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The Tailor of Panama (2001)

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1:59 | Trailer
A tailor living in Panama reluctantly becomes a spy for a British Agent.

Director:

John Boorman

Writers:

John le Carré (novel), Andrew Davies (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierce Brosnan ... Osnard
Geoffrey Rush ... Harry
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Louisa
Leonor Varela ... Marta
Brendan Gleeson ... Mickie Abraxas
Harold Pinter ... Uncle Benny
Catherine McCormack ... Francesca
Daniel Radcliffe ... Mark
Lola Boorman Lola Boorman ... Sarah
David Hayman ... Luxmore
Mark Margolis ... Rafi Domingo
Martin Ferrero ... Teddy
John Fortune ... Maltby
Martin Savage Martin Savage ... Stormont
Edgardo Molino Edgardo Molino ... Juan-David
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Storyline

Women have been MI.6. agent Andy Osnard's weakness. As punishment for being caught sleeping with the wrong woman on his last posting in Spain, Andy is relegated to the global backwater of Panama as his next field assignment. Although nothing is happening there on the surface, Panama is still seen as having global importance due to the canal, with something always possible to rock the boat as seen by the recent history of the corrupt regime of Manuel Noriega. The advice of his superior is to co-opt one of the only few hundred British nationals living there to act as an informant for pay. Who Andy chooses is Harry Pendel, a men's suits tailor with Savile Row credentials through his now deceased business partner Arthur Braithwaite. This choice is because of Harry's client list, he the tailor to the elite and powerful, including the Panamanian president, who may treat him like the proverbial "bartender" or "hairdresser" confidante, and because his American wife, Louisa, works in a senior ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A first-class thriller from John Boorman - director EXCALIBUR and DELIVERANCE. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Production Notes

Country:

USA | Ireland

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

30 March 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tailor of Panama See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,837,068, 1 April 2001

Gross USA:

$13,729,742

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$28,008,462
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Boorman commented at the time the movie was made on filming in Panama: "I've made four movies in the tropics, so Panama wasn't wholly unexpected. Charm, beauty, corruption, drug dealing, this was a potent and exotic mix." See more »

Goofs

When Harry the tailor visits the president for a fitting, the president is a man. But during the transfer of the Panama Canal in 1999 to 2004, the president of Panama was Mireya Moscoso - a woman. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
MI.6 Handler: Panama.
Andrew 'Andy' Osnard: Panama?
MI.6 Handler: Best I could do Andrew. Under the circumstances, given your sins. They were baying for blood.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Taylor of Atlanta (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Mickie's Street
Written and Performed by Ventura Dríguez
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User Reviews

How nice to see Pierce Brosnan as a rotter.
27 March 2001 | by vjoyceSee all my reviews

How nice to see Pierce Brosnan as a rotter. Without the man-tan make up, you can actually see his freckles.

A co-production of the Irish government and Columbia Pictures, The Tailor of Panama is an old-fashioned British espionage film that is Euro-light on the violence and silhouette-discreet on the sex. No skitzy MTV editing and no hip hop trendy hits. Which may be heaven for some and limbo for others.

Starring along with the current James Bond is Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis. Pierce is still handsome as hell and he's still a spy. This time he's been exiled to Central America to cool his heels. Overly ambitious, he latches on to local tailor to the rich and powerful and starts to squeeze him for information becoming more ruthless and despicable with every turn. The colorful Rush obliges him with making stuff up and this leads to all kinds of intrigue. Jamie Lee reprises her wife-who-doesn't-know-her-husband-is-a-spy role that she did in True Lies, but without the little black dress. The humor is very dark and very British. The plot is reminiscent of the 1960 Alec Guinness-Ernie Kovacs gem, Our Man in Havana, an early spoof of the Bond saga.

Tailor is taken from the '96 Le Carré novel of the same name. John the spymaster shares screenplay credit along with Andrew Davies and the veddy British director John Boorman, most famous for Deliverance. Yes, this is the man responsible for Dueling Banjos. Receiving Acad noms for directing Hope and Glory and the Banjo movie, he also has a producing credit here.

This is the first film done on location in Panama so the look is fresh and it's beautifully shot by veteran, Phillipe Rousselot who is currently working on Planet of the Apes.

This film is getting almost no hype and no promotion. Again, it's very low key with no gunfire, car chases or blood. The politics of Panama are in the forefront with more than one reference to the 'Frankenstein' Noriega and how he was set him up by CIA Head, George the First, Bush that is. Ah hem.

There are some splendid character actors in the supporting cast like John Polito of TV's Homicide and Martin Ferraro of TV's Miami Vice. Playwright Harold Pinter is in the strangest cameo role you may see this year. Scoop du Jour: in the role of the Tailor's son, we get a look and the kid who will star in the Harry Potter film, Daniel Radcliffe.

There is some stock footage of the political unrest and references to the thoroughly corrupt Central American government with lines from the Tailor like, 'you know what the poor call those?' pointing to the city's skyline, 'Cocaine towers! And the 85 banks? Launderettes!' You can easily understand why the media isn't getting behind this thing. But then again Traffic didn't win best picture, Gladiator did.


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