6.8/10
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53 user 28 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

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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
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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 came from the best of families...They became the two most dangerous political criminals in the world. [Australia Video] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Falcon & the Snowman See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1986, this movie became associated with one of the most famous hacking incidents in television history. On the night of April 27, 1986 at about 12:30am, a Florida satellite TV dealer named John MacDougall was working late at Central Florida Teleport which up-links pay cable services to satellites. At the time, he was up-linking "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" but before he left, he pointed the dish directly upwards toward the location of HBO's Galaxy 1 satellite and for four and a half minutes, East Coast subscribers who has been watching The Falcon and the Snowman saw a message on a colored test pattern which read: GOODEVENINGHBO FROM CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT $12.95/MONTH? NO WAY! [SHOWTIME/MOVIECHANNEL BEWARE!]. MacDougall had performed the stunt as a protest of satellite subscribers being forced to pay higher fees than regular cable subscribers. He turned himself in, was charged a $5,000 fine and placed on one year probation. See more »

Goofs

During the border crossing, a 1978-80 Buick Regal coupe is seen although the film took place between 1974-1977. Numerous early 1980s automobiles are seen in Mexico City. 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 Celebrity (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Midnight at the Oasis
Written by David Nichtern
Performed by Maria Muldaur
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Obscure classic from the eighties
5 December 2004 | by bbagnallSee all my reviews

I was too young in 1985 to appreciate a movie like this, but I watched it recently and thought it was quite an achievement. Everything about it hit the mark, without anything cheap or exploitive. The Snowman was a hilarious character for all his contradictions and brassiness.

The movie nicely recalls the cold war, when the Soviets were busy beavers trying to infiltrate governments and media institutions. The Falcon is shocked to learn the United States is using the CIA to block the Communist threat, and decides to become a traitor to his own country.

In too many films today, the writer loves one side and hates the other, so you get a dishonest film. In this film, the writer doesn't portray any of the characters as anything other than humans with their own beliefs, goals and foibles. That I find truly refreshing.

The movie is mostly accurate, from what I have read of the real event. There are a few notable exceptions where truth diverges from the movie, however. After quitting TRW, Christopher Boyce (AKA the Falcon) planned to learn Russian and earning a political major, and then returning to espionage for the Russians (the movie says the opposite). It makes you wonder how far he would have gotten, and how many other Christopher Boyce's there were during the cold war. In real life, Boyce and his lawyer tried to blame *everything* on the Andrew Lee (the Snowman), even saying Lee forced him into it. The Falcon escaped prison for an 18 month period before being recaptured. He was released from prison in 2003. Andrew Lee was paroled in 1998.


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