Runtime: 1 hour, 49 minutes
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Pierce Brosnan,Geoffrey Rush,Jamie Lee Curtis
Genres: Drama, Thriller
Studio: Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating: R (Restricted)
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British intelligence recruits a well-connected tailor to serve as their man in Panama: he finds hislife destroyed when he unwittingly endangers his friends, family and adopted country when his fabricated intelligence leads to a U.S. invasion.
The Best Film of 2001 yet…
Dumb. Stupid. Requires short attention span. I’m not talking about themovie, but rather the people who have critically lambasted this intelligent,stylish adaptation of John Le Carre’s novel. Kudos to John Boorman, PierceBronsnan, Geoffrey Rush and a stellar cast. If you looking for analternative to braindead blockbusters and regurgitated teenage comedies,then you’ve stumbled upon the right film. Imagine the complete antithesisof James Bond, a man who puts self before king and country, and loves themand leaves them with relish – enter Brosnan’s Andy Osnard. Sit back andwatch with sheer delight as this corrupt British spook pulls the stringsthat sets the U.S. on course for a second invasion of Panama. Misinformation is the game, and Osnard is planning to get rich on it. Hispawn is the tailor of the title, Harry Pendel (brilliantly played byGeoffrey Rush). The film moves a snappy pace, the dialogue is witty andoften times hilarious, and the cinematography, music and editing are allfirst rate. Who cares if two shots of a jet in the air scream bad CGI? That’s not what this film is about. We’re talking intelligent plotting,great writing, excellent acting, and another sexy, devilish turn for Brosnanthat is slightly reminiscent of his Thomas Crown character. Brosnan, in myopinion, always fares best when he’s playing against Bond type — and herehe excels. DO NOT listen to the naysayers on this one — unless GODZILLA orARMAGGEDON are your favorite movies. If you appreciate the dense, texturedfilms of the late 60’s-early 70’s, then this one is for you. They suredon’t make them like this anymore and you wouldn’t know that they had withregard to Tailor, since Columbia’s flying this one way under the radar. Asalways, they must be figuring that it’ll play to the over 35 demo, so whyeven bother promoting it. Sad times these are, folks, when a first rateentertainment like this is ignored at the box office, and ignored by its owndistributors. But there’s always another Scream, American Pie and Halloweenaround the corner, so viva la cinema. Highest rating.
A nice, tight, old-fashioned spy mystery without a lot of hoopla.
I found this film to be very enjoyable. I don’t require car chases,explosions, super-villains, or MTV editing to enjoy any film. The castingwas excellent. You can’t go wrong with author LeCarre or director Boorman(a nice combination). Pierce Brosnan is a pure rascal and Geoffrey Rush theperfect foil. Lots of perfect atmosphere and gorgeous cinematography. Kickback and take the ride. A real treat.
Packed with wry substance and vastly entertaining.
A very successful mix of social insight and deep comedy, this film has someof the best dialogue exchanges since Casablanca. Pierce Brosnan gets therole of his career as a wickedly hilarious lecher, and Geoffrey Rush is hisusual superb self as the Tailor who has "travelled down the path to Armani"and cares enough to try and keep others away from it.
Bringing Lecarre to the screen obviously is not easy, but they did quite ajob here. If you love densely plotted mystery, this is your ticket. Justbe aware that the density is not in the mechanics, but in thefathomlessnessof human character and the wit of John Lecarre.
best of the year
saw this last night, and what a treat. i felt a little sad liking it somuch. what appealed was the political honesty: the satirisation of corruptpolitics, diplomatic farce, emotive militarism (!). left-wing politicsreally. it was simply refreshing to see them in a reasonably mainstreamhollywood movie (no wonder so many of the people commenting disliked it -the wrong audience, misadvertised in the spirit of the rampantcommercialismit satirizes. it’ll find a following eventually). but as i said, i felt alittle sad, because there were days when radical politics lit up the canvasin films from zabriski point to the battle of algiers (albeit never inamerica).
the film has many strings; double entendres that are actually funny (‘it’stight, from lack of use’), that wonderful sanctimonious speech (‘theamerican flag is missing a star’), conceptual play (tale-or of panama,casablanca parody), harold pinter (who is a very nice man). brosnan is arevelation. there’s a real sense of the bored gentleman about town. andfrom the fizzpop of the script, one suspects harold pinter may have had aquick look through the script. although as has been said, le carre isexcellent at dialogue. the material is certainly strong, and for those whocomplain about a lack of pyrotechnics, it’s better than simply substitutingfresh ethnicities for russian communists. (air force one, the siege, andon, and on…)
this is an intelligent movie, unafraid to say a few truths – even if not asmany as the original novel. i read an interview with boorman recentlywherehe said he hoped to just make one more film, if he could get the money.he’sobviously ruffled a few feathers with this one. which is again, back tothesadness – imagine what he could have, should have (pop goes the budget)said. it would have been less polite than this delicious drama, which ihope everyone involved in is proud of.
