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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Cold War Classic Revisited

Last night I popped in The Falcon and the Snowman, staring Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn. It is the true story of Christopher Boyce (Hutton) and Dulton Lee, (Penn) two traitors that shopped top-secret info to the Soviets in the 70’s.

Boyce was an ideological drop-out from Seminary, who through the influence of his father, was given a job at TRW (they made satellites for the CIA and NSA) and was eventually promoted and given a top-secret security clearance and access to the “Black Vault” communications room.

Lee was Boyce’s best friend, a strung-out drug smuggler, and the black sheep of a wealthy family. To make a medium-length story short, Boyce didn’t like what he was reading, the security was lax at TRW, Boyce and Lee both wanted to make money, so they decided to sell ciphers, messages, and information on U.S. spy satellites to the Soviets. Lee was the courier that negotiated the payments with the Russians and transferred messages between Boyce and the KGB. Dulton the drug addict mucked everything up and sold out Boyce when he was arrested in Mexico on false murder charges, and carrying microfilm with photos of top-secret TRW documents. They were both convicted of espionage and given lengthy sentences.

The first few times I watched this movie over the years I thought, “Damn, this is Sean Penn at his best,” and I was right. If you watch any movie he is in, you will see no more an authentic performance from Penn than in Falcon; and it hit me last night why he was so good in this movie.

He didn’t have to act.

Penn was just being himself: An unpredictable, strung-out traitor that would sell out his country for a few bucks and a couple more lines of blow. His natural performance was reminiscent of Snoop Dog in Training Day.

Oh, by the way, Sean’s father, Leo Penn, was a Communist and an ardent supporter of Joe Stalin and the Soviet Union. I wonder what ol’ Sean was taught on his daddy’s lap?

Normally the story would end here, but it doesn’t. According to The Guardian, Sean Penn hired Dulton Lee as his personal assistant after he was released from prison. Birds of a feather...



Anonymous Jim said...

Nice Music by Pat Metheny in that flick.

5/10/2007 6:17 PM  
Blogger Venjanz said...

K.C. man hehe. Well, Lee's Summit's close enough.

5/10/2007 10:21 PM  

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