I watched Bridge of Spies last night and loved it. The film is based on the true story of a lawyer who found himself right in the middle of a Cold War negotiation. The film is full of suspense and excellent acting. I highly recommend this movie. It’s an excellent addition to my movie library. Bridge of Spies will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, February 2nd. Continue reading to learn five things about the drama.
Five Things About the Bridge of Spies Blu-ray
Bridge of Spies is based on a true story
The movie takes place in 1957 and is based on actual events. The main character is a lawyer by the name of James B. Donovan. Even though his specialty is insurance settlements, Donovan is recruited to be the lawyer of an accused Soviet spy. As some of you know, in the 50’s a cold war existed between the USA and Russia. They hated us and we hated them. Because of this, not only was the Russian spy hated, but Donovan was hated almost as much for representing him.
It’s actually two stories
Bridge of Spies is essentially two related stories. The first half of the movie centers around Donovan trying to convince the jury the innocence of an alleged Russian spy, Rudolf Abel. Every step of the way, Donovan is met with resistance. In everyone’s mind, except for Donovan, Abel is guilty. In the second half of the film, Donovan becomes a negotiator for a spy exchange between the Russian and the American governments. The Russians captured an American spy and want to exchange him for their spy. Because of the cold war, the Russian and the American governments can’t talk directly to each other. To make the negotiation even more complex, the East Germans have arrested an American student, Frederic Pryor. They want to exchange Pryor for the Russian spy. Donovan doesn’t want to choose between the two captured Americans. Instead, he insists on a two for one exchange.
Tom Hanks is excellent
Bridge of Spies stars Tom Hanks. He plays the part of James B. Donovan (the lawyer). As usual, he does a great job. Other cast members include Mark Rylance (Rudolf Abel), Domenick Lombardozzi (Agent Blasco), Victor Verhaeghe (Agent Gamber), Mark Fichera (FBI Agent), Brian Hutchison (FBI Agent), Joshua Harto (Bates), Henny Russell (receptionist), Rebekah Brockman (Alison (Donovan’s secretary), Alan Alda (Thomas Watters Jr.), John Rue (Lynn Goodnough), Billy Magnussen (Doug Forrester), Amy Ryan (Mary Donovan), Jillian Lebling (Peggy Donovan), and Noah Schnapp (Roger Donovan). Bridge of Spies was directed by Steven Spielberg.
Bridge of Spies is rated PG-13
The drama is rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language. There isn’t any sex or nudity, but there is some mild profanity.
The Blu-ray includes several bonus features
The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes the 141-minute movie in Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD formats. In addition, the film includes the following special features:
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 (Blu-ray and digital HD only)
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 (Blu-ray and digital HD only)
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 (Blu-ray and digital HD only)
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.
More info: Bridge of Spies Blu-ray
[Disclosure: I received a Blu-ray for review on my dad blog. As always, the opinions expressed are mine and I am not obligated to write a positive review.]