‘it’s a dark, dirty job… but someone has to do it…’
I loved this movie
I expected a spy thriller. The last thing I expected was to laugh sohard,by the end of the movie my cheekbones were hurting.This movie starts out rather slowly, and is not for people with shortattention spans. The character development is key to fully enjoyingit.I had to use my imagination to connect certain scenes, but the missingfacts did not impact the story. For example, what method did PierceBrosnan’s character, Andy Osnard use to learn about the tailor’s surlypast?In this movie – technology doesn’t matter.What does matter is that the movie starts out so seriously and takes suchatwist. What do you expect from John le Carre but a spy thriller? OK, itisone…in a unique way. When an almost cartoon like airplane crossed thescreen, I thought maybe I was in for something different. Then, somewherealong the way, the story became so absurd, I couldn’t help but laugh. This,despite the portrayal of the harsh life in a post-Noriega city of cocaineand brothels.Pierce Brosnan is wonderful as the true anti-Bond spy. Once again,Geoffrey Rush should be nominated for an Oscar. And the movie is a greatcontender for Best Adapted Screenplay."The Tailor of Panama" managed to pull a great surprise on me. No flash.No gadgets. Just an interesting story line with some intelligent, subtle,often brilliant humor.
Fantastic Film, A MUST see for people that has travelled the waterways of Panama…
Great casting, fabulous overall movie… (Well my judgement is tinted bythefact that I am from Panama and it was cool to see a movie filmed there :)Iwould love to have seen more of the beaches in Panama which I think arethebest in the entire world. The San Blas Islands or Contadora Island. Itwasfunny how they show this incredible views of the city, but every streettheydid a close up off it was in slums of Panama. The scenes about the kidsasking for money and the beggars are exaggerations, kids don’t go aroundbegging for money in panama, yes you see beggars but like in any othercityof the world.
Political- thriller with brains and fun!
The movie takes you on a joy ride from beginning to end. The acting issuperband should not be missed! Geoffery Rush can transform himself into any rolefrom SHINE to QUILLS now to TAILOR OF PANAMA, and make it the best actingjob of his career. Pierce Brosnon and Jamie Lee Curtis also shine in thisfilm! The plot will keep you satisfied. For this is the first great film of2001! Grade: A
I was surprised by the great performances of both Geoffrey Rush andPierceBrosnan. Jaime Lee Curtis is extraordinary. If I had to sum up this movieinone word, it would be excellent!. It’s just a great movie about spieswherethe main spy is also the peasant. The photography is wonderful! For thosewho think it’s boring, I will recommend you "Armagedon orGodzilla".
Almost a Reamkeof Our Man in Havana but stands alone as a superb film
This was an excellent and most enjoyable movie, melodramatic satire onalmost everybody. I have never appreciated Pierce Brosnan more. He istrue to his own real cynical character as a hard bastard who looksafter number one , always. The very reason why Brosnan, in my obviouslyminority opinion, was an unsuitable actor for the part of James Bond.Brosnan is definitely not a gentleman, he is a refined cad-which is hischaracter in this movie- while the James Bond role calls for an oldfashioned almost pre-war gentleman, albeit a tough one. The plot of TheTailor of Panama reminds me of Our Man in Havana (1960), thatdelightful Alec Guinness movie set in Cuba. In that film, based on aGraham Greene story Guinness plays a genuine vacuum cleaner salesmanwho is pressured into a spy role by a British agent from Jamaica,another refined cad played by Noel Coward. Alec Guinness also indulgesin some highly imaginative nonsense in order to get some much neededmoney (he has a high spending daughter while Geoffrey Rush as thetailor has made some silly investments and owes money to a local bank).The vacuum cleaner salesman in Our Main in Havana has no past, or atleast none which is revealed to us, whereas the tailor’s murky past isonly hidden to his wife. In the Tailor of Panama, the tailor salesmanis akin to the vacuum cleaner and the British agent is Brosnan. In bothstories, each which can stand alone as a superb, work, the plot ishelped along by people believing in what they want to believe. Thus,the plot develops very nicely. It’s a good job the director of TheTailor of Panama didn’t adopt the alternative ending, a shown in theDVD’s bonus material. The ending presented in this wonderful movie isperfect. As one who has travelled extensively on business in LatinAmerica the scenes and characters are very familiar.
JOHN LE CARRE AT HIS FINEST
THE TAILOR OF PANAMA is a wonderful film. I saw it at a drive-in theatre inthe Niagara Region of Ontario. John Boorman who directed EXCALIBER has hishand in THE TAILOR OF PANAMA. A British Spy played by Pierce Brosnan isshuffled to Panama to prevent a scandal in Europe.There Brosnans characterrecruits the local tailor as an informant played by Geoffrey Rush. Thetailors wife played by Jamie Lee Curtis works for the Panamanian Presidentand the key characters in the story come up with an impending coup tale ofmercenaries willing to form a government that will work more closely withAMERICA and GREAT BRITAIN. While working as an informant for the CIA Ireported talk of a coup in Canada to the CIA. I don’t believe in coups andsupport the Paul Martin Liberal Government. Thanks to the North AmericanFree Trade Agreement Canada, AMERICA and Mexico are pretty close already. Igave THE TAILOR OF PANAMA a 10 out of 10.