cynical dismissing of money as 'never being very important to me' suggests a more amoral stance, but his other remarks perhaps reveal a more complex and sincere character. Boyce seems to be suggesting that any leap forward in technology must also go hand in hand with an equal quantitative one in morality. But I think it was Einstien who said that the bomb has changed everything except the way man thinks. This suggests that Boyce's weary indifference while being interviewed was due to his realisation that this moral leap was beyond man and therefore there was no hope, we are doomed to extinction. All political and religious life had been rendered meaningless to him due to the impermanence of man in the face of super-technology. This may account for his reluctance to recite the 'valley of death' speech to his father, as he knew full well that it's message was also meaningless in the context of modern warfare. No-one, not even the generals would be left standing. Boyce then, was possibly suffering a certain existential despair, as he stated America was the first country to use nuclear weapons. His concern that his betrayal meant little because we are already in jeopardy is even more pertinent today, with more and more countries either acquiring or seeking to acquire nuclear technology. It's rather like a group of toddlers playing with a grenade, passing it around. Say you were to add more grenades, would you then increase the likelihood of an accident such as the pulling out of a pin?

This rare political film asks a more broad and philosophical question, perhaps. If Boyce says he knows something about predatory behaviour (and the film is full of big fish eating little fish motifs) and left the church because he has decided that man is not divine and just another animal, where does that leave man if he cannot ultimately change his nature? The film does not leave you with an answer, merely the fear on the faces of uncomprehending parents and the unseen spectre of a mushroom cloud.


18 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 56 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed