Film Notes: Bridge of Spies (2015) directed by Steven Spielberg


USA / 141 minutes / color / DreamWorks Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment, Marc Platt Productions /Dir: Steven Spielberg Pro: Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt, Kristie Macosko Krieger Scr: Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen Cine: Janusz Kaminski Film Editor: Michael Kahn Mus: Thomas Newman Cast: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Scott Shepherd, Amy Ryan, Sebastian Koch, Alan Alda, Austin Stowell, Mikhail Gorevoy, Will Rogers Release Date: 4 October 2015 (New York Film Festival) 4 December 2015 (Spain) Original title: Bridge of Spies Spanish title: El puente de los espías

Bridge_of_Spies_poster Bridge of Spies is a 2015 American historical drama-thriller film based on the 1960 U-2 incident during the Cold War, the film tells the story of lawyer James B. Donovan who is entrusted with negotiating the release of Francis Gary Powers —a pilot whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union— in exchange for Rudolf Abel, a captive Soviet KGB spy held under the custody of the United States. The name of the film refers to the Glienicke Bridge, which connects Potsdam with Berlin, where the spy exchange took place. (Source: Amazon)

Summary: The “bridge of spies” of the title refers to Glienicke Bridge, which crosses what was once the borderline between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR. In the time from the building of the Berlin Wall to its destruction in 1989, there were three prisoner exchanges between East and West. The first and most famous spy swap occurred on February 10, 1962, when Soviet agent Rudolph Abel was traded for American pilot Francis Gary Powers, captured by the Soviets when his U-2 reconnaissance plane was shot down over Sverdlovsk. The exchange was negotiated by Abel’s lawyer, James B. Donovan, who also arranged for the simultaneous release of American student Frederic Pryor at Checkpoint Charlie. Working from a script by Matt Charman and Joel and Ethan Coen, Steven Spielberg has brought every strange turn in this complex Cold War story to vividly tactile life. With a brilliant cast, headed by Tom Hanks as Donovan and Mark Rylance as Abel—two men who strike up an improbable friendship based on a shared belief in public service. (Source: New York Film Festival)

For further details of the real life events behind the film Bridge of Spies, see Giles Whittell’s ‘Bridge of Spies – A True Story of The Cold War’

Last week Begoña and I have had the chance to see Bridge of Spies, an impressive film on all counts that I highly recommend.

Tom Hanks and the cast of the critically-acclaimed Bridge Of Spies, directed by Steven Spielberg, received a standing ovation at the 53rd Annual New York Film Festival last week. The cast participated in a press conference about the film. Read highlights here.

Bridge of Spies New York Film Festival Review at The Hollywood Reporter

Official Website

7 thoughts on “Film Notes: Bridge of Spies (2015) directed by Steven Spielberg

  1. Thanks. Very pleased to have discovered your intriguing blog this year and looking forward to further exploration. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox

  2. Pingback: Film Notes: 2015 Year in Review | A Crime is Afoot

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