215 user 70 critic

The Tailor of Panama (2001)

1:59 | Trailer
A tailor living in Panama reluctantly becomes a spy for a British Agent.


John Boorman


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





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


Women have been MI.6. agent Andy Osnard's weakness. As punishment for being caught sleeping with the wrong woman on his last posting in Spain, Andy is relegated to the global backwater of Panama as his next field assignment. Although nothing is happening there on the surface, Panama is still seen as having global importance due to the canal, with something always possible to rock the boat as seen by the recent history of the corrupt regime of Manuel Noriega. The advice of his superior is to co-opt one of the only few hundred British nationals living there to act as an informant for pay. Who Andy chooses is Harry Pendel, a men's suits tailor with Savile Row credentials through his now deceased business partner Arthur Braithwaite. This choice is because of Harry's client list, he the tailor to the elite and powerful, including the Panamanian president, who may treat him like the proverbial "bartender" or "hairdresser" confidante, and because his American wife, Louisa, works in a senior ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In a place this treacherous, what a good spy needs is a spy of his own. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


According to the TCMDb, co-screenwriter Andrew Davies was previously attached to direct prior to John Boorman in the end being hired as the movie's director. See more »


When Andy is dancing with Francesca for the first time at the outdoor bar/restaurant, her sunglasses at one point are almost completely falling off the back of her head; when the shot moves to close up, they are back on the top of her head. See more »


[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.
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.7 (2005) See more »


La Gallina Fina
Written by Christian Garcia
Performed by Samy Sandoval y Sandra Sandoval
Courtesy of SSS Records
See more »

User Reviews

Quirky and Intelligent. A rare gem for true movie lovers.
28 August 2001 | by SinnermanSee all my reviews

Sly references to James Bond and Casablanca aside, "The Tailor of Panama" solidly stands on its own merits.

Its quirky excesses(loopy appearances of imaginary characters and serendipitious plot development) may seem, in the beginning, a little out of place for a political spy thriller.

But it doesn't take very long for one to realise that this is NOT a political spy thriller per se. Its that rare gem of a movie where one can safely suspend one's disbelief and yet not lose touch with one's intelligence along the way(Hmmmm....).

With its tongue planted so firmly in cheek(i.e. atypical casting, a sexy double edged screenplay and 'surreal' sendups of American/ British diplomatic gamesplay), I quickly gave up figuring out what's going on and instead focused on what's going to happen. In layman speak, I "went with the flow".

Which is a good thing as I soon discovered this movie to be deliciously entertaining both for the audience as well as the actors involved(noticeably having their share of fun in the quirky performances).

This is the kind of show(sadly, not many of them around anymore)that demands your attention, but will reward you threefold if you are a willing participant.

Not wanting to sound condescending, this is not a great movie. But it is an intellectually entertaining one. Sadly, with the standards of present day popcorn fare degenerating to new depths with each passing pic, I dare to hope that one day, films like "The Tailor of Panama" will again resume its rightful place - as nothing more than just a top rate pop corn flick.

But that day may never come and by default, this show will now have to assume a pedigree normally reserved for greater films. A sad predicament indeed. But that films like these still get made at all is reason enough to hope and celebrate.

I would recommend for all true movie lovers out there to go see this show and be thankful(at least for that two hours or so) that we can temporarily forget bum-numbing stinkers like "Pearl Harbor" ever existed.

I rest my case.

Thank you and good night.

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Official Sites:

Production Notes


USA | Ireland


English | Spanish

Release Date:

30 March 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tailor of Panama See more »


Box Office


$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,837,068, 1 April 2001

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital EX



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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