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The Tailor of Panama (2001)

Duration 1h 49m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A novel of the same name by John Le Carré
Writers/Script Andrew Davies, John Le Carré, John Boorman
Additional Info In 2001 Pierce Brosnan was still being James Bond, and Daniel Radcliffe was about to be Harry Potter
Director John Boorman
Starring Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis, Leanor Varela, Brendan Gleeson, Harold Pinter, Catherine McCormack, Daniel Radcliffe, David Hayman, John Fortune
Elevator Pitch In Panama, after the Panamanian assumption of control of the Panama Canal, a British spy is employed to investigate the security of the environment. In order to get a feel for things he establishes a friendship with a bespoke tailor, who pretends to have been based in Saville Row, but is actually an ex-con. The tailor has contacts in the city right up to the president, and in order to repay his debts begins to make up stories about an underground opposition, for which the spy pays him. Over time the fabrications begin to get away from them.
Content A whole lot of impressive local colour, with bands and carnival effects. If you’ve been to any South American city you will recognise it. The tailor and the spy make plans; the local gliteratee relax in the tailor’s shop; the British embassy and the ambassador are bamboozled. There is quite graphic sex, quite a bit of drinking and a bit of gunfire.
A View The plot is more straightforward than the usual John Le Carré work which is fine, and the denoument is surprising. It is really quite a gentle film compared with the Brosnan James Bond stuff about at the time, which might be the reason for its lack of success. Today you can watch it for nothing or very little and it is worth your time just for the atmosphere.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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