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.
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
The man on television reporting on the Powers / Able exchange was Pierre Salinger. Salinger was the press secretary for President John F. Kennedy and was later the campaign manager for Robert F. Kennedy's bid for the presidency. Following this he served for a short time as a U.S. Senator from California and then spent the rest of his career as a journalist for the ABC television network. See more »
Several pieces of Wedgewood china are seen in a cabinet in Dulles' office. The pattern is "Columbia Sage Green & Gold", which was not made until 1966. See more »
We are engaged in a war. This war does not for the moment involve men at arms; it involves information. You will be collecting information. You will be gathering intelligence about the enemy. The intelligence you gather could give us the upper hand in a full thermonuclear exchange with the Soviet Union, or it could prevent one. For public purposes, as far as your wife or mother or sweetheart or the good lord above, your mission does not exist. if it does not exist, you do not exist. You cannot ...
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Spielberg and Hanks--fry to find a better duo than that for a great film.
"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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