Spy Game

Spy Game (2001)

16 corrected entries

(3 votes)

Corrected entry: Muir arrives in his office at one point and his secretary has left a bottle of scotch and a glass with a note to enjoy his retirement. But Muir had already left the office for good earlier that day (around 3pm), and said goodbye to his secretary. She had no reason to think he would be back, and so there would be no reason to hold out on the gift. Had he not heard a news report from China on his way out, he never would have returned.

Correction: The note she left with the scotch is "good luck with retirement" - as in she knew he'd be back there at some point. It was her coy way of playing peek-a-boo with him for old times sake.

Corrected entry: In one scene Brad Pitt's character has a silver and black Leica camera around his neck. Then the camera changes to an all black Leica. Then the camera changes to an SLR camera. This all occurs in the course of one conversation with another character.

Correction: He has multiple cameras around his neck. You can see then in one of the first shots with him as a photographer when he is running through the battlefield.

tw_stuart

Corrected entry: At the end of the movie when Brad Pitt is being airlifted away his left eye is black. In the next scene it is the right one before changing back to the left one for the final shot.

Correction: I've just watched this scene and Brad's entire face is black and blue, there's no way to even see if he's got a black eye or if it changes sides.

tw_stuart

Corrected entry: Near the end of the movie when bishop is getting rescued and escorted into the helicopter; he looks at the other helicopter where he sees the girl. You can perfectly see that her hair is long, but when they show her again when she's in the chopper, you can see her is chopped off, leaving just a buzz cut, most likely because the guards cut it that way. You can see it again when her head is under a blanket.

Correction: It does look very like that but in fact her "long hair" is the blanket draped over her head.

tw_stuart

Corrected entry: Right after the Nebaa is demolished by the bomb, some people are tending to the wounded. One man is laid down on an improvised stretcher. He is missing his left arm. The problem is, the actor is missing his left arm: he was evidently born without it. The arm gets thinner towards the end and, aside from the fake blood, you can see no fake bones, ripped skin or ripped shirt around the end. The skin at the end of the arm is smooth. This man was evidently born without the arm.

Correction: Where's the mistake? There's a guy with one arm playing a guy with one arm, seems OK to me. If there's no blood then there's no indication that the missing arm is the injury - he might have other wounds we can't see.

tw_stuart

Corrected entry: When Bishop is seen walking away from the explosion at the hotel, you see a vertical cut on his face. When he meets Nathan at the airport, the cut is now horizontal.

MCKD

Correction: The cut was horizontal. What you saw that was vertical was the blood, not a cut. That is why in the airport scene the scar was horizontal.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Robert Redford calls his broker at the London Stock Exchange to have $282,000 transferred to a Caiman Island account, the time that's given on screen is 9.22 p.m. in Langley/Virginia. Knowing that EST is GMT -5 hours that would mean that the London stock exchange is open at 2.22 am, which is impossible.

Correction: We see him call a secretary who then transfers his call, but we don't know to where and there is never any indication that the London Stock Exchange is open, only that his broker is still available.

tw_stuart

Corrected entry: When the helicopters are landing at the prison you can see someone directing the landing who is on the ground but no U.S. forces were on the ground yet. He was directing the first helicopter on where to land.

MCKD

Correction: We don't know the details of the operation. There may have been advance troops. We know that there were additional people involved to cut the power so having someone to guide the helicopters is not impossible.

tw_stuart

Corrected entry: Near the end of the film, when the helicopter carrying Brad Pitt away from the prison lifts off, it is silhouetted against a lighted cloud of steam or smoke. If the whole city had its power shut off, what was lighting the cloud?

Correction: Earlier it was made clear that the power was cut for 30 mins. By the time we see the helicopter, the power has been restored.

tw_stuart

Corrected entry: Look at the buttons on Muir's safe. They're upside down - because the entire lock is upside down. Why? Presumably because it looked cooler. (00:13:11)

Correction: Unusual perhaps, but certainly not a film mistake.

tw_stuart

Corrected entry: During one scene 1975 flashes on the screen (indicating a flashback) and the song they are playing is Dire Straits "Brothers In Arms". This song did not appear until 1985.

Correction: It's not because the song didn't exist yet in 1985 that they can't use it in the movie, it's just supposed to help create the mood.

Corrected entry: In a scene, Catherine McCormack was distributing candy to kids as she got off her car. According to a friend who does extensive volunteer work in third world countries, field workers will never distribute food or anything to locals like that. The situation can easily go out of hand because you never know what these kids will do to get the candy/food.

Correction: Catherine McCormack was distributing 'Crayola' style crayons to the children, not candy.

Corrected entry: At the end of the movie as the rescue helicopters are returning the pilot of the helo containing Brad Pitt radios in with a callsign Blackhawk One. They are actually flying in a Bell 204. The other helicopters are also Bell 204s.

