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The Good Shepherd (2006)

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The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Edward Wilson
... Margaret 'Clover' Russell
... Sam Murach
... Laura
... Arch Cummings
... Bill Sullivan
... Senator John Russell, Sr.
... Dr. Fredericks
... Hanna Schiller
... Philip Allen
... Thomas Wilson
... Valentin Mironov #2
... John Russell, Jr.
... Richard Hayes
... Joseph Palmi
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Storyline

Laconic and self-contained, Edward Wilson heads CIA covert operations during the Bay of Pigs. The agency suspects that Castro was tipped, so Wilson looks for the leak. As he investigates, he recalls, in a series of flashbacks, his father's death, student days at Yale (poetry; Skull and Bones), recruitment into the fledgling OSS, truncated affairs, a shotgun marriage, cutting his teeth on spy craft in London, distance from his son, the emergence of the Cold War, and relationships with agency, British, and Soviet counterparts. We watch his idealism give way to something else: disclosing the nature of that something else is at the heart of the film's narration as he closes in on the leak. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Edward Wilson believed in America, and he would sacrifice everything he loved to protect it. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

Official Sites:

Universal [United States]

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Release Date:

22 December 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El buen pastor  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,142,760, 24 December 2006

Gross USA:

$59,952,835

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$99,480,480
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eddie Redmayne and William Hurt appeared in The Yellow Handkerchief (2008). See more »

Goofs

It is about sunset-time when 6 year-old Edward runs into his parent's room and hides in the closet. They must have talked hours, since when Edward is leaving the room, it is the dead of the night outside. See more »

Quotes

Edward Wilson: [Confronting having to kill an untrustworthy British agent] This seems to me to be a problem for the British. Why are we involved?
John Russell, Jr.: The British are a particularly civilized people. They don't eat their own. They have somebody do it for them.
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Connections

Referenced in The Middleman: The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Tribeca Bounce
Written and Produced by Bruce Fowler
Performed by Vince Giordano and His Nighthawks Orchestra (as Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks Orchestra)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An intelligent tale of duty and loyalty
1 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

I went into the theatre with little knowledge but that I was going to be watching a film about a man who was one of the founders of the CIA. Expecting this, I thought this movie was outstanding and a mind game from start to finish.

What one has to understand about the movie itself is that it is as complicated as the storyline. It starts out with two different time lines, decades apart and slowly one reaches the other. That in itself can be difficult to follow, but it is well worth the effort to pay attention because if you can leave the theatre understanding what took place, you walk away with a little more knowledge about the human complex.

Because this is a story more about the soul and our humanity than it is about spies and country. Those are just the means by which De Niro uses.

Every actor is placed remarkably well and no more so than Matt Damon himself. It is his acting that gives us Edward Wilson; a man without airs who doesn't compromise. The movie spans over twenty years and fortunately we see those years reflected in most of the characters. Angelina Jolie does the neglected, alcoholic wife superbly. William Hurt and Lee Pace as Richard Hayes both give a wonderful performance taking their character's flaws from subtle to substantial by the end.

Some might wonder how so many actors could be recruited for such small roles, like Alec Baldwin, Michael Gambon, and Joe Pesci, but one only has to see as far as the director to get their answer. Don't let the big names and the anagram CIA get you. This movie is as edgy as it is intricate with twists and turns that take the viewer through the world of trust and the human element. A man like Edward Wilson is just the perfect vessel for the journey.


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