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Bridge of Spies (2015) Poster

Quotes

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James Donovan: I have a mandate to serve you. Nobody else does. Quite frankly, everybody else has an interest in sending you to the electric chair.

Rudolf Abel: All right...

James Donovan: You don't seem alarmed.

Rudolf Abel: Would it help?

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Rudolf Abel: Standing there like that you reminded me of the man that used to come to our house when I was young. My father used to say: "watch this man'. So I did. Every time he came. And never once did he do anything remarkable.

James Donovan: And I remind you of him?

Rudolf Abel: This one time, I was at the age of your son, our house was overrun by partisan border guards. Dozens of them. My father was beaten, my mother was beaten, and this man, my father's friend, he was beaten. And I watched this man. Every time they hit him, he stood back up again. So they hit him harder. Still he got back to his feet. I think because of this they stopped the beating. They let him live. 'Stoikiy muzhik'. I remember them saying. ''. Which sort of means like uh, 'standing man'... standing man...

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[repeated line]

Rudolf Abel: [about not appearing concerned] Would it help?

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Rudolf Abel: Well, the boss isn't always right. But, he's always the boss.

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Hoffman: Has your guy talked?

James Donovan: Excuse me?

Hoffman: You met him. Has he talked? Has he said anything yet?

James Donovan: We're not having this conversation.

Hoffman: Of course not.

James Donovan: No, I mean we are really not having it. You're asking me to violate attorney-client privilege.

Hoffman: Aw, come on, counselor.

James Donovan: You know, I wish people like you would quit saying, 'Aw, come on, counselor'. I didn't like it the first time it happened today. A judge said it to me twice. The more I hear it, the more I don't like it.

Hoffman: OK, well, listen, I understand attorney-client privilege. I understand all the legal gamesmanship, and I understand that's how you make your living, but I'm talking to you about something else, the security of your country. I'm sorry if the way I put it offends you, but we need to know what Abel is telling you. You understand me, Donovan? Don't go Boy Scout on me. We don't have a rule book here.

James Donovan: You're Agent Hoffman, yeah?

Hoffman: Yeah.

James Donovan: German extraction.

Hoffman: Yeah, so?

James Donovan: My name's Donovan. Irish, both sides. Mother and father. I'm Irish and you're German. But what makes us both Americans? Just one thing. One. Only one. The rule book. We call it the Constitution, and we agree to the rules, and that's what makes us Americans. That's all that makes us Americans. So don't tell me there's no rule book, and don't nod at me like that you son of a bitch.

[Gets up to leave]

Hoffman: Do we need to worry about you?

James Donovan: Not if I'm left alone to do my job.

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James Donovan: It doesn't matter what others think. You know what you did.

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James Donovan: We have to have the conversations our governments can't.

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James Donovan: The death sentence is not a foregone conclusion. Don't worry.

Rudolf Abel: I'm not afraid to die, Mr. Donovan. Although, it wouldn't be my first choice.

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James Donovan: You have been charged with three counts and nineteen overt acts. Conspiracy to transmit United States defence and atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, conspiracy to gather secrets, and failing to register as a foreign agent.

Rudolf Abel: Do many foreign agents register?

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Rudolf Abel: Shostakovich is a great artist.

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Wolfgang Vogel: You treat us as stooges for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

James Donovan: Can we just call them the Russians and save time?

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James Donovan: [forced to leave dining room before eating his meal] Enjoy your big American breakfast.

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James Donovan: Everyone will hate me, but at least I'll lose.

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James Donovan: I think they have...

Hoffman: What?

James Donovan: ...snipers.

Hoffman: I'm sure they do.

James Donovan: How are you sure they do?

Hoffman: Because *we* have snipers.

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Rudolf Abel: What's the next move when you don't know what the game is?

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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.

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James Donovan: [At different times in the movie] One, one, one.

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James Donovan: We need to get off this merry-go-round sir. The next mistake our countries make could be the last one. We need to have the conversation our governments can't.

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James Donovan: [Repeating line] Every person matters.

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Ivan Schischkin: We don't have Pryor.

James Donovan: No? You don't?

Ivan Schischkin: I've heard of Pryor, but he's held by the German Democratic Republic, not by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

James Donovan: I'll tell you the first problem. The names of your countries are too long.

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Agent Williams: 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 be shot down. You cannot be captured.

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Francis Gary Powers: [returning home] I gave them nothing. I gave them nothing.

James Donovan: It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what people think. You know what you did.

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James Donovan: My coat was stolen from me.

Ivan Schischkin: What did you expect? It was from Saks Fifth Avenue, wasn't it?

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James Donovan: Were you beaten?

Rudolf Abel: No. I was talked to. Offers were made.

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Bates: According to your description, "He hit my five guys."

James Donovan: The guy insured by my client had one accident. One, one, one. Losing control of the car and hitting five motorcyclists.

Bates: From *their* point of view, five things happened.

James Donovan: Well, look, Bob. May I? Bob?

Bates: "Jim."

James Donovan: If I go bowling and I throw a strike, one thing happened. 10 things didn't happen.

Bates: Jim, my guys aren't bowling pins, as much as your guy may have treated them as such.

James Donovan: Let me finish. If your house is insured for $100,000 and a tornado carries it away, it carried away one house. It didn't pick up every stick of furniture and destroy it in a separate incident. If that is what you're saying, well then there is never any limit to our liability, and that is the end of the insurance business. And then, Bob, nobody is safe.

