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The Tailor of Panama (2001)

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A tailor living in Panama reluctantly becomes a spy for a British Agent.

Director:

John Boorman

Writers:

John le Carré (novel), Andrew Davies (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierce Brosnan ... Osnard
Geoffrey Rush ... Harry
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Louisa
Leonor Varela ... Marta
Brendan Gleeson ... Mickie Abraxas
Harold Pinter ... Uncle Benny
Catherine McCormack ... Francesca
Daniel Radcliffe ... Mark
Lola Boorman Lola Boorman ... Sarah
David Hayman ... Luxmore
Mark Margolis ... Rafi Domingo
Martin Ferrero ... Teddy
John Fortune ... Maltby
Martin Savage Martin Savage ... Stormont
Edgardo Molino Edgardo Molino ... Juan-David
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Storyline

John LeCarre's spy thriller is brought to the big screen. A British spy is banished to Panama after having an affair with an ambassador's mistress. Once there he makes connection with a local tailor with a criminal past and connections to all of the top political and gangster figures in Panama. The tailor also has a wife, who works for the canal administrator, and a huge debt. The spy's mission is to learn what the President intends to do with the Panama Canal, but he's really in business for himself, blackmailing the tailor into spinning a fantastic tale about the canal being sold to China and former mercenaries ready to topple the current government. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A first-class thriller from John Boorman - director EXCALIBUR and DELIVERANCE. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Production Notes

Country:

USA | Ireland

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

30 March 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El sastre de Panamá See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,837,068, 1 April 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,729,742, 3 July 2004

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,278,720, 3 July 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First filmed adaptation of a John le Carré story for a decade. The most recent filmed adaptions had been the theatrical movie The Russia House (1990), and the television movie A Murder of Quality (1991). See more »

Goofs

When Harry chases Andy, he distinctly presses the center of the steering wheel to honk his horn. But he's driving a Land Rover Discovery Series II, which uses 2 horn buttons on the spokes of the wheel; the center is the airbag, and pressing it has no effect. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
MI.6 Handler: Panama.
Andrew 'Andy' Osnard: Panama?
MI.6 Handler: Best I could do Andrew. Under the circumstances, given your sins. They were baying for blood.
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Connections

References Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Pick Up Dance
Written by Jorge Reyes
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User Reviews

How nice to see Pierce Brosnan as a rotter.
27 March 2001 | by vjoyceSee all my reviews

How nice to see Pierce Brosnan as a rotter. Without the man-tan make up, you can actually see his freckles.

A co-production of the Irish government and Columbia Pictures, The Tailor of Panama is an old-fashioned British espionage film that is Euro-light on the violence and silhouette-discreet on the sex. No skitzy MTV editing and no hip hop trendy hits. Which may be heaven for some and limbo for others.

Starring along with the current James Bond is Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis. Pierce is still handsome as hell and he's still a spy. This time he's been exiled to Central America to cool his heels. Overly ambitious, he latches on to local tailor to the rich and powerful and starts to squeeze him for information becoming more ruthless and despicable with every turn. The colorful Rush obliges him with making stuff up and this leads to all kinds of intrigue. Jamie Lee reprises her wife-who-doesn't-know-her-husband-is-a-spy role that she did in True Lies, but without the little black dress. The humor is very dark and very British. The plot is reminiscent of the 1960 Alec Guinness-Ernie Kovacs gem, Our Man in Havana, an early spoof of the Bond saga.

Tailor is taken from the '96 Le Carré novel of the same name. John the spymaster shares screenplay credit along with Andrew Davies and the veddy British director John Boorman, most famous for Deliverance. Yes, this is the man responsible for Dueling Banjos. Receiving Acad noms for directing Hope and Glory and the Banjo movie, he also has a producing credit here.

This is the first film done on location in Panama so the look is fresh and it's beautifully shot by veteran, Phillipe Rousselot who is currently working on Planet of the Apes.

This film is getting almost no hype and no promotion. Again, it's very low key with no gunfire, car chases or blood. The politics of Panama are in the forefront with more than one reference to the 'Frankenstein' Noriega and how he was set him up by CIA Head, George the First, Bush that is. Ah hem.

There are some splendid character actors in the supporting cast like John Polito of TV's Homicide and Martin Ferraro of TV's Miami Vice. Playwright Harold Pinter is in the strangest cameo role you may see this year. Scoop du Jour: in the role of the Tailor's son, we get a look and the kid who will star in the Harry Potter film, Daniel Radcliffe.

There is some stock footage of the political unrest and references to the thoroughly corrupt Central American government with lines from the Tailor like, 'you know what the poor call those?' pointing to the city's skyline, 'Cocaine towers! And the 85 banks? Launderettes!' You can easily understand why the media isn't getting behind this thing. But then again Traffic didn't win best picture, Gladiator did.


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