The Catcher Was a Spy (2018)

Based on the True Story of Moe Berg

http://www.ifcfilms.com/films/the-catcher-was-a-spy

Former major league baseball player Moe Berg lives a double life working for the Office of Strategic Services in World War II Europe.

Click here for a video version of this review:
Moe Berg was a professional baseball player who played for a number of teams as a backup catcher over his 16 year career. He also had a knack for languages and this led him to working for the Office of Strategic Services during the second world war. One of his missions during the war is the subject of the 2018 movie _The Catcher Was a Spy_.
Paul Rudd plays Berg, and as the movie starts, we meet him during his baseball career. With the war unfolding the US begins working on The Manhattan Project and they suspect that there are some scientists in Germany who are also close to completing a nuclear bomb of some sort. Berg is despatched to Switzerland to look into one of the lead scientists and determine how close the Germans are to having a bomb. If they were close, Berg was to shoot the scientist. It's a small scale story told against the large scale of a world war, and the enormous pressure of the nuclear arms race.
This has a number of big names in it such as Tom Wilkinson, Mark Strong, Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti, Jeff Daniels, and of course Paul Rudd in the lead as Moe Berg. I really enjoyed this and found myself drawn into the story. Rudd is engaging as the mysterious Berg and does a really good job of bringing this enigmatic character to life.
This is not a big loud action extravaganza, but rather an understated film, which is apropo as this is how Moe Berg was in real life. I think this movie flew under the radar when it came out, but I reckon it's definitely worth your time.

Serena Films, Animus Films, PalmStar Media by Ben Lewin, Robert Rodat, Nicholas Dawidoff.
Stars: Paul Rudd, Pierfrancesco Favino, Tom Wilkinson, Connie Nielsen.

Genres: Biography, Drama, History, War

Keywords: spy based on novel or book baseball world war ii biography based on a true story espionage lgbt boston red sox oss (office of strategic services) closeted homosexual gay

06/22/2018

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