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Spy Game (2001)

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Retiring CIA agent Nathan Muir recalls his training of Tom Bishop while working against agency politics to free him from his Chinese captors.

Director:

Tony Scott

Writers:

Michael Frost Beckner (story), Michael Frost Beckner (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,615 ( 1,412)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Nathan Muir
Brad Pitt ... Tom Bishop
Catherine McCormack ... Elizabeth Hadley
Stephen Dillane ... Charles Harker
Larry Bryggman ... Troy Folger
Marianne Jean-Baptiste ... Gladys Jennip
Matthew Marsh ... Dr. William Byars
Todd Boyce ... Robert Aiken
Michael Paul Chan ... Vincent Vy Ngo
Garrick Hagon ... CIA Director Cy Wilson
Andrew Grainger Andrew Grainger ... Andrew Unger
Bill Buell ... Fred Kappler
Colin Stinton ... Henry Pollard
Ted Maynard Ted Maynard ... CIA Administrator
Tom Hodgkins Tom Hodgkins ... CIA Lobby Guard
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Storyline

CIA operative Nathan Muir (Redford) is on the brink of retirement when he finds out that his protege Tom Bishop (Pitt) has been arrested in China for espionage. No stranger to the machinations of the CIA's top echelon, Muir hones all his skills and irreverent manner in order to find a way to free Bishop. As he embarks on his mission to free Bishop, Muir recalls how he recruited and trained the young rookie, at that time a sergeant in Vietnam, their turbulent times together as operatives and the woman who threatened their friendship. Written by ck

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not how you play the game. It's how the game plays you. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Universal

Country:

Germany | USA | Japan | France

Language:

English | German | Arabic | French | Cantonese

Release Date:

21 November 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

SpyGame See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,689,125, 25 November 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$26,871, 22 February 2002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$143,049,560, 31 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Tony Scott gave Stephen Dillane (Harker) tapes of the journalist David Frost to prepare. Frost is famous for interviewing President Richard Nixon after he stepped down. See more »

Goofs

When Muir and Bishop meet at the railway station in Berlin, behind Muir and his wife the same woman (an extra) gets off the train twice. See more »

Quotes

Nathan Muir: [inside a CIA briefing room] When I was a kid I used to spend summers on my uncle's farm. And he had this plow horse he used to work with everyday. He really loved that plow horse. One summer she came up lame. It could barely stand. The vet offered to put her down. You know what my uncle said?
Charles Harker: [inside a CIA briefing room] No, Muir, what did he say?
Nathan Muir: [inside a CIA briefing room] He said, why would I ask somebody else to kill a horse that belonged to me?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film is dedicated to Elizabeth Jean Scott, Tony Scott's mother, that died that year. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bounty Hunting on Acid: Tony Scott's Visual Style (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
Written by Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn
Performed by Dean Martin
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Maybe a little far-fetched, but clever.
18 February 2005 | by lukabrasiSee all my reviews

Spy Game will probably never be considered among the best spy movies to come out of Hollywood, however, it is a really entertaining movie with quite a few surprises.

The movie is set in the early 1990's. Nathan Muir (Redford) is a retiring CIA officer who learns that his former protégé Tom Bishop (Pitt) has been captured while attempting a prison rescue in China and will be executed shortly. CIA brass want to know what motivated Bishop to attempt this unauthorized action and they interview Muir to find out. Muir tells the story of how he met and trained Bishop: from Vietnam to Berlin to Beirut. While Muir is setting the background, he is also working secretly behind the scenes to free Bishop. Will Muir's cloak and dagger antics be discovered before he has a chance to free Bishop? Overall the movie is not as good as other spy genre films such as Three Days of the Condor, Spy Who Came in From the Cold, or Hunt for Red October. I think Redford does well in the role of the retiring, slightly jaded CIA officer Muir. Pitt does well with what he's given, though I think his character suffers from poor writing, especially near the end of the film. Think of Spy Game as a more sophisticated Mission: Impossible (that's no knock on M:I) and you'll be pleasantly surprised.


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