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Trivia / Bridge of Spies

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  • Actor Allusion:
    • One policeman taunts Donovan by saying "I was on the third wave of Omaha Beach". Steven Spielberg joked that Tom Hanks should have responded "I was on the first."
    • Tom Hanks had used the line "every man deserves a defence" in The Green Mile.
    • A dish of peas and carrots is visible in one shot of Jim Donovan eating dinner. "Like peas and carrots" was his Catchphrase in Forrest Gump.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Mark Rylance has a wife who is a musician, just like his character Rudolph.
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  • California Doubling: Largely averted. Though some of the East Berlin scenes were shot in Poland, most of the film was shot on location in New York City and Berlin. The climactic scene on the titular bridge was even filmed on the actual bridge where the real exchange took place.
  • Casting Gag: The band U2 take their name from the U-2 plane that is featured in this movie. Lead singer Bono's daughter Eve Hewson plays Carol Donovan in the film.
  • Dawson Casting: Tom Hanks was fifty-nine playing Jim Donovan in his forties.
  • Production Posse: Fourth collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks—after Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal. They had also both acted as producers of the Band of Brothers miniseries. In a subversion, this was the first Spielberg film since The Color Purple not to have John Williams do the score—due to health issues.
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  • Real-Life Relative: The real-life son of Francis Gary Powers has a cameo as a CIA agent involved in training the pilots.
  • Screwed by the Network: Disney barely promoted the film in the weeks up to its premiere, and it faced heavy competition with Goosebumps and The Martian. It ended up losing to both films and grossed only $15.4 million on its opening weekend domestically, while Goosebumps and The Martian grossed $23.5 million and $21.5 million, respectively. The film under-performed a previous DreamWorks/Fox co-production, Lincoln, and was a major vindication of DreamWorks' decision to transfer future distribution of their films to Universal the following year.
  • Throw It In!: The extras playing the photographers were originally told to put their used bulbs in their pockets. One of the extras was a historian and said that the photographers would have just thrown the used bulbs on the floor. Steven Spielberg was then inspired to shoot the low-angle shot of the principals walking through all the bulbs.
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  • What Could Have Been: Gregory Peck tried to get a movie made about this story in 1965, with himself as Donovan and Alec Guinness as Abel. Unfortunately, escalating Cold War tension as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis meant the story was considered to be politically volatile by the studios, and the movie was dropped.
  • Write What You Know: According to Spielberg, the scene where Donovan's son becomes a Crazy Survivalist is drawn directly from his own memories of growing up in the Cold War.

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