The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)


[on the Russians] “They’re just as paranoid and dangerous as we are. I don’t know why I ever thought any differently.” – Christopher Boyce:

Number of Times Seen – Twice (12 Aug 2001 and 23 Jul 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A disgruntled Federal employee recruits his drug dealing best friend to hep him sell secrets to the Russians.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing years ago and was intrigued to check out again since I recalled absolutely nothing about it besides the two main stars.

Both Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn are great actors and this film allows us to see the budding talent but unfortunately their characters don’t feel developed enough for things to be more effective.

The overall premise of the movie is quite interesting but things aren’t presented or even paced well enough for it to work.

It’s actually intriguing seeing how these two men got over their head quite quickly when they both chose to start dealing in espionage despite not knowing anything about how that kind of system works.

They both believe that they are doing things for the right reasons and do things based on the promise of money and patriotic fulfillment, even if that isn’t necessary true.

This story moves much too slowly and even though this is based on truth, things get a bit too absurd along the way to truly believe that this is how things really played out.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that doesn’t work well enough because it isn’t paced or presented well enough. The way that they show how these two men got way over their heads is intriguing to watch since they both believed that they were doing things for the right reasons; patriotism and money.  Unfortunately, things move much too slowly and despite this being based on a true story, it gets a bit absurd along the way to be able to really believe everything really happened this way. Penn and Hutton are both great actors and their talent can be seen here even if their characters are not developed or presented well enough to help make the story much more effective.

MovieRob’s Favorite 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. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1985 | MovieRob

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