During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
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In the cold war, a lawyer, James B. Donovan is recruited by the CIA and involved in an intense negotiation mission to release and exchange a CIA U-2 spy-plane pilot, Francis G. Powers. The pilot was arrested alive after his plane was shot down by the Soviet Union during a mission and stays in the company of a KGB intelligence officer, Rudolf Abel, who was arrested for espionage in the US.Written by
One incident in particular which stood out for the cast involved the inadvertent smashing on the ground of used flashbulbs from the press photographers. It was after the reading of Rudolf Ivanovich Abel's (Mark Rylance's) verdict in court, when the media were surging around James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks), his wife Mary Donovan (Amy Ryan), and Thomas Watters, Jr. (Alan Alda). Mark Rylance explained: "Steven came up with the idea of using these discarded bulbs littering the floor as a way to heighten the drama when Mary, who's being overwhelmed by the media, steps back, and her high heel crunches one of the bulbs." Amy Ryan added: "Steven had this idea in an instant. I saw him get down onto the floor at the level of the camera so he could see exactly what the shot, the smashing of the bulbs, would look like. We learn a great deal about Mary, because of the way Steven filmed this scene, me included." Tom Hanks added: "It ends up making a comment on the waste. It wasn't even in the script, it wasn't even a cool shot, but it actually added to the tapestry of the moment, and Steven comes up with stuff like that because that's the way he thinks. Steven thinks in cinematic terms. His ability to tell important story moments just by what he does with the camera, is the reason he's Steven Spielberg. He's done it again and again and again, and all you can do is stand back and watch." See more »
The aircraft carrying both Donovan and Powers home after the exchange in 1962 is marked "Troop Carrier". The USAF Troop Carrier Command was renamed Air Transport Command in 1945 and then Military Air Transport Service in 1948, the latter being the appropriate marking for that aircraft and date. See more »
Bridge Of Spies is a historical drama film starring Tom Hanks, co-written by the Coen brothers, and directed by Steven Spielberg. Even though its subject matter of the Cold War is something I know very little about, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am now more interested than ever to learn more about it. I rank it among the best of Spielberg's most recent movies.
In 1957, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War are at their peak. Spies from both the American CIA and Soviet KGB are a major threat to the security of both world powers and each side often resorts to hasty measures to stop any classified information from being leaked. In Brooklyn, New York, Rudolf Abel is arrested under the suspicion of being a spy. James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is assigned as Abel's defence lawyer. However the idea of defending a potential Soviet spy proves to be an unpopular and difficult task for Donovan. Meanwhile, over in the Soviet Union, an American spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers is shot down and captured by the KGB. As a means to ease tension between the two warring countries, Donovan proposes a swap between the two prisoners of war, Abel for Powers.
Despite containing barely any action scenes and being almost entirely made up of talking, the film never feels boring or slow paced. This is most likely due to the Coen brothers' clever screenplay and Steven Spielberg's creative direction. There were many suspenseful moments where it felt like the prisoner negotiations would go horribly wrong and that kept me on the edge of my seat. Tom Hanks also gives another memorable performance as James B. Donovan, once again proving his versatility as an actor.
I rate it 8.5/10.
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