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Falcon & The Snowman,the

4.2 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Academy AwardÂ(r) winners* Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People) and Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking) deliver "superb performances" (Variety) in a true-story spy thriller that is "scathing, arresting" (The New York Times) and laced with white-knuckle excitement. From OscarÂ(r) winners** John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) and Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List), the film blows the lid off the modern-day American dream with its riveting story of twoyoung men of privilege, money and ambition who end up selling out their country, ruining their families and destroying their lives. Chris Boyce (Hutton) works a low-level job at a defense plant where he uncovers documents that prove that the CIA is secretly coercing foreign governments. Heconfides in his conniving, fast-talking friend, Andrew Daulton Lee (Penn), a reckless drug dealer and user, who convinces him to sell this information to the Soviets for big bucks. Lee boldly cuts a deal with the KGB, but soon the stakes spin out of control as the Soviets up the ante, Lee descends further into drug abuse and the CIA prepares to take the informants down! *Hutton: 1980, Supporting Actor, Ordinary People; Penn: 2003, Actor, Mystic River **Schlesinger: Director, Midnight Cowboy (1969); Zaillian: Writing, Schindler's List (1993)

Special Features

  • Collectible Booklet

Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn, Pat Hingle, Joyce Van Patten, Rob Reed
  • Directors: John Schlesinger
  • Writers: Robert Lindsey, Steven Zaillian
  • Producers: John Schlesinger, Edward Teets, Gabriel Katzka, John Daly, Michael Childers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: March 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000K0DR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,349 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Falcon & The Snowman,the" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Based on a true story, the film details how two young men sold U.S. secrets to the Soviets in the mid-seventies during the height of American apathy and disillusion.
Taken from the excellent non-fiction book by Robert Lindsey, director John Schlesinger's film does a fine job of creating the feeling and temperament of the time but stumbles in a couple of important areas, though the leads, Timothy Hutton as Christopher Boyce and Sean Penn as Daulton Lee, are in terrific form.
Boyce was the "falcon" as he dabbled in falconry, Daulton the "snowman" due to his dealing cocaine, or snow.
Boyce was the oldest of a large Catholic family whose father was retired FBI. Boyce was given a job too quickly with TRW, at the time working with the CIA on secret projects. Working from the "Black Vault," Boyce eventually decided to sell the information he saw to the Soviets. His drug dealing childhood friend Lee became the courier who transported the data to the Russian Embassy in Mexico.
While the story flows well on screen, the film cannot deliver what the novel makes apparent, namely WHY Boyce became a traitor. Other minor nitpicks include a scene (that never occured in real life) of Boyce seeing his ex-girlfriend Alana before impending arrest added for schmaltz effect only, and a badly edited moment of him ripping apart a gift from his co-workers that leaves the viewer puzzled.
However, everything else is fine. The cast is superb, particularly Pat Hingle as Boyce's father. The look of the film is true to the era it occured in. Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays produced a compelling score, collaborating with David Bowie on the theme song.
This is not an action film, and the better for it. Instead The Falcon And The Snowman gives the viewer psychological insight into espionage. It does not go far enough but is a solidly enjoyable film and deserves your attention.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
"The Falcon and The Snowman" is one of my all time favorite movies. It is a great film, featuring the greatest original soundtrack ever, IMHO, by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays. So I was very excited to obtain a Blu-Ray copy at a reasonable price when it was just recently made available on Amazon. But this KINO LORBER release is not John Schlesinger's film! Many of the original recordings used in the actual movie (Average White Band's "Pick Up The Pieces" for example) do not appear in this altered release. I can only guess that KINO LORBER couldn't/didn't obtain the rights for those records. For whatever reason, this release IS NOT THE SAME FILM! This treatment is completely unacceptable, particularly to a film as great as "The Falcon and The Snowman".
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Format: DVD
This has become one of my very favorite films. One reason is that this is when I began to see how really brilliant Sean Penn is, but I think it's more about how this film captures its time, and the dangers of naive idealism. The affluent surburban young men here both find ways to reject the perceived shallowness of their parents, the corruption of their government and the numbing reality of their circumscribed lives, but end up discovering even darker and more painful realities.
Schlesinger makes the most of his excellent cast and gets some of the most memorable performances ever from veterans like Pat Hingle and Richard Dysart. David Suchet is fantastic in his portrayal of a cold, professional KGB operative trying to deal with Sean Penn as a rapidly unravelling drug dealer.
Skip the useless scenes between Tim Hutton and a confused-looking Lori Singer and what remains is a memorable film really worth owning.
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By A Customer on March 3, 2003
Format: DVD
I enjoyed this movie immensely. It was fairly true to life and very well done. Hutton and Penn are terrific and Schlesinger does an excellent job in directing.
For those of you that are curious, Christopher Boyce will be released from a halfway house in San Francisco on March 15, 2003. He will be paroled after 25 years in prison, including spending time in SuperMax in Colorado, alongside Oklahoma City bombers Timothy J. McVeigh and Terry L. Nichols, and the Unabomber, Theodore J. Kaczynski. (Information taken from the LA Times story "The Falcon and the Fallout" by Richard A. Serrano, published March 2, 2003.)
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Format: DVD
The book by the same name allows you to understand a bit more about the characters, but this is a well done film that does bring the story to life. Not all scenes are gripping, but the overall story is thought provoking. Christopher Boyce was either naive or cunning when he began his saga. By the time he went to prison he was simply a well-manipulated informer. The book and this film show that transformation well.

Read the follow-up book, The Flight of the Falcon about Christopher Boyce's escape from prison, and recapture. It would make an even better movie I think. Incidentally, when Daulton Lee got out of prison in 1998, Sean Penn hired him as part of his staff. Christopher Boyce was released a few years ago.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The film was well done with, of course, great actors. Saw it years and years ago. To see it today with more information about the "real" story, the film surely twists the story from the main character being presented as a whistle blower guy with principles and ethics; and it's just really his friend who was the "bad" guy. Both of them were the "bad" guys, the young and confused from upper class families who wanted to make some of their own money, but illegally.

It makes me want to research all the films that are "based on a true story" to get as Paul Harvey used to say, "....now the rest of the story." The film just from a storytelling aspect engages and keeps the viewer's interest.
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