The Tailor of Panama (2001)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  4 May 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 22,989 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 211 user | 104 critic | 31 from

A tailor living in Panama reluctantly becomes a spy for a British agent.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harold Pinter ...
Uncle Benny
Francesca Deane
Lola Boorman ...
Sarah Pendel
Rafi Domingo
Teddy, the Reporter
Martin Savage ...
Edgardo Molino ...


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 nefarious past and connections to all of the top political and gangster figures in Panama. The tailor also has a wife, who works for the Panamanian president and a huge debt. The mission is to learn what the President intends to do with the Panama Canal. But what the two do is concoct a tremendous fictional tale about former mercenaries who are ready to topple the current government and are willing to work with Britain and the US to do so. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

panama | spy | tailor | president | canal | See All (126) »


In a place this treacherous, what a good spy needs is a spy of his own.


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

4 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El sastre de Panamá  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,837,068 (USA) (30 March 2001)


$13,491,653 (USA) (6 July 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie was made and first released about five years after its source novel of the same name by John le Carré was first published in 1996. See more »


When Andy is dancing with Francesca for the first time at the outdoor bar/restaurant, her sunglasses at one point are almost completely falling off the back of her head; when the shot moves to close up, they are back on the top of her head. See more »


[first lines]
MI.6 Handler: Panama.
Andrew 'Andy' Osnard: Panama?
MI.6 Handler: Best I could do Andrew. Under the circumstances, given your sins. They were baying for blood.
See more »


References Frankenstein (1931) See more »


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User Reviews

Excellent satire of the intelligence business, told with a straight face
21 October 2002 | by See all my reviews

It's too bad about the low IMDB rating for this movie. It is a deft blend of James Bond, Casablanca and Dr Strangelove which directs its often vicious tongue-in-cheek barbs at both the intelligence industry and the spy films which glorify it. While it can be enjoyed "straight", that is as a story in its own right, I think those who miss its satirical structure (the film doesn't directly let the audience in on the joke - it must be inferred), miss half the fun.

58 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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