The Falcon and the Snowman

The Falcon and the Snowman

DVD - 1999
Average Rating:
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A disillusioned young man and his drug dealing friend, under the code names "Falcon" and 'Snowman" commit a brazen act of espionage, by selling some of America's most sensitive secrets to the KGB.
Publisher: Santa Monica, CA : Distributed by MGM Home Entertainment, 1999, c1984
Edition: Widescreen version
ISBN: 9780792842699
0792842693
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (132 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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Quotes

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l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 27, 2017

"I know a few things about predatory behavior."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 27, 2017

"Don't throw me to the wolves."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 27, 2017

"I'm not stupid, Chris. I read books."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 27, 2017

"Don't mess it up."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 27, 2017

"My associates aren't so sure about the authenticity of your calling card."
--Alex

l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 27, 2017

"This is an embassy. There's no KGB here."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 27, 2017

"Do you want to say that a little louder? I don't think the neighbors heard you."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 27, 2017

"People see what they want to see."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 27, 2017

"I don't think you have the faintest clue what to do with yourself."
--Mr. Charlie Boyce to his son Christopher

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l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 23, 2017

I found the comments from the others about Sean Penn to be spot-on. He brings a lot of things to this performance that make him very watchable. (Pay special attention to the many different facial expressions he adds to this role.) Timothy Hutton was quite good, too. In fact, it made me wonder why I hadn’t seen more of him in film. It isn’t because he hasn’t starred in any since "The Falcon and the Snowman"; I just haven’t seen them. Perhaps I can find other films with him in it at the Tacoma Public Library (TPL). Another actor worth mentioning is David Suchet, who is perhaps better known for playing Hercule Poirot in the Agatha Christie British television series by the same name. His performance is well worth watching.

Overall, I found the film to be quite good and can’t believe I’ve never watched it. To be quite honest, if it weren’t on the CIA Suggested Reading List, I might never have been intrigued enough to take the time to watch it, but I’m glad I did. Yeah, I cheated and watched the movie instead, but after seeing it, my interest in reading the book has been piqued, especially since parts of the film hint at background details but don’t spell them all out. BTW, you can find my abbreviated version of the reading list here:

https://tacoma.bibliocommons.com/list/share/604650727_lisainthelibrary/1025374588_cia_intelligence_literature_suggested_reading_list

With 31 items, it is one of the larger TPL readings lists of this type, but it contains just a mere fraction of what is on the full list (about a fifth, to be more precise). (I add the link to the full list in the description for my abbreviated reading list.)

As for the film, I’m not going to give a top-to-bottom review here. It’s been out since 1985, so I’m sure you could head on over to Amazon (or Rotten Tomatoes or the Internet Movie Database) and find a kazillion reviews already written about it. Okay, not a kazillion; you’ll only find 90 at Amazon. (BTW, Amazon customers give this film a 4.1 (out of 5 stars) and the book 4.5 (even more reason to check out the book, but the TPL doesn’t appear to carry it.) You can get it for as low as $2.29 (used) over at Amazon. So, this won’t be a full review, but I will comment on a few things that I don’t think will spoil the movie for you.

The film, which is based on some rather sobering real-life events, isn’t the doom and gloom movie you might think it would be. In fact, it is actually quite lighthearted throughout. For starters, the story takes place in the 70s and if you enjoy period pieces from that era, this film won’t disappoint. In fact, if some of the clothing choices in this don’t make you laugh out loud, I don’t know what would. In addition to the clothing choices, you’ll also find that the movie contains quite a few humorous lines. One of my favorites was: “I’m not stupid, Chris. I read books.” There were several others, but they would require too much background to get the full gist of and would lack the touch of the talented actors who delivered them. Just be aware that if you’re looking for something somber, this movie is sprinkled with these humorous lines throughout until … well … I don’t want to ruin the movie for you if you don’t already know how it ends, so I’ll just say that the movie isn’t always so funny. For example, there’s little humor when Timothy Hutton delivers the line: “I know a few things about predatory behavior.”

All in all, I thought this was a pretty good movie, but don’t take my word for it. Check it out and see for yourself.

m
Monolith
Aug 06, 2015

Man... was Penn nerdy in this thirty year old role... Quite the departure compared to stoner/surfer dude "Jeff Spicoli" three years prior in "Fast Times..."

m
MadisonParkMilo
Feb 01, 2014

While very young then, a movie that truly demonstrates how good Sean Penn can be in the right role.

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l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 27, 2017

LisaintheLibrary thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Summary

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l
LisaintheLibrary
Aug 27, 2017

One of the best I read for this movie was over at Amazon, titled, "Real Life becomes Politics, a book and a Slow Movie," by Karl Weaver. It starts off with:

The story is a true one from the 1970's, about two Southern California boys, Chris Boyce (Tim Hutton) and Daulton Lee (Sean Penn), who in childhood were altar boys in Catholic church. The story picks up as they are young adults, trying to find their own way in life career-wise.

You can link to the rest of it here:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R263Q1U5KYFQSU/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00000K0DR

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