Friday, November 25, 2016

Bridge of Spies: An Impressive Work

I remember, vaguely, The Six Million Dollar Man, a TV series of late 70's and that is partially because kids at school imitated Lee Majors, the main actor who played Steve Austin a pilots who gets injured seriously and they have to replace a number of his members in the series. There was comics, action figures, you name it and these were shortly before the so-called Islamic Disgusting and Fake Revolution, which it was a plan basically to get rid of the Shah (king) as he had become disrespectful to West! That's another chapter that I'm not going to open here now.
Then I saw this Lee Majors guy in a movie named The True Story of U-2 Spy Incident. He plays Gary Powers whose U-2 plane is shot down over the USSR at the altitude of over 71,000 ft. and is captured by the Soviets. This story is briefly pointed in the movie JFK too. It is said in there that Lee Harvey Oswald, who is the main suspect in the assassination of John F. Kennedy might have given secret information to the Soviets to make them able to the unreachable U-2. I watched part of this movie in the old country and then tried to find it here but then I realized that it was a TV movie and is not available easily. I found a few copies of that on VHS down in the States through eBay and wanted to order one but was afraid to use my credit card due to some electronic fraud I had heard about.
Rudolf Abel, who his real name was a British one and he even was born in England on left was arrested in 1967 in New York on charges such as espionage. On right Mark Rylance a British actor whom I had not seen him in any other movies previously but performs very well and looks like real Abel too
Then I realized that Tom Hanks plays in this new movie of Steven Spielberg about exchanging a Soviet spy with Francis Gary Powers. I immediately remembered a scene of the TV Movie where Lee Majors is standing on the bridge awaiting exchange. So I said that is it. I don't have to get the old movie! But now after watching Bridge of Spies, although I like it, I still think I should get The True Story of U-2 Spy Incident. Bridge of Spies emphasis on an insurance lawyer who not only defends Rudolf Abel, the Soviet spy who is arrested in New York, but also is sent to East Berlin to organize a swap between the Soviets and Americans after Powers' plane is shot down.
Like most American movies, this one is not free from fiction and extra emphasis over American hero who here is not Powers, as I said and is that lawyer. He, although has not practiced criminal law, succeeds in defending Abel in a way that he is sentenced to prison instead of being electrocuted. It also indicated in the movie that Powers is basically was free and back to the US because the lawyer thought Abel could be used for an exchange in near future and surprisingly that happens!
The movie has little on Powers and that's why I still think I should get The True Story of U-2 Spy Incident. I guess I read a few days ago that Gary Jr., Powers' son has approved the movie but didn't read what he said in detail. I contacted him once a few years ago. He has established a museum called The Cold War Museum in Virginia.
This post would not be complete without at least a photo of Francis Gary Powers in his famous flight suit and helmet. I hope I can go to The Cold War Museum one day, meet with his son and have a little chat with him
Anyways regardless of the twists to the story, Bridge of Spies remain a good movie and worth spend time and money on. The British guy who plays Abel is good as well but he has a limited role. As I said the movie is stressed upon the lawyer and even at the end is said that Kennedy sends him to Cuba due to his ability in negotiation in order to discuss the Bay of Pig prisoners of war release and apparently he comes out of that as a winner too. I would give probably 3.5 out of 5 starts to the movie.
(Photo, top: Hanks as Donovan the lawyer who defended Abel is seen here in this scene talking to East German authorities and showing his passport to go to East Berlin and meet with the Soviets in the embassy. It is not said how Donovan learnt German that fast and there's no English sub-title in this scene and one other scene that he speaks German!)

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