The Tailor of Panama

Synopsis: John LeCarre's spy thriller is brought to the big screen. A British spy is banished to Panama after having an affair with an ambassador's mistress. Once there he makes connection with a local tailor with a criminal past and connections to all of the top political and gangster figures in Panama. The tailor also has a wife, who works for the canal administrator, and a huge debt. The spy's mission is to learn what the President intends to do with the Panama Canal, but he's really in business for himself, blackmailing the tailor into spinning a fantastic tale about the canal being sold to China and former mercenaries ready to topple the current government.
Director(s): John Boorman
Production: Columbia Pictures
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
109 min



Best I could do, Andrew... the circumstances,

given your sins.

They were baying for blood.

I argued your case.

"For his long service,

his fine brain in the balance...

...against the gambling debts...

...the blown cover and the wives."

The wives.

So, a last chance.


Keep the head down?

Serve out my time?

Not quite, Andrew.

We do have interests:

The canal, vital artery.

There is work to be done.

But for God's sake,

be careful out there, man.

There's a nasty web

of money-laundering...

...drug trafficking and corruption.


There are only 200

resident Brits in Panama.

But you can surely ferret

out one or two...

... who can gain you access

to the corridors of power.

Look, look!

The Bridge of the Americas.

You know, ever since

the canal cut them in half...

... this bridge is now the only link...

... between North and South America.

Think about it!

The way I see it,

we all have a dream of ourselves...

...that we could be more than we are.

Well, Pendel and Braithwaite are here

to help you realize that dream... the Savile Row tradition.

Let's try this one now.

Oh, yeah, I guess this is kind of...

I thought you'd like that one, sir.

Mr. Connery's choice.

As soon as I saw you I thought,

"Who does he remind me of?"

And that's it. In the build too.

Golfer's shoulders.

How about that, Uncle Benny?

You've got the fluence, Harry.

I've always said it, and you have.

You're the outright best tailor

in the world. Bar none.

Steady on, Uncle Benny, steady on.

Harry, come on.

- I'm coming.

- All right.

All right, you get in first, Sarah.

Don't forget your belt.

- Sarah.

- I'm trying!


Okay. Bye-bye.

George, George, I saw you yesterday.

All right, here you go then.

How's your old lady?

Sarah, Sarah!

Hi, Bella.

Dad, give me a quarter.

Have you learnt your poem?

Tyger, tyger, burning bright

In the forest of the night

- See you, Dad.

- Shalom.


Look at your hair!

Oh, what immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful cemetery

No, "symmetry." Symmetry.

I still don't know what it means.

- Did you see the news last night?

- Yes, I did.

Your people want their canal back.

Not my people, Ernesto.

They're rabid, right-wing senators.

- Do you know what they are?

- Say it.


You see?

Turn around.

It's only a tad, Ramon.

If you want to look good in my suit,

lose weight and grow a foot.

Come to the shop.

We can ease it a little.


So, what are we gonna do

about the overdraft, Harry?

You tell me, Ramon.

You have to think

about selling the farm, Harry.

Sell it?

It's a gold mine, Ramon.

Angelo's turning it around. He's a

very good man, Ramon. Dedicated.

I hear you got a water problem.

Did have, Ramon, did have.

I put that right.

Now, it flows like...


Exactly, Ramon.

Maybe you shouldn't have

bought it, eh?

On your advice, Ramon. Fair's fair.

The bank wishes to see

a substantial reduction...

...on the outstanding sum

by the end of next month.


...we have to call it in.


The whole lot?

But of course the whole lot.

You are my friend. I hate

to do this, but my hands are tied.

What can I say?

What am I going to tell Louisa?

I bought it with her inheritance.

Well, you're the storyteller, Harry.

You're an angel.

Someone to see you.

Oh, yes? Who?

New customer, he say.

Hi. Name's Osnard.

I phoned.

Mr. Osnard. Harry Pendel.

Very happy to meet you, sir.

No offense, but I was hoping

to see Mr. Braithwaite.

No chance of that,

I'm sorry to say, sir.

My late partner has been dead

and gone these many years.

Though his exacting standards

are very much alive and well.

Glad to hear that.

He dressed my father, you know.

Back in his Savile Row days.

Well, I never! Now that's a first,

I don't mind admitting.

Father to son,

Savile Row to Panama City.

- Did you hear that?

- I thought you'd be surprised.

Surprised, sir, and delighted.

Marta, put Mr. Osnard down

as an old customer.

Arthur Braithwaite made

for his father.

Now, if you'd care

to come this way, Mr. Osnard.

What in hell happened to her?

In the bad old days, would that be?

Noriega's time?

Rough justice meted out?

- If you'd care to take a seat, sir.

- Thank you.

We call this The Club Room. Many of

our gentlemen spend time here... the lunch hour

and at the day's end.

And why not?

What did you have in mind,

sir, exactly?

I thought I'd start with a few

lounge suits. See how they go.

After that, well, the "full monty,"

as old Braithwaite used to say.

I see. Very good, sir.

Pity the expression's been hijacked.

Means quite the other thing now.

- So they tell me, sir.

- Bollock naked, in fact.

- Quite so, sir.

- Money's no problem.

Take a look at these, sir.

See what takes your fancy.

They're all the right weight

for this diabolical climate.

Seven ounces of nicely breathing,

finest worsted.

About all a man could

or should put up with.

How about this one?

Alpaca, am I right?

- Very good, sir.

- Perfect.

And exactly what I should've picked.

Given that money's no object?

- So, what's next?

- Ah! The sun!

Vital statistics.

Please step this way.


If I could ask you to slip off

your jacket. Thank you, sir.

You were Noriega's tailor,

weren't you, in his time?

I'm sorry, sir, is that a problem?

Not necessarily.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Andrew Davies

Andrew Wynford Davies (born 20 September 1936) is a Welsh writer of screenplays and novels, best known for House of Cards and A Very Peculiar Practice, and his adaptations of Vanity Fair, Pride and Prejudice, Middlemarch and War & Peace. He was made a BAFTA Fellow in 2002. more…

All Andrew Davies scripts | Andrew Davies Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Tailor of Panama" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 26 May 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!


    The Tailor of Panama



    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.