7.3/10
19,888
264 user 98 critic

The Spanish Prisoner (1997)

Trailer
2:07 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Writer:

3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A psychiatrist comes to the aid of a compulsive gambler and is led by a smooth-talking grifter into the shadowy but compelling world of stings, scams, and con men.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Lindsay Crouse, Joe Mantegna, Mike Nussbaum
Homicide (1991)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Jewish homicide detective investigates a seemingly minor murder and falls in with a Zionist group as a result.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Joe Mantegna, William H. Macy, Vincent Guastaferro
Oleanna (1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Student Carol visits Professor John to discuss how she failed his course but the discussion takes awkward turn.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: William H. Macy, Debra Eisenstadt, Diego Pineda
Things Change (1988)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Shoe-shiner Gino is hired to take the rap for a mafia murder. Two-bit gangster Jerry watches over Gino and gives him a weekend to remember.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Don Ameche, Joe Mantegna, Robert Prosky
Heist (2001)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A career jewel thief finds himself at tense odds with his longtime partner, a crime boss who sends his nephew to keep watch.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Gene Hackman, Rebecca Pidgeon, Danny DeVito
Spartan (2004)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The investigation into a kidnapping of the daughter of a high-ranking US government official.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Val Kilmer, Derek Luke, William H. Macy
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A movie crew invades a small town whose residents are all too ready to give up their values for showbiz glitz.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Rebecca Pidgeon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

While a barrister fights to prove the innocence of a boy accused of theft by the British Royal Naval Academy, the highly publicized trial thrusts the boy's family into the spotlight.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Rebecca Pidgeon, Jeremy Northam, Nigel Hawthorne
Redbelt (2008)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, Emily Mortimer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Joe Ross
... George Lang
... Susan Ricci
Richard L. Friedman ... Businessman
... Klein
Jerry Graff ... Businessman
G. Roy Levin ... Businessman
Hilary Hinckle ... Resort Concierge
... Resort Manager
... Jimmy Dell
Christopher Kaldor ... Dell's Bodyguard
... McCune
Gary McDonald ... Ticket Agent
Mike Robinson ... Security Person (as Michael Robinson)
Olivia Tecosky ... Flight Attendant
Edit

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:

It's the oldest con in the book. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La prisonnière espagnole  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$124,011, 5 April 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The red and white Cadillac convertible that appears in the car dealer's showroom is the same car that is stolen from an underground garage elevator by the con men in David Mamet's House of Games (1987). See more »

Goofs

When kissing Joe passionately at the Boston airport, Susan's hand is grasping the back of Joe's head. As the shot shifts, her hand has dropped to his shoulder, but too quickly for her to have moved it. 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

References Charade (1963) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Whom to trust?
30 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

Joseph Ross is a young man who's employed by a major corporation to come up with an important formula that could make his company and including himself - incredibly wealthy. On an Caribbean holiday along with his business partners he meets the very likable Jimmy Dell and over time they become friends. But things start getting really worrying for Joseph, as he feels that his employers are trying to take all the credit for what's about to come. So Joseph turns to Jimmy for advice on the matter and Jimmy gladly lends a helping hand.

Now, "The Spanish Prisoner" has got to be one of the most undeservedly, overlooked small-scale thrillers of the last decade. The only reason I can think why; is because it's really a glum and quite subdue film that relies on a well-written story to keep you mesmerized and rather bamboozled. There's nothing overly stylish about it, but it's such an elegant and easy going exercise that's professionally handled all round, despite the elementary factors. So don't be expecting a pot-boiler with plenty of fast-paced thrills from this one. For me it's up there with another under-appreciated 90s thriller "Arlington Road". These were two films I knew nothing about, but when I accidentally came across them I was more than impressed in what I saw.

The shady, paranoid premise is standard stuff for films of this ilk with it being cluttered with the usual cunning double crossings and misleading revelations. But while you might pick up on the web of deceit with it's twists and turns, it's just that the complicated story is far more cerebral in its patterns that you are just compelled by it all. The further along the story goes, the more interesting it does get with the spontaneous structure flowing with concise dialogues and underling sharp wit. Just who can you trust? What are their true intentions? Are they who they say they are? Money, Money, Money? Well, we are talking about high fliers here ;). This sorely thorough cloud hangs high that it will have you thinking. Some twists and bluffs you might see coming, but really you are never quite sure how its entirely going to pan out. Also I couldn't shake the feel of old style crime thrillers from the glass like texture that was manufactured here. The film's location had an atmospheric strong-hold that got swept along with its softly, moody music score.

The performances were very good. Steve Martin was more than efficient as he played a unconventional role where he had to provide a real mystic edge and a laid-back attitude to his character. Campbell Scott was satisfactory in a pretty bleak role as Joseph. That's not because of the performance, but that was the character in the story and it's a real important element on how things played out. The support roles were strong by the likes of Rebecca Pigeon, Ben Gazzara, Ricky Jay and Felicity Huffman. Director / writer David Mamet has provided a tight and quite entertaining thriller that's a puzzle to work out.

A vividly, ingenious thriller that plays it rather patiently.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 264 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed