The Spanish Prisoner
The Spanish Prisoner (1997)

A gentler, kinder David Mamet ventures into Hitchcock country with this amiable brain-twister about an electronics whiz whose invention gets him caught up in a world of corruption, intrigue and murder.

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: September 8, 1997
DVD Release Date: October 6, 1998
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Leonard Klady

David Mamet has a penchant for sleight-of-hand thrillers, and The Spanish Prisoner is his craftiest to date.

Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail

There's something fresh, even restorative, in watching an American studio movie that doesn't treat the movie-going audience like a bunch of gullible marks.

Michael Dequina

One exceedingly well-crafted piece of manipulation that keeps the audience strung along with every intricate turn of the plot.

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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer

The Spanish Prisoner shares with Glengarry Glen Ross a vision of life as a cosmic con game in which the victimizers feed the fantasies of the victims.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Mamet brings more than a decade's worth of filmmaking experience to his latest project, and his skill as a director has improved considerably.

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Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide

The result is rather frustrating -- the story works but feels oddly hollow, almost like a con game itself.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

David Mamet's most consistently enjoyable film to date is a cool, typically clever con-trick drama packed with deliciously inventive twists that get ever more convoluted and unnerving as the plot proceeds.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

It rolls its sleeves above its elbows to show it has no hidden cards, and then produces them out of thin air.

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This is probably Mamet's most purely enjoyable film since the gangster comedy Things Change.

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More reviews for The Spanish Prisoner

Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
Good twisty drama.
Alice Shen
Exciting in parts, but completely filled with McGuffins. How does Joe not notice the book was switched? Why does he touch the murder weapon? Why does Susan… More
Ken Stachnik
Mamet takes a page from the Hitchcock hand book.
Bruce Bruce
Don't know how this one ever got by me. Don't let title throw you. Steve martin Played a great part. Its worth seeing and adding to your collection.
Pierluigi Puccini
Mamet plays to be Hitchcock like he did in his first feature. The results are pretty good, a fine and engaging thriller that unravels its clues patiently and… More
Brendan Nicholls
david mamet thriller & easily one of the smartest one yet. I enjoy the twists he creates, you know they are coming but still its fun to watch