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Spy Game (2001, Robert Redford, Brad Pitt)

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In Spy Game Robert Redford is Nathan Muir, a jaded CIA agent on the cusp of retirement who finds out his ex-partner Tim Bishop (Brad Pitt) is going to be executed by the Chinese government in 24 hours. Bishop, still idealistic, went freelance to go in and bring out a dissident but was caught. Now his only hope is Muir – if he can get to him in time…

Redford and Pitt are reunited for the first time since A River Runs Through It, with Redford almost reprising his role from Three Days of the Condor but with even more cynicism.

British director Scott (Top Gun, Man on Fire ) uses flashback to show how the two men became first teacher and pupil then friends, placing in context Muir’s implacable decision to rescue Bishop, from Cold War Berlin via Vietnam and on to Beirut.

Scott also resists the temptation to indulge in macho-explosions and shoot-outs, preferring instead to concentrate on the mind games Muir must play against the deadline but keeping the action moving with a fast story line and quick scenes that keep the viewer hooked until the last frame.

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production details
USA | 126 minutes | 2001

Director: Tony Scott
Writers: Michael Frost Breckner, David Arata

cast
Matthew Marsh as Dr. William Byars
Ken Leung as Li
Stephen Dillane as Charles Harker
Garrick Hagon as CIA Director Cy Wilson
Robert Redford as Nathan D. Muir
Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Gladys Jennip
Brad Pitt as Tom Bishop
Catherine McCormack as Elizabeth Hadley
Larry Bryggman as Troy Folger
Todd Boyce as Robert Aiken
Michael Paul Chan as Vincent Vy Ngo
Andrew Grainger as Andrew Unger
Benedict Wong as Tran
Charlotte Rampling as Anne Cathcart

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Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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