In February, 2001, Robert Hanssen, a senior agent with 25 years in the FBI, is arrested for spying. Jump back two months: Eric O'Neill, a computer specialist who wants to be made an agent is assigned to clerk for Hanssen and to write down everything Hanssen does. O'Neill's told it's an investigation of Hanssen's sexual habits. Within weeks, the crusty Hanssen, a devout Catholic, has warmed to O'Neill, who grows to respect Hanssen. O'Neill's wife resents Hanssen's intrusiveness; the personal and professional stakes get higher. How they catch Hanssen and why he spies become the film's story. Can O'Neill help catch red-handed "the worst spy in history" and hold onto his personal life? Written by
Robert Hanssen tells Eric O'Neill, "if I ever catch you in my office again, you're gonna be pissin' purple for a week." The real Robert Hanssen's undoing was a George S. Patton quote about "the purple-pissin' Japanese", a quote which Hanssen was fond of repeating. The FBI had paid a Russian agent $7 million for the KGB's file on the American mole - known to the KGB at the time only as Ramon Garcia. The file included a note of the mole about "purple-pissing Japanese" and Robert Hanssen became the prime suspect in the investigation. The FBI arrested Hanssen three months after receiving the file. The film concerns the last two months of the investigation. See more »
After the Hanssons take the O'Neills to Mass, Bonnie Hansson asks Juliana if "...she (Juliana) enjoyed the service?" As a strident Catholic, Bonnie would have said, "Did you enjoy the Mass?" Protestants have a "service;" Catholics have a "Mass." See more »
Sunday, the FBI successfully concluded an investigation to end a serious breach in the security of the United States. The arrest of Robert Hanssen, for espionage, should remind us all, every American should know, that our nation, our free society, is an international target, in a dangerous world.
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Great plot twists without giving away too much along the way
We had the opportunity to see the film and engage in a Q&A with writer/director Billy Ray.
The movie was so tightly written and portrayed events in such a way that in a very short amount of time you understood so much more than was covered by all of the books and newspaper accounts of the incident involving Robert Hanssen.
The acting was fantastic with Chris Cooper way out in front giving another amazing performance.
The Q&A with Billy Ray revealed a man who is so skilled at his craft and so methodical and strategic yet at the same time plagued by unnecessary insecurity.
This is a must see!
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