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Falcon & The Snowman,the
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent product -- Functions as intended -- No complaints here --Published 5 months ago by Stevie B.
Good movie with despicable characters... unfortunately it was a true story.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a movie of small pleasures. Released in 1985, and set in the late 1970s, it resists the temptation to be politically rhetorical and keeps the focus on characters who seem... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Stanley Crowe
Great movie especially for those who grew up in the South Bay and were employed by the aerospace industry...Published 12 months ago by Gloria P.
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