Bridge of Spies script
Synopsis: Bridge of Spies is a 2015 American historical drama-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay written by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen. The film stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda. Based on the 1960 U-2 incident during the Cold War, the film tells the story of lawyer James B. Donovan, who is entrusted with negotiating the release of Francis Gary Powers—a pilot whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union—in exchange for Rudolf Abel, a captive Soviet KGB spy held under the custody of the United States. The name of the film refers to the Glienicke Bridge, which connects Potsdam with Berlin, where the spy exchange took place.

TITLE OVER BLACK: 1957.

The height of the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet

Union fear each other’s nuclear capabilities - and

intentions. Both sides deploy spies - and hunt for them.

INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS

CLOSE ON AN ELDERLY MAN

Reflected in a grimy mirror. The mirror is propped up on a

chair next to an open window looking out from the fourth

floor onto a Brooklyn skyline.

Pull back to show the man sitting in a shabby

workshop/studio. He looks from the mirror down at a canvas

in front of him as he daubs paint onto a self-portrait.

The telephone rings.

The old man rests his brush on the easel and walks to a table

cluttered with papers and shortwave radios. He picks up the

phone and listens but doesn’t say anything.

FULTON STREET:

The old man, Rudolf Abel, emerges from the building, walks

along the street.

TITLE:
BROOKLYN

An Agent follows Abel.

SUBWAY TRAIN INTERIOR

The Agent watches Abel as the train stops at Broad Street.

The Agent, now joined by a second Agent, follows him at a

distance. Abel dabs at his nose with a handkerchief. The

agents lose him in the crush of commuters. They emerge from

the station and consult two other Agents. No sign of Abel.

First Agent heads back down the stair, smashing BANG right

into Abel, who’s coming up the stairs.

Abel looks up, surprised. Then mildly:

ABEL:

Excuse me.

The agent equally surprised watches as Abel makes his way

around him.

(CONTINUED)

12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT 2.

CONTINUED:

A distant siren fades up and crosses the cut to:

INT. CAR

The Agents drive past Abel, who is seated on a park bench

overlooking the East River, painting.

AGENT:

(to Driver)

Go ahead and park around the corner.

AT THE RIVERSIDE

Abel sets down his palette.

Close on his hand, adjusting his easel, then feeling under

the bench. His hand closes on something held by a magnet to

the bench’s steel frame below the wood seat-slats: it is a

nickel.

Back to Abel sitting. Picks up his palette...

MANHATTAN STREET

A seedy part of town. Abel walks toward a building, the

HOTEL LATHAM.

INSIDE THE ROOM:

As Abel lets himself in. A very modest room. He sets down

his portable easel and case. Sets his work-in-progress

canvass on a standing easel, drapes his jacket over a chair,

hangs his hat on the easel. He turns on a table fan.

He fishes the nickel from his pocket, retrieves a razor from

the bathroom and uses it to carefully to open it. It is

hollow.

Inside is a piece of paper, folded accordion-style into a

small square.

Abel unfolds it. Holds it up to a magnifier lamp. Written

on the paper, a sequence of numerals.

STREET OUTSIDE HOTEL

Two government cars skid to a stop and the Agents pour out.

HALLWAY:

The Agents run down the corridor.

12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT 3.

ABEL’S ROOM

Its door is being busted in.

The Agents swarm in. They have guns. They come up short.

The small room is empty. The easel with a work in progress

upon it stands before the window, which stands open, gentle

wind playing at the sheers.

Outside, a fire escape. The man seems to have left.

An Agent inspects a closed door. The bathroom --Rudolf

Abel steps out, in his briefs. Standing in the doorway,

cigarette in mouth, we see him as a frail, vulnerable old

man.

He freezes, not scared, just surprised. He looks at the men.

They look at him.

At last he speaks, with colorless, quasi-British accent.

ABEL:

Visitors.

A beat.

ABEL (CONT’D)

...Would you mind if I fetch my

teeth?

Two of the agents, Blasco and Gamber, look at each other,

confused. Abel gestures back towards the bathroom.

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Matt Charman

Matt Charman (born 5 June 1979) is a British screenwriter and playwright. more…

All Matt Charman scripts | Matt Charman Books

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"Bridge of Spies" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 20 Oct. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/bridge_of_spies_52>.

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