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The Spanish Prisoner (1997)

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2:07 | Trailer

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

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Richard L. Friedman ...
Businessman
...
Jerry Graff ...
Businessman
G. Roy Levin ...
Businessman
Hilary Hinckle ...
Resort Concierge
...
Resort Manager
...
Christopher Kaldor ...
Dell's Bodyguard
...
Gary McDonald ...
Ticket Agent
Mike Robinson ...
Security Person (as Michael Robinson)
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:

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 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La prisonnière espagnole  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Spanish Prisoner was the first of Mamet's films to receive a PG rating. Typically, Mamet's writings are renowned for their liberal use of foul language. There is not a single obscenity uttered throughout the film. See more »

Goofs

When Joe Ross makes his way through the carousel, a movie light can be seen in the background with a crew member and cases also visible for a few moments to the right of the light. 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.
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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
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User Reviews

 
one of the year's best films
13 August 1998 | by See all my reviews

"The Spanish Prisoner" comes closer to Hitchcock than anything I've seen in a long, long time. The cast is excellent; I haven't seen Campbell Scott in a movie since he was much younger, but he really turned in a great performance, loaded with nuance and subtlety. Steve Martin is truly outstanding--I think it's fair to say that this is one of his career's best performances. The only clunker is Rebecca Pidgeon; her character is poorly written, and she's not much of an actress. Just between you and me, I think she only got the job because she's sleeping with the director (she's Mamet's wife). Ed O'Neill even shows up halfway through the film with a nice cameo.

I don't want to give away much about the story for those who haven't seen TSP, but it really is amazing. Many of the plot twists actually made me laugh--not because they were ridiculous, but because they were so ingeniously crafted and actually plausible. Since he wrote AND directed the movie, though, David Mamet let himself get away with a few bad lines and one or two hokey plot devices. In the greater context of the movie, however, they're forgivable.


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