The Falcon and the Snowman 1985 (1985) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: The true story of a disillusioned military contractor employee and his drug pusher childhood friend who became walk-in spies for the Soviet Union. Runtime: 131 mins Release Date: 08 Feb 1985
A Magnificent Tale of Disillusionment and Betrayal (by Mr_Vai)
There is something about true stories that makes them so much more interesting than fiction. I guess it is the fact that truth has always been stranger than fiction. The Falcon and the Snowman tells the true story about Christopher Boyce and his buddy Daulton Lee. Boyce Hutton is a former alter boy and intellectual, trying to find an occupation that can support and entertain him. His FBI father is able to pull some strings and get his idealist son a job working in the defense department. Boyce has few responsibilities and seems to be complacent drinking and goofing around with his <more>
co-workers. However, as time goes on, Boyce starts to learn top secret information that causes him to doubt the morality of his government. The idealist Boyce soon sees the illegal operations that the CIA is carrying out in above all places, Australia. Boyce eventually decides that he will leak some of the top secret info he is privy to, to the KGB. Of course, Boyce's mistake is the assumption that because the USA is doing bad things, the USSR is the good guy. Over time, Boyce and his drug-dealing buddy Lee Penn , start to sell their top secret information to the KGB. What was once idealism, turns into capitalism and espionage. The strength of this movie is the incredible performances by Hutton and Penn. Although one of them starts off with the best intentions, they will both soon find themselves in an unending downward spiral. Great direction, music, everything. Not only a great film, but one of my all-time favorites.
A great film in its genre, the direction, acting, most especially the casting of the film makes it even more powerful. A must see.
An brilliant overlooked film from the 1980s (by hnt_dnl)
THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN is a superb example of an anti-80s film. While many other films of the decade in general lacked substance, this film is pure substance. There's nothing stylish or fake or superfluous about it. It boasts two superb performances: Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn as lifelong friends Christopher Boyce and Daulton Lee, respectively. Hutton, Penn, and Tom Cruise were a triumvirate of early 80s actors who all looked headed to much bigger and better things all 3 starred in TAPS . While Penn and Cruise's popularity soared, Hutton has been largely forgotten about, and <more>
that's a shame. Actually, Hutton is the first of the 3 to win an Oscar for supporting role in ORDINARY PEOPLE in 1980, but I think his performance in this movie is even more outstanding.Hutton really captures the post-Vietnam war rebelliousness in his character Chris Boyce. A failed seminary school student, Chris has a love-hate relationship with his father, well played by the great character actor Pat Hingle. The scene where Chris quotes the poem his father thought he'd long forgotten is a particularly powerful one.Chris gets job at Dept. of Defense and uses his hatred of U.S. gov't and its foreign policy to sell seemingly useless plans of old projects to the Soviets. He gets his buddy Daulton, a hyper drug-dealing self-server, in on it to be the courier of the project plans on microfilm. While Chris is doing it based on his beliefs, Daulton is doing it strictly for the money. The Soviet liaison is excellently played by David Suchet. Penn and Suchet have a real quirky chemistry and it's a kind of funny set of exchanges between them. But, make no mistake, this film is anything but that. It is a serious character study about pessimism, malaise, paranoia and mistrust.Again, the leads make this film. Hutton delivers a brilliantly understated performance as Chris, a rather smart young man who had so much potential. Penn, as usual, does a tremendous characterization as Daulton, a pathetic loser who acts before he thinks, and most of the time doesn't think at all. The ending of this fact-based film is very saddening on several levels. A truly powerful character study.
For the 1980s, this is a very dark movie. At this point, filmmakers were beginning to operate under the assumption that all films require smarmy comic relief which, of course, is taken to the extreme today , flashy action scenes even more overdone today , or steamy sex scenes.Hutton and Penn are stupendous in their roles as childhood friends turned Soviet spies. Penn in particular is brilliant as hapless drug dealer Daulton Lee.What you have here is a true thriller/drama. There is no eye candy to speak of, but the story is so compelling and the acting so superb that hopefully most people <more>
wouldn't miss it. There are a couple amusing scenes, in particular the one where Penn tries to get his Soviet benefactors involved in a major drugrunning deal.Well worth watching.
This movie does an excellent job of taking us all the way through the dark tunnel of espionage, from the inception through the ultimate reckoning. The movie's impact is made even deeper with the realization that it is based on a true story. Timothy Hutton provides us with a quality, understated performance and Sean Penn demonstrates why he is one of America's finest living actors. As with "Midnight Express," this movie should make us all think twice about doing something we shouldn't be doing in a foreign country.
