Fact-based story about a 90's espionage case that was chronicled as the worst case of espionage in US history. Aldrich Ames was a middle class CIA agent, whose problems with alcohol and ...
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Fact-based story about a 90's espionage case that was chronicled as the worst case of espionage in US history. Aldrich Ames was a middle class CIA agent, whose problems with alcohol and general ineptness had kept him from rising further in the ranks of the agency. Nonetheless he ran an indispensable effort recruiting Soviet double-agents and tracking their whereabouts. Faced with rising bills and an extravagant wife, who finds ways to run up major bills, Aldrich finds himself far in debt and trying to find a way out. He makes a decision to sell a couple of minor names to the Soviets to gain cash. Soon they want more and are willing to spend large amounts to get the names. Aldrich is lured by finally getting the opportunity to have major funds available. His wife is at first appalled by his traitorous actions, but then decides she also likes the cash and the things it brings. Fooled into thinking that he can keep getting away with it, he established an extravagant lifestyle that ... Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
This is a straightforward retelling of the Ames saga that seldom rises above the level of a made-for-TV movie and contains a major anachronism in that the fall of the Soviet Union is shown as having come during the Clinton administration rather than the Bush administration. Timothy Hutton is seriously miscast as Ames--he's too young for the part by at least 15 years. Under the glasses and mustache that give him a superficial resemblance to Ames, his face is too fresh for a burned-out career civil servant in late middle age. Hutton was much more believable as the idealistic traitor Christopher Boyce in "The Falcon and the Snowman," a similar themed but much better film. But Elizabeth Pena is excellent as Ames' South American wife Rosario in a part that is terribly underwritten, and Joan Plowright is superb as the elderly spycatcher Jeanne Vertefeuil. Although entertaining, this is a movie that could have been much better if it had a more polished script and a bigger budget.
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