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The very subject of spying provokes a perverse response: part revulsion, part riveted fascination. So does this spellbinding docu-drama about the tortured life led and lies told by Robert Hanssen, the FBI special agent who sold secret government documents to KGB officers. Literary legend Norman Mailer wrote a highly literate script for the all-star cast (including William Hurt, Ron Silver and Peter Boyle) that brings Hanssen, his colleagues and family members convincingly to life. Shot on location in Moscow, Hong Kong, Hawaii and Washington, DC, all adding authenticity to this disturbing account. 3 hours 20 min. on 1 DVD.
Here's a different kind of spy: awkward, frosty, supremely intelligent, deeply religious. As brilliantly acted by a perfectly cast William Hurt, this is Robert Hanssen, a respected FBI man who sold information to the Soviets for 20 years. In Norman Mailer's incisive script for this TV movie, Hanssen turns to spying for his own neurotic reasons: to out-earn his domineering father, to show up the FBI bosses who continually pass him over, and maybe to dispel the boredom of the arrogant. A kinky interest in voyeurism and a platonic friendship with a stripper are also part of the mix (which brings in nudity not part of the broadcast version). The stripper is played by the touching Hilit Pace, while Mary Louise Parker is fine as Hanssen's clueless wife. Production values are TV-utilitarian, but Mailer's keen psychological probing and Hurt's unwavering chilliness make Master Spy an absorbing experience. --Robert Horton
This is a 122-minute version of the original 200-minute CBS mini-series, drastically edited to fit on a single DVD. Read morePublished 3 months ago by stepnan
I like a movie that hits all the marks. This one was interesting and entertaining and made me want to learn more about the real Hanssen. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Counselor
This is a five star story with a strong cast and N.Mailer as the primary script writer(3 star rating for other reasons which I won't go into in this blurb of a review). Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jf
I guess after reading the book Spy by David Wise and watching Breach several times, this movie was rather disappointing. My expectations were too high. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Martie deVisser
i loved it great movie had to.do a report onit and it touch stuff that wasnt in the movie breachPublished 15 months ago by Efren Pedraza
I saw another actor in the same role that I preferred but to each his own with this one. The plot moved slow in spots ok if your into slow moving movies that drag out the plot.Published on July 24, 2013 by Soul's Ladybug
I've seen both Breach and Master Spy - 2 movies about the same case/event. I found Breach to be more realistic in terms of who the principals were and what their motivations. Read morePublished on May 27, 2013 by gigharborguy
All actors except Pace were very good. I could not believe how much I had to hear about the strippers life story...oops wrong movie,especally with a poor actor. Read morePublished on April 29, 2013 by maylane
It's an interesting tale about the F.B.I. spy, Robert Hanssen; nevertheless, overtaken by events.
A young F.B.I. Read more