6.8/10
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The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)

The true story of a disillusioned military contractor employee and his drug pusher childhood friend who became walk-in spies for the Soviet Union.

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writers:

Robert Lindsey (book), Steven Zaillian

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Hutton ... Christopher Boyce
Sean Penn ... Daulton Lee
Pat Hingle ... Mr. Charlie Boyce
Joyce Van Patten ... Mrs. Boyce
Rob Reed Rob Reed ... Boyce Child
Rob Newell Rob Newell ... Boyce Child
Karen West Karen West ... Boyce Child
Art Camacho ... Boyce Child (as Arturo Comacho)
Annie Kozuch ... Boyce Child
Richard Dysart ... Dr. Lee
Priscilla Pointer ... Mrs. Lee
Chris Makepeace ... David Lee
Dorian Harewood ... Gene
Mady Kaplan ... Laurie
Macon McCalman ... Larry Rogers
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Storyline

The true story of Christopher Boyce, a young All-American man whose job as a guard for sensitive documents shatters his faith in his country and leads him to a sometimes comic, sometimes chilling sideline as a spy for the Soviets, aided by his scruffy buddy, Daulton; it can't last, though, and the consequences are tremendous for Boyce and his family. Written by Dan Hartung <dhartung@mcs.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They came from the best of families. And they committed the worst of crimes. [Australia Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Falcon & the Snowman See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,358,846, 27 January 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$17,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1986, this movie became associated with one of the most famous hacking incidents in television history. On the night of April 27, 1986 at about 12:30am, a Florida satellite TV dealer named John MacDougall was working late at Central Florida Teleport which up-links pay cable services to satellites. At the time, he was up-linking Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) but before he left, he pointed the dish directly upwards toward the location of HBO's Galaxy 1 satellite and for four and a half minutes, East Coast subscribers who had been watching The Falcon and the Snowman saw a message on a colored test pattern which read: GOODEVENINGHBO FROM CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT $12.95/MONTH? NO WAY! [SHOWTIME/MOVIECHANNEL BEWARE!]. MacDougall had performed the stunt as a protest of satellite subscribers being forced to pay higher fees than regular cable subscribers. He turned himself in, was charged a $5,000 fine and placed on one year probation. See more »

Goofs

The buttons of a cipher lock pressed by Boyce make DTMF (telephone touch-tone) sounds, but in reality they only click when pressed. See more »

Quotes

Daulton Lee: Let me ask you now. These, these clothing. Would this be considered formal clothing for your country? Is this the average garb?
Nigerian diplomat: It's, er, garbage.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: The Falcon and the D'Ohman (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Pick Up the Pieces
Written by Roger Ball (as Average White Band), Malcolm Duncan (as Average White Band), Alan Gorrie (as Average White Band), Onnie McIntyre (as Average White Band), Hamish Stuart (as Average White Band), Robbie McIntosh (as Average White Band)
performed by Average White Band
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The secret lives of the former altar boys
25 October 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

John Schelesinger's career as a film director was extraordinary. We had watched this film when it first came out, but wanted to see it again when it showed on cable recently. The film has a faded look, as one watches it today, but still, it is interesting because of the intense performances of the two principals.

If you haven't seen it, please don't read any further.

Chris and Daulton were two childhood friends that came from upper middle class backgrounds. Chris went to enter a seminary to be a priest, but gives up. Daulton became a small time drug user and trafficker. The two lives seem to run parallel as the pair become involved in an illegal activity that will prove their short sightedness. In fact, it shows how both young men miscalculate in their attempt to fool the CIA and the Soviet Union. These two, in a way, were so naive in thinking they could pull something that bigger, and better equipped people couldn't even imagine could be done.

Chris' motivation is legitimate, as he feels outraged in discovering the underhanded role of the agency for which he works in dealing with other nations, in this case Australia, something he finds by sheer coincidence. When he involves Daulton, we know the whole thing is doomed because no one into drugs, as he is, will ever amount to anything. In fact, Chris and Daulton had no conception of the scope of what they are trying to do, or its consequences.

Timothy Hutton was at this period of his career, an actor that was going places. He had proved he had talent with his work in other films, so it was a natural choice for Mr. Schlesinger to select him, a choice that pays off well. Sean Penn, also was a young actor who showed an intensity, like one hadn't seen before. In fact, at times, Mr. Penn, reminded us of a young Robert Mitchum in the making. Both actors' contribution to the film is incredible. One can't think who could have played this duo but them.

"The Falcon and the Snowman", while not up to the par with other great John Schlesinger's movies, is an interesting look to our not too distant past.


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