Traitor is such a harsh word. (by lost-in-limbo)
Set in the 1970s Los Angeles, Christopher Boyce has just dropped out of seminary school and returned back home were his father gets him a job where he monitors intelligence documents. His old friend Daulton Lee is a ratty cock drug-dealer, and gets caught in a set-up and must choose between becoming a narc or facing a long stint in prison. When up on bail, he jumps and heads to Mexico City. Chris offers Lee in a partnership to be his messenger to sell secret papers to the Soviet Union embassy in Mexico City, because of the disgrace he feels about the US Government's control over weaker <more>
countries to their own gain. But over time the two begin to clash with their motivations and find themselves in something bigger then they had originally intended.Director John Schlesinger has spun out such films like the respectable "Midnight Cowboy", "Marathon Man", "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Day of The Locust". While "The Falcon and the Snowman" might not be held up that high, there's no question that this sombre espionage drama inspired by a true incident is an unjustly overlooked character portrait. Everything about it, is quite a subdued affair with no real grandeur qualities hitting a massive mark. The driving factor of the film has got to be the admirably versatile lead performances of Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn as the two ambitious young lads Chris and Daulton. Penn is especially good with his uneasy intensity, which works well off Hutton's superbly cool-and-collected turn. What starts off as easy, we watch the situation gradually crumble, as the two amateurs find themselves really out of their league. The strongly detailed and symbolic predatory behaviour plot mainly centres on the pair's relationship and that of their reasoning's for their actions, which eventually shows us the knotty developments that led to their downfall. The plan opens up like a wound to never properly heal, due to Daulton's drug addiction, which really makes him go off the rails and leaves Chris to pick up all the slack. The searing political aspect is there, but it focus on the themes of idealism Boyce and greed Lee to get its point across. Both don't mix and results show. Suspense is justified through its stimulating pot-boiling script and character interactions then that of any visual gimmicks. Action is very little, but still there's a pressure induced style to Schlesinger's assured and realistically dark 'n' gritty direction. Pacing is mostly well handled, although some sequences do seem to wallow on for too long, but however it grips you as it plays on its authentically paranoid tone to slowly build up to an exploding tight latter end. Adeptly fleshed into the technical production is an airily harrowing music score and professionally poignant cinematography. The supporting cast are exceptionally fine with Pat Hingle, Lori Singer, David Suchet, Boris Leskin, Jerry Hardin and Joyce Van Patten. Also look out for Michael Ironside in a tiny part as a FBI agent.A mostly outstanding spy-film that benefits largely from talented lead performances and by not playing the usual stakes. It's more an emotional ride, then a complex one of twists. Recommended.
The secret lives of the former altar boys (by jotix100)
John Schelesinger's career as a film director was extraordinary. We had watched this film when it first came out, but wanted to see it again when it showed on cable recently. The film has a faded look, as one watches it today, but still, it is interesting because of the intense performances of the two principals.If you haven't seen it, please don't read any further.Chris and Daulton were two childhood friends that came from upper middle class backgrounds. Chris went to enter a seminary to be a priest, but gives up. Daulton became a small time drug user and trafficker. The two <more>
lives seem to run parallel as the pair become involved in an illegal activity that will prove their short sightedness. In fact, it shows how both young men miscalculate in their attempt to fool the CIA and the Soviet Union. These two, in a way, were so naive in thinking they could pull something that bigger, and better equipped people couldn't even imagine could be done.Chris' motivation is legitimate, as he feels outraged in discovering the underhanded role of the agency for which he works in dealing with other nations, in this case Australia, something he finds by sheer coincidence. When he involves Daulton, we know the whole thing is doomed because no one into drugs, as he is, will ever amount to anything. In fact, Chris and Daulton had no conception of the scope of what they are trying to do, or its consequences.Timothy Hutton was at this period of his career, an actor that was going places. He had proved he had talent with his work in other films, so it was a natural choice for Mr. Schlesinger to select him, a choice that pays off well. Sean Penn, also was a young actor who showed an intensity, like one hadn't seen before. In fact, at times, Mr. Penn, reminded us of a young Robert Mitchum in the making. Both actors' contribution to the film is incredible. One can't think who could have played this duo but them."The Falcon and the Snowman", while not up to the par with other great John Schlesinger's movies, is an interesting look to our not too distant past.
The Falcon and the Snowman is the true story of two college-age rich kids from L.A. who become spies for the Soviet Union. One, played by Penn, is already a drug smuggler up to his eyeballs in trouble. The other, played by Hutton, lands a position at an aerospace firm where his job is to man a top-secret cable facility. There he learns of some of the dirty tricks employed by the CIA on foreigners that America doesn't like. Don't forget that the movie is set the early 70s, the time of Vietnam and Watergate. Appalled at what he's learned, the Hutton character decides to betray his <more>
country and convinces his buddy to join him. Neither of them is long on brains, it is not long before they're way in over their heads with no way out.This is not a thriller, and is rather slowly paced. If this is not a problem for you, then it is well worth the rental.
This movie is one of my all-time favorites. I think that Sean Penn did a great job acting. It is one of the few true stories that made it to film that I really like. It is in my top 10 films of all-time. I watch it over and over and never get tired of it. Great movie!