Steven Spielberg's BRIDGE OF SPIES
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
More people especially younger people need to see this film. It portrays a time before our day when something called “the Cold War” permeated not only international relations but how people went about their daily business under constant fear of a mushroom cloud.
That sounds extreme but the events portrayed in this exquisitely made film are true.
Yes, the barren look of East Berlin is given a washed out and frigid patina compared with the freshness and color of Brooklyn. But the viewer must remember: the Soviets did build a wall separating east from west. Soldiers did shoot and kill people trying to escape to the west.
If that isn’t enough to call down the wrath of the weather gods, I don’t don’t know what is.
The movie held my interest from beginning to end. Acting is superb, dialogue is snappy, the physical settings are remarkably real, and what few action sequences there are are exemplary.
What’s the theme? What Spielberg seems to be saying is that we must not let the very real fears and dangers of the time make us forget who we are and the freedoms we hold dear. In that sense Tom Hanks is the best possible choice to play the attorney called upon to first defend the Soviet spy in court, and then to negotiate the exchange of the imprisoned spy for Powers, U-2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union while photographing military installations from 70,000 feet. He makes his character’s sincerity seem honest and real.
I’m sure that many of the individual details are fancified in the interest of drama, but the key elements are there and the exchange was negotiated.
Looking back on those “bad old days” I can’t help but shake my head at the vast sums of money and brainpower we all devoted to the Cold War. And, the human cost continues.
- Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN
- Steven Spielberg’s CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND
- Steven Spielberg’s MINORITY REPORT
- Steven Spielberg’s AI: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
- Steven Spielberg’s MUNICH
- Steven Spielberg’s WAR OF THE WORLDS
- Peter W. Merlin’s UNLIMITED HORIZONS: DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE U-2
- Michael Harris’ ATOMIC TIMES
- Andrew Karam’s RIG SHIP FOR ULTRA QUIET
- Boris Chertok’s ROCKETS AND PEOPLE VOLUME 3: HOT DAYS OF THE COLD WAR
- David E. Hoffman’s THE DEAD HAND: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE COLD WAR ARMS RACE AND ITS DANGEROUS LEGACY
- Richard Rhodes’ DARK SUN: THE MAKING OF THE HYDROGEN BOMB
- Jim Baggott: THE FIRST WAR OF PHYSICS: THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE ATOMIC BOMB, 1939-1949
Review copyright (c) 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald