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Bridge of Spies (2015)

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During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

Director:

Steven Spielberg
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1,855 ( 88)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 101 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Rylance ... Rudolf Abel
Domenick Lombardozzi ... Agent Blasco
Victor Verhaeghe ... Agent Gamber
Mark Fichera ... FBI Agent
Brian Hutchison ... FBI Agent
Tom Hanks ... James B. Donovan
Joshua Harto ... Bates
Henny Russell ... Receptionist
Rebekah Brockman ... Alison - Donovan's Secretary
Alan Alda ... Thomas Watters Jr.
John Rue ... Lynn Goodnough
Billy Magnussen ... Doug Forrester
Amy Ryan ... Mary Donovan
Jillian Lebling ... Peggy Donovan
Noah Schnapp ... Roger Donovan
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Storyline

In the cold war, a lawyer, James B. Donovan is recruited by the CIA and involved in an intense negotiation mission to release and exchange a CIA U-2 spy-plane pilot, Francis G. Powers. The pilot was arrested alive after his plane was shot down by the Soviet Union during a mission and stays in the company of a KGB intelligence officer, Rudolf Abel, who was arrested for espionage in the US. Written by Gusde

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspired by true events See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | India | USA

Language:

English | German | Russian

Release Date:

16 October 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

St. James Place See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,371,203, 18 October 2015

Gross USA:

$72,313,754

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$165,478,348
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Surround 7.1

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

London-based playwright and television writer Matt Charman stumbled upon a footnote in a biography of John F. Kennedy that referenced an American lawyer who Kennedy had sent to Cuba to negotiate the release of 1,113 prisoners. Some quick research led to James Donovan, a successful insurance claims lawyer from Brooklyn. Several years earlier, Donovan had defended a Soviet agent accused of espionage during the Cold War. Even though he specialized in insurance law, and had not practiced criminal law for some time, he was asked to negotiate one of the most high-profile prisoner exchanges in history. With little knowledge of the inner-workings of the film industry, Charman flew to Hollywood in the hopes of convincing a studio to green-light a film based on Donovan's story. While Donovan's role was not well-known in the annals of Cold War history, Charman pitched to DreamWorks Pictures a gripping tale of an idealistic man navigating the world of national security and espionage. "When I heard the story, it knocked my socks off," says producer Kristie Macosko Krieger, who was a co-producer on Steven Spielberg's Lincoln (2012), and is based at DreamWorks. Krieger said, "Not many people know the story of James Donovan, and what he accomplished during this period of U.S. history, but it sounded like something that was right up Steven's alley." See more »

Goofs

A US nickle (5 cent piece) cannot be made magnetic. It could not have been attached magnetically to the metal park bench. See more »

Quotes

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 ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in U-2 Spy Plane (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Unforgettable
Written by Irving Gordon
Performed by Hugh Brodie
Courtesy of Fortress USA Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Spielberg and Hanks--fry to find a better duo than that for a great film.
19 October 2015 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"Everyone deserves a defense. Everyone matters." James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks)

In Bridge of Spies, Steven Spielberg once again masterfully goes to the historical drama with a righteous man's theme (think Schindler and Lincoln for starters). This time lawyer James B. Donovan is asked to defend an accused Soviet spy, Rudolf Able (Mark Rylance, superb), in order to show the world the American justice system is democratic.

The story is "inspired by true events" with the outline of the exchange of Able for U-2 downed pilot Gary Powers historically accurate. As usual, Spielberg recreates the times with the atmosphere, cars, and film noir aspect of a spy thriller in the figurative and literal Cold War. He said, "I always wanted to tell the stories that really interested me in my personal life—which are stories about things that actually happened."

Hanks is central to Spielberg's vision of the lone hero defying the odds and supporting the highest ideals of the American Constitution and the individually virtuous man. Never does Hanks overplay the good-guy card; he's just very adept at playing an everyman not always right but always righteous.

The dialogue is crisp, a no fooling around typical of Spielberg and Hanks but a charming bad guy as well: James Donovan: "Aren't you worried?" Rudolf Abel: "Would it help?" As producer Kristie Macosko Krieger commented about Spielberg, "He's got a childlike sense of wonder. He never gets tired of hearing stories . . . . " Bridge of Spies is vintage Spielberg with a Lincoln-like atmosphere, righteous hero, and intriguing multi-plot, an entertaining spy story brimming with humanity.

As the director says, "This is more about very smart people in conversation with each other, and the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads is that, if they make the wrong decisions, it's the end of the world."


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