In 1962, America prepared to recover Gary Powers, the U2 spy-plane pilot captured by the Soviets. The plan was hand over their own incarcerated Russian spy Rudolf Abel, in a classic cold war prisoner exchange at dawn on the Glienecke bridge spanning East and West Berlin – the so-called “Bridge of Spies” – with snipers waiting on both sides ready to take their man out in case of last-second betrayal.
Spielberg’s movie shows that the build-up involved agonisingly tense, deniable negotiations in bad faith, with each side calculating and re-calculating, with every day that went past, how likely it was that their man had cracked under interrogation, given up secrets, and therefore become valueless as an asset. To their opponents’ rage the US was actually insisting on a two-for-one: they also wanted an American student named Frederic Pryor wrongfully imprisoned in East Berlin, a deal which would make them look they’d had the best of the bargain.
Steven Spielberg has dramatized a true-life cold war spy-swap drama, starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance.
So In Conclusion Bridge Of Spies is a great film but it isn’t the best film by the director, but that’s anyway hard to do.
Worth Seeing: Maybe