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Bridge of Spies Movie Quotes

Updated November 6, 2017 258 votes 100 voters 12.1k views12 items

Bridge of Spies movie quotes follow the true story of one insurance lawyer tasked with defending and later negotiating the swap of a Soviet spy during the Cold War. The historical drama was written by Matt Charman and Ethan and Joel Coen and directed by Steven Spielberg. In the fourth film collaboration between Spielberg and star actor Tom Hanks, Bridge of Spies opened in theaters on October 16, 2015.

In Bridge of Spies, insurance lawyer James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is approached by the Bar Association and tasked with defending Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), who has been accused of being a Soviet spy in 1957. The goal is to demonstrate that Abel is getting fair representation in American courts while the CIA tries to extract information from Abel.

Meanwhile, a plane goes down and American spy Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) is captured by the Soviets. In an unexpected turn of events, the Soviets reach out to James to negotiate a secret spy swap between the two unfriendly countries. While this is far from mediating insurance settlements, James knows just how much is riding on this exchange and agrees to head to East Berlin where he must backchannel towards a solution for all.

Also starring Amy Ryan, Alan Alda and Jesse Plemons, Bridge of Spies joined theaters already showing other great films including Goosebumps, The Martian, The Walk, and The Intern.
  • 1

    We Call It the Constitution

    Video: YouTube

    Agent Hoffman: We need to know. Don't go boy scout on me. We don't have a rulebook here.
    James Donovan: You're Agent Hoffman, yeah?
    Agent Hoffman: Yeah
    James Donovan: German extraction?
    Agent Hoffman: Yeah, so?
    James Donovan: My name's Donovan, Irish, both sides, mother and father. I'm Irish, you're German, but what makes us both Americans? Just one thing, one, one, one, the rule book. We call it the Constitution and we agree to the rules and that's what makes us Americans and it's all that makes us Americans so don't tell me there's no rule book and don't nod at me like that, you son of a bitch.

    When confronted by a CIA agent and asked to share confidential information told to him by Rudolf Abel, James Donovan does not bite. Agent Hoffman is asking him to violate the US Constitution, something James is not willing to do.
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  • 2

    Do You Ever Worry?

    Video: YouTube

    Rudolf Abel: How did we do?
    James Donovan: In there? Uh, not too good. Apparently you're not an American citizen.
    Rudolf Abel: That's true.
    James Donovan: And according to your boss, you're not a Soviet citizen either.
    Rudolf Abel: Well, the boss isn't always right but he's always the boss.
    James Donovan: Do you never worry?
    Rudolf Abel: Would it help?

    After a hearing, James and Rudolf discuss how they performed in court. James finds Rudolf's lack of emotion curious while Rudolf does not see it as necessary. Interesting approaches they have.
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  • 3

    We Are Engaged in a War

    Video: YouTube

    Agent Blasco: You have been selected for a mission for which you are not to discuss with anyone outside of this room. We are engaged in a war with the Soviet Union. This war does not, at the moment, involve men in arms. It involves information.

    Soldiers are briefed for a mission for which they've been selected. It's not like a typical war involving ground troops and an infantry battle. This war is about information, the Cold War.
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  • 4

    The Conversation Our Government's Can't

    Video: YouTube

    James Donovan: We need to have the conversation our governments can't.

    Speaking with the Soviets, James breaks things down quite simply. He's there to talk about a spy prisoner swap, something that isn't exactly politically correct at the moment.
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