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Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story (2002)

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True story about the cat and mouse game between the FBI trying to find a Soviet mole in their ranks and Robert Hanssen, one of the top FBI agents and said mole.

Director:

Lawrence Schiller

Writer:

Norman Mailer
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Hurt ... Robert P. Hanssen
Mary-Louise Parker ... Bonnie Hanssen
David Strathairn ... Jack Hoschouer
Ron Silver ... Mike Fine
Hilit Pace Hilit Pace ... Priscilla Galey
Alexander Kalugin Alexander Kalugin ... Oleg Kalugin
Lev Prygunov ... Leonid Vladimirovich Shebarshin
Scott Gibson ... Richard Timber
Cara Pifko ... Jane Hanssen
Wayne Knight ... Walter Ballou
Peter Boyle ... Howard Hanssen
Dmitry Chepovetsky ... Fatelov (as Dmitri Chepovetsky)
Lubomir Mykytiuk ... Degtyar
Barry Flatman ... Leroy Wauck
Nola Augustson ... Frances Wauck
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Storyline

True story about the cat and mouse game between the FBI trying to find a Soviet mole in their ranks and Robert Hanssen, one of the top FBI agents and said mole.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the shocking true story of the FBI agent who became the Soviet Union's most trusted spy See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kettős ügynök See more »

Filming Locations:

Hawaii, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Robert Hanssen was allowed to watch this film by his jailers, but he was so angered by it that he turned it off. See more »

Goofs

Hanssen fires seven shots from a revolver at the firing range. See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD version is cropped to 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and cut to 123 minutes running time. See more »

Connections

Version of Breach (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

American Television at its best- but not perfect
6 June 2008 | by Afzal-s2007See all my reviews

There really is no point in arguing over what drove Hanssen(although it is interesting to note the strong, equivocal feelings he seems to arouse). Hanssen will always be a deeply controversial and contradictory character.

What should be celebrated about Masterspy is the fact that the filmmakers didn't take the easy option and try to simplify Hanssen in order to please nonplussed viewers. Indeed, in an interview Mailer, who wrote Masterspy, said he found Hanssen the most fascinating living subject he has ever studied, and this shows in his careful, even a little obsessive screenplay. And Schiller's subdued, unfussy direction only highlights his own fascination with Hanssen in the form of his leading man, William Hurt. And Hurt really delivers as his performance drives the film- I can't think of another actor, let alone an American, who would dare portray Mailer's strange Hannsen and grasp his confused, contradictory but insatiable needs. In his endeavour, Hurt is strongly supported by inspired company who maximise their own well-written roles, Boyle's seedy, sadistic father Howard, Mary-Louise Parker's loving wife Bonnie, Ron Silver's sympathetic boss Mike, and Sthraitern's strange best friend Jack (though even he comes across as pretty normal alongside Hanssen!).

Television is increasingly becoming the only place for focused, thoughtful studies of complex characters in adult situations. And Masterspy is Television at its best. Still, it is not perfect. Mailer's old-fashioned view of women does affect the film slightly, especially in the case of a one-dimensional harridan female FBI intern, and Louise-Parker's Bonnie cries out for more screen time. Perhaps this is part of a more general fault, which is that the film needed to be longer (it seems too long for a TV Movie and too short for a Mini Series, and as far as I can understand has been billed as both). More detail on Hannsen's youth would have been desirable (perhaps a young actor to fill in for the Middle Aged Hurt?) and Hannsen's bizarre relationship with his best friend Jack needed more screen time.


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