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 (based on the book by), Steven Zaillian (screenplay by)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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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 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 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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was made and released about six years after its source book "The Falcon and the Snowman: A True Story of Friendship and Espionage" by Robert Lindsey had been first published in 1979. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, Christopher Boyce and Daulton Lee are being transferred to jail after sentencing. They are shown in blue jumpsuits marked with "L. A. County jail". They were, in fact, imprisoned at the Federal Correctional Institution, Terminal Island and their jumpsuits would have been marked accordingly. See more »

Quotes

[Alex, a KGB agent, informs Christopher and Dalton that they are not patriots, but paid traitors]
Alex: The moment you accepted money, you became professionals. It's just beginning.
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Alternate Versions

Due to music licensing issues, most modern home video and streaming releases of the film remove almost all of the pop songs. Only the David Bowie song over the end credits and "All Right Now" by Free remain in this version of the film. See more »

Connections

References The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Whiter Shade of Pale
Written by Gary Brooker, Keith Reid and Matthew Fisher
Performed by Procol Harum
Courtesy of A & M Records, Inc./Westminster Music Ltd and Straight Ahead Productions
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User Reviews

 
The secret lives of the former altar boys
25 October 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

John Schelesinger's career as a film director was extraordinary. We had watched this film when it first came out, but wanted to see it again when it showed on cable recently. The film has a faded look, as one watches it today, but still, it is interesting because of the intense performances of the two principals.

If you haven't seen it, please don't read any further.

Chris and Daulton were two childhood friends that came from upper middle class backgrounds. Chris went to enter a seminary to be a priest, but gives up. Daulton became a small time drug user and trafficker. The two lives seem to run parallel as the pair become involved in an illegal activity that will prove their short sightedness. In fact, it shows how both young men miscalculate in their attempt to fool the CIA and the Soviet Union. These two, in a way, were so naive in thinking they could pull something that bigger, and better equipped people couldn't even imagine could be done.

Chris' motivation is legitimate, as he feels outraged in discovering the underhanded role of the agency for which he works in dealing with other nations, in this case Australia, something he finds by sheer coincidence. When he involves Daulton, we know the whole thing is doomed because no one into drugs, as he is, will ever amount to anything. In fact, Chris and Daulton had no conception of the scope of what they are trying to do, or its consequences.

Timothy Hutton was at this period of his career, an actor that was going places. He had proved he had talent with his work in other films, so it was a natural choice for Mr. Schlesinger to select him, a choice that pays off well. Sean Penn, also was a young actor who showed an intensity, like one hadn't seen before. In fact, at times, Mr. Penn, reminded us of a young Robert Mitchum in the making. Both actors' contribution to the film is incredible. One can't think who could have played this duo but them.

"The Falcon and the Snowman", while not up to the par with other great John Schlesinger's movies, is an interesting look to our not too distant past.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Gross USA:

$17,130,087

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,130,087
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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