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James Donovan: Sometimes in Germany you just want a big American breakfast.

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Rudolf Abel: [to FBI agents finding him in his underwear] Visitors... Do you mind if I fetch my teeth?

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Rudolf Abel: You've never asked me if the charges were true. If I am indeed a spy.

James Donovan: This is how we do it. The case against you matters. Making them prove it matters. The fiction is: Whether you did it or not doesn't matter. The state has to prove it, that you're a spy.

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Allen Dulles: Best that this all remains confidential. Let's not discuss any of this with Mary or with anyone else. Share the correspondence only with us. Let us know what they want to do and when.

James Donovan: I've got no client, no wife, no country. Don't know what I'm doing or when - or who for.

Allen Dulles: You're doing it for your country, but your country doesn't know that yet.

James Donovan: What about my client, the other person in this equation? My guy.

Allen Dulles: Your guy? You mean the Russian? He's not your guy anymore, Counselor. Your guy is Francis Gary Powers now.

James Donovan: What do I tell Rudolf Abel?

Allen Dulles: Tell him not to drop dead.

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Hoffman: Look at the map now. You shouldn't take it with you. You're looking at a map, you're an American, you're a spy. You could well be detained. Just avoid interacting with people generally. You don't belong, so don't stick out. Food is scarce over there and things have started to fall apart. There are gangs, and rule of law is less firmly established over there. And definitely stay away from the Wall. On their side, there's a line cleared of buildings along the Wall. They call it the "Death Line." Cross it and you'll be shot.

James Donovan: Is there any outcome here where I'm not either detained or shot?

Hoffman: Don't worry too much about what Michener said.

James Donovan: No, I'm worried about what you're saying.

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Government spokesman: [last lines]

Government spokesman: Francis Gary Powers has been released from prison in the Soviet Union, and turned over to American authorities early this morning in Berlin. The President has commuted the sentence of Rudolf Abel. Mr. Abel has been deported, and has been released in Berlin. Efforts to obtain Mr. Powers' release, had been underway for some time. In recent efforts, the United States government has had the cooperation and assistance of Mr. James B. Donovan, a New York attorney. Frederic L. Pryor, an American student held by East German authorities since August of 1961.

Peggy Donovan: [turning to her mom] I thought Daddy was fishing. For salmon.

Walter Kronkite: Abel now has disappeared into the communist world. Powers is here, answering questions. And Donovan has gone back to his law practice. And now, here is George Fenneman, speaking for the Douglas Fir Plywood Association...

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Title Card: Following his return to Russia, Rudolf Abel was reunited with his wife and daughter. He was never publicly acknowledged by the Soviet Union as a spy.

Title Card: Gary Powers died in a helicopter crash in 1977, while working for KNBC news. He was posthumously awarded the CIA Director's Medal, and the USAF POW Medal in 2000, and the Silver Star in 2012.

Title Card: In 1962, Frederick L. Pryor received his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Economics and Senior Research Scholar at Swarthmore College.

Title Card: Following the successful conclusion of the Powers-Abel exchange, James Donovan was asked by President Kennedy to undertake further negotiations on behalf of the U.S. In the summer of 1962, he was sent to Cuba to discuss with Fidel Castro the terms of the release of 1,113 prisoners held after the Bay of Pigs invasion. When Donovan finished negotiations, he had secured the release of 9,703 men, women, and children.

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James Donovan: You don't even like Powers. Everybody hates Powers. He didn't kill himself and he let the Commies parade him on television. He's the most hated man in America... after Rudolf Abel... and me.

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Title Card: 1957

Title Card: The height of the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union fear each other's nuclear capabilities - and intentions. Both sides deploy spies - and hunt for them.

Title Card: Inspired by true events.

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Agent Williams: [to uniformed pilots] Okay, drivers, here's the deal. You've been selected for a mission, which you are not to discuss with anyone outside of this room. No one. I don't care who you trust. Wife, mother, sweetheart - the good Lord when you pray at night. You don't tell any of them anything of what I'm about to tell you.

Agent Williams: Each of you drivers has met certain qualifications. High level security clearance. Exceptional pilot ratings in excess of the required hours, flight time in a single-seat aircraft. 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.

Agent Williams: 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 be shot down. You cannot be captured.

Agent Williams: [stands up to leave] You work for the CIA now.

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Agent Williams: [speaking to spy plane pilots] What you know about the plane is as secret as the plane itself. If capture is a foregone conclusion, you go down with your plane. Now, if you think you can ditch and get away, if you're close enough to a border, fine. You know the ejection protocol. But if you ditch, you bring the dollar with you.

[shows a silver disc]

Agent Williams: All right, there's a pin inside.

[removes a pin]

Agent Williams: You scratch your skin anywhere, it's instantaneous. If you think you are about to be captured, you use it. Drivers, you understand me?

Agent Williams: Spend the dollar.

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Rudolf Abel: [Switches off radio playing Shostakovich and takes off glasses] Jim, you should be careful. Careful.

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James Donovan: Two, two, two.

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James Donovan: It's my business, what-ifs. I'm in insurance.

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Wolfgang Vogel: You should be careful, this is not Brooklyn Mr. Donovan.

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