7.2/10
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269 user 103 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 »

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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
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Storyline

Joe Ross is a rising star. He's designed a process that will make his company millions. He wants a bonus for this work, but fears his boss will stiff him. He meets a wealthy stranger, Jimmy Dell, and they strike up an off-kilter friendship. When the boss seems to set Ross up to get nothing, he seeks Dell's help. Then he learns Dell is not what he seems, so he contacts an FBI agent through his tightly-wound assistant, Susan Ricci. The FBI asks him to help entrap Dell. He accepts, a sting is arranged, but suddenly it's he who's been conned out of the process and framed for murder. Bewildered and desperate, he enlists Susan's aid to prove his innocence. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Spanish Prisoner See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mamet wrote the part of Jimmy Dell specifically for Steve Martin in order to take full advantage from the comic playing against type. He was one of the first to recognize that Martin, renowned for his manic energy, possessed a deep well of seriousness which allowed Martin to portray his character as calm and in charge, which in turn made him appear menacing. See more »

Goofs

Moments before Susan suggests to Joe that they go to Boston because it's Saint Patrick's day there (17 March) and no one will be looking for him, they are driving past autumn foliage. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Spin City: The Spanish Prisoner (2000) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliantly Clever Mystery within a Thriller
30 June 2002 | by Enrique-Sanchez-56See all my reviews

What is so clever about this movie?

First: The dialogue is so wonderfully quirky and packed full of nuances. It was a delight to wait for the next round of words in each scene. The character played by Rebecca Pidgeon offered the best delivery of all the actors. Her vocal cadences were sheer fun to experience.

Second: It perfectly paced right down to the wonderfully offbeat and unexpected ending. It is NOT a slow moving film. Even if the drama unfolds methodically:

**WHAT is wrong with audiences today? WHY must every movie go faster than the Can-Can scene in "Moulin Rouge"? I get ill when I read yet another review which reveals the impatience and lack of concentration skills of the viewer. You want slow pace? Try Theo Angelopoulos!

Third: The cast is perfect for every role. Campbell Scott, Steve Martin, Rebecca Pidgeon, Felicity Huffman, Ben Gazzara and Ricky Jay. Each of them bring a special character to each performance.

Fourth: Movies like this, that don't feed you every morsel of the plot expectation in the first 15 minutes are a welcome breath of fresh air every time they are released.

Congratulations on a most memorable movie to Mamet and company.


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