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The Tailor of Panama
Directed by John Boorman
Produced by John Boorman
John le Carré
Kevan Barker
Written by John le Carré
Andrew Davies
John Boorman
Starring Pierce Brosnan
Geoffrey Rush
Jamie Lee Curtis
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) Berlin International Film Festival
February 11, 2001
United States
March 30, 2001
Running time 109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $21 million

The Tailor of Panama is a 2001 American film based on the 1996 spy novel of the same name by John le Carré, which was inspired by Graham Greene's Our Man in Havana. It was produced and directed by John Boorman from a screenplay by Boorman, Andrew Davies and John le Carré himself.

Starring Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis with Brendan Gleeson, Daniel Radcliffe (in his film debut), David Hayman, Lewis Daly, John Fortune, Catherine McCormack and Harold Pinter, the film was shot at the Ardmore Studios, County Wicklow, Ireland and on location in Panama City.



Andy Osnard (Pierce Brosnan) is an MI6 spy exiled to Panama after having an affair with an ambassador’s mistress. He trusts that he can uncover something big that will get him back into London’s good graces. Believing Panama to still be corrupt after General Noriega’s reign, and as the Americans have now given the Panama Canal back to Panama, Osnard concludes that if he can find out where the true balance of power surrounding the canal is, London will want him back.

His informant is a tailor, Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush), who has a few secrets of his own. Harry's wife, Louisa (Jamie Lee Curtis) is the assistant to the canal's director. Harry is in need of money and doesn’t have the business sense to ask his customers for the money to pay for their suits. Osnard knows that Harry has been lying about his background. He persuades the tailor to spy on his own wife to find out what the President plans on doing with the canal. Pendel agrees and begins spinning stories to keep the money from Osnard flowing.

Cast and characters

Differences from the novel

The film digresses from the novel in a number of ways, the most significant of which is the status of the Panama Canal. The novel is set in the mid-1990s, prior to the U.S. handing over sovereignty of the canal to Panama. The film is set after this event. A further difference concerns the protagonist's character: the Osnard of the film is a failed foreign service officer exiled to Latin America, where he is unable to embarrass Britain. The Osnard of the book, however, although still an exile, hopes for a "big break" that will pardon him from previous misdemeanors and thus earn him a better posting. Unlike the book, the film ends with the United States ceasing its attacks.

External links



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