6.8/10
9,379
53 user 25 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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Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Timothy Hutton, Robert Urich, Kim Cattrall
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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

John Schlessinger wanted Ben Kingsley for the Richard Dysart part. See more »

Goofs

Around 17 minutes into the film, Christopher signs for a folder of top secret material. The two signature lines above his show signature dates of 1984, even though this scene takes place over ten years earlier. See more »

Quotes

Daulton Lee: Let me ask you now. These, these clothing. Would this be considered formal clothing for your country? Is this the average garb?
Nigerian diplomat: It's, er, garbage.
See more »


Soundtracks

THE BAT
Courtesy of ECM Records
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User Reviews

 
If He Had Only Taken The Ellsberg Way
12 January 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

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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