7.1/10
21,946
278 user 104 critic

The Spanish Prisoner (1997)

Trailer
1:54 | Trailer
An employee of a corporation with a lucrative secret process is tempted to betray it. But there's more to it than that.

Director:

David Mamet

Writer:

David Mamet
3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Campbell Scott ... Joe Ross
Ricky Jay ... George Lang
Rebecca Pidgeon ... Susan Ricci
Richard L. Friedman Richard L. Friedman ... Businessman
Ben Gazzara ... Klein
Jerry Graff Jerry Graff ... Businessman
G. Roy Levin G. Roy Levin ... Businessman
Hilary Hinckle Hilary Hinckle ... Resort Concierge
David Pittu ... Resort Manager
Steve Martin ... Jimmy Dell
Christopher Kaldor Christopher Kaldor ... Dell's Bodyguard
Felicity Huffman ... McCune
Gary McDonald Gary McDonald ... Ticket Agent
Mike Robinson Mike Robinson ... Security Person (as Michael Robinson)
Olivia Tecosky Olivia Tecosky ... Flight Attendant
Edit

Storyline

Joe Ross has developed a process that will make his company a fortune. It will also make whoever has it a fortune, so the details are kept secret and secure. However, the executives at the company seem reluctant to commit to bonuses or royalties for Ross, so he starts looking at his options. He also has a new friend, the wealthy Jimmy Dell, and he is happy to give him advice on the matter. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Not since "The Firm" has one movie had you trusting so few and guessing so much. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements including tension, some violent images and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

'Dog my cats' is an American expression used to indicate astonishment. See more »

Goofs

Immediately after the business meeting at the start of the movie, as Joe and Mr Klein are walking along the beach, the furry cover on a boom mic can be seen dipping into view several times from overhead (TV version). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Airport Security: What is the purpose of your trip, please?
Joe Ross: Business.
Airport Security: Thank you and welcome to St. Estéphe.
See more »


Soundtracks

I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now
Written by Frank R. Adams (as Frank Adams), William M. Hough (as Will Hough),
Joseph E. Howard (as Joseph Howard) and Harold Orlob
Arranged by Play-Rite Music Rolls, Inc.
Played at the carousel
See more »

User Reviews

 
Runs rings around `The Usual Suspects'
6 October 1999 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

You heard me. Even if you prefer, say, Kevin Spacey's performance in `The Usual Suspects' to Campbell Scott's here (to each his own), at least this is a film that plays fair with us. We begin at what is, from the protagonist's point of view, the beginning of the tale; things happen that are interesting in their own right and not simply because we know that there's meant to be a mystery lurking somewhere; we are given information as we go along; and later revelations actually explain earlier puzzles. Mamet doesn't force us through a maze. Rather, he lets us watch someone else walk through the maze, and it's a pleasure.

I'm determined not to spoil this pleasure, so I'm unable to say anything at all, really, about what the movie's about. I can't even tell you to what the title refers. I can't even tell you whether it refers to something peripheral or central. I'd better watch my mouth. As the slogan of a poster in the film says, in letters screaming above a drawing of a torpedoed battleship, `Somebody talked.' Not me.

All of the cast turn in good performances - that's right, all of them. I'm tired of remarks about how Rebecca Pidgeon got her role because she's the director's wife. It could well be true, and it could also be true (for all I know) that she's an actress of minor abilities, but her abilities are more than sufficient to make us believe in the character she plays here. How, exactly, is she so very different from Campbell Scott, or from Steve Martin, who, everyone will surely concede, gave the performance of his life? This just isn't the kind of story suited to emoting-while-pretending-not-to acting. All of the characters must dissemble in front of at least one other of the characters (THAT gives nothing away, trust me), and all of them are just a little bit unsettling.

I'll close by putting in a word for Carter Burwell's score. The music consists of a single labyrinthine tune, which twists about until we THINK we've caught it, and then stops: it provides a perfect thumb-nail sketch of the film as a whole. Also like the film as a whole, it's simply fun. Unlike so many directors Mamet doesn't act as if he's working in a disreputable genre, in which it's somehow bad form to allow the audience to have too good a time.


56 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 278 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Spanish Prisoner See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$124,011, 5 April 1998

Gross USA:

$9,593,903

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,593,903
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed