In February, 2001, Robert Hanssen, a senior agent with 25 years in the FBI, is arrested for spying. Jump back two months: Eric O'Neill, a computer specialist who wants to be made an agent is assigned to clerk for Hanssen and to write down everything Hanssen does. O'Neill's told it's an investigation of Hanssen's sexual habits. Within weeks, the crusty Hanssen, a devout Catholic, has warmed to O'Neill, who grows to respect Hanssen. O'Neill's wife resents Hanssen's intrusiveness; the personal and professional stakes get higher. How they catch Hanssen and why he spies become the film's story. Can O'Neill help catch red-handed "the worst spy in history" and hold onto his personal life?Written by
The movie fictionalized much of Eric M. O'Neill's story. Among the changes made for the film: The real O'Neill knew going in that Robert Hanssen was the subject of a counterintelligence investigation. There was no cover story about sexual perversions, and no dramatic meeting where O'Neill learned the truth. There was no extensive contact outside the office between O'Neill and Hanssen as shown in the film (e.g. O'Neills visiting the Hanssens, Hanssens dropping by O'Neill's apartment); however, Hanssen did take O'Neill to church. The scene where Hanssen takes O'Neill out into the woods and drunkenly fires his pistol is fictional. Unlike in the movie, O'Neill never saw Hanssen after the arrest. While O'Neill did obtain Hanssen's PDA, he took it to FBI techs to download rather than downloading it himself. See more »
Signs on one of the Washington, D.C., metro stations used in the movie read "Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter," but the words "Penn Quarter" were not added to the station name until January 2004, three years after the movie takes place. See more »
Sunday, the FBI successfully concluded an investigation to end a serious breach in the security of the United States. The arrest of Robert Hanssen, for espionage, should remind us all, every American should know, that our nation, our free society, is an international target, in a dangerous world.
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I went to see a preview of this film last night and I will say that I enjoyed it very much, although it did drag somewhat in spots. The acting especially by Chris Cooper was very good and he was the spy, and the central figure in this spy thriller. The rest of the cast was adequate for their portrayals. This is a fascinatingg story of Robert Hannsen the spy who rivaled all other spies by handing the Russians the largest quantity of United States secrets. There is not a lot of action in this film but it held your interest throughout the film, because it is based on a true story and the writers enhanced the story and I for one enjoyed it very much. Do yourself a favor and go see this very good spy story.
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