Edit
The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (3)
After Andrew Lee's parole in 1998, Sean Penn hired him as a personal assistant.
42 of 42 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the period this movie was being made and released, CIA agent Aldrich Ames was beginning to engage in his espionage activities, selling secrets to the Soviet Union. In 1998 these events would be dramatized in Aldrich Ames: Traitor Within (1998), which also starred Timothy Hutton in the role of Aldrich Ames.
23 of 23 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The company that Christopher Boyce worked for in real life was TRW, portrayed as "RTX" in the movie.
21 of 21 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Christopher Boyce was released on parole in March 2003. Andrew Daulton Lee was paroled in 1998.
27 of 28 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn are exactly 1 day apart in birthdays. Hutton was born Aug. 16, 1960. Penn was born Aug. 17, 1960.
25 of 26 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Second of two feature films starring Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton. The first had been Taps (1981) around four years earlier.
15 of 15 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In 1986, this movie became associated with one of the most famous hacking incidents in television history. On the night of April 27, 1986 at about 12:30am, a Florida satellite TV dealer named John MacDougall was working late at Central Florida Teleport which up-links pay cable services to satellites. At the time, he was up-linking Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) but before he left, he pointed the dish directly upwards toward the location of HBO's Galaxy 1 satellite and for four and a half minutes, East Coast subscribers who had been watching The Falcon and the Snowman saw a message on a colored test pattern which read: GOODEVENINGHBO FROM CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT $12.95/MONTH? NO WAY! [SHOWTIME/MOVIECHANNEL BEWARE!]. MacDougall had performed the stunt as a protest of satellite subscribers being forced to pay higher fees than regular cable subscribers. He turned himself in, was charged a $5,000 fine and placed on one year probation.
29 of 31 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sean Penn went to Mexico and snuck into the Russian embassy as research for his role as Andrew Daulton Lee.
20 of 21 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The type of equipment that Christopher Boyce (Timothy Hutton) used to photograph top secret documents was a Minox LX subminiature spy camera.
13 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
It took director John Schlesinger nearly four years to get this movie made.
13 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Timothy Hutton spent six months in Santa Cruz, California learning falconry with technical advisor John Moran. Moreover, Hutton also studied countless press clippings from Christopher Boyce's trial and watched hours of television interviews with Boyce as well as visiting Boyce at Marion Penitentiary in Illinois as research for his role.
13 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Director John Schlesinger and Sean Penn never got along during production. It got to the point where they were not on speaking terms.
12 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The poem from which Boyce and his father recite is Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade", about a battle in the Crimean War.
17 of 18 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The picture has been notable and memorable for featuring the David Bowie sung song "This Is Not America" which was written and performed by Bowie and the Pat Metheny Group (See Pat Metheny).
20 of 22 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Debut produced screenplay of scriptwriter Steven Zaillian.
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
According to Christopher Boyce, the scenes in the movie where employees of the Black Vault used the company paper shredder to blend margaritas are factually accurate.
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Christopher Boyce uses a numeric cipher to send messages to the Soviets while keeping Daulton Lee unaware of their meaning. The cipher is nearly identical to the one the real Boyce used for this purpose (described by Robert Lindsey in his book, upon which this movie is based). In the movie, Boyce's cipher works like this. First, number the alphabet's letters sequentially - e.g., A = 1, G = 7, Y = 25. Second, multiply these numbers by seven (A, G, and Y become 7, 49, and 175 respectively). Finally, reverse the digits (so A, G, Y become 7, 94, and 571). The message Boyce photographs in his bathroom decrypts to "good will towards men the falcon"; and while his earlier encrypted message that "the courier is undependable" is more or less gibberish (perhaps because he's still calculating it), the last few numbers decrypt to "falcon." The real Boyce's cipher differed only in that the first step was to assign numbers to letters in reverse order - i.e., Z = 1, Y = 2, et cetera - but from there proceeds identically. Boyce did not receive instructions from the Soviets but invented this cipher himself, reasoning that it would be child's play for the Soviets to break but beyond Lee's ability to decrypt.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
One of seven espionage related filmed productions featuring actor David Suchet which were made and released around the mid 1980s. The other films were Gulag (1985), Trenchcoat (1983), Red Monarch (1983), A Crime of Honour (1985), John le Carré's The Little Drummer Girl (1984), and an episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983) [See: Reilly: Ace of Spies: Prelude to War (1983)].
8 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sean Penn underwent a substantial physical transformation for his role as Andrew Daulton Lee: Penn wore deep blue contact lenses, trimmed his eyebrows back in a straight line with his eyes, used a set of dentures to make his teeth identical to Lee's, used nose spreaders to make his nose broader, grew a mustache, and even gained about fifty to twenty pounds.
8 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When Daulton Lee hands over the envelope to the Soviets they are surprised to find photos of a partially nude woman. The photos are of Nancie Li Brandi, Playboy's Playmate of the Month for December 1975.
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Timothy Hutton suggested Jackie Earle Haley for the role of "Daulton Lee."
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The film was made and released about six years after its source book "The Falcon and the Snowman: A True Story of Friendship and Espionage" by Robert Lindsey had been first published in 1979.
9 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Both of the primary characters in the story, Boyce and Daulton, own pets that eat smaller critters (Boyce - falcon, Daulton - large predatory tank fish).
8 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The third of four appearances by Timothy Hutton where he plays someone fighting the system. The first two were Taps (1981) & Turk 182 (1985) and the last one would be Leverage (2008).
6 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The code-name of Andrew Daulton Lee ( Sean Penn) was "The Snowman".
12 of 25 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The name of the pet falcon bird was "Fawkes".
9 of 20 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The nick-name of Christopher Boyce (Timothy Hutton) was "The Falcon".
10 of 25 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The name of the top security communication facility was the "Black Vault".
7 of 16 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This motion picture is based on actual real events and a real true life story.
6 of 21 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The movie's opening prologue states: "This film is based on actual events in the lives of Christopher Boyce and Daulton Lee".
6 of 23 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The names of intelligence secret service agencies featured in the film included the CIA and the KGB.
5 of 23 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The full name of Daulton Lee (Sean Penn) was Andrew Daulton Lee.
4 of 20 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Director John Schlesinger considered Martin Hewitt to star as "Christopher Boyce".
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The movie is based on actual events, but the character of Christopher Boyce is portrayed as a "white knight" fighting the system because he was disillusioned by Nixon-era foreign policy. Daulton Lee, on the other hand, is shown as a mentally unstable drug addict motivated only by money. After serving his prison sentence, Lee did not reoffend. Boyce, however, escaped from prison and went on a bank-robbing spree in the Pacific Northwest. These real life facts bring tarnish to the white knight's armor which was not included in the movie.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In this film Timothy Hutton's character is an American convicted of being of espionage acts while selling information to USSR. In Daniel (1983), he plays the son of a couple (based on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg) tried and convicted of similar acts he commits in this film.
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The picture's closing epilogue states: "Andrew Daulton Lee was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Christopher Boyce was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years imprisonment".
13 of 20 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed