The Tailor of Panama

March 30th, 2001


The Tailor of Panama

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Still of Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush in The Tailor of PanamaStill of Pierce Brosnan and Jamie Lee Curtis in The Tailor of PanamaLouisa Pendel (Jamie Lee Curtis) harbors suspicions about smooth British spy Andrew Osnard (Pierce Brosnan)The Tailor of PanamaCharming but ruthless British spy Osnard (Pierce Brosnan) attempts to seduce Louisa Pendel (Jamie Lee Curtis), the wife of the Cockney ex-con turned tailor he is hoping to recruitDirector John Boorman

A tailor living in Panama reluctantly becomes a spy for a British agent.

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 6.1/10 (16,046 voted)

Critic's Score: 66/100

Director: John Boorman

Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis

John LeCarre's spy thriller is brought to the big screen. A British spy is banished to Panama after having an affair with an ambassador's mistress. Once there he makes connection with a local tailor with a nefarious past and connections to all of the top political and gangster figures in Panama. The tailor also has a wife, who works for the Panamanian president and a huge debt. The mission is to learn what the President intends to do with the Panama Canal. But what the two do is concoct a tremendous fictional tale about former mercenaries who are ready to topple the current government and are willing to work with Britain and the US to do so.

Writers: John le Carré, Andrew Davies

Pierce Brosnan - Andrew 'Andy' Osnard
Geoffrey Rush - Harold 'Harry' Pendel
Jamie Lee Curtis - Louisa Pendel
Leonor Varela - Marta
Brendan Gleeson - Michelangelo 'Mickie' Abraxas
Harold Pinter - Uncle Benny
Catherine McCormack - Francesca Deane
Daniel Radcliffe - Mark Pendel
Lola Boorman - Sarah Pendel
David Hayman - Luxmore
Mark Margolis - Rafi Domingo
Martin Ferrero - Teddy, the Reporter
John Fortune - Maltby
Martin Savage - Stormont
Edgardo Molino - Juan-David

Taglines: In a place this treacherous, what a good spy needs is a spy of his own.

Release Date: 30 March 2001

Filming Locations: Ardmore Studios, Herbert Road, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland

Box Office Details

Budget: $18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $1,837,068 (USA) (1 April 2001) (199 Screens)

Gross: $28,008,462 (Worldwide) (3 July 2004)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The word "fuck" is used 28 times in the film

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Harry the tailor mispronounces a common term of his trade, "worsted". He pronounces it phonetically, but at least in British English it is correctly pronounced "woosted" with the "oo" as in "good".

[first lines]
MI.6 Handler: Panama.
Andrew 'Andy' Osnard: Panama?
MI.6 Handler: Best I could do Andrew. Under the circumstances, given your sins. They were baying for blood.

User Review

Irony for the wicked

Rating: 9/10

If you understand irony, this film should be a real riotous laugh straight through. It is possibly one of the most brilliant movies so far this millennium, outright disrespectful of the "spy" theme: Brosnan's degenerated, decadent b*****d spy Osnard is just the way one would picture James Bond in real life, had the latter not been so awfully loyal. Actually, Osnard is James Bond minus loyalty and with his self-confidence, decadence and sexism turned up a couple of notches. A brilliant character, brilliantly acted. Another fantastic actor is the amazing Geoffrey Rush in the role as the Tailor of Panama, Harry Pendel.

The story is absolutely fascinating, one of the most clever and witty stories to emerge in a long while - the Tailor of Panama reluctantly becomes a spy and conjures up non-existent government plots to sell the Panama Canal to the Chinese, which makes the English and the Americans (portrayed as a bunch of idiots with delusions of grandeur and as militaristic blow-hards with victory as the only goal) react aggressively.

It is important that one understands that this film is serious in one respect only: its comedy. Don't see this expecting to see a thrilling spy-movie. It isn't, though I find the scope of the film thrilling. It's more of a comedy, and if you can't see that when the American general with tears in his eyes blurts: "There is a star missing from the American flag!", then you're not really equipped for this kind of film. The reason I'm writing this is that some reviewers have found the movie to be silly... which is just what one would think if one didn't get it.

Brilliant. Just brilliant.


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