Correction: The radio callsign of a particular military unit, i.e. aircraft, tank, platoon, etc. is not based upon the kind of vehicle that is being referred to. These are assigned randomly or through some choice of the commander, depending upon the situation. So you can have any kind of helicopter referred to as Blackhawk One over the radio, or a tank, or even an infantry unit.

Corrected entry: Much of the movie is set on the day before Robert Redford is to retire from the CIA. As a security precaution, the CIA has restricted much of his access and made him turn in some of his badges. At one point in the movie, Redford asks to borrow a colleague (Andy Unger's) phone, claiming that his secure phone has been disconnected. While using the phone, he see's Unger's keycard on his desk and takes it. Later, Redford uses this keycard to access Unger's office when he isn't there. However, at the end of the day, Unger is unable to leave the building without swiping his keycard (because Redford stole it). Unger tells the guard that he must have left it in his office and he will go look for it. In a later scene, we see Unger rummaging through his desk looking for his keycard. If Unger doesn't have his keycard to leave the building, how did he get into his locked office?

Correction: A security guard could have let him in.

Corrected entry: Right after Nathan and Bishop are finished talking on the rooftop, Bishop is seen slamming down a chair next to the table. The camera angle changes to a wide view and the chair and table are gone.

MCKD

Correction: The table and chairs are seen fairly clearly in all shots.

Corrected entry: Brad Pitt is rescued by commandos dispatched by helicopter from Taiwan's Peng Hu islands, depicted as only 40 minutes away from Suzhou. In fact, Peng Hu is very far from Suzhou (probably out of helicopter range) and no US soldiers are based there.

Correction: There are two cities named Suzhou in China, there is Suzhou, Jiangsu, China and there is also Suzhou, Gansu, China. The city that is in the Jiangsu province is about 40 minutes from a ship that is just north of Peng Hu.

Suzhou, Jiangsu is about 800km from Peng Hu, a Black Hawk helicopter travels about 350km/hr so, if traveling from Peng Hu, it would be more than two hours. Taipei, northern part of Taiwan is 500km to Suzhou, Jiangsu, and it still takes about one and half hour to fly to Suzhou with BlackHawk's top speed. the ship is obviously not "just" north of Peng Hu.

Factual error: The "American Consulate in Hong Kong" is actually the HSBC building. The actual consulate building is nearby, but perhaps not so photogenic.

More mistakes in Spy Game

Tom Bishop: Happy?
Nathan Muir: Seventy-four casualties, an apartment block leveled, one dead terrorist? Yeah, happy.
Tom Bishop: We have some fucked up barometer for success, don't we?

More quotes from Spy Game

Question: Given that the whole break between Redford and Pitt is over Redford's willingness to sacrifice people [even Pitt's girlfriend is given to the Chinese] what explains Redford's sudden change of heart and willingness to risk all to save Pitt AND his girlfriend?

Answer: Muir has become frustrated with the CIA as a whole - now carrying out bugging ops on trade talks so the US can sell more "toaster ovens", as opposed to the 'righteous' work he's done all his career. This is compounded when he sees that the CIA are prepared to let a man (Bishop) be killed over it, which also cements his determination to stop it. Although he has underestimated Bishop's feelings and determination to rescue Hadley, that's not really the point. He sees that Bishop is doing something righteous, 'the right thing' so to speak, and sees rescuing Bishop and Hadley as a chance to a) do something worthwhile again before he retires, b) redeem himself for past sins (sacrificing people/Hadley), and c) poetically stick it to the CIA - using their own resources to carry out the rescue mission amidst the trivial 'work' they're doing now. Muir knows that when he retires he'll be broke, but he'll be able to live with himself - he did something that was morally the 'right thing', as opposed to being the cold calculating operator he's been all his career, with that conditioning being another reason he now resents the CIA (he doesn't like what he's become). He's kicked against the bureaucrats who are doing all the wrong work for the wrong reasons. Also, there's a parallel between Bishop's feelings for Hadley and his attempted rescue mission, and Muir's feelings for Bishop (he loves him like a son or a star student). Muir certainly sees Bishop as family, and you don't mess with an Amercan's family. Muir says as much in the film with the analogy about his uncle's plough horse. The student is now teaching the master - about doing things for the right reasons (love and loyalty as opposed to death and toasters).

Answer: Several reasons: Muir felt no loyalty to Elizabeth Hadley, but he did to Tom Bishop. Muir had faked a letter to make Bishop believe that Hadley had ended the relationship, so he was not supposed to know that she was in Chinese custody. Muir had underestimated Bishop's feelings for her, and his capacity to work out the deception and attempt to rescue her. Also, Muir believed that Hadley was a threat to Middle East ops, however as he was now retiring from the CIA he no longer had responsibility for this area.

Sierra1 Premium member

More questions & answers from Spy Game

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.