The cold war is over. I for one am very glad of that. I don’t really have a desire to try duck and cover drills. Or get blown up in a nuclear explosion. You know, those things are pesky. Nowadays it’s easy to forget how perilously close we were to the brink. Back then there were times when we were one bad communique away from global destruction. It is within this era of paranoia and fear that the story of Bridge of Spies is told. Bridge of Spies is not your “James Bond” type spy thriller. There are no explosions. Okay, except for when the plane gets shot down, there are no explosions. No gun fights, or daredevil care chases or bikini clad beach bunnies. What you do get is an intensely absorbing cat and mouse spy game.
Tom Hanks stars as an insurance lawyer stuck with the unenviable job of defending a Russian spy apprehended in New York. He loses. As everyone kind of knew he would, but he manages to keep his client out of the electric chair. This is a good thing when it comes time to arrange an exchange for a U-2 (the plane, not the band) pilot shot down over the Soviet Union. He arrives in Berlin, as the Berlin Wall is being built, and is confronted with negotiating for two American prisoners not just one. Since nothing is ever straightforward in the spy world, he must figure out what is actually motivating the Russians and the East Germans (who each hold a different American).
Bridge of Spies was a captivating movie. The hubby was sitting on the edge of seat his seat (literally) while we watched it. That my friends didn’t even happen when we went to see Star Wars.
Bridge of Spies is now available for purchase on Blu-ray/DVD at a retailer near you. Head to Amazon to pick up a copy of the film from the comfort of your home!
Steven Spielberg’s Critically Acclaimed Spy Thriller Starring Tom Hanks
Now Available on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & Digital HD
SYNOPSIS: A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, “Bridge of Spies” tells the story of James Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on a near impossible mission to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. High stakes and suspense power a story inspired by true events that capture the essence of a man who risked everything and vividly brings his personal journey to life.
CAST: Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks, Philadelphia and Forrest Gump) as James Donovan, Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall, The Other Boleyn Girl) as Rudolf Abel, Amy Ryan (Birdman, Goosebumps) as Mary Donovan, Sebastian Koch (TV’s “Homeland,” The Danish Girl) as Wolfgang Vogel, Alan Alda as Thomas Watters (The Aviator, Crimes and Misdemeanors), Austin Stowell (Whiplash, TNT’s “Public Morals”), Mikhail Gorevoy (Die Another Day, BBC’s “Space Race”) as Ivan Schischkin and Will Rogers (A Good Marriage, The Bay) as Frederic Pryor.
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg (Academy Award© winner for Best Director on Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List)
PRODUCERS: Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt (Into The Woods) & Kristie Macosko Krieger (Lincoln)
WRITERS: Matt Charman (Suite Francaise), Ethan Coen & Joel Coen (Academy Award© winners for No Country for Old Men and Fargo)
RELEASE DATE: February 2, 2016
PRODUCTS: Digital HD/SD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand
A CASE OF THE COLD WAR: BRIDGE OF SPIES – The story of James Donovan, Francis Gary Powers and Rudolf Abel encapsulates the Cold War era—a tense political climate shrouded in propaganda, espionage and the threat of nuclear war. This piece explores the characters and the real-life people they’re based on, ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks share personal stories of the Cold War, describing how experiences from their youth were part of the attraction to the script, how this influenced the way they approached the film and why the history behind Bride Of Spies resonates across generations and is relevant in today’s political climate.
U-2 SPY PLANE: BEALE AIR FORCE BASE – Showcases spectacular footage shot at the Beale Air Force Base of the U-2 plane and the scene where Powers and other pilots are instructed about their spying mission, including a cameo appearance in the film by Francis Gary Powers son, Gary Powers Jr. and discussion with the Air Force liaison about the significance of the scene and why they got behind the film
SPY SWAP: LOOKING BACK ON THE FINAL ACT – Steven Spielberg and his team stage the pivotal scene of the film at Glienicke Bridge, the very same location where the historic exchange of Soviet spy Rudolf Abel and U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers took place. Gary Powers Jr. shares his memories of his father’s experience with voiceover recordings from Francis Gary Powers, as filmmakers and the cast recreate a page of Cold War history while filming in the presence of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.
BERLIN 1961: RECREATING THE DIVIDE – A mix of behind-the-scenes footage with iconic archival imagery transports viewers to another place and time as the filmmakers construct the Berlin Wall, envision what it was like to cross through Checkpoint Charlie, and recreate the divide. On set in Berlin just days after the 25th anniversary celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a historian who lived through the experience describes what being there means to her. In Poland, where the Wall was recreated for the film, tanks, hundreds of extras and powerful sequences make the setting feel epic and surreal.
* Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer
FEATURE RUN TIME: Approximately 141 min.
RATING: PG-13 in U.S.
ASPECT RATIO: Blu-ray Feature Film = 1080p High Definition / 2.40:1
DVD Feature Film = 2.40:1
AUDIO: Blu-ray = 7.1 DTS
DVD = 5.1 Dolby
LANGUAGES: English, French & Spanish
SUBTITLES: English SDH, French & Spanish
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of Bridge of Spies was provided to facilitate this review. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own. Promotional pictures and video clips courtesy of Walt Disney Studios. Please note that this post contains an affiliate link.