The Spanish Prisoner


The Spanish Prisoner (1997)


Critic Consensus: The Spanish Prisoner delivers just what fans of writer-director David Mamet expect: a smart, solidly constructed drama that keeps viewers guessing... and entertained along the way.


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Movie Info

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.

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Rebecca Pidgeon
as Susan Ricci
Steve Martin
as Jimmy Dell
Ricky Jay
as George Lang
Felicity Huffman
as Pat McCune
Ed O'Neill
as FBI Team Leader
Jim Frangone
as Det. Luzzio
Jerry Graff
as Businessman
G. Roy Levin
as Businessman
Hilary Hinckle
as Resort Concierge
David Pittu
as Resort Manager
Christopher Kaldor
as Dell's Bodyguard
Gary McDonald
as Ticket Agent
Michael Robinson
as Security Person
Olivia Tecosky
as Flight Attendant
Charlotte Potok
as Bookstore Woman
Paul Butler
as Bookbinder
Emily Weisberg
as Secretary
Stephanie Ross
as Receptionist
Elliot Cuker
as Antique Car Dealer
Scott Zigler
as Car Dealer's Assistant
Steven Hawley
as Restaurant Manager
Jordan Lage
as Maitre D'
Tony Mamet
as FBI Agent Levy
Jack Wallace
as Sanitation Man
Clark Gregg
as FBI Sniper
Allen Soule
as Fingerprint Technician
Mary B. McCann
as Policewoman
Gustave Johnson
as Property Clerk
Harriet Voyt
as Airline Employee
Kristin Reddick
as Airport Mother
Andrew Murphy
as Airport Child
Jeremy Geidt
as Timid Man
Neil Pepe
as Airport Security
Takeo Matsushita
as United States Marshal
Seiko Yoshida
as United States Marshal
Mimi Jo Katano
as Japanese Tour Guide
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Critic Reviews for The Spanish Prisoner

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (15)

There are enough twists and grown-up intrigue to keep one asking, "Hey, what's going on here?"

Jan 8, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
USA Today
Top Critic

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

Nov 20, 2008
Top Critic

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.

Apr 27, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Apr 12, 2002 | Rating: 3/4

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

Feb 14, 2001 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Spanish Prisoner

Good twisty drama.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Mamet takes a page from the Hitchcock hand book.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


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 keeps you guessing what is going to happen next.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

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 pin that shamrock on him? It's all just to further the plot with canned suspense as it hurtles toward a deus ex machina ending.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

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