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Bridge of Spies (2015)

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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.

Director:

Steven Spielberg
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 101 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Rylance ... Rudolf Abel
Domenick Lombardozzi ... Agent Blasco
Victor Verhaeghe ... Agent Gamber
Mark Fichera ... FBI Agent
Brian Hutchison ... FBI Agent
Tom Hanks ... James B. Donovan
Joshua Harto ... Bates
Henny Russell ... Receptionist
Rebekah Brockman ... Alison - Donovan's Secretary
Alan Alda ... Thomas Watters Jr.
John Rue ... Lynn Goodnough
Billy Magnussen ... Doug Forrester
Amy Ryan ... Mary Donovan
Jillian Lebling ... Peggy Donovan
Noah Schnapp ... Roger Donovan
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Storyline

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 Gusde

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the shadow of war, one man showed the world what we stand for. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | India | USA

Language:

English | German | Russian

Release Date:

16 October 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

St. James Place See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,371,203, 18 October 2015, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$72,313,754

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$165,478,348
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Surround 7.1

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Graphic designer Annie Atkins had worked on The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) in making prop calendars, after which people pointed out that the dates on the calendars did not fall on the historically correct days of the week. Determined not to make the same mistake again, she did extensive research for this film to make sure that all the dates displayed on prop newspapers had the historically correct day of the week on them as well. Unfortunately, the design team finally decided to leave out all dates on newspapers in order to avoid continuity errors. See more »

Goofs

When Pryor is crossing the Berlin Wall he is first seen with a Zeiss folding camera around his neck. When arrested he has a Rolleiflex-type box camera around his neck. See more »

Quotes

Rudolf Abel: There may be a glitch. I was a young man when I left. Who will they find to identify me?
James Donovan: I hope it's not your East German family. I don't think they could identify each other.
See more »

Connections

References Saving Private Ryan (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Please Send Me Someone to Love
Written by Percy Mayfield
Performed by Red Garland
Courtesy of Savoy Jazz
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Spielberg and Hanks--fry to find a better duo than that for a great film.
19 October 2015 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"Everyone deserves a defense. Everyone matters." James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks)

In Bridge of Spies, Steven Spielberg once again masterfully goes to the historical drama with a righteous man's theme (think Schindler and Lincoln for starters). This time lawyer James B. Donovan is asked to defend an accused Soviet spy, Rudolf Able (Mark Rylance, superb), in order to show the world the American justice system is democratic.

The story is "inspired by true events" with the outline of the exchange of Able for U-2 downed pilot Gary Powers historically accurate. As usual, Spielberg recreates the times with the atmosphere, cars, and film noir aspect of a spy thriller in the figurative and literal Cold War. He said, "I always wanted to tell the stories that really interested me in my personal life—which are stories about things that actually happened."

Hanks is central to Spielberg's vision of the lone hero defying the odds and supporting the highest ideals of the American Constitution and the individually virtuous man. Never does Hanks overplay the good-guy card; he's just very adept at playing an everyman not always right but always righteous.

The dialogue is crisp, a no fooling around typical of Spielberg and Hanks but a charming bad guy as well: James Donovan: "Aren't you worried?" Rudolf Abel: "Would it help?" As producer Kristie Macosko Krieger commented about Spielberg, "He's got a childlike sense of wonder. He never gets tired of hearing stories . . . . " Bridge of Spies is vintage Spielberg with a Lincoln-like atmosphere, righteous hero, and intriguing multi-plot, an entertaining spy story brimming with humanity.

As the director says, "This is more about very smart people in conversation with each other, and the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads is that, if they make the wrong decisions, it's the end of the